Author Topic: Generator Isn't Getting Fuel  (Read 8722 times)

Offline bigjeffstone

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  • Posts: 20
  • Year: 1973
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 413
Generator Isn't Getting Fuel
« on: December 29, 2009, 05:47 PM »
Sent: 19/07/2006
 
I've been having trouble getting gas to our generator. It will start up fine with an external tank hooked up, but with the one that is built into the rig, it just doesnt seem to work.
We have a new pump on there, which works fine, etc, there is gas in the tank too. I have heard that you need to have lots of gas in there for it to suck it up, but how much?
Also, I have tried tracing the gas line through and it seems that it goes into the top of the tank. Would it be worth my time to take off the tank to see if there is something blocking it?

Thanks- Jeff

Offline bigjeffstone

  • *
  • Posts: 20
  • Year: 1973
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 413
Re: Generator Isn't Getting Fuel
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2009, 05:48 PM »
Sent: 29/01/2007
 
After trying numerous things, I think that I just need to replace the gas line. The gen works fine with an external tank, we have the current tank half full and if I suck on it, it takes about 4 large "sucks" to get any fuel. Which, you can imagine, creates a headache and a nasty taste in the mouth.
I'm going to head to Home Depot to get myself a complete rubber line suggested by canadian76brave. Thanks everyone for your help. I'll be letting you know how it goes.
Jeff

Offline bigjeffstone

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  • Posts: 20
  • Year: 1973
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 413
Re: Generator Isn't Getting Fuel
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2009, 05:48 PM »
Sent: 17/09/2007
 
Still haven't done it. LIving on the streets in the RV, and it's pretty loud when I start it up.
It does run, but I think we're gonna look for solar panels just to keep a slow charge to the battery. We've gotten used to not having electricity.

Offline sharkfot

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  • Posts: 27
  • Year: 1984
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Elandan
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: Generator Isn't Getting Fuel
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2009, 05:52 PM »
Sent: 18/09/2007
 
Try blowing the line out in reverese with some air--that may clear any bloackage you may have--just an idea!

Ben III

Offline bigjeffstone

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  • Posts: 20
  • Year: 1973
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 413
Re: Generator Isn't Getting Fuel
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2009, 05:52 PM »
Sent: 18/09/2007
 
Tried that, you can hear the bubbles. I'm not sure what it is. I think there is something wrong with the tube--small cracks or just not a great seal on the end. We've got to take the tank off to check all that stuff..

Offline ontheroadagain

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  • Posts: 49
  • Member since: 2006
  • Year: 1980
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Minnie Winnie
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 350
Re: Generator Isn't Getting Fuel
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2009, 05:53 PM »
Sent: 18/09/2007

a easy way to check the pickup tube and hoses is to install a hand primer bulb like used on boat fuel systems (i saw them at wal or kmarts for $5) and a short piece of  clear tubing. hook up the clear tube to the hose from the tank then to the primer bulb then to a  piece of hose to reach into a catch can  watch for air bubbles in the clear tube coming from the tank, you will get a few at first but they should stop. if you have the end of the hose lower than the fuel tank fuel should continue to flow after a few pumps and there should be no air bubbles. i have a golf cart that would lose prime when it sat so i installed a primer bulb and now just a few pumps and it starts right up it might help you get yours started

Offline bigjeffstone

  • *
  • Posts: 20
  • Year: 1973
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 413
Re: Generator Isn't Getting Fuel
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2009, 05:54 PM »
Sent: 18/09/2007
 
I disconnected the current gas line (that goes thru the back of the Winnebago) and ran a new one to an external gas tank and it worked perfectly. Either there is something stuck in the current tube, or it isn't connected correctly or it is cracked. The previous owner took the tank off to clean it, so he may not have reconnected it right.
Anyone know where to get a tube that will go to the exterior of the rig so I can fill it up? We constructed something made of PVC and a cap, but the cap is gone and I don't trust it.

Offline jazzin112

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  • Posts: 5
  • Year: 1984
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Elandan 31RT
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: Generator Isn't Getting Fuel
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2009, 05:56 PM »
Sent: 19/09/2007
 
Well, ours is having the fuel line repaired at this very instant...the tank is down on the ground, and where the hose was curled on the top, the (now 23 year old) fuel line had kinked and hardened in place, not allowing fuel to pass through.  I was able to blow air back to the tank with a compressor, but unable to use an outboard  motor primer bulb to pull the gasoline out.  The genny ran perfectly when the fuel line was hooked up to the boat tank, however.  Go figure...anyway I have a small leak in the bottom of the tank, so it had to be dropped to be sealed, so it was an opportune time to do both repairs.  By the way, the main fuel line was showing the same tendencies too!
 
John Moore (jazzin11)
'84 Winnebago ElanDan 31RT 454 Gas "Ol Snort"
Bellingham, WA

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

  • 11 year member
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  • Posts: 4189
  • Member since: 2005
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1995
  • Make: Itasca
  • Model: Suncruiser 32RQ
  • Chassis: Oshkosh
  • Engine: Cummings Turbo Diesel
Re: Generator Isn't Getting Fuel
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2009, 05:57 PM »
Sent: 20/09/2007

Jeff,
 
If you can hear bubbles in the tank when you blow in the line, then you don't have a blockage.  It sounds to me its just the fuel line being so old its letting air in.  So...replace the fuel line.  Sounds easy...but its REALLY hard to get to where it goes into the tank without dropping the tank.  Before you drop the tank, get under the rig and see if you can reach your hand up to where the rubber line meets the steel line that goes into the tank...if you can reach it, you'll be able to replace the line without dropping the tank.  Another thing that might solve your problem temporarily is to cut the rubber line as close to the tank as you can still reach it, and using hose clamps and a metal splice tube (short piece of steel gas line you can slip the rubber hose on) and replace as much of the rubber line as you can...if most of the gas line is new, then that little bit you can't reach shouldn't let in enough air to keep the genny from running.
 
Kev
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 98 Cherokee lifted beastie tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.

Offline bigjeffstone

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  • Posts: 20
  • Year: 1973
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 413
Re: Generator Isn't Getting Fuel
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2009, 05:59 PM »
Sent: 28/09/2007
 
Kevin-
Thanks for the advice. As for being able to reach up under there, I have gotten my arm in there, but it's tight. We've been trying to drop the tank but the gas needs to be siphoned out, which takes a while. I think that only a metal pipe goes into the tank, and not the rubber. It's going to be a good project.

We don't run our lights that much, we use candles mostly. It's easier to not be detected while we camp out on the streets. Right now, the charge would be best so we can use our water pump!

Offline sharkfot

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  • Posts: 27
  • Year: 1984
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Elandan
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: Generator Isn't Getting Fuel
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2009, 05:59 PM »
Sent: 29/09/2007

Next step--replace the rubber line!!!!
 
Ben III

Offline melyash

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  • Posts: 45
  • Year: 1972
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: C20
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 350
Re: Generator Isn't Getting Fuel
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2009, 06:00 PM »
Sent: 01/10/2007 

For general info, if your dropping your tank (s) you might want to have a local shop do a cleanup and coating on them. The local company (stockton ca) did a process called RENEU which is dump it clean it, cut out any weak spots and reweld it, then spray several coats in and out of a very nice fuel resistant coating that is supposed to hold up for years. Also if your doing it, you might look at replacing your fuel senders, I did not, and regret it now. Will probably have to drop them and swap them out one day soon.
 
Matt

Offline bigjeffstone

  • *
  • Posts: 20
  • Year: 1973
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 413
Re: Generator Isn't Getting Fuel
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2009, 06:01 PM »
Sent: 01/10/2007
 
That's good info--I appreciate it. I'm going to try to get this done before winter--it'd be nice to turn on that furnace!

Offline pinballlarry1

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  • Posts: 19
  • Year: 1977
  • Make: Itasca
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: Generator Isn't Getting Fuel
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2009, 06:02 PM »
Sent: 01/10/2007

Just replaced the Onan fuel line in my 77 Itasca, very easy to hook up to the fuel tube on top of the tank.  I removed the rear table floor socket and cut a hole in the plywood large enough do the work.  I used a sturdy metal plate to cover the hole in the floor and remount the table base socket in.  Worked out great and now I can access the fuel level sensor and pickup tubes anytime without dropping the tank.
pinballlarry

Offline bigjeffstone

  • *
  • Posts: 20
  • Year: 1973
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 413
Re: Generator Isn't Getting Fuel
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2010, 04:45 PM »
I never quite got this issue solved.  In my most recent attempt, I dropped the tank, cleaned it out and then got it back up there...it was really really difficult.  Not wanting to cut anything in the back area, we had to jam our hands in there and contort them to ways that just aren't human.  The problem is that the fuel line is on top of the tank (to prevent using all the fuel on the generator and preventing you from driving home).  I'm still not sure if it'll work or not, as I've just not been motivated to fill up the tank.  Sorry for the somewhat useless message here...but I'm drafting a really good one on our water system, which I've had much more success with than the generator fuel.

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

  • 11 year member
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  • Posts: 4189
  • Member since: 2005
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1995
  • Make: Itasca
  • Model: Suncruiser 32RQ
  • Chassis: Oshkosh
  • Engine: Cummings Turbo Diesel
Re: Generator Isn't Getting Fuel
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2010, 10:57 AM »
Good to hear from you again, Jeff!

I hope you get it all worked out!

Kev
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 98 Cherokee lifted beastie tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.

Offline intofire1

  • 14 year member
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  • Posts: 47
  • 1973 Brave
  • Member since: 2003
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1973 and 1961
  • Make: Winnebago both
  • Model: Brave & travel trailer
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 440-3
Re: Generator Isn't Getting Fuel
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2015, 08:34 PM »
 Generator started right up but after a five minutes it would start revving up and revving down for a minute or so and then shut off.    My clear fuel filter after a few minutes had no fuel in it.  With the knowledge I received from reading the above I did the following. Bought a fuel hand pump at Napa.  When I pump fuel back through the system it would leak at the shut off valve that had been installed right before the generator.  Don't know if the shut off is standard on 1973 Winnebagos but went to Napa and bought a new one and reinstalled and the generator runs just fine.  Thanks for the information hope this helps somebody else.
Gil in LA CA

Offline Winnebago Warrior 94

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  • Posts: 160
  • Member since: 2017
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1994
  • Make: winnebago
  • Model: Warrior
  • Chassis: chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: Generator Isn't Getting Fuel
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2017, 06:04 PM »
I have an onan 4000 genset emerauld plus  generator ..we took the fuel lines off the generator to let them drain right before the carburator before we tried to start it ..no fuel coming out of the lines ..so we took the fuel line off where the gas goes into the generator .. still  was no fuel ..I took a syringe with a clear smaller rubber hose  and I got gas to siflle out when I inseted the hose and I let it run into a container ..as soon as I take the hose out gas quits running from the hose ..my husband tried to sifle some out but the gas just doesn't keep on running out ..I don't see any type of primer bulb on the generator ..when my husband had the clear tube inserted he said he could see air bubble in the line ..do yall think the fuel line hose may need replaced ? I had seen an article on troble shooting a generator before ..I cant seem to find it now ..should the gas flow from the line ..we have tied putting the fuel line back on and turning over the generator but still no fuel

Offline Winnebago Warrior 94

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  • Posts: 160
  • Member since: 2017
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1994
  • Make: winnebago
  • Model: Warrior
  • Chassis: chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: Generator Isn't Getting Fuel
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2017, 07:03 PM »
we did the clear line to the generator to the gas can got the generator fired up it is running but it not working thing inside the rv ..is there a switch or anything you should flip to like run off the generator ?

Offline DaveVA78Chieftain

  • 14 year member
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  • Posts: 3537
  • Member since: 2003
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1978
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Dodge M400
  • Engine: 440-3
Re: Generator Isn't Getting Fuel
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2017, 08:26 PM »
Based on the information I am reading for a 94 Warrior, there should be a generator receptacle in the shore power cable compartment that you plug the shore power cable into.

Offline Winnebago Warrior 94

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  • Posts: 160
  • Member since: 2017
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1994
  • Make: winnebago
  • Model: Warrior
  • Chassis: chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: Generator Isn't Getting Fuel
« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2017, 09:27 PM »
Thanks for the info . I plugged the power cord in the power receptacle that is located in the power cord box ..I was wondering   what that went to..lol and it worked ..yippee.. on another  great note we hooked the generator up like they said on here to a clear flexible  line and put the line in a gas can ..I have deal that we use to suction  up fluids ..I used it to suction  up gas and I added it to the clear line we held the line up before we put it in the gas can so the gas would go straight in the generator  and it worked ..the generator fired right up ..then we put the hose in the gas can and it kept on working ..I ran the generator  for awhile and after i found out how to get the generator power to work the rv ( thanks dave )then we turned on fans that I plugged into receptacles ..ran them ..then I added fan on ac unit ..then added ac fan ..microwave and etc . ..and the generator  powered it all ..I ran it for about and hour ..then before I turned off the generator  I used the deal I have that auctions up the fluids ..the hose is small and fit inside the hose gas line hose that goes to the gas tank ..I suction  up some gas from the gas line hose  and then I took the  clear hose off the generator  (that was feeding from the gas can)and 7 took the smaller hose that was attached to the fluid suction   device and put the real gas line back on the generator and it kept running   and kept running . .do I guess the generator  need the gas going straight to it to get it started and then when I got the gas started in the main gas line it just kept on feeding the gas to the generator  like it is supposed   to so that worked out great . .I ran the generator  for like 20 minutes  longer and it kept on going ..I killed the generator  and waited awhile and started it again . .I started right up and ran just like it was supposed  too ..very happy  for that ..thanks  for all the helpful  advice friends

Offline Rickf1985

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  • Member since: 2013
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  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: Generator Isn't Getting Fuel
« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2017, 08:06 AM »
That's great. Your fuel line from the tank was probably completely dry and the little tiny pump on the generator was just not going to pull enough gas in the short cranking times but once you had the extra line primed and the pump was able to pull for a while it could pull fuel all the way from the gas tank. If you run into a problem with it draining that line out again it may have a hole in it somewhere and it is letting air into the line which in turn is allowing the gas to drain back to the tank plus not allowing a full vacuum to be achieved by the generator fuel pump. These lines are many years old unless they were recently replaced.

Offline Winnebago Warrior 94

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  • Posts: 160
  • Member since: 2017
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  • Year: 1994
  • Make: winnebago
  • Model: Warrior
  • Chassis: chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: Generator Isn't Getting Fuel
« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2017, 10:50 AM »
I believe the line was dry ..we unhooked it before the carburetor to frain the gas and there was no gas and on the gras line coming into generator from the gas yank there was no gas either ..when got the gas to finally come in the main gas line to the generator by using the device that siphons out the fluids I drained it and let it run in a cup ..the gas wasn't hardly and trash in it ..just a tiny bit right at first and then very clear ..I still let it drain awhile ..I think the trick like you said was getting the gas straight to the generator and the device that siphons out the gas came in very handy because we could add the gas to the line itself and by being able to hold the line up the gas was able to run straight into the generator and after that everything took off like it was suppose to do ..I just went outside and cranked it and it fired right up .. :)clap ..and still running as im typing ..ill go turn on a few devices in side to give it a workout .it probably was a good thing that the gas lines was dry so the gas didn't set up in it a long time .now I need I probably need to change the oil and filters ...there is only 250 hours on the generator.im sure my friends on here will give me some handy dandy tips on maintenance and where do you buy the oil filters and etc for the generator ..I don't know if there is local stores that carry them ,auto parts or rv places for replacement filters ..so yall give me the lowdown on that ..appreciate it 

 

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