Onan Microlite 2.8 KV A spec repairs

scurvy

New member
When I picked up the RV from my in-laws, we attempted to start the generator but it did not work. At the time we just shrugged it off as I wasn't planning on running it on the way home, but after a very hot and sweaty night at a Minnesota rest area, boy did I wish I had it running.

After I got home, we pulled the generator out, an Onan Microlite 2.8 model KV, A-spec. It is pretty heavy at about 120 lbs, but we got it set up on cinder blocks in the back yard and started troubleshooting.

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First and foremost, no fuel came out when disconnected from the carb, which means the fuel pump is shot. $60 later and I had a replacement unit from my local NAPA (Balkamp 6101077, replacement for Facet 40189).

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Once that was plumbed it, it would start and run rough but eventually die. I fed it gas with about a 5x dose of Sea Foam and B-12, which helped some, but eventually figured out that with the choke held in it would run fairly well.

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This means it's not getting enough fuel, so I took the carb & intake manifold off, discovered the airbox-to-carb gasket was disintegrated, and proceeded with disassembly of the major carb components. The bowl and main metering jet was pretty well blocked with gunk and dissolved gasket material, so a quick clean with carb cleaner got it back to flowing well.

Reassembled and it's back to running well! I'm adding quick disconnects for AC power and a fuel shut-off valve, plus additional sound dampening in the enclosure, but it should be back installed this week.

Naturally I had help from factory trained technicians!
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Wayne

Administrator
Staff member
That's some good troubleshooting that saved you a bunch of $$ having someone else fix.

How many watts is the generator? Is it air or liquid cooled? Any idea how many hours are on the unit?
 

spasm3

Member
Nice work. Most of the time when its sat a long time, you just need to go through the carb. Good first test to discover the fuel pump.
 

scurvy

New member
How many watts is the generator? Is it air or liquid cooled? Any idea how many hours are on the unit?
This is a 2800 watt genset, air cooled. The hour meter inside the RV shows 576 hours on it. Low hours considering it's 30 years old.

Nice work. Most of the time when its sat a long time, you just need to go through the carb. Good first test to discover the fuel pump.
Indeed, I drained the bowl first and got out all the nasty old gas and it did run better once it got fresh gas with plenty of additives (but still necessitated I hold the choke closed). I wouldn't have found the bits of carb-to-airbox gasket had I not fully disassembled the bowl and main jet tho.

FWIW I added an ounce of Sea Foam to the oil, ran it for 10 minutes, changed the oil with the last bits of some Shell Rotella T6 I had leftover from my diesel Golf, ran it again for 10 minutes, then cracked open a new jug of T6 and added some Lubro-Moly MoS2.
 

Wayne

Administrator
Staff member
With that few hours, it should be good for many years to come. Glad you got this gem and hope you spend lots of time enjoying it!

It's a good thing your found those gasket pieces, as nobody wants to have trouble when camping or on the road getting to/from camping.
 
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