My Cousin's Honda Generator

Messages
83
Location
Kansas
So my Cousin brought his Honda generator down along with the new to him travel trailer he had bought. It's a nice trailer with 2 slides, heat pump, AC, tiled floors, etc. He brought it down so we could give it a good look over before he took it on a trip. He brought along his generator which I believe is a Honda EB 4500 with electric start. The trailer checked out ok but his darn generator would die after running maybe 7 minutes. It would restart but it was running as if it were starving for fuel and getting worse every time we started it. The engine began to backfire, miss out, the exhaust smelled of gasoline. Hmmm. So I tell cousin he can use my gen set which is the same Honda as his minus electric start and I will get his going for him while he is on his trip. I'm thinking we have a fuel restriction or dirty carb with a bad float along with a possible bad coil. I bought a used Honda rear tine tiller off Craigslist and had ordered a new carb, coil, spark plug, and air filter for 21 bucks as the carb choke and fuel tabs were broken off the tiller. So i have a few spare parts for the gen set. Anyhow the carb was clean, no dirt at all but I still cleaned out the carb and emulsion tubes. Float was good. I checked the sediment bowl at the petcock and it was clean. I replaced the fuel line as I suspected a pin hole and the line was stretchy from alcohol in the fuel anyway. Fired it up and still the same problem. OK so now I'm going to pull everything off and replace the coil. I remove the coil and I see no cracks or issues other than a bit of rust which is cosmetic. My spare coil wont fit as it is too small. I clean up the coil and put it back on. I fire it up and still the same thing. So I'm thinking it's the coil. Gotta be the coil. It gets hot and quits making spark or not enough spark. I decide to swap out the spark plug just to see if that corrects the issue. The plug is an NGK BPR5ES. It is a well used plug. Covered in rust at the base but the gap is almost spot on. I put in the only spare plug I have which is a Chinese plug. After 3 pulls the engine fires up and runs and runs for an hour. Of course I put a load on the gen set and it works like it should. I'm happy. I turn off the gen. I try to restart it and it wont. GRRRRR!!! Smells like it is flooded. I use the electric start. It cranks for 10 seconds then fires up!!! Darn Chinese spark plugs!!! So I go into town and buy a few NGK plugs. Put one in the Gen set and now everything is good!!! It starts every time!!! I called my Cousin and report the good news. He says he has owned the Honda for at least 15 years and never replaced the plug. Just cleaned the plug and checked the gap from time to time. I then recall that my Stihl chainsaw was 13 years old when the NGK plug quit working. Who would have thought a spark plug would cause the engine to run like it was. I thought spark plugs either worked or didn't with no in between. Anyway I'm not saying NGK plugs are bad. NGK plugs are what seem to last the longest and work best in small engines and in my motorcycle. Of course I did change out the oil in the genset cause thats what BITOGS do. Dumped out dark but still serviceable oil and refilled with Dello 15/40. I grabbed a NGK plug and taped it up in the box and taped it to the frame of the genset. Now it's good to go for another 15 years with a spare plug on hand just in case.
 
Last edited:
Messages
216
Location
SW Louisiana
I have found that most of the small engine malfunctions that I deal with are caused by the spark plug. Especially if the unit has recently been running good and just wont start. NGK are my "go to" plug!
 
Messages
2,716
Location
MURICA
Originally Posted By: EricG
I have found that most of the small engine malfunctions that I deal with are caused by the spark plug. Especially if the unit has recently been running good and just wont start. NGK are my "go to" plug!
How can I find a NGK for champion rj19lm plugs?
 
Messages
1,153
Location
USA
Originally Posted By: EricG
I have found that most of the small engine malfunctions that I deal with are caused by the spark plug. Especially if the unit has recently been running good and just wont start. NGK are my "go to" plug!
Ditto.
 
Messages
9,560
Location
Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: locomaster1969
So my Cousin brought his Honda generator down along with the new to him travel trailer he had bought. It's a nice trailer with 2 slides, heat pump, AC, tiled floors, etc. He brought it down so we could give it a good look over before he took it on a trip. He brought along his generator which I believe is a Honda EB 4500 with electric start. The trailer checked out ok but his darn generator would die after running maybe 7 minutes. It would restart but it was running as if it were starving for fuel and getting worse every time we started it. The engine began to backfire, miss out, the exhaust smelled of gasoline. Hmmm. So I tell cousin he can use my gen set which is the same Honda as his minus electric start and I will get his going for him while he is on his trip. I'm thinking we have a fuel restriction or dirty carb with a bad float along with a possible bad coil. I bought a used Honda rear tine tiller off Craigslist and had ordered a new carb, coil, spark plug, and air filter for 21 bucks as the carb choke and fuel tabs were broken off the tiller. So i have a few spare parts for the gen set. Anyhow the carb was clean, no dirt at all but I still cleaned out the carb and emulsion tubes. Float was good. I checked the sediment bowl at the petcock and it was clean. I replaced the fuel line as I suspected a pin hole and the line was stretchy from alcohol in the fuel anyway. Fired it up and still the same problem. OK so now I'm going to pull everything off and replace the coil. I remove the coil and I see no cracks or issues other than a bit of rust which is cosmetic. My spare coil wont fit as it is too small. I clean up the coil and put it back on. I fire it up and still the same thing. So I'm thinking it's the coil. Gotta be the coil. It gets hot and quits making spark or not enough spark. I decide to swap out the spark plug just to see if that corrects the issue. The plug is an NGK BPR5ES. It is a well used plug. Covered in rust at the base but the gap is almost spot on. I put in the only spare plug I have which is a Chinese plug. After 3 pulls the engine fires up and runs and runs for an hour. Of course I put a load on the gen set and it works like it should. I'm happy. I turn off the gen. I try to restart it and it wont. GRRRRR!!! Smells like it is flooded. I use the electric start. It cranks for 10 seconds then fires up!!! Darn Chinese spark plugs!!! So I go into town and buy a few NGK plugs. Put one in the Gen set and now everything is good!!! It starts every time!!! I called my Cousin and report the good news. He says he has owned the Honda for at least 15 years and never replaced the plug. Just cleaned the plug and checked the gap from time to time. I then recall that my Stihl chainsaw was 13 years old when the NGK plug quit working. Who would have thought a spark plug would cause the engine to run like it was. I thought spark plugs either worked or didn't with no in between. Anyway I'm not saying NGK plugs are bad. NGK plugs are what seem to last the longest and work best in small engines and in my motorcycle. Of course I did change out the oil in the genset cause thats what BITOGS do. Dumped out dark but still serviceable oil and refilled with Dello 15/40. I grabbed a NGK plug and taped it up in the box and taped it to the frame of the genset. Now it's good to go for another 15 years with a spare plug on hand just in case.
+1 on the NKG. They used to be OEM on SAABS until GM blew up the company.
 
Messages
333
Location
NJ
This post was a big help following last Friday's snow storm. Our Honda EU3000is developed the same symptoms...initially ran fine cold, but then backfired and died as it warmed up. No extra choke needed to keep it running smoothly during warmup so it was getting fuel mix correctly, and I could flip Eco Throttle on & off with nice smooth engine response. Until it warmed up, at which time any load or flipping Eco from on to off...any abrupt increase in throttle...would cause it to backfire a few times and die. I removed the sediment cup and carb bowl thinking fuel starvation, both were clean. Tried draining the gas and refilling with new 93 octane gas, same problem. Removed the NGK BPR5Es spark plug, installed a new one gapped at 0.030 (old one was at 0.029x, just a hair under the 0.030" mark), and no further problem. It was the factory plug with somewhere between 240-280 hours of run time including 12 days post-Sandy 2012. Probably should have replaced it as preventive maintenance.
 
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