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Generators In this forum we will try to answer any of your questions about the different model generators that can be found on Blue Bird coach's.

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  #1  
Old 02-18-2010
Lee Davis's Avatar
Lee Davis Lee Davis is offline
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Default Powertech Generator won't start - RELAY BYPASS CURE

I have a Powertech 10KW generator with a Kubota engine. It would not start the second day while day camping and I thought my battery had run down too much. When trying to start it, it hit about 2 licks and then went dead and nothing would happen. I tried every switch to turn it on (there are several) including the one on the side of the generator thinking I might have a bad switch but none of them worked. I clicked the reset button on and off, still no results.

I tried the battery switch to use the engine batteries (I know those are in great shape) instead of the coach batteries, still nothing. I took off the cables from the battery and cleaned them very well but did not try to start it at that point (figured I'd have more time the next day if the problem continued)

Then I tried the switch on the dash again after runnning down the road awhile the next day and heard the generator come on. Weird, but I thought it might just be a voltage problem and with my coach batteries charged back up from the alternator (if indeed that was the problem) I'd be fine. (always an optimist)

Well, after getting parked I tried it again. Won't start.

Maybe its a ground problem but I don't see where the ground is attached to that Kubota engine. Does anyone know where that attaches or have any other suggestions?

Thanks
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Lee and Jacque Davis - Full Timers

Lee - 423-292-5767 or Jacque 423-262-9569
or lnjdavis@gmail.com Please call or email instead of private messages


1995 BMC 37
300 HP Cummins 6CTA 8.3 Turbocharged Diesel
Boldly Going Nowhere
http://www.bbirdmaps.com/index.cfm #117
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  #2  
Old 02-18-2010
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RGloverii RGloverii is offline
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Was the generator cranking? From the way you are describing it, I think you are saying that the engine wasn't cranking.

If that's the case, it could be several things:

-Loose wire between battery bank and starter solonoid
-Loose wire between starter solonoid and starter
-Bad ground on starter solonoid
-Bad starter solonoid
-Bad starter

I doubt it was low battery voltage. You should still have been able to crank, unless your voltage was seriously low (less than 11v).

If the situation occurs again, you should stop the coach, shut down the engine, and open the generator tray. Try to start the generator from the outside button. Do you hear the starter solonoid click when you press 'start'? It will be a fairly pronounced 'click'.

Verify the voltage at the input of the starter solonoid. Be careful, because that is directly connected to your battery bank's positive. You should have a good strong voltage with no significant loss as compared to the battery voltage.

To test the solonoid, you could CAREFULLY bridge the starter solonoid with jumper cables. The genny should crank. If it doesn't crank, and you have good voltage, then your problem is likely the actual starter.

That's a good place to start the diagnostic process. Good luck!

-Robert
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  #3  
Old 02-18-2010
AC7880 AC7880 is offline
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Hi Lee,

My day to camp host and I am heading out the door, but here is a link to a PowerTech Gen manual. Hope it helps. Voltmeter on batt ok?
http://www.powertech-gen.com/images/...0_to_12000.pdf



Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Davis View Post
I have a Powertech 10KW generator with a Kubota engine. It would not start the second day while day camping and I thought my battery had run down too much. When trying to start it, it hit about 2 licks and then went dead and nothing would happen. I tried every switch to turn it on (there are several) including the one on the side of the generator thinking I might have a bad switch but none of them worked. I clicked the reset button on and off, still no results.

I tried the battery switch to use the engine batteries (I know those are in great shape) instead of the coach batteries, still nothing. I took off the cables from the battery and cleaned them very well but did not try to start it at that point (figured I'd have more time the next day if the problem continued)

Then I tried the switch on the dash again after runnning down the road awhile the next day and heard the generator come on. Weird, but I thought it might just be a voltage problem and with my coach batteries charged back up from the alternator (if indeed that was the problem) I'd be fine. (always an optimist)

Well, after getting parked I tried it again. Won't start.

Maybe its a ground problem but I don't see where the ground is attached to that Kubota engine. Does anyone know where that attaches or have any other suggestions?

Thanks
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  #4  
Old 02-18-2010
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Lee Davis Lee Davis is offline
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Default Powertech generator relay

OK, it's amazing how much good information one can get just by calling the companies.

I talked with Jeff Jones at Powertech. He told me to take off the cover to the control box (big rectangular box on the top in the front)and look inside and fine a clear yellow tinted relay. This is the generator stop/shutoff relay. He said it was designed originally to prevent someone (like grandkids) from trying to start the generator while it was already running. He said those relays tended to quit after awhile so they don't even use them anymore. Attached to it are 2 blue wires, one black wire and one white wire. He told me to take off the two blue wires, cut off the connector ends and butt splice them together, effectively bypassing that relay.

Preheated the generator, it cranks up no problem.

Excellent! Even dummies can fix some things.

Now back to installing the connector I bought for the heater hose that was leaking. I sure hope that puddle I'll have to lay in dries out before this afternoon.
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Lee and Jacque Davis - Full Timers

Lee - 423-292-5767 or Jacque 423-262-9569
or lnjdavis@gmail.com Please call or email instead of private messages


1995 BMC 37
300 HP Cummins 6CTA 8.3 Turbocharged Diesel
Boldly Going Nowhere
http://www.bbirdmaps.com/index.cfm #117
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  #5  
Old 02-18-2010
AC7880 AC7880 is offline
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Great work Lee, and the price was right too!

Sounds like a PM job I should do before failure when it's 100 degrees out and I'm on a highway.






Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Davis View Post
OK, it's amazing how much good information one can get just by calling the companies.

I talked with Jeff Jones at Powertech. He told me to take off the cover to the control box (big rectangular box on the top in the front)and look inside and fine a clear yellow tinted relay. This is the generator stop/shutoff relay. He said it was designed originally to prevent someone (like grandkids) from trying to start the generator while it was already running. He said those relays tended to quit after awhile so they don't even use them anymore. Attached to it are 2 blue wires, one black wire and one white wire. He told me to take off the two blue wires, cut off the connector ends and butt splice them together, effectively bypassing that relay.

Preheated the generator, it cranks up no problem.

Excellent! Even dummies can fix some things.

Now back to installing the connector I bought for the heater hose that was leaking. I sure hope that puddle I'll have to lay in dries out before this afternoon.
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  #6  
Old 02-19-2010
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Lee Davis Lee Davis is offline
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Default Powertech Generator fix

It was a simple fix. I think all BMC's have that 10KW Powertech generator and based on what Jeff said everyone ought to do this. I didn't ask him but I suspect all the different older Powertech generators of all sizes had this setup so it probably is not just limited to BMCs.

I had already made an appointment with the Kubota dealer in Victoria TX before I called Powertech. I canceled it of course, but I can only imagine how much labor would have been required to find that the "unnecessary relay" was the problem. Since Kubota engines not in motor homes don't have that, it is something they probably wouldn't be looking for or familiar with.

And my puddle under the bus had dried up so I was able to splice my heater hose with only a small coolant shower this time. Cost of that fix...$6

I am a happy camper again
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Lee and Jacque Davis - Full Timers

Lee - 423-292-5767 or Jacque 423-262-9569
or lnjdavis@gmail.com Please call or email instead of private messages


1995 BMC 37
300 HP Cummins 6CTA 8.3 Turbocharged Diesel
Boldly Going Nowhere
http://www.bbirdmaps.com/index.cfm #117
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  #7  
Old 02-19-2010
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RGloverii RGloverii is offline
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Good deal!

Two fixes for $6.00 is an excellent thing!!

I wish I was always that lucky.
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Robert Glover, II
91 SP36
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  #8  
Old 02-20-2010
Lee Davis's Avatar
Lee Davis Lee Davis is offline
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Location: Wherever we are parked
Posts: 1,624
Default Cheap fixes

Yeah, I know. it usually doesn't work like that for me either .

However, you take them when you get them....
__________________
Lee and Jacque Davis - Full Timers

Lee - 423-292-5767 or Jacque 423-262-9569
or lnjdavis@gmail.com Please call or email instead of private messages


1995 BMC 37
300 HP Cummins 6CTA 8.3 Turbocharged Diesel
Boldly Going Nowhere
http://www.bbirdmaps.com/index.cfm #117
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  #9  
Old 02-20-2010
thudpilot1 thudpilot1 is offline
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Default Powertech

Lee,
Please help me thru it when you're here.
I've had gen fuel pump fail and in hot wx - not fun
Ed
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  #10  
Old 02-22-2010
AC7880 AC7880 is offline
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I bypassed the relay on my generator today as preventive maintainance. Quick and easy.
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