Downtime for Maintenance – Praise for Onan/Cummins

Onan 7000Everything mechanical will eventually need maintenance.  Our Onan-Marquis 7000 Generator has been giving me fits for the last two months.  Partly because we have been traveling at elevations greater than sea level (beyond 5,000 feet) and that my generator has an altitude adjustment that I dared to change – incorrectly it seems, as the generator would start and then die quickly at any elevation.  Altitude Adjust

The only solution was to press and hold the START switch on the face of the generator until it would crank over; puffing blue smoke the whole time. Great for mosquito abatement, not so much for humans and the VERY sensitive gas sensor in hallway of my coach – which went off every time I started the generator.

As fortune would have it, my persistent push-and-hold regimen took a toll on the little switch, under the rubber boot on the face of the generator, and finally broke.  I thought, “l’ll order a new one!”; only to find that the switch ($35) is soldiered onto the circuit board that controls the whole generator.

Circuit BoardI have an electronics background and have built many electronic gadgets, including a Heath Kit digital alarm clock I built in 1975 that still works!  De-soldering and re-soldering a switch is, as they say, in my wheelhouse, so I was up for the challenge.  However, I began to think maybe the switch was merely symptomatic and not the real problem, so I opted to return the switch and purchase the entire circuit board ($150) as insurance; plus, the new board had the switch already installed.  Here’s where my elation with Cummins Mid-South begins!  http://www.cumminsmidsouth.com/partsandservice

I made an internet search for Onan parts and I was directed to Cummins Mid-South (I am currently in New Orleans, Louisiana).  Onan is a part of the Cummins Power division. lrg_Cummins_Onan These folks are amazing!  I spoke with a gentleman, named Everette, and he was extremely helpful and epitomized a “Can Do” mentality.  Their prices rivaled everything I found on Ebay and the parts came to me the very next day.  Shipping was only $12 for next day delivery. (your location will impact shipping)

Additionally, I was credited the same day the returned switch arrived back at their facility; this was a wonderful surprise.

Tearing into your RV generator my send chills up and down your spine, but I developed the philosophy years ago that if something is broken, I can’t break it.  As a result, I became, as my daughter once told me, “Daddy, you’re a good fixer” (she was only 5 years old at the time).

There are only two Torx Pan-head screws that hold the face plate to the generator and, after disconnecting the two wire connections, the entire face plate-onto which the circuit board is held with only four Phillips Head screws, comes out nicely.  Changing the control board made this literally a “Plug-n-Play” repair.

I estimate I saved over $400 in parts and labor by doing this repair myself.  Something to think about!

My generator started right up after installing the new circuit board and tweaking the altitude compensation screw a bit.  Still looking into the ‘proper’ use of this device, so I’ll let you know if, or when, I find it!

Happy Trails as you motor about the country.  Paisley Turtle-out.

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