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MPH

Onan starter tricks anyone??

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MPH
After sitting since mid Sept the starter on my 4040 makes no movment, all I get when I hit the switch is full discharge on the amp gauge. When I first went to use it in Sept it was hesitant at first but got better with use, by the time I went back to work it was working good. Have 13 plus volts across the battery, and 8 some on the wire coming from the switch. thanks for any ideas before I pull the engine to get to the starter..MPH

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BenB
Martin I have had some problems with these starters also. At one time mine would only operate if I turned the pto switches on and off while holding the key to start position. You may want to try that. It worked for a while and then got worse. I believe that was the time I had to replace the solenoid. Sorry I cannot be of more help. Ben

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powerking_one
Martin, When working with my brother's 4040/CCK-A charging system this past summer, his starter was doing weird no-op intermittent things. This is a Mitsubishi unit I assume? His had a couple of problems. The symptoms sound similar to yours: "light" clicking sound from starter, current drain on ammeter ~~ 15-20 amps. 1. The solenoid is a one piece unit (crimped together); thus you can't disassemble it, unlike a GM type solenoid, and clean/check the main contactor components. The contactor plunger button in the center wasn't making it "contact". We sprayed/soaked the hell out of it with Kroil, Berkable 2+2 carb cleaner, pushing the plunger in/out, lightly rapping housing with a hammer, draining the goo out, blasting it with compressed air, and repeating all the above. Finally got good consistant contactor operation with a low "pulled in" resistance(< 0.1 ohms). 2. The bendix shifter fork area was ALL CRUDDED up with chaff and crap causing the throw of the mechanism not to fully engage with the flywheel ring gear. This was a simple cleanout/lube operation. Far as I know it is still working great. Hope this helps, Tom(PK)

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powermax_paul
Marty, Sorry I didn't get to your email yet. I've had the same problem on both of my 9020's. What I've had to do is just work the key back and forth from on to start (quite a few times) until the starter kicks in. It would do that a few times after that and eventually the problem would go away. I don't have a solution other than patience. The only alternative is to pull the motor and remove the starter. That's enough work to afford some persistence beforehand, working the switch. Be careful if the solenoid is operating but starter not operating. If you hear the solenoid kick in and the starter not start, keep working the key, but don't hold it in the start position cuz it can burn the copper plates on the armature. I did that and melted one or two of the copper plates under the brushes. Had to take the starter apart and file down the copper bead that formed on the armature. It was hitting the brush and the motor couldn't turn. I haven't had the problem on the 4041 yet, but everything in there is fairly new. It's sitting now till next spring. We'll see what happens then.

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MPH
Thanks for the replys guys, if I had time I'd post a pic of "just like the real deal" using my new last summer engine hoist. Got piece all over, starter spins good but soleniod acts burnt, on my way to napa, thanks for the mistibooboo tip Tom, that may help. It was pretty well gunked up, as was everything else I couldn;t wash with engine installed..more later...thanks again..MPH

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BenB
Martin I have one more thought for you. As Powerking One said the bendix shifter fork area does tend to trap a lot dead grass and crud. I found water in the old soleniod on my 9020. Is it possible that the low temperature in your area has frozen moisture either in the Bendix area or the solenoid? ------------------------------------------------------ Well Martin It looks like you located the problem while I was still "one finger" typing. The repair manual makes pulling the engine look like a big ordeal, but once you start, its not all that bad is it. I'm glad you got found the problem. Ben

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MPH
Ben, your right on pulling the engine not being too rough, first time, don't think it took me an hour. It needed done just to get the old greese and grim outta where I couldn't reach with it installed. From the smell of the gunk, I'd almost bet the engine has never been worked on. Bad news is, think my soleniod is cooked. I have an open between the two posts, this good, but I have a short between the starter post, the one on the soleniod, and the housing. Seems that is what gives me total discharge and no action, click or anything. Starter spins good. Sooo is it possible to buy just a soleniod??The kid at local napa wouldn't even put forth effort to try,but he's a 40 year old punk anyway, I was hopin ma worked today.MPH

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UCD
Marty try your local starter altenator rebuilder. You might be able to buy parts cheaper from them. I can here from our local rebuilder. If you are carefull you might be able to get it apart and be able to put it back together. I have fixed some of the ones crimped together. If it doesn't work you have nothing to loose except your time. and every thing to gain if you fix it. Good Luck.

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MPH
Great idea Maynard,cept I ain't got one. Mostlikely one in Fairbanks, but I don't know of him, Thats only 205 black ice miles away. might be on the road monday..I plan to try to take this one apart, like you said, I've nothing to lose, my time is on unemployment at the moment..MPH

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MPH
McGill, are you trying to post a pic??Looks like the same sort of stuff I got when I first tried, think what I did to fix that was no blanks in pic title and include .jpg... Ben, I know of a trucking co in Fairbanks that deals with Onans some on the refer units, The thought of driving 205 miles on black ice for a 'maybe' hasn't tickled my fancy much yet..MPH

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PatRarick
As to purchasing a solenoid for that starter, I had to replace one on a green tractor last summer. Deere's price was up around $90. Had a rebuilt starter for my son's 1981 Dodge Aries (2.6 liter Mitsubishi)laying on the bench, and the solenoid looked identical. Removed the solenoid and matched it up to the old Onan solenoid. Couldn't see any difference, but didn't try it as I had already installed the new Deere solenoid. Don't know the price at a parts house, but it has to be cheaper than Onan's. Might be a possibility worth investigating. Pat

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MPH
With a flashlite, I went and looked at a ply relient with a 2.6 in it that I have dead on the tree line of my placelast nite, It didn't look too be close enough to take out in the dark and cold. Might have to take a better look today. Did Onan use Mitsubishi starters???Tom mentioned that conection also. I got mine apart last nite, besides for being full of rust and other nasty's The contacts are all but a part of history, not enough left to reinstall in a place one has to pull the engine to get at next time..MPH

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thedaddycat
I got a replacement solenoid for my F-150 for $15, used another one just like it on the 3310 when I finally replaced the old one which had been bypassed by a Allen-Bradley momentary contact switch. The A-B switch was wired like the starter switch on the 700/725s, except it went to the other post of the solenoid(which was wired to the starter) instead of right to the starter. As long as the circuit is wired the same as the original, it should work in any application. After all, it's just an electro-magnetic switch. If it will work to start a 300 inch straight six, it should be able to handle a tractor engine.

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PatRarick
Daddycat, on the 3310, and most Fords, the solenoid is only a relay to put power to the starter. On many others, such as this particular Onan, the solenoid serves a dual purpose. It is a relay, but it also mechanically kicks the starter drive into gear with the flywheel. Martin, I know that Onan used Mitsubishi starters and solenoids on at least some engines. The unit I was speaking of is a 20 horse on a Deere 420. Can't be sure if the starters and solenoids are the same on yours. I assumed they are, but that is just an assumption. Remember, you gave me one more screw up per day than I demanded! Hope the solenoid from your Reliant will work for you. That particular starter is pretty easy to remove. The 2.2 liter, that's another story. Pat

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MPH
Pat, not sure about the starter, but according to my bro who owned a 420 for years its a different engine, don't recall the #'s..Thanks for explaining the difference to daddycat, didn't know to put it so he would anymore when I got done, tried to my bro on the ph and left him confussed.. Ben, great link. Thank you. If I could find a # on something might be able to pinpoint it. Only see two listed for Onans. Leaves me wondering if anybody else makes soleniods, they list most things on the road..

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markpogue
If you take the starter apart be sure to note the location of any shims and be sure to reinstall then in the proper location. The Onan JC and CCK series were very picky and must be shimed properly.

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