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Hank F.
Hank F., Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 15183
Experience:  Certified on Onan and Generac generators
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NOT A DUPLICATE QUESTION! !! I have a onan generator that

Customer Question

NOT A DUPLICATE QUESTION! !!I have a onan generator that has rough idle for about 30 seconds. Then runs smoothly after. Any suggestions? Chris
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 year ago.

Hello,. my name is ***** ***** I am going to assist you with this.

What is the full model number of the genset?

Does it run on gasoline or LP?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello hank, it's onan 6.5 NHE-1R/26101
Runs on propane
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 year ago.

That is not the whole model number. There is a letter after the "26101", and I need that letter.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It got cut off its "A"
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 year ago.

The 26101A is an old points driven unit. There is not much to the ignition system - points, coil, plug wires, plugs, and capacitor.

First start with the points. Make sure the contacts are not pitted and/or burnt. If they are. clean them up or replace them. If replacing the points, also replace the capacitor. Make sure the points are properly gapped to 0.016".

Next test the coil. Remove all wires from the coil. Set your meter to ohms, and place one lead to each of the small terminals. You should get a reading of 3.8 - 4.7 ohms. Now place one meter lead in each of the high tension terminals (where the plug wires plug into). You should get a reading of 12,600 - 15,400 ohms. If either of these readings are out, the coil is bad.

If both the points and coil are good, the capacitor may be bad.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. I have changed the plugs yesterday with factory plugs, no difference. Two years ago it was doing the same thing, surging up and down for about 30 seconds, and I replaced plugs and changed the oil. And it was fine until recently. I usually camp with hookups.
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 year ago.

Dang it - I've got too many questions going on. I could have sworn yours was the one with no spark - disregard the above.

Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 year ago.

ON y9ours, you need to check the choke. Make sure it is closing when cold, and opening fully when hot - about 2 - 3 minutes running time.

And really, if it is only running rough for about 30 seconds, that is not bad - especially if it is cold out.

You might try and adjust the choke a little bit to see if it helps.

At the very bottom of the list, you might be dealing with a regulator that is going bad, especially if the temps are below about 35 or 40 degrees where you are at, but testing the fuel system requires special tools and training.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Haha, that's fine hank. I did check the voltage at the wall sockets and at startup it's like 126 volts, and after a few minutes it's between 121-123 volts. The old plugs weren't factory, so I had to bend the electrode. But these are onan plugs
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 year ago.

as long as you have them gapped to .025", they should be good. But sometimes when it is cold out, you can close them up to about .020" to get a little hotter spark.

But definitely check the choke.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I checked the gap, and they were at .25.. And I'm in California, so it doesn't get that cold out.
On the choke, it's adjusted Gen off correct? Because you have to first remove the air filter to get access. Also, I read the manual about the regulator, and I have a vacuum Guage and a compressor. Is that all I need to check out the regulator?
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 year ago.

Yes, the choke needs to be set with the engine off - at first. Adjusting the choke is a touchy thing. It needs to be set, then the unit run to check the operation. If not correct, the unit must be cooled completely down before adjusting again.

To check a regulator, you need a CALIBRATED air supply and a manometer. The manometer is a highly sensitive device, as operating pressure on the regulator is typically less than 1/2 psi. The gas system is nothing to be messing with if you have not had the proper training.

It is after 10PM here on the East Coast, and I have to get u at 5AM to go to work. I have a 13 hour shift tomorrow, so I have to get to bed.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok hank, thanks for your help. I'll check out the choke first.
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 year ago.

Okey dokey.

Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 year ago.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hank, thanks for your reply. Im gonna work on it Saturday. Hank, on checking the frequency, this can be done with my voltmeter and should be at 62hz right? And what should the voltage be? Chris
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 year ago.

Yes, no load frequency should be about 61.5 - 62 Hz.

Voltage can vary anywhere from about 118 - 124.