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Old 10-22-2018, 12:27 AM   #1
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Default Onan generator carb fouling

I have a 2012 Pleasureway excel with Onan generator. As it says in the Onan manual I have managed to foul the carburator because I havenít run the generator enough. The manual also says to fix this, use a cleaner sold by Onan that you pour in the gas tank. My question is, since this generator runs off the main van gas tank is it OK to put the Onan brand carb cleaner in the vans gas tank? Will it affect the van engine negatively? If it might, then I will resort to manually cleaning the carb.
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Old 10-22-2018, 12:39 AM   #2
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Most folks use Seafoam in the main van tank at the cleanout ratio first and the less for maintenance and storage. It will not hurt the van and might actually do some good over the winter.


As long as the Onan still runs enough to pull gas into it, there is a good chance that it will clean up for you. When we had got our Roadtrek the Onan was gunked up and found the the cleaning worked best if we ran it 20 minutes or so and then let it sit overnight, repeat, repeat, repeat, until it runs well. You can also adjust the elevation setting on the Onan to zero elevation, which is the richest setting and then bring it back up as the carb cleans out to keep it from running to rich. Sometimes they won't run well enough to clean unless you do the elevation adjuster.
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Old 10-22-2018, 02:06 AM   #3
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If you look at your generator, there will be a rubber fuel hose from the fuel tank. You should be able to disconnect the hose and then put a suitable length of hose that will run to a portable gas can. You can then put the Seafoam mixture in the can in the appropriate ratio.

There is youtube video by Onan about how to use the Seafoam for maximum benefit.
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Old 10-23-2018, 12:12 AM   #4
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When we lived up north, the last time I mowed the lawn for the year I always ran the gas dry to a stalled engine before I put it away for the winter. This would prevent the engine from fouling because there was no gas left in the fuel system to cause trouble. On a gasoline motorhome with a gasoline generator this would be a little more complicated.

Has anyone tried to install a petcock on the fuel line so you could shut it off and let the genny fuel line/carburetor run dry prior to a dormant period? Some folks accomplish this by converting their generator to propane, which doesn't gum up the engine like modern gasoline.

Any thoughts on this?

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Originally Posted by jmai View Post
If you look at your generator, there will be a rubber fuel hose from the fuel tank. You should be able to disconnect the hose and then put a suitable length of hose that will run to a portable gas can. You can then put the Seafoam mixture in the can in the appropriate ratio.

There is youtube video by Onan about how to use the Seafoam for maximum benefit.
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Old 10-23-2018, 12:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isharpe View Post
I have a 2012 Pleasureway excel with Onan generator. As it says in the Onan manual I have managed to foul the carburator because I havenít run the generator enough. The manual also says to fix this, use a cleaner sold by Onan that you pour in the gas tank. My question is, since this generator runs off the main van gas tank is it OK to put the Onan brand carb cleaner in the vans gas tank? Will it affect the van engine negatively? If it might, then I will resort to manually cleaning the carb.
Please explain "foul tghe carburator". Does that mean the onan is 'Surging' under power or even idling or is it and/or something else?

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Old 10-23-2018, 12:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GigaGeek View Post
When we lived up north, the last time I mowed the lawn for the year I always ran the gas dry to a stalled engine before I put it away for the winter. This would prevent the engine from fouling because there was no gas left in the fuel system to cause trouble. On a gasoline motorhome with a gasoline generator this would be a little more complicated.

Has anyone tried to install a petcock on the fuel line so you could shut it off and let the genny fuel line/carburetor run dry prior to a dormant period? Some folks accomplish this by converting their generator to propane, which doesn't gum up the engine like modern gasoline.

Any thoughts on this?
There is usually some play in the fuel line. Mine is 1/4" inside diameter rubber fuel hose. It could be cut and a petcock spliced in. However, one should really run the generator once a month not only for the carburetor but to keep the slip rings in the generator from oxidizing.
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Old 10-23-2018, 01:45 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=Has anyone tried to install a petcock on the fuel line so you could shut it off and let the genny fuel line/carburetor run dry prior to a dormant period?
Any thoughts on this?[/QUOTE]

I asked this of a Cummings Factory representative. The response was it might cause harm the fuel pump. It would be better to disconnect the fuel pump or put a switch inline to it.
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Old 10-23-2018, 02:13 AM   #8
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Thanks all for the advice! The gen set surges just as the manual describes when carb is gummed up. Will try the sea foam and see what happens
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Old 10-23-2018, 02:25 AM   #9
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Thanks all for the advice! The gen set surges just as the manual describes when carb is gummed up. Will try the sea foam and see what happens
The tiny little jets have varnish due to the gas drying up, ethanol is a little worse.

seafoam may or may not assist. I was told by a Cummins Diesel employee that surging was not good for the generator, but I don't recall why.

If you can inject a stronger carb cleaner and gas mixture into the bowl of the carb and start the engine, then killing the engine almost immediately leaving the mixture in the jets, well!!

The carb is not expensive, labor is. Good luck.

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