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  1. #1
    New Member
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    May 2009
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    16
    Location
    Morgantown, KY
    Tractor
    Kubota L2050

    Default Generac Generator Problem

    Ok, here's the story. During the Ice storm of 2009, my parents had a natural gas fired Generac generator hooked to their house. They lost power for around 13 days and the generator ran pretty consistently. After the ice storm, they tried to restart the generator for its normal run interval and it wouldn't start. After playing around with it, I got the generator to run but it seemed to have a miss. They called their local generac dealership who sent techs out to look at the generator. They indicated that the engine in it had bent a rod somehow. Instead of fixing the generator, my parents bought a new one and gave the old one to me to fix or do whatever with. My question is, could someone who has typical small engine repair skills work on the engine? I know little about the difference between natural gas fired and regular pump gas fired engines? What do you guys think? Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Silver Member bg71361's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
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    111
    Location
    Damascus, Maryland

    Default Re: Generac Generator Problem

    Has that got the 1 liter motor? Any competent machine shop should be able to handle it for you. Did they offer a suggestion as to how the rod got bent? I could see if it was running on gasoline and filled one of the cylinders it would hydraulic, but on natural? Makes me wonder what caused it.
    Good luck!
    Bill

  3. #3
    Platinum Member brandoro's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
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    656
    Location
    Central Saskatchewan
    Tractor
    Kubota B3030 HSTC

    Default Re: Generac Generator Problem

    I don't think there is much difference, if any, except for the fuel delivery method. I think the natural gas ones run different spark plugs.
    How big an engine is it? If it is a small air cooled engine then a small engine repair guy will be able to fix it, if it is a 4 cylinder liquid cooled engine then an automotive mechanic would do better with it.
    Rod.
    B3030HSDC, LA403 FEL, B2782A front blower, B5320 ballast box, Landpride-BH, RFM, tiller, FM2060 flail, GS1572 grader/scraper, BX42 chipper, PTO generator, homebuilt splitter and 3pt carry all.

  4. #4
    Silver Member
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    Aug 2008
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    151
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    NE

    Default Re: Generac Generator Problem

    How old is the generator? Was its life basically that 13 day run? Generac had some multi-year warranties on their units, is this still in effect? What did your parents get for a replacement? Sorry for all the questions and not much advise.

    I have been researching backup generators and considered Generac until my findings began to sway me towards Kohler.

  5. #5
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    143
    Location
    Glenarm, IL.
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2350, IH Cub Cadet 1450, Cub Cadet (Diesel) 1572

    Default Re: Generac Generator Problem

    There is very little difference between a gasoline and natural gas or LP fueled engines. I have converted several old Continental 602 engine generators from gasoline to LP at work, and a small 9HP B&S OHV engine to natural for myself. The conversion involved changing the carburator and being certain the fuel/air mixture wasn't running lean which would burn the valves. We also gave them a thorough tune up including checking valve clearances.

    kj
    The Right to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed.

    Kubota BX2350, Cub Cadet 1572, IH Cub Cadet 1450

  6. #6
    Silver Member Wildbill34's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
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    139
    Location
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Tractor
    JD 2210

    Default Re: Generac Generator Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by gpflepsen View Post
    How old is the generator? Was its life basically that 13 day run? Generac had some multi-year warranties on their units, is this still in effect? What did your parents get for a replacement? Sorry for all the questions and not much advise.

    I have been researching backup generators and considered Generac until my findings began to sway me towards Kohler.
    For what its worth. I have been running a 15k Generac for 7 years now and have never had a problem with it. There have been a few times where it needed to run for 4 or 5 days. I just have the oil changed yearly and replaced the battery once. Outside that, works like a charm. However, I wished I got to 200 amp transfer switch when I bought it. But didn't want to spend another 1500 at the time.
    Bill 2210, 210 fel 53", 62" mmm, Ballast Box, 47" Snowblower, I-Match, Curtis heated SS Cab, 854 TracVac, forks

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    Sep 2002
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    2,329
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    Michigan

    Default Re: Generac Generator Problem

    Something doesn't sound right - engines don't just bend rods unless there is some trauma - over revving, sudden stop, rod bearing seizing up, etc. I suspect that once you get into it you will find other damage that explains the bent rod.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
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    1,616

    Default Re: Generac Generator Problem

    Something in the original post that dose not sit well, is that the generator ran for 13 days without issues and when used again had a bent rod. I think that sometime in that 13 day period the rod bent and the engine continued to run. You must weigh the cost of repair against the cost of replacement. If the repair/re-build is more than 50% of the replacement, than replace the engine.

  9. #9
    Super Star Member RoyJackson's Avatar
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    Bethel, Vermont
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    John Deere 4400 MFWD, Deere 855D UTV and assorted implements

    Default Re: Generac Generator Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Transit View Post
    Something in the original post that dose not sit well, is that the generator ran for 13 days without issues and when used again had a bent rod. I think that sometime in that 13 day period the rod bent and the engine continued to run. You must weigh the cost of repair against the cost of replacement. If the repair/re-build is more than 50% of the replacement, than replace the engine.
    Yeah, that does sound odd. However, the engine may have lost timing when the parents tried to restart it (meaning the piston may have hit a valve...rods don't just bend on their own).
    There's a good possibility the crank may be damaged too, so a total teardown to check the engine out would be justified. Since the genny is a freebie, putting some money into it might be worthwhile even if it means replacing the engine.
    Roy Jackson

    "Any government that does not trust its citizens with firearms is either a tyranny, or planning to become one."
    -Joseph P. Martino

  10. #10
    Elite Member
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    Dec 2003
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    4,444
    Location
    NC
    Tractor
    Kubota Grand L3830

    Default Re: Generac Generator Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Conquistador View Post
    Ok, here's the story. During the Ice storm of 2009, my parents had a natural gas fired Generac generator hooked to their house. They lost power for around 13 days and the generator ran pretty consistently. After the ice storm, they tried to restart the generator for its normal run interval and it wouldn't start. After playing around with it, I got the generator to run but it seemed to have a miss. They called their local generac dealership who sent techs out to look at the generator. They indicated that the engine in it had bent a rod somehow. Instead of fixing the generator, my parents bought a new one and gave the old one to me to fix or do whatever with. My question is, could someone who has typical small engine repair skills work on the engine? I know little about the difference between natural gas fired and regular pump gas fired engines? What do you guys think? Thanks!!
    Natural, LP or Gasoline engines are basically the same. The method of fuel delivery is different. From your description above it sounds like a valve was damaged in the 13 day run period. The coating on valves used in a Natural or Lp engine is different than ones in a gasoline engine to prevent damage during long runs. The valves crack or burn because of the lean burning of Natural or LP Gas. If you got the engine to run and did not hear a knocking sound I would bet on valve damage.

    If you have basic small engine skills, yes you can repair the engine. You can even purchase a carburetor to replace the Natural Gas supply system. If you have LP gas you can re-jet the Natural Gas delivery system.

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