Harbor freight generator wont start



just a quick “how to” when you have a genny that wont start. These litte gennys are great,but they are persnickity and need some careful attention to fuel,mixture,and shutting off the fuel valve while in storage. my new procedure will be to run it dry, before putting it away.
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40 Replies to “Harbor freight generator wont start”

  1. When a small engine is flooded bad especially let sit for so long the gas will run down in to the oil you always change your oil when something is flooded that bad

  2. Thats one sure way of killing the Genny……You need the side panel on to cool the Cylinder Head …The flywheel is designed to pump air to the cylinder head but it needs the shroud putting back to force it that way….Melted Piston laters

  3. Spark plugs can easily get carbon tracks on them. Especially if they are too cold for the engine or have been started for only short periods. A small flame may burn off some gas but just adds carbon. If you really want to clean it good just chuck it in the vise and put the propane torch too it. Get the tip and insulator glowing hot. That will burn off the carbon and let it spark again. A file job for a sharp edge will also let the spark jump easier.

  4. Nice trick with the drill. What has worked for me in the past on a flooded engine is to pull the plug and let it sit for a few hours. Compressed air would speed things up considerably. If you're in a hurry a spray of starting fluid may do the trick too.

  5. Run the oil a little low on these, maybe 50:1 synthetic. If they give you any grief, pull the plug out wire brush it andget it good and hot with the propane torch – it'll start perfect after that..

  6. The problem is not the spark plug or flooding. I own two of these 800 watts wonders, as well as several other small to medium sized generators, and the starting problem is ALWAYS the same after they sit for more than about a week…

    WATER IN THE FLOAT BOWL.

    The carburetor design will not tolerate even a small amount of water… and since water is heavier than gas, any moisture that condenses in the fuel tank always end up in the float bowl, and the engine will not start.

    The solution is simple. Drain the float bowl EVERYTIME before even trying to start if the generator has sat for more than a few days. All you need is a 10mm wrench, a small cup, and about 30 seconds.

    This basically never fails. 99.99% of the time, after turning the fuel back on and allowing the carb to refill, the generator will start on the first or second pull.

  7. I have one of these and I must've opened it up more than 5 times. Replaced a leaking carburetor, the spark plug, spark plug wire, the ignition box and even the shut down switch shorted out. The actual engine and generator isn't bad, but everything else on it will fail sooner or later. Invest a few more bucks into a better one from sears.

  8. I have one like that. Handy thing to have. I used mine to run my refrigerator for 6 hours when the power went off. Had to pull the starter 30 times to get it to start but it worked. I'm gonna try starting fluid with top cylinder lubricant to get it to start easier. I use a drill set up like that to start my pressure washer when it is hard to start when it hasn't been used for a while.

  9. In all carburetor engines it's a good practice too empty the carburetor bowl before storing it. Close the gas petcock valve and run it until it shut off its the best to do.

    Among other stuff have an outboard that was not started for 2 years. After putting some gas in it started immediately no issues at all. Snowblower, generator, etc. same thing.

    Usually the float valve in the carburetor don't seal properly and flood the engine. Also the crank oil get's "washed" overtime which is also not good at all. Hope it's useful for future reference. 😉

  10. Way, way back in the early 1970s, I had a Yamaha 350 bike. It had a 2-cycle engine that used an oil injector to mix the fuel. Like your generator, if I didn't shut off the fuel, the engine would not start. I had to remove the spark plugs and run the starter for several second to dry out the cylinders. Then it started. I never got used to turning off the fuel valve; frequently forgot to turn it off. I always thought that if I turned off the fuel valve, the fuel was OFF. Apparently not.

  11. Just an observation, but taking the pull start off also removed the ducting from the fan to channel cooling air over the cylinder. with todays fuels being not real gas, but methanol/ Ethanol addedadding 2 or 3oz. of 2cycle oil per gallon fuel, it will work to stabilize fuel, also another tip, when done using leave gen running and turn off valve at tank so gen runs all fuel out of carb, then theres nothing left to go bad, or gum anything up.

  12. Put in a good spark plug
    I have a cheap generator, wouldn't run worth a crap. Had the same plug as this one (could see the name as you rotated the plug). Put in a new name brand plug and the thing runs amazing. I used an online cross reference to find the right plug. Have had it for 10 years and runs great. Use it for power outages, running a electric 10ft pole saw for trimming trees, lights around the pond in the winter for skating, etc.

  13. any time you shut off a 2 stroke you should shut fuel off and allow it to run till out of fuel .my old 2 stroke 9.9 still runs like new and I bought it in 1993 and have never pulled out of the lake with out disconnecting fuel and allowing it to idle till out of gas and the same practice holds true for any 2 stroke with a carburator

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