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Old 01-11-2011, 15:22   #1
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Need Help to Diagnose Generator Problem

In Grenada and my generator quit on me.

Yesterday my '09/400hrs 6kw Northern Lights generator stopped running.

After a visual inspection I attempted a restart and found, long story short, that the generator would only run while holding down the "preheat & shutdown bypass" switch.

Water flow and temperature, fuel flow, oil pressure and quantity all good.

Sounds like something in the "shutdown bypass" electrics is mal-functioning but I don't know where to go from here.

Thanks
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Old 01-11-2011, 15:40   #2
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Re: Need help to diagnose generator problem....

Hi I don't know if this applies to your generator but mine (a next Gen) has a run solenoid on it. The generator would start run for a few seconds and then die. I finally exercised the run solenoid by hand and sprayed it with electrical contact cleaner and now I don't have a problem with it. I run the generator for an hour every time I am on the boat trying to get as much load as possible on it and by doing that I haven't had a problem.
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Old 01-11-2011, 15:53   #3
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Re: Need help to diagnose generator problem....

1) Find the manual online. If you have poor internet, give us the model number and we'll find it.

2) This may be from a fault in a sensor. You should be able to jump each sensor to see if it will then run.

As noted above, the solenoid often sticks.
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Old 01-11-2011, 17:48   #4
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Re: Need help to diagnose generator problem....

Here's a link to the manufactures web site, complete with pdf manuals for all their generators.

http://www.northern-lights.com/literature/manuals.html

Lloyd
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Old 01-11-2011, 17:59   #5
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Re: Need help to diagnose generator problem....

give "S/V Mane Bris" a hail on the VHF and ask Hal, he is REAL good with gen sets
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Old 07-11-2011, 17:20   #6
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Re: Need Help to Diagnose Generator Problem

Problem turned out to be in the shutdown system that is on my NL generator. This system have sensors/switches for low oil pressure, overheating and something on the exhaust which I need to ask the mechanic about the next time I see him as I don't know what that one does.

Anyway, I noticed during my trouble shooting that the generator would run if the "shutdown/bypass" switch was held down (don't do this for long as you can burn out the preheat). I did disconnect the oil pressure safety switch to see if that was the problem but chickened out before disconnecting the other safety switches.

Long story short: if your NL genset runs only when the bypass switch is engaged (of course assuming one has oil in the engine, water is coming out of the exhaust, etc.) you may want to try disconnecting the "safety" switches to see if one of them is the problem.
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Old 07-11-2011, 17:34   #7
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Re: Need Help to Diagnose Generator Problem

i believe there is an overheat sensor on the exhaust. Often a problem from what I've seen. likely to be a normally open situation?.... not sure.
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Old 07-11-2011, 17:59   #8
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The problem is the engine overheat switch. It is a weak point on NL and is a common point of failure. It is located above the water pump underneath the rubber coolant elbow. Disconnect the wire and tape up the end of the wire and then restart. It will run without the switch but of course you have to keep a closer eye on the coolant temp. At least you can run it until you get a new part.
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:17   #9
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Re: Need Help to Diagnose Generator Problem

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, ccarson.
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