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Onan 150kW Starter Switch Trouble

Discussion in 'Generators/Gensets' started by HardRockNM, Sep 14, 2022.

  1. HardRockNM

    HardRockNM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2020
    Messages:
    64
    Occupation:
    Miner
    Location:
    New Mexico
    This genset sat for about a year and a half at one of our mines. It uses a three-position rocker switch (top- start, middle- run, bottom- stop) and starts up fine but shuts off as pressure is removed from the switch.

    I've inserted photos of the switch body and panel layout. Just looking for recommendations since I haven't been able to find a direct replacement switch. It would be nice if the existing unit could be repaired, though I wouldn't mind a different type of unit since the plastic rocker doesn't seem to hold up. Hillbilly fixes are fine, it just needs to run, not look pretty.

    These photos are from my business partner who is less than mechanically inclined; he lives much closer to the site.
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    Attached Files:

  2. MarshallPowerGen

    MarshallPowerGen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    Messages:
    351
    Occupation:
    Generator & Equipment Mechanic
    Location:
    Eugene, OR
    At least for a temp fix you could bring a generic off the shelf keyswitch from an auto parts house or see what ACE Hardware has for 3 position switches in the bolt bin area. That way you can wire something in to get it running while fixing or sourcing a replacement.

    I'd be spraying out the old switch with electrical contact cleaner and compressed air. More than likely it's just old and gummed up and can be saved.
     
    Camshawn and HardRockNM like this.
  3. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,279
    Location:
    Grass Valley, Ca
    Browse the web site at Waytek wire, you will find the switch you need there. I steer clear of the auto parts switches because they are no good generally, unless you need it NOW.
     
  4. HardRockNM

    HardRockNM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2020
    Messages:
    64
    Occupation:
    Miner
    Location:
    New Mexico
    It can wait a few days, so no need for an Autozone special. I just ordered two replacement units direct from Cummins.
     
    MarshallPowerGen likes this.
  5. HardRockNM

    HardRockNM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2020
    Messages:
    64
    Occupation:
    Miner
    Location:
    New Mexico
    I swapped out the old switch this evening. Fortunately that was the issue - I wish everything could be that simple. Some downstream issues need to be diagnosed now, which will be a real learning experience. We're taking over for a sparky who passed away last year; I end up learning more about the fixed plant each time another issue crops up.
     
    MarshallPowerGen likes this.