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Old 05-06-2016, 11:32 AM   #1
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City: Sitka, AK
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Magnetic North
Vessel Model: 1985 Californian 34
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 102
Cant figure out the generator- Onan 4kw

I just bought a boat Monday and when we took it out Tuesday, we fueled up and everything worked great all day. Wednesday, neither the generator or the port side engine would start. I'm brand new to all of this, and after changing both fuel filters on both engines, eventually I was able to bleed the air out at the injectors on the engine (after receiving some guidance) and it runs great again. However, I still can't get the genset going again. I changed the racor filter and apparently air got in the line in the process. I can't get a new fuel filter in for a couple days so that part will have to wait. The genset cranks all day but has a very difficult time actually starting. When it does start, it stalls after a few minutes. It's acting very similar to what the engine was doing but I can't seem to get fuel or air to come out anywhere when I try. There doesn't seem to be a hand pump on it that I can find to prime it. Any suggestions? Thank you

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Old 05-06-2016, 11:54 AM   #2
City: Carefree, Arizona
Country: usa
Vessel Name: sunchaser V
Vessel Model: DeFever 48
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 6,826

What does the previous owner have in the way of suggestions? What brand of genset? How low were the tanks before you refueled? Bad fuel purchased?

You will get many suggestions, but absent eyes on it all a guessing game. If your fuel tank is above the genset filter do you get fuel out at the filter? My 2 cents worth, trace the suspect line(s) back to the tank and identify any fittings, valves, manifolds etc that could be blocked or closed.

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Old 05-06-2016, 12:09 PM   #3
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City: Cape May, NJ and Englewood, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Irish Lady
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,919
My guess is air in the fuel. The generator manual should tell you if the fuel system is self-bleeding or needs to be done manually.
1984 Monk 36 Hull #46
Englewood, FL and Cape May, NJ
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Old 05-06-2016, 01:33 PM   #4
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City: Fort Myers, FL... Summers in Crisfield, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Slow Hand
Vessel Model: Cherubini Independence 45
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 5,402
Think I would wait till you get the fuel filter on the engine replaced, then bleed the system and start again. Not a bad idea to have a spare lift pump (between the Racor and the fuel filter) in spares stock also.

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I want to spend some time, Not come and go in a heated rush.....
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