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Ask Hank F. Your Own Question
Hank F.
Hank F., RV tech - emphasis on gensets
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 14684
Experience:  RV tech since the beginning of the millenium.
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I'd like to ask Don a question. I have a microquiet 4000 mod

Customer Question

I'd like to ask Don a question. I have a microquiet 4000 mod number 4kyfa26100e that is very hard to start. It acts like it's flooding before it gets started. Once it does start it smokes from all of the fuel.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: RV
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 year ago.
My name is ***** ***** I am going to assist you with this.
Is this unit running on LP or gasoline?
Exactly which regulator did they replace?
What color is the smoke - white or black?
How long has it been since this unit was run regularly?
When it does run, does it run smoothly, or does it surge?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
gasoline, white smoke, We've used the generator a lot. It never sits too long between uses, however it has always surged and had an issue with hard start. It wouldn't stay running unless you held the start button and we were told it had to do with the regulator. I'm looking for the receipt. Not sure which regulator it was.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Voltage Regulator is what was replaced.
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 year ago.
I apologize for not getting back with you last night. It is pretty rare for me to miss a day, but I got a bit over heated at work yesterday, and was not feeling well last night when I got home.
Surging is a sign of the engine running too lean - not enough fuel. It is almost always a carburetor issue.
White smoke is a sign the engine is burning oil, often caused by engine oil being over full, due to a carburetor leaking gas into the crankcase.
Check your oil level, and make sure it is not over full and does not smell like gas. If either condition are present, you will need to change the oil and take care of the carburetor problem.
As gas gets old, it turns to varnish and clogs up the passageways inside the carburetor, not allowing enough gas to get to the engine.
Today’s gasoline formulation goes bad in as little as 30 days.
This condition is cumulative. Every time gas sits, the varnish builds up just a little more, like coats of paint, until eventually gas can not flow. It will not happen overnight, but the symptoms can show up all of a sudden, even while simply stopping to refill with gas.
The use of fuel additives, such as Sta-Bil or Sea Foam will not stop this process from happening. They will greatly slow it down, but the gas will still go bad.
This can also happen even on a brand new engine or brand new carb. When the carb is built, it is run at the factory to tune it.
After tuning, they do not always get properly cleaned, or may not have enough/any preservative injected. Believe it or not, this is actually fairly common.
When this happens, either the engine simply will not start, or it will not run without the choke on (this reduces the amount of air getting pulled into the engine, changing the fuel/air mixture), or it will run but surges.
Another issue that varnish in the carb can cause is that the varnish may not allow the float needle to seal properly against the seat, causing the flow of gas to not shut off when the bowl is full. The result will be gas overflowing the carb and running into the cylinder, and possibly out the air intake. If the gas gets into the cylinder, it will seep past the rings and down into the crankcase. This will be evidenced by your oil level being over-full and/or the oil smelling like gas.
If this is the case, you will need to change the oil and filter, if it has a filter.
Varnish can also cause the float needle to stick shut, and not allow any gas to flow from the carb bowl into the engine.
The only 2 solutions are to either replace the carburetor or give it a good, thorough cleaning.
When removing the carb, make sure to take a good picture, or make a good drawing of where all springs and linkages are attached. This will make reassembly much easier.
Most people believe that cleaning a carb involves removing the bowl and wiping it out, then spraying some carb cleaner through it.
This is simply insufficient. It takes months or years for this accumulation to build up – it just can not be removed in minutes.
To properly clean the carb, you must remove it, disassemble it (making sure to remove all non-metal parts), and soak it in a commercial solvent for several hours. Soaking it overnight is even better.
Then clean all solvent off with a spray type carb cleaner, making sure to get lots of cleaner into every hole and passage there is. Pay special attention to the tiny holes in the bore of the carb, under the throttle plate for the carbs that have these holes. Use lots of cleaner. And make sure to wear safety goggles to avoid getting the over spray into your eyes. There will be over spray.
Dry the carb with low pressure compressed air.
When reassembling the carb, make sure to use a carb kit, when one is available for your carb.
Occasionally, even a good cleaning is not going to be sufficient, and you may end up having to replace the carb anyhow. Be prepared for this.
If for some odd reason this does not help, please let me know so I can assist you further.
As far as not staying running unless you hold the start switch, down, this is most often caused by the genset not producing power - which is most often due to a bad voltage regulator.
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 year ago.
Is this what you wanted to know?