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‘ New’ 10-year old generator. What to do first?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by JT105, Nov 23, 2018.

  1. JT105

    JT105 Let's Ride!

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    Oddometer:
    483
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    SE Michigan
    I just got a generator from my neighbor. It is a Honda EP2500CX with a GX160 engine (single cylinder, horizontal shaft, 160cc approximately 5HP).

    The neighbor’s dad bought it new 10 years ago and never started it. In fact, it never even had gas in the tank. This thing is brand new as it came from the store. Owners manual and purchase receipt is still taped on top of the gas tank. Only wear and tear is dust and general garage rash from being moved around the garage for 10 years. I pulled the starter cord very slowly and the engine pulls over very easy.

    I want to get this thing up and running. My first thoughts are to dump the oil and put in fresh oil. Then pull the spark plug and put a little oil in the cylinder and pull it over a few times before adding gas and trying to start it.

    Is there anything else I should or shouldn’t do before giving it a go?

    JT
    #1
  2. ozmoses

    ozmoses .

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    I'd guess replies will vary from "You're gonna have to tear it down and rebuild it 100%" to "Put gas* in the tank and fire it up!"



    *ethanol-free, of course ;)
    #2
  3. JR356

    JR356 Long timer

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    Look in the tank,as long as no corrosion or gunk,I think your instincts are correct.

    May want to pull off some of the covers and check for rodent nests,damage and resolve that if necessary.


    JR356
    #3
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  4. PunkinHead

    PunkinHead Moobless Adventurer Supporter

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    Open the petcock.

    About 10 years ago our neighborhood lost power after several days of heavy rain. A neighbor came over in a panic asking for volunteers to man a bucket brigade to haul water out of the sump pit in her basement. When I arrived there was already a line of men handing buckets of dirty water up the stairs, slopping a good bit of it on their carpet. I spotted a generator in their garage and asked why they didn't just fire it up and run the sump pump. They said it'd been sitting for years. They'd fucked with it for 1/2 hour and couldn't get it to run. Being rather lazy I decided I'd put my effort into getting the generator running rather than heft 5 gallon buckets of water. I pulled a plug and verified it had spark. I pulled the air filter and verified it wasn't plugged by a mouse nest. Then I pulled the line off the carb and checked for fuel flow. No fuel. I dicked around for a few minutes before finding a manual petcock hidden under the fuel tank. Turned that on and the generator fired on the first pull. Several guys in the bucket brigade who'd tried to start it were engineers at a nearby GM plant. It was fucking embarrassing. Fuel, air, and spark people. Good grief.
    #4
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  5. JT105

    JT105 Let's Ride!

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    Ha ha...
    If everyone says I screwed and to rebuild it, then I’m just gonna put gas in it and fire it up and wait for the explosion!

    JT
    #5
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  6. JT105

    JT105 Let's Ride!

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    Gas tank is so clean you could eat out of it. It’s like brand new. I smelled it and it even smells new inside.

    Good idea about checking for rodents. Thanks!

    JT
    #6
  7. JT105

    JT105 Let's Ride!

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    Funny.
    In my job, I sometimes have the pleasure of working with some PHDs. Very smart in their field. Step outside the lines and they are lost.

    JT
    #7
  8. MattLikeyBikey

    MattLikeyBikey Been here awhile

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    Only thing I would do is put a few squirts of motor oil in the cylinder and a few dry / no fuel test pulls to circulate it in the cylinder. It is also technically due for an oil change but that's up to you. I would run it and check it first then do maint later.
    #8
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  9. victor441

    victor441 Long timer

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    Good deal and a great story...brought to mind a scene from Slingblade ;-)
    So far as the generator goes if it fires up OK I'd then try a light load test with an electric heater, etc. and see how it handles that and if possible check the voltage and frequency while under load....a Killawatt will work well for this if you have one



    [​IMG]
    #9
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  10. JT105

    JT105 Let's Ride!

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    Yes, I plan to put a little oil in the cylinder and circulate it first.
    I was surprised it had oil in the crankcase when I checked. I’m guessing that the place he bought it from filled it with oil before he took it home. So, that 10 year old oil will be changed before I start it.

    JT
    #10
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  11. JT105

    JT105 Let's Ride!

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    Yes, I have a Kill a watt. Good idea.

    One nice thing about this generator is that it has an AVR (Automatic Voltage Regulator). It should handle loads pretty good and keep the voltage stable. I’ll have to check it out with the Kill a Watt meter.

    JT
    #11
  12. ozmoses

    ozmoses .

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    It is possible that you may need to flash/excite the windings after 10 years of storage.
    #12
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  13. JT105

    JT105 Let's Ride!

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    We’ll see. I’ve never had to do that before, so I’ll cross my fingers and maybe it will be fine. I’ll hoping that if the field is weak, the AVR will kick in and fix it. The AVR can vary the current in the windings automatically.
    Weather is supposed to warm up this weekend. Maybe I’ll get it fired up Sunday.
    Saturday is Michigan vs Ohio State. Football takes priority, of course. Go Blue!

    JT
    #13
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  14. scratchypants

    scratchypants Loathes the impolite

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    I'd start with a squirt of penetrating oil in the cylinder - if the rings are stuck, it won't matter how gently you pull the starter cord.
    #14
  15. Cogswell

    Cogswell Now living the new normal.

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    It's a Honda, it could have sat in the box for 50 years. Pour gas in and fire it up.

    Look for oil change recommendations after xx hours :deal
    #15
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  16. Mountainhound

    Mountainhound Long timer

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    I would pour gas in and start it. And like post above if it is a honda it will start. I have 4 of those little motors and a few haven't been used much over the years and they all will start by third pull no matter how long they've been sitting or how old the gas is that's in them, if they don't start by 3rd pull I either forgot to turn gas on or choke.
    #16
  17. windypoint

    windypoint Been here awhile

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    I just bought a "new" Honda water pump that had been sitting in a shop barn for a few years. The pump was packed with rodent packing but the engine seemed fine. Just cleaned out the pump, gassed it and added the oil it never had in it and away we go. Runs great, no problem. Honda rocks.
    #17
  18. JT105

    JT105 Let's Ride!

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    Opened the air cleaner cover. All of the filter element oil was pooled at the bottom. I cleaned that and re-oiled the foam. Everything looked clean and new.
    Pulled the plug. Brand new. Everything is shiny inside. Stood the engine on its side so the piston was vertical and sprayed some oil inside. Then gave it a dozen or so pulls to spread it around.
    I then tilted the engine in all directions and gave it a few pulls. My thought is that the oil will get into the bearings and be wet, not dry, on the first start.
    Fuel lines look ok. Choke is free. Fuel valve was stuck, popped it loose and is free now.
    Need to change oil, add gas and spark it up!
    This thing is really put together well. The muffler is huge. Can’t wait to hear how quiet it sounds. Honda is awesome. My old Briggs generator could wake the dead.

    JT
    #18
  19. cagiva549

    cagiva549 whats a cagiva

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    After running it turn the gas off to shut it down , do not use the electric kill switch or you will be buying a carb for it very soon . Otherwise run the crap out of it . Oil change after a hour or so might not be a bad idea .
    #19
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  20. PunkinHead

    PunkinHead Moobless Adventurer Supporter

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    Why change the oil? If it's never run then the oil hasn't been contaminated.
    #20
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