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Kohler 5ECD Problem

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I'm hoping someone can help - local Kohler guy can't get to me in time to make a planned trip. Generator has been giving intermittent fault codes of "LOC", "UU" and "EC72". I've replaced the impeller, cleaned out heat exchanger, replaced anode, replaced temp switch, replaced fuel filter, replaced relay control board, checked all wiring connections inside the control box and checked all grounds. The longest it has ever run since I bought boat three months ago was about three hours. Currently it will run for about 15 seconds, display a "LOC" code and shut down. Water flow appears normal from the side of the boat. I'm at wits end and hopeful there's a Kohler wizard in our community. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

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What are those error codes? Have you done a internet search?

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Exact same issue on a new boat last 14 months. Kohler coming out for 4th time today and there's a 2nd recall in last several months. I wish there was a lemon law for boats, I'd give mine back due to horrible Kohler unit.

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I'm hoping someone can help - local Kohler guy can't get to me in time to make a planned trip. Generator has been giving intermittent fault codes of "LOC", "UU" and "EC72". I've replaced the impeller, cleaned out heat exchanger, replaced anode, replaced temp switch, replaced fuel filter, replaced relay control board, checked all wiring connections inside the control box and checked all grounds. The longest it has ever run since I bought boat three months ago was about three hours. Currently it will run for about 15 seconds, display a "LOC" code and shut down. Water flow appears normal from the side of the boat. I'm at wits end and hopeful there's a Kohler wizard in our community. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

With the benefit of the manual

1. LOC-Loss of coolant shutdown. Shutdown occurs 5 secs after a loss of coolant condition is detected. This protection becomes active 10 secs after the engine has reached it stated crand disconnect speed and remains active as long as the gen run command is active. Check for a clogged seawater intake or sea strainer. Check impeller.

2. UU- Under voltage shutdown. Shutdown occurs if the voltage falls below 80% of the voltage regulator setpoint for more than 10 secs. Reduce the load and restart the gen set. Contact an authorized dealter.

3.EC72_ CAN Receive Message Fault

Replace coolant or fresh water pump??. Check here for Kohler 5ECD parts. http://www.partsfortechs.com/asapcart/page.html?chapter=0&id=25

I replaced an impeller this yr after getting an HE and LOC code. All vanes were missing. So I went hunting and found 3. Maybe a vane stuck impeding water flow. I think it would be rare arent vanes are smaller than the diameter of the waterways? Worth checking.

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Oh well, I got a 310 with 165hrs on it and 8hrs on the generator. I now have an ECM fault code and the kohler guy won't work on it.( Something about Kohler not paying for warranty repairs in our area) I'd fix it if someone would tell me where to start. Anybody have any ideas?

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Oh well, I got a 310 with 165hrs on it and 8hrs on the generator. I now have an ECM fault code and the kohler guy won't work on it.( Something about Kohler not paying for warranty repairs in our area) I'd fix it if someone would tell me where to start. Anybody have any ideas?

When you say "ECM" (electronic control module I think youre referring to the brain of the Kohler not a fault code. No "ecm" fc anywhere in the manual.

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Thanks to all for suggestions. Turkeyfoot, you mentioned two items that I haven't replaced - the actual water pump and the voltage regulator. When I replaced the impeller, the old one looked brand new with no vanes missing. When I flushed the system, nothing came out except for a small piece of the anode. Didn't suspect the water pump because it seems to be pumping water, but perhaps not enough? Never thought of the regulator, but I guess that's a possibility. After all, who would have thought that the Kohler techs' recommendation to replace the fuel filter for a UU code made any sense either. Maybe I'll give those a shot and see where it takes me. There's not many more parts left to replace aside from replacing the generator. From the responses and other discussions in the forum it sounds like I'm not the only guy with Kohler problems! If I do find the magic bullet, I'll let everyone know.

One more thought - my impeller is a six vane, but I noticed that there is also a 10 vane impeller for Kohlers. Does anyone out there have a 5ECD from 2008 vintage that can attest that the six vane is indeed the correct one to use? I'm finding that there are a lot of variants out there. Thanks again to everyone for the quick responses.

rbe1018 - sorry, but I haven't experienced the ECM code (yet), so unfortunately I can't offer any suggestions.

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5ECD whether from 2008 or mine a 2012 would be the same 6 vane pn 359978. Thats what I used. The link I gave are for the 5ECD.

I was a wrench for 30 yrs. To hear a guy give a lame guess rather than a straight "I dont know" is unforgiveable. After a while you know whos good and whos whistlin in the breeze and turning screwdrivers.

Had a service writer venture a guess about the engine impeller being the problem for an hpf code on my a/c. I turned to the tech and said, "I run it on dockside power w/o the engine running." No attempt at all from the writer to clear up her suggestion even though it was wrong. She apparently has been getting her education from techs. lmao

So I plan to be there when the svc call is run if I have to be there all day.

Good luck!

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Thanks turkeyfoot for the impeller verification and for the humorous story...unbelievable isn't it? Had the same problem with the AC HPF code and mine turned out to be a clogged water line from the pump into the unit. I'm going to install a flushing system for the AC and the Genny so I can salt away after each use. It's called a quick flush system manufactured by a group in Cape Canaveral. Assuming I can get the Genny working. Cheers

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I'm hoping someone can help - local Kohler guy can't get to me in time to make a planned trip. Generator has been giving intermittent fault codes of "LOC", "UU" and "EC72". I've replaced the impeller, cleaned out heat exchanger, replaced anode, replaced temp switch, replaced fuel filter, replaced relay control board, checked all wiring connections inside the control box and checked all grounds. The longest it has ever run since I bought boat three months ago was about three hours. Currently it will run for about 15 seconds, display a "LOC" code and shut down. Water flow appears normal from the side of the boat. I'm at wits end and hopeful there's a Kohler wizard in our community. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

How hot is the exhaust water exiting the boat? If too hot to touch, you're not cooling sufficiently and the overheat (LOC) is legitimate.

I also recommend removing, reseating all fuses on the unit located near the digital control panel. The only time I've ever had a UU code, that resolved it. At that time, I purchased a complete set of backup fuses (there's a kohler doc that specifies each) to carry on the boat. Complete fuse set list w/ prices is here.

I have 512 hours on the unit with 1 UU and 1 LOC over 4 years.

Edited by stephenm27

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Im going to pitch in again.. Have the manual right here looking at the lake. )

Fuses

F1 10a Aux winding

F2 10a controller

F3 10a customer connection

F4 15a coils/injectors

F5 15a ECM, o2 sensor and fuel pumps

F6 15a voltage reg and battery charging alternator

F7 20a starter motor and crank solenoid

Thx fox. having a flush kit for the a/c would eliminate one more piece of the puzzle, and keep a tech off the boat. Had this going on in 3 marinas with 6 occurences. My ac pump is making typical pump noise, dont know if its pumping though I can check it with a bucket of water on both sides.

If you have a link handy for the kit let me know pls.

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Im going to pitch in again.. Have the manual right here looking at the lake. )

Fuses

F1 10a Aux winding

F2 10a controller

F3 10a customer connection

F4 15a coils/injectors

F5 15a ECM, o2 sensor and fuel pumps

F6 15a voltage reg and battery charging alternator

F7 20a starter motor and crank solenoid

Note that several of these are fast acting--and not standard fuses. Several are ceramic (from memory) as well. Order using item # in previous post (Kohler P/N).

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Fuses Part number
F1 10a Aux winding ------------------------------------------358337
F2 10a controller-----------------------------------------------223316
F3 10a customer connection-------------------------------223316
F4 15a coils/injectors-----------------------------------------283645
F5 15a ECM, o2 sensor and fuel pumps----------------283645
F6 15a voltage reg and battery charging alternator---283645
F7 20a starter motor and crank solenoid----------------GM39266

)

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Stephenm27 and Turkeyfoot - thanks for the fuse info. Turkeyfoot the link to the quickflush system is http://www.quickflushvalve.com. I'm ordering the one for the Generator and air conditioner which is a single shut-off valve. I plan to install between seacock valves and filter which means I'll have to close seacock valves before flushing. But I plan to be below deck anyway so it's not an issue for me. Good luck.

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Thought I'd provide an update. Kohler tech finally showed up (unfortunately I couldn't be there with him). Billed me for two hours and said he:

"found wire #37 grounded to control box. Disconnected wire and taped. #37 wire is unused wire. Tested and ran fine."

So I fired her up and sure enough she cranked, purred like a kitten and powered house and air conditioner. However, when you shut it down and try to restart, she cranks and runs for about 15 seconds before flashing a UU code and shutting down. If I let her cool down overnight, she will run like a champ until I shut it down. My thinking is that there has to be some heat related problem, perhaps a connector, wire or something that reacts to expansion and contraction? Anyone experienced similar symptoms or have new ideas?

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Thought I'd provide an update. Kohler tech finally showed up (unfortunately I couldn't be there with him). Billed me for two hours and said he:

"found wire #37 grounded to control box. Disconnected wire and taped. #37 wire is unused wire. Tested and ran fine."

So I fired her up and sure enough she cranked, purred like a kitten and powered house and air conditioner. However, when you shut it down and try to restart, she cranks and runs for about 15 seconds before flashing a UU code and shutting down. If I let her cool down overnight, she will run like a champ until I shut it down. My thinking is that there has to be some heat related problem, perhaps a connector, wire or something that reacts to expansion and contraction? Anyone experienced similar symptoms or have new ideas?

If you can reliably reproduce the problem, I would suggest watching the voltage meter on your interior electrical panel as the problem occurs. The UU code is supposed to indicate a drop below 80% (~88VAC) of AC output voltage for at least ten seconds. That's very low voltage for a very long time. If it's a reliable error code, you should easily be able to note the condition on the volt meter. If you confirm that the voltage drop actually does occur, you're probably looking at replacing the voltage regulator. If you don't notice a corresponding voltage drop, it's probably more along the lines of the diagnostic control failing.

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Thanks. I had my wife monitor and she noticed no voltage drop on the panel. The strangest part of the equation is that she will run for hours on the first start of the day and provide all the power I need, but once I shut her down, she won't crank again until she cools completely down. Very weird problem. When you said diagnostic control failing, are you referring to the master control board (motherboard)? That's one thing I haven't replaced because of the expense, but I'm beginning to lean toward biting the bullet on cost at this point.

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I'm not sure where else to look if you are able to confirm no voltage drop actually occurs--that, to me, suggests the motherboard. But, that's an expensive item so I would double-check everything I could before heading that direction. That would include, for me, replacing relevant fuses on the unit (F4/F5/F6) due to their cost (<$10).

The schematic suggests that the AC sensing mechanism is wholly located in the ADC2100 (motherboard). So, I don't know how much other diagnosis you can possibly do:

Capture.jpg

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have a 5w Kohler generator with 12 hours on the run time have had to replace the impeller twice already. When I run the unit I get steam along with water coming out the exhaust . My Origional problem was the genny would not start at all. The Mech found that the ground wire for the Genny WAS NOT HOOKED UP TO THE NEGATIVE SIDE OF THE bATTERY. sTILL CANNOT FIGURE OUT WHY A BRAND NEW GENNY THAT HAS NEVER BEEN RUN UNDER A LOAD WOUD EAT tWO iMPELLERS WITH ONLY TWELVE HOURS ON THE UNIT?

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... WOUD EAT tWO iMPELLERS WITH ONLY TWELVE HOURS ON THE UNIT?

Clearly, this isn't 'normal'. If you have steam exiting the exhaust, I would say the unit is running too hot. Check the temp of the exhausted water. Warm is fine, but overly hot (ie steam) isn't. To me, this suggests insufficient raw water flow to properly cool the unit.

Given that you've said it's consumed 2 impellers in a very short time, I would evaluate 2 things:

A. if the impeller housing has a manufacturing defect such that it's destroying the impeller (and you're consequently losing cooling flow).

B. if no visible/obvious defects, I would investigate if the impeller is being starved of raw water. This is the most common cause, especially in warm waters where marine growth is abundant. Check not only the strainer, but the thru-hull and inbound hose all the way to the genset.

Report back and hopefully we can help you enjoy your generator rather than despise it...

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have a kohler mech coming back next week to check the unit out. He is also going to do the recall work That the Coast guard issued back in May. The letter I received told me not to use the unit until the warranty repairs were done. This is now the begenning of august and the Kohler dealer has just yesterday received the parts to do the warranty repairs. I was advised by the dealer to at least run the generator at least once a week Until said parts came in? Just went back to the Kolher service dealer and purchased Two more Impellers just in case. I am hopeing that the mech can get to the bottom of the steam coming from the exhaust,as the temperature sensor is one of the recall problems along with relocating other things on the genset. WHAT A COUNTRY?

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Thanks Stephen -fuses all checked good with meter. Ran it several times this weekend under various load conditions and she is so ornery! Runs for a while and shuts down with LOC code. Crank her again and she runs for a while and shuts down with a UU code. This on'e got me baffled. Plastic - afraid I don't have any experience with the steaming problem, but it certainly sounds like the exchanger may be clogged. Having said that I don't know why it hasn't shut down with all the sensors available.

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Kohler mech came to the boat and told me that there are parts of the old impellers stuck in the exchanger. hE also said that the exchanger on the new Kohler 5k geberators are a sealed unit and thus you cannot take them apart to clean out the clogged impeller parts. Says that I will have to have the heat exchanger replaced? Are you kidding me? I have tried to contact Kohler to ask why they cannot design some kind of soft metal impeller Instead of these six vein rubber ones. Still waiting for an answer. I also want to know if they will change the exchanger under warranty? How are you supposed to know that your genny is going to eat an IMpeller? Also why would a genny that has only Twelve Hours on the unit Eat Two Impellers?

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The new 5EKD generators apparently now do have "integrated heat exchangers" according to their spec sheet.

This design probably adds complication to the old 'backflush the heat exchanger' routine. From the online pic of the 5EKD, it appears you would have to remove the exchanger in order to access it. At that point, I would hope you could backflush it with air or water on the test bench. Replacing it seems like overkill, but he is a Kohler tech (and I am not).

Given the low hours and impeller/overheat history on this unit, I would certainly force Kohler to deny warranty service before I paid for much on this generator...

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