referee77

Kohler Generators "For Dummies"?

140 posts in this topic

Hi everyone,

I was wondering if anyone out there has some advise and/or tips/tricks on how to operate the Kohler Generator that is installed on our 2008 Chaparral Signature 270?

We went out today on the boat to familiarize ourselves with the new boat...but we were not able to figure out the generator. It would not start.

I tried to follow the Chaparral Owner's Manual instructions on how to start...no go.

I tried to follow the Kohler Owner's Manual on how to start and troubleshoot...still no go.

Basically when I hit the run switch, the generator click, click, clicks, then makes one turn on the crank...then click, click, clicks, then displays OC on the digital display.

The manual says that OC stands for OverCrank?

Is there something that I am doing wrong...or is there something I need to do to the generator before I can start it since the OC code came on?

Is there a simple, step-by-step guide to generators for a newb like myself?

Thanks for your input!

Here are a few photos of out genny:

IMG_420150.jpg

IMG_420350.jpg

IMG_420050.jpg

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For some reason the controller thinks the unit is cranking too long, the clicks may be the soloniod trying to trigger the starter, check for poor connections around the starter soloniod to starter connections. Anytime the display shows an error message, turn the red master switch to off to reset the controller. If everything checks out there may be a problem with the board. We had trouble with our unit & the Kohler people came right to our house (75 miles each way) to fix the problem, super great service.

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When you state you are pressing the run switch, are you refering to the one on the gen, or the one in the cabin on the remote start panel? I did find out that there are two kinds of remote start switches, the momentary and the press/hold. Mine has the momentary, but if I hold it instead, I get the OC error. Try it both ways, and make sure the red master switch is in the "Auto" setting. Now, if your talking about the red master switch on the gen, just click it over to run and it should do a selftest, then start right up. Check the fuses on the gen and make sure all are good.

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Hmmm....

Well...I tried both switches. The red one on the generator and the remote switch down in the cabin.

Here is a pic of the cabin control panel...

IMG_4571.jpg

And here is a full pic of our generator...

IMG_3931.jpg

Both start/run buttons regardless of in the cabin or on the generator are "one click" buttons (if that makes sense)....I just have to click it over and it stays there...don't have to hold it down to attempt to start.

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I had the same problem in my motorhome. Now I'm not going to recommend trying this in a boat,but here's what I did. I took a heavy duty battery that I knew was charged up and I used good jumper cables and hooked it up to the the cable connection on the solenoid and to the frame of the motor. It starts real good now and after its running I remove the jumper cables. The main reason I did this was because once I get to my camping spot I start it and let it run. I'm sure I have a bad cable or connection going from the RV battery to the generator {positive or negative} but I didn't want to try to replace the cables, they are over 25' long. I only use the generator once or twice a year. Again, I'm not recommending you try this on a boat, you really have to know what you are doing.

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Bad battery

2gw5111.jpg

Wow...could it be that simple. I really never thought of that.

Again, me being a newbie...I just figured if the engine starts...then so should the generator. I guess this is a totally separate set of batteries then??

I will check the batteries and the connections next chance I get (which won't be for at least 10 days (boooo).

On a side note question...is there any type of device I can purchase so I can hook up a garden hose to the intake of the generator?? Kind of like putting ear muffs on the outdrive so I can run the engine while on dry land....can you get ear muffs for generators so they can be run on dry land?

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You may be able to use the flush adapter made to flush an inboard, being they use the same type of scoop. When I winterized mine, I just used a male 5/8" garden hose fitting and disconnected the hose from the seacock and connected it direct to a water hose....worked great.

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You may be able to use the flush adapter made to flush an inboard, being they use the same type of scoop. When I winterized mine, I just used a male 5/8" garden hose fitting and disconnected the hose from the seacock and connected it direct to a water hose....worked great.

Hmmm...that sounds interesting...

5.gif

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2gw5111.jpg

Wow...could it be that simple. I really never thought of that.

Again, me being a newbie...I just figured if the engine starts...then so should the generator. I guess this is a totally separate set of batteries then??

I will check the batteries and the connections next chance I get (which won't be for at least 10 days (boooo).

On a side note question...is there any type of device I can purchase so I can hook up a garden hose to the intake of the generator?? Kind of like putting ear muffs on the outdrive so I can run the engine while on dry land....can you get ear muffs for generators so they can be run on dry land?

My boat has an dedicated battery for the gen set. Last month I had the exact same problem, same error message and it turn out to be a bad battery. If your gen sets uses the same battery as the engine, then it could be a connection issue.

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My boat has an dedicated battery for the gen set. Last month I had the exact same problem, same error message and it turn out to be a bad battery. If your gen sets uses the same battery as the engine, then it could be a connection issue.

Without being on the boat to confirm...I would assume that because there is a battery on/off switch for the generator, this would probably mean that there is a dedicated battery for the generator....??

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Does sound like the genset battery is low, explains the clicking. Also be aware that you should not run the gen with out water. It will take out the impeller in a minute. Also that unit monitors the water flow and if it doesn't sense water pressure it will shut down after a minute or so of running. I believe it is the same unit I have in my boat. Another bit of information, the fuel intake for the genset is higher in the tank than the engine intake. If you get down to around a 1/4 tank of gas the genset will not be able to get fuel.

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dumb question - you DO have that Perko switch in the correct position (measure the 12vdc connection at the gen and see what it reads)? I wonder why someone added that switch...

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Without being on the boat to confirm...I would assume that because there is a battery on/off switch for the generator, this would probably mean that there is a dedicated battery for the generator....??

Not necessarily but likely. You never know how what goes thru some of the minds of the dealers that wire these boats. How many batteries do you have? Ideally, I would suspect you have one for the gen, one for the engine and one house battery (deep cycle).

Let us know what you find.

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On a side note question...is there any type of device I can purchase so I can hook up a garden hose to the intake of the generator?? Kind of like putting ear muffs on the outdrive so I can run the engine while on dry land....can you get ear muffs for generators so they can be run on dry land?

It's my understanding that most marine generators are not designed for "forced water intake" as it would be in the case of a direct hose supply (also why you'll note you don't have a forward-facing thru-hull scoop on the generator intake). You'd be safer to simply attach a length of surplus hose and place it in a 5-gallon container of water in order to run the unit on land. This ensures you're not pushing water past the impeller, filling the water lift muffler faster than it can be vacated and eventually risking water ingestion into the cylinders via the exhaust.

Hope this helps...inadvertent water ingestion in a marine genset is a costly adventure :D.

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dumb question - you DO have that Perko switch in the correct position (measure the 12vdc connection at the gen and see what it reads)? I wonder why someone added that switch...

Yes...the switch is in the correct position...and just to make sure, I did try to start the genny with the switch in the off position too...just to be sure. That did nothing since there was zero power getting to the genny.

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Not necessarily but likely. You never know how what goes thru some of the minds of the dealers that wire these boats. How many batteries do you have? Ideally, I would suspect you have one for the gen, one for the engine and one house battery (deep cycle).

Let us know what you find.

I will have to take a look again...but I think there are 5 batteries.

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I will have to take a look again...but I think there are 5 batteries.

Yes we have 5 batteries

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next you need a DVM to measure the battery voltage... That may shed some light on this issue....

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It's my understanding that most marine generators are not designed for "forced water intake" as it would be in the case of a direct hose supply (also why you'll note you don't have a forward-facing thru-hull scoop on the generator intake). You'd be safer to simply attach a length of surplus hose and place it in a 5-gallon container of water in order to run the unit on land. This ensures you're not pushing water past the impeller, filling the water lift muffler faster than it can be vacated and eventually risking water ingestion into the cylinders via the exhaust.

Hope this helps...inadvertent water ingestion in a marine genset is a costly adventure :D.

Oops...I did mis-state myself. I didn't have a water hose connected to it, but rather used hose fitting to adapt and connect the hose from the seacock to a 5 gal winterization jug and draw antifreeze into both the gen and the A/C.

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Yes we have 5 batteries

5 batteries in the 270? I feel cheated with only three on our 310. Curious as to how yours are configured.

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Five batteries? I would of thought four max. I have five on my 330, but one is just for the bow thruster. Do you know how many batteries are engine and how many are house? By the way, my genset is connected to the house bank.

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Yes we have 5 batteries

That's a heck of a DC system for a 270. I only have four in my 310. I would guess you have two for the engine, two house batteries and one for the gen set. Take the one for the generator to an Advance Auto Parts or similar store and have the battery load tested. They can tell you in a matter of minutes if the battery needs to be replaced.

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5 does seem like a massive amount of DC power. Heck, my 260 has only 2 batteries and it does seem like they die out pretty quickly. I attributed that to my wife leaving the fridge on all of the time. Kills the battery. Cool thing is that I crank up the generator and charge them babies right up. It definately sounds like CJ-ORCA has a bad battery or a bad connection. Could ya hook up jumper cables from one of the other batteries to the battery of the generator or better yet, switch the battery with one of the good ones just for a quick test? Its an easy way to see if its the battery or the cable. My guess is the battery though....

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