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I have a 1997 Onan Microlite 4KY that I..surges

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I have a 1997...
I have a 1997 Onan Microlite 4KY that I have been having problems with. Most recent problem - it starts and runs, I put a load on, after 2-3 hours, starts to surge. I take load off and still surges, wants to shut down. I shut it off, wait about an hour, and it runs again for a couple hours. I replaced little blue coil/ignition box last fall, thinking it may be overheating, apparently this didn't fix the problem. Have had this similiar problem in past, and tried replacing carb (can't rebuild this one - have to buy new)   This gremlin problem has been plaguing me every summer. I live in Arizona, unit gets very hot. I am thinking it may be heat related. If it was fuel related, why would it run fine for 3 hours? Genny has 1500 hours, I replaced brushes at 600 hours. I have bypassed (unplugged) low oil sensor, so I know that is not the problem. I replaced gas, fuel line and filter also. Any ideas? I don't want to throw another 175.00 carb at this again. Thanx!! kurt
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: RV
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Answered in 12 minutes by:
6/9/2010
RV Mechanic: OnanMan, Generator Tech replied 8 years ago
OnanMan
OnanMan, Generator Tech
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 255
Experience: 14 years in the Cummins/Onan distributor network, Level 3 certified in RV, Marine and industrial fie
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Hi Kurt I am Don. The most common reason for this problem is fuel. So does the unit sit without running over the off season?
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
yes. I drained all old fuel and replaced gas, line and filter last fall. This winter it ran fine. I put sta-bil in it. 2 months later I try to run it and this happens - surge after 3 hours. if fuel, why would unit run fine for 3 hours?
RV Mechanic: OnanMan, Generator Tech replied 8 years ago
Any number of reasons, I assume you know the fuel tank must be over 1/4 full. There could be fuel lines dry rotting. Also you may want to check the choke, it works off heat from the exhaust from the engine of the gen.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I am going to houseboat this weekend. Tank is over half full. How do I check choke? How should I set choke? If I can check and adjust, I will accept this answer Don. Thanx
RV Mechanic: OnanMan, Generator Tech replied 8 years ago
Ok, open the door and look to the right side, there should be a metal type hose right off the exhaust going up to a box that has the linkage coming out of it going to the carb. Inside that box is a metal spring that heats up and is supposed to move the linkage to open the choke as it heats up. Start the gen and you will notice that the throttle pushes the choke open part way at the carb. Then as the exhaust gets hot the metal spring should open the choke all the way. Run the unit for about 20 minutes and then shut it down, the choke should stay wide open. I just noticed that this is on a house boat, make sure your gas cap is vented on the cap, the gen may be putting a vacuum on the tank.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Don, what do I do if choke does not stay wide open? Thanx
RV Mechanic: OnanMan, Generator Tech replied 8 years ago
if the hose is connected to the exhaust then the bi-metal in the box would need to be replaced.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

Yeah, the hose is connected as I recall, but it just kind of sits on the exhaust housing, I will try to fasten it a little better to be sure it stays in place. Seems like there should be a cold temperature baseline setting that I should be able to check for and be sure that the screws or clearance is set right before I even begin??.

RV Mechanic: OnanMan, Generator Tech replied 8 years ago
You are right, on the box cover is a little hold down nut that you loosen (9/32") then remove the air filter and adjust just as the plate is almost closed at engine cold and ambient temp is 70 degrees.
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