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Topic # 199232 9-Aug-2016 15:20
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Hi, I was given a small petrol generator by the bro in law a while back. It won't start. I don't know much about combustion engines, so any tips to get it working would be appreciated.


It's a small two stroke generator.

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  Reply # 1607024 9-Aug-2016 15:23
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Personally, I find threatening my lawnmower works after about the 80th pull. 

"4 wheels move the body.  2 wheels move the soul."

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  Reply # 1607027 9-Aug-2016 15:26
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2 strokes are fairly simple (c/w 4 strokes).  They need spark, compression, fuel and air (in the right mix) otherwise there is not much to go wrong.


Make sure it has fresh fuel, in the right mixture with 2-stroke oil for starters


Check the sparkplug isn't fouled up physically inspect the cables


Beyond that, you might need a small engine mechanic to have a look.


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  Reply # 1607029 9-Aug-2016 15:28
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If it has been sitting for a long time the carb will be caked up with crud as the more volitile parts of fuel evaporate leaving the heavy stuff, mine ended up looking like someone had filled it with some form of polyurethane with how thick the layers of stuff were.


Drain all the fuel out and add some fresh stuff as a first step. I have heard of people putting other solvents thru them to clean it but with the amount of rubbers and plastics in them I wouldnt risk it.


Check there is spark and fuel getting into the cylinder. You can take the sparkplug out and connect it to the chassis of the generator with a jumpercable while you pull the starter to check the spark, and you should be able to see/smell fuel in the combustion area if it is getting in there.


Check the throttle is actually moving, it is mechanical and will often cake up with the same crap that clogs the carb up from dis-use.


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  Reply # 1607035 9-Aug-2016 15:39
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Thanks guys. I'll go thru the above and see what happens. It has had petrol sitting in it for over a year, which as richms says, is probably crap by now.

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  Reply # 1607079 9-Aug-2016 16:05
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If all else fails...percussive maintenance. Might not work, but can make you feel much better about the situation.

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  Reply # 1607510 10-Aug-2016 11:34
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Old fuel is the bane of 2 strokes.


Fresh petrol, and freshly mixed with the 2 stroke oil.


Also, when you empty out the fuel tank, check for water. - it will form oil-like puddles in the remaining petrol, like a lava-lamp, but in reverse .. You may need pour a bit of methylated spirirts or Isopropyl alcohol to dissolve the water, and then empty it all out, meths and all.


Check the fuel filter - probably an inline disk of foam.


Check the fuel float chamber - it may also have gunk and water in it. Follow the fuel line from the tank to the engine - usually the first port of call is the float chamber - it looks like a small bowl, and can usually be unscrewed from the bottom.



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