Click for Abeking Click for Nordhavn Click for Northern Lights Click for Glendinning Click for Westport

Kohler Generator won't keep running

Discussion in 'Carver Yacht' started by JimmyB73, May 23, 2013.

  1. JimmyB73

    JimmyB73 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2011
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Waterford, N.Y.
    Since the last thread concerned a generator issue. I have my own issue with a Kohler, model 8E.
    Generator starts up easily, then shuts down after 4 seconds. This happens every time. First I thought it was a fuel issue since the generator sat idle for a few months. Carb was taken apart, cleaned and re-adjusted. Impeller was checked for blockage. Elect fuel pump was checked for pressure.
    Generator still only starts and then shuts down after 4 seconds.
    I bypassed the Oil pressure switch, High temp switch at different times.
    No help from Kohler. I was referred to the closest authorized repair facility. They want to come down to diagnose the problem at a $95. per hour charge plus $2.40 a mile. The shop is 140 miles away. SO I am trying to diagnose the problem myself. Any ideas?
  2. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Messages:
    10,484
    Location:
    Satsuma, FL
    On the control board is a signal delay. Usually about 4 seconds. Sounds like a fault/shut down issue. Temp, Exhaust temp and no oil pressure will force a shutdown. Some older Kohler's shut down when there was a dc or ac voltage fault. Double check your sending units that they are normally open or closed and retest them. Also check the wires around the motor for shorts. You could find some new grey hairs soon over this. Older sets also had a fuse or two on the control box.
    When you find it, let us know what it was.
  3. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    7,369
    Location:
    My Office
    Hi,

    Is that shop really in the marine repair business or is in marine extortion service.

    The IRS Publishes a list of how much can be deducted so even if you double the allowance it is still far less then those jokers are asking.

    Standard Mileage Rates for 2013
  4. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Messages:
    10,484
    Location:
    Satsuma, FL
    Not sure how a business tax deduction can set any standard or guide on what the business can charge for delivering (transportation) services.

    140 miles one way for an over 10 year old, gas generator. The OP is lucky he got a quote at all.

    On the other hand, Equipment shops, stand-by generator shops or even a good local small engine shop should be able to look at it.
  5. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    7,369
    Location:
    My Office
    Hi,

    I would think that if the IRS lets you claim so much for each mile that even with a moderate handling charge you would not get to the $2.40 asked for without being seen to be taking the piss out of your clients.
  6. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    11,200
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    That $2.40 per mile sounds like just a different way of stating $95 an hour, plus the IRS milage allotment, for travel time. But it doesn't allow for the mechanic to charge you when he stops for lunch. It sounds horrible, but time is money and Waterford is way up there.
    It's a nice time of year for a cruise down river to Haverstraw. Why not just combine a little business with pleasure and drop your boat down there for a week while they figure out what's going on.
    As a second option why not give a call over to the Albany Y.C. and see if they have someone they'd recommend who's closer to you.
  7. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Messages:
    10,484
    Location:
    Satsuma, FL
    I'm still confused by your IRS milage allotment comment. it's a deduction on your vehicle come tax time, not what to charge your customers.

    $95 a hour per technician plus $2.40 per mile for the truck, fuel, tools, maintenance & insurance. Tolls may be added separate to the travel bill.
    The IRS may only credit (the company truck owner) up to $.56 a mile non taxable. That's a far cry from what it really cost to move a company truck.
    The last company I worked for charged $115 a hour and $15 a mile plus any extra expense's; tolls AND meals & lodging over 200 miles one way.
  8. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    11,200
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    One other note. I'm not a big believer in warranties. So I'd rather save the markup on things and by something older without a warranty so I can have anyone work on it. If this unit is 10 years old you don't need a Kohler service tech. You need a guy who knows generators.
  9. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    7,369
    Location:
    My Office
  10. 1000 islands

    1000 islands Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2013
    Messages:
    202
    Location:
    Ivy Lea
    I suggest that you contact your local rental company.....they usually have someone who can troubleshoot most small engine issues, including generators.
  11. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Messages:
    10,484
    Location:
    Satsuma, FL
    That is a great idea.
    ,rc
  12. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Messages:
    10,484
    Location:
    Satsuma, FL
    Ah, the old flat tops. great little gas set. That's where I learned about that time delay thing-a-ma-gig the hard way years ago. Still have two running in my customer base.
    That's where I learned about a dc fault will bring the genny down. Good fuse, bad fuse holder was the bug then.
  13. Thisisit

    Thisisit Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Messages:
    133
    Location:
    Midland, Ontario, Canada
    Are we positive that it's a circuit issue? I had a friend with a 6.5 that did the same thing. He tried an old mechanic's trick whereby he picnhed off the flexible fuel line just before the carb. He started the unit, let it run for a few seconds while the pressure built in the line. Then he let the line go and the higher pressure entered the fuel bowl dislodging the stuck needle. When he did it a few more times in the weeks that followed, he was finally convinced the carb needed a rebuild kit. That fixed the problem. Just a thought.
  14. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Messages:
    10,484
    Location:
    Satsuma, FL
    I recall the OP stating he already went thru the carb. Of course, some varnish or dirt could have already floated back into the float needle. Or, an original float issue could have remained intact if the needle or float was not replaced or at least checked very well.
    Asking the OP, who went thru the carb? Small engine tech?
  15. JimmyB73

    JimmyB73 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2011
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Waterford, N.Y.
    Lots of good info here

    Sorry. Internet down here for a couple of days.
    To add more: All the fuses were double checked. All were good. I went through the manual and determined if all the fault switches were normally open or closed and went through the safety switches again, Low oil pressure, high water temp, no water circulation. The only fault is wasn't able to check is the manual says bad circuit board. Remedy is: call authorized Kohler Tech.
    NYCAP, the trip sounds like a plan, but the boat is in Mrytle Beach, S.C. We left N.Y. a month after Hurricane Irene. We just decided to explore some of the southern ICW before returning to the Hudson River.
    We drove back in N.Y. for about a month to mow the yard and plant the garden before returning to the south. I plan on doing more troubleshooting before resorting to calling the tech back.
    We have nothing but time sitting on the dock in the sunshine, so this will be a project.
  16. Phillip J

    Phillip J Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Mariner's Marina, Seneca, IL
    If you want an expert in Kohler generators, I would call Jim at Wavetop technology. Most knowledgeable generator specialist I have ever talked to. He is friendly and always calls back. Every time I sent him an email he calls me. Great guy! He will point you in the right direction........

    Happy Boating!:cool:
  17. hipnautic

    hipnautic New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Saint Croix River
    Kohler Genset

    I had same problem, tried all the same troubleshooting...I was told I had a bad capacitor by a local fix-it man. Took the cap to local electrical shop, tested it for free, said it was fine...
    When I finally reached my old buddy the generator repairman, he said he'd come check it over AND he would bring a NEW CAPACITOR, just in case. Popped the new cap in place, she started up and ran like new. $30 part. The nice thing about him making the service call was he tuned everything to spec(raised running speed, which dialed in the correct Voltage AND Hertz).
    Hope this helps you.
    BTW, if you power up your water heater and turn your breakers on, THEN start the genset and while HOLDING the start button in, do your panel meters(if you have them) show any power? Mine DID NOT. As I understand it, the generator will not continue running if it's not supplying AC power when running. My 2 cents.
  18. JimmyB73

    JimmyB73 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2011
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Waterford, N.Y.
    Tried holding the "start" button. Panel shows 120v immediately.
    Will give Jim a call then we get back down to the boat. Maybe he can walk me through some troubleshooting.
  19. garyohv

    garyohv New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    Florida & Oregon
    What are your LEDs doing, at Start and Run??
    If the same as a Kohler 7.3E: In the control box, relay K5 inputs the safety switches (SS) and is timed to close after 5-10 seconds of delay (so oil pressure can build). If any SS is closed (grounded), it stops running.
    Remove K5 and start. If it continues running, one SS is closed.
    Relay K4 should be off. If on, bad SS or relay.
    Test all the relays....coil resistance, operation, and continuity.
    If you can find the 8E manual, it would help.
    Fyrechief likes this.
  20. TR4

    TR4 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2015
    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Honolulu
    Aloha-

    I have a similar problem. Kohler 7.3e genset, on a 32' Uniflite. Whopping 293 hours... Ran fine until recently, then suddenly starts fine, but dies when you release the start button. I've checked the oil LP, HET and coolant sensor, all function.
    1) Clamping the start button, switching to self power from shore shows 58 to 80 VAC on the input voltage monitor on my onboard UPS, which heretofore showed 120 or so (and shows 121 now when connected to shore)

    2) Excitation voltage measured negative to positive at the brush pickups reads 11 to 20VDC

    3) Examining the LEDs while attempting to start shows the following:

    a. On pushing and holding START, LED3 Lights red, then eventually goes out

    b. LED2 comes on and stays on

    c. LED1 and LED5 come on and blink (red, 1 Hz)

    d. LED 4 never comes on…

    (I am referencing them from Figure 6-2 of the GM10516 controller circuit board, page 20 of section 6 of the TP-5986 4/03 manual.)
    Oh, and all fuses measure good. For some reason I am getting low and fluctuating output voltage, which the system senses, and kills itself.


    Any assistance in getting this solved would be greatly appreciated.