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Old 05-25-2010, 11:37 AM
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Default Kohler 5 KW Gas Generator Shuts Off

I have a 1999 Kohler 5e gas generator that starts, runs for about 4 mins 30 seconds and then shuts off. It will not start after that. After it has been idle for several hours, it will start and again run for 4 mins 30 seconds and shut off. I have had the boat yard chasing this down for several years. The water pump, raw water flow, thermastats have all been changed/checked. Any suggestions?
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:49 AM
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Has anybody at the yard tried contacting Kohler? I mean, I know the genset is 11 years od, but the 4 minute, 30 second thing...I'd say somethings getting hot on the circuitboard in the electrical box on top of the unit and shutting it down until it cools off enough to run again...
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:48 PM
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if you have been trying to trouble shoot the non-working genset for "years" does this mean that the genset may not be vital to your boat needs or comfort? if so, should you possibly consider just not fixing it and doing without as you have been for years? saving the time and money for something else?

parts for smaller/5+ year old gensets can cost more than that genset is worth in scrap value, and at that age, it has no resale value basically...if a voltage regulator has gone, causing it to trip on undervoltage or overcurrent internally each time you run it, then you should just start over

not trying to be mean, but troubleshooting that kind of symptom on that age and size of genset is usually a losing battle...have you had a generator tech look at it, not just a boatyard mechanic? some aspects of a genset can't be worked on by someone who can only apply bottom paint and change zincs
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Old 05-25-2010, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takefive View Post
I have a 1999 Kohler 5e gas generator that starts, runs for about 4 mins 30 seconds and then shuts off. It will not start after that. After it has been idle for several hours, it will start and again run for 4 mins 30 seconds and shut off. I have had the boat yard chasing this down for several years. The water pump, raw water flow, thermastats have all been changed/checked. Any suggestions?

I have the same genset in my Intrepid and have experienced the same issues after changing out the coolant and impeller. After intense internet research, I learned that this genset (2000 vintage) has a nasty habit of trapping air in the manifold/heat exchanger at the very top, towards the back side. This usually only happens when you change the coolant or you experienced a leak and air entered the system. There should be a brass threaded bolt that you will need to remove and fill (slowly) more coolant thru the main fill on the front of the manifold/heat exchanger until the coolant comes out the bolt hole. Then replace the brass bolt and the fill cap. Also make certain you have the side coolant tank filled to the correct cold level. What is happening is the genset will turn off automatically due to overheating in order to prevent damage to the genset. The only other cause is your new raw water pump impeller is not pumping raw water. I also experienced a similar overheating issue with a brand new impeller that split allowing the shaft to spin within the impeller. After removing every hose before and after looking for blockage and then returning to the impeller and finding the split. Hope this helps!
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Old 05-25-2010, 06:32 PM
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Believe this or not ,i helped my friend work on his kohler this winter doing the same thing ,we could not figure out any thing to get it to stay running, would do the same thing run approx 4 min then shut off . Finnally we went to a kohler dealer that was just a couple miles away, he said (and i quote ) put in a new set of plugs and it will run find ,now i don't expect you to believe me but just try it. Started it up and it ran fine.
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Old 05-25-2010, 06:38 PM
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Check your seawater strainer ! Mine did the same thing this weekend and that was what I found "sea weed had it half clogged up and couldn't cool enough!
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:17 AM
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flkeysbkcountry -- thanks for the suggestion. I had the boat yard change the coolant and thermostat last year. So they may have introduced air into the system. i will follow your advice to bleed it. Fortunately, the sea strainer is visible and easily accessible when i open the hatch so it is always the first thing that I check.

The generator is a nice to have that I don't need to use on fishing and day trips. This boat is a 31' Stamas Express. But, it is part of the boat and I like everything to work. If the next effort to fix this generator fails, I will remove it from the boat. Fuel is too expensive to be hauling around so much dead weight. This is my third boat with a generator and each generator has been a bear to keep running.
thanks for all of your feedback
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Old 05-27-2010, 04:17 PM
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i would hope the boatyard has checked the strainer and plugs in the past and ruled those symptoms out....you might want to try the local cummins and or CAT dealer...genset are all basically the same, they may have more senior techs that could point to the problem...as opposed to paying for 4 hours of labor for a lower rung tech...at least those 2 brands have marine specific techs on coastal regions
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Old 05-27-2010, 04:23 PM
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310 Express...
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Old 05-27-2010, 04:24 PM
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Most modern generators have a temperature shut of switch. It is basically a second sensor that if the coolant gets to an overheat temp it will shut down. It is not uncommon for this sensor to go bad. You need to find a shop manual for the generator and determine which sensor it is. If you are sure that it's not overheating then unplug it. If it runs past the 4 minutes then find a new sensor and replace it.
Jay

Last edited by captainjay; 05-28-2010 at 03:25 AM.
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Old 05-27-2010, 04:34 PM
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impeller
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