PDA

View Full Version : Electric Start on my emergency generator.


simplyconnected
04-14-2017, 05:50 AM
Some 20 years ago when I bought my emergency generator, I didn't mind pulling on that 8-HP rope. During those years blackouts were 'hit-and-miss' meaning, some years I never started the old girl. Other years, it was a life saver. Remember when the north eastern USA was dark for 2-1/2 days including NYC? It was Aug, 2003 and hotter than blazes in Detroit. Much of Ontario, Canada was dark as well. Not at my house:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/eb/Map_of_North_America%2C_blackout_2003.svg/300px-Map_of_North_America%2C_blackout_2003.svg.png

I collected my 93 yr-old Mom who lived 2 miles away and she spent the power outage in air conditioning with lights and TV.

We don't get blackouts often but spring and fall ice and high winds break trees that down power lines. It's like shakin' dice but ol' Davey-boy doesn't like taking chances, especially when winter cold easily ruptures water pipes.

My generator has a Briggs & Stratton engine (thank God) that is well supported with aftermarket and online offerings to keep prices down and availability of parts on the shelf. I always knew there was an electric start option. Now in my old age, 'that rope' feels much harder, especially on cold winter days when gasoline engines rarely cooperate and gloves get in the way. $100 seems like a very reasonable cost to save my arm, so I popped for all the components.

OMG! Why didn't I do this decades ago? Now, I simply connect jumper cables and push a button. Before, if it didn't start after about five or six pulls, I was in trouble, laying on the ground, gasping for air and my arm felt like it fell off. Now, if it doesn't go after pressing the button for a few seconds I simply give it a shot of starting fluid and she's off...

The retrofit included, adding a ring gear to the flywheel and mounting an electric motor. Ok, drill four thru-holes in the cast iron flywheel and use the supplied long bolts with nylok nuts to hold the aluminum ring gear in place. I cut a slot in the edge of the air shroud, where the starter gear engages, then made a simple guard around the starter gear so little fingers stay out.

For my 'control panel', I used a 3/4" plastic conduit. I heated the ends over the electric range burner then flattened and cooled them. Being plastic, it is also an electrical insulator. I drilled two holes and used long screws for jumper cables. Then, I wired a 12-volt starter solenoid from my 'parts box' and a simple momentary switch next to the carburetor. A little spray paint, mounted to the frame and it looks like it belongs there.

As an added bonus... That nasty pull rope still functions (just in case). - Dave

OX1
04-14-2017, 08:15 AM
Very nice!! We get them here and there. I usually don't bother
with the gen, as ours are 3-4 hours. Real pain to have to drain
the gas back out of tank and carb just for that length of time.

I've thought of getting one of the natural gas kits. I have one
of those wall garage heaters for my attached garage, so the line
is right there.

Some 20 years ago when I bought my emergency generator, I didn't mind pulling on that 8-HP rope. During those years blackouts were 'hit-and-miss' meaning, some years I never started the old girl. Other years, it was a life saver. Remember when the north eastern USA was dark for 2-1/2 days including NYC? It was Aug, 2003 and hotter than blazes in Detroit. Much of Ontario, Canada was dark as well. Not at my house:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/eb/Map_of_North_America%2C_blackout_2003.svg/300px-Map_of_North_America%2C_blackout_2003.svg.png

I collected my 93 yr-old Mom who lived 2 miles away and she spent the power outage in air conditioning with lights and TV.

We don't get blackouts often but spring and fall ice and high winds break trees that down power lines. It's like shakin' dice but ol' Davey-boy doesn't like taking chances, especially when winter cold easily ruptures water pipes.

My generator has a Briggs & Stratton engine (thank God) that is well supported with aftermarket and online offerings to keep prices down and availability of parts on the shelf. I always knew there was an electric start option. Now in my old age, 'that rope' feels much harder, especially on cold winter days when gasoline engines rarely cooperate and gloves get in the way. $100 seems like a very reasonable cost to save my arm, so I popped for all the components.

OMG! Why didn't I do this decades ago? Now, I simply connect jumper cables and push a button. Before, if it didn't start after about five or six pulls, I was in trouble, laying on the ground, gasping for air and my arm felt like it fell off. Now, if it doesn't go after pressing the button for a few seconds I simply give it a shot of starting fluid and she's off...

The retrofit included, adding a ring gear to the flywheel and mounting an electric motor. Ok, drill four thru-holes in the cast iron flywheel and use the supplied long bolts with nylok nuts to hold the aluminum ring gear in place. I cut a slot in the edge of the air shroud, where the starter gear engages, then made a simple guard around the starter gear so little fingers stay out.

For my 'control panel', I used a 3/4" plastic conduit. I heated the ends over the electric range burner then flattened and cooled them. Being plastic, it is also an electrical insulator. I drilled two holes and used long screws for jumper cables. Then, I wired a 12-volt starter solenoid from my 'parts box' and a simple momentary switch next to the carburetor. A little spray paint, mounted to the frame and it looks like it belongs there.

As an added bonus... That nasty pull rope still functions (just in case). - Dave

simplyconnected
05-20-2017, 08:47 PM
I guess, when it rains it pours. I had great success with the generator, now the lawn mower decided to quit.

Again, it's a Briggs & Stratton but this time I found something disturbing. The mower simply quit, right in the middle of doing my front grass. Gas soaked the air cleaner element so I went straight for the carb's needle and seat.

Sure enough, the 'seal' is shot. But wait... this seat is made of something soft and spongy. I've never seen that before. It's a conventional float that pushes a needle against a seat but the seat is some kind of gasket compound, not brass. The seat is also teeny; two mm diameter with a very small hole in the center.

'Course being Saturday, all the repair shops are closed so I'll be down until Monday. The front grass looks funny, half done.

I've always regarded and revered B&S for producing quality engines. This one was made in USA (Lawrenceburg, Tennessee) about 15 years ago when I bought it new. The stickers say, "21" Murray Industrial-Commercial" on this 'self-propelled walk-behind'. I feed it the same Rotella 15W-40 that I put in my 'Y-Block'. It uses no oil and runs fine on gasohol.

I'm still baffled about the chintzy two-dollar needle and seat arrangement because I don't see how it lasted this long. I'm sure this part screwed lots of folks who won't pull the carburetor because they simply don't 'wrench'. While I have it apart I might as well change the original pull-rope. It still works but it's 15 yrs-old. - Dave

scumdog
05-21-2017, 07:17 AM
Some 20 years ago when I bought my emergency generator, I didn't mind pulling on that 8-HP rope. During those years blackouts were 'hit-and-miss' meaning, some years I never started the old girl. Other years, it was a life saver. Remember when the north eastern USA was dark for 2-1/2 days including NYC? It was Aug, 2003 and hotter than blazes in Detroit. Much of Ontario, Canada was dark as well. Not at my house:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/eb/Map_of_North_America%2C_blackout_2003.svg/300px-Map_of_North_America%2C_blackout_2003.svg.png

I collected my 93 yr-old Mom who lived 2 miles away and she spent the power outage in air conditioning with lights and TV.

We don't get blackouts often but spring and fall ice and high winds break trees that down power lines. It's like shakin' dice but ol' Davey-boy doesn't like taking chances, especially when winter cold easily ruptures water pipes.

My generator has a Briggs & Stratton engine (thank God) that is well supported with aftermarket and online offerings to keep prices down and availability of parts on the shelf. I always knew there was an electric start option. Now in my old age, 'that rope' feels much harder, especially on cold winter days when gasoline engines rarely cooperate and gloves get in the way. $100 seems like a very reasonable cost to save my arm, so I popped for all the components.

OMG! Why didn't I do this decades ago? Now, I simply connect jumper cables and push a button. Before, if it didn't start after about five or six pulls, I was in trouble, laying on the ground, gasping for air and my arm felt like it fell off. Now, if it doesn't go after pressing the button for a few seconds I simply give it a shot of starting fluid and she's off...

The retrofit included, adding a ring gear to the flywheel and mounting an electric motor. Ok, drill four thru-holes in the cast iron flywheel and use the supplied long bolts with nylok nuts to hold the aluminum ring gear in place. I cut a slot in the edge of the air shroud, where the starter gear engages, then made a simple guard around the starter gear so little fingers stay out.

For my 'control panel', I used a 3/4" plastic conduit. I heated the ends over the electric range burner then flattened and cooled them. Being plastic, it is also an electrical insulator. I drilled two holes and used long screws for jumper cables. Then, I wired a 12-volt starter solenoid from my 'parts box' and a simple momentary switch next to the carburetor. A little spray paint, mounted to the frame and it looks like it belongs there.

As an added bonus... That nasty pull rope still functions (just in case). - Dave

Pictures! ('Or it never happened' as the saying goes)

Randy
06-03-2017, 10:55 PM
Yes Pictures

simplyconnected
06-04-2017, 01:38 AM
Guys, I'm right in the middle of sewing two bimini covers for my best friend. He is two days into retirement from Chrysler and will move to his North Carolina home the day after tomorrow. In a nutshell, I'm booked.

I will do a writeup including pictures (which I already have) covering the generator's electric start. I don't want you to think I forgot but I simply need time. Thanks for your patience.

Here's a sample pic...
http://squarebirds.org/simplyconnected/GeneratorElectricStart/IMG_0635a.jpg

Randy
06-07-2017, 02:53 PM
That a good pic of starter and reminded me to see about mine !.....Thanks Dave......................Hazard would like to ask you somthing?? hey Dave when you Gracie, and Johnny are out squirreling and you get squirrel damage does Robin laugh .
https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4254/35034205226_7327e32a69_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/VnRsD9)20170603_102805 (https://flic.kr/p/VnRsD9) by Randy harsha (https://www.flickr.com/photos/126764621@N05/), on Flickr

simplyconnected
06-07-2017, 04:32 PM
Funny you should ask...
Tell Hazard and Roxy that Gracie and Johnny recently got a bird. Robin was ok with it until all the other birds in the trees put up a big fuss.

I was sitting at my computer when she came in and said, "Would you go out there and do something about all the noise these birds are making? Some of them are dive-bombing the dogs!" This is a bird-brain move on the birds' part because the dogs were cocked and ready for them.

Alright... Sure enough, Gracie was standing over their 'catch'. I picked it up and its feathers were all wet but otherwise the bird was ok. I put it over the fence, into some ferns. Yeah, dogs got all excited but that was the last I saw the bird (and the last I heard about it from Robin).

Johnny is a lot quicker than Gracie because he's smaller. They haven't got a squirrel yet because Michigan squirrels are lightning fast. Even so, if one is in a tree above them they bark and wait forever. I think they're waiting for the squirrel to fall which NEVER happens. - Dave

Randy
06-07-2017, 06:51 PM
O boy Gracie and Johnny got a bird I'm jealous I tried so many times, Dave I was trying to show you my squirrel ouwie but Randy mess up your note!, anyways one got me in the nose, its ok.Hazardhttps://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3890/14974545129_f3389de1bc_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/oPfsyz)Hazardous (https://flic.kr/p/oPfsyz) by Randy harsha (https://www.flickr.com/photos/126764621@N05/), on Flickr ....Me befor pink nose.