How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask PK. Your Own Question

PK.
PK., Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 1038
Experience:  Retired Owner of a full service shop and national parts sales website.
Type Your Small Engine Question Here...
PK. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My 2-cycle generator engine runs for 3-5 minutes, then shuts

Customer Question

My 2-cycle generator engine runs for 3-5 minutes, then shuts down. I can restart it immediately, and it runs another 3-5 minutes before shutting down. There is a "clacking" sound that seems to be associated with the problem. It seems to increase right before it shuts down. This happens even when there is no load on the generator.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  PK. replied 5 years ago.
Can you tell me the make and model number? Thanks, PK.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

ETQ Model TG1200 made by Eastern Tools and Equipment Company. FYI, Generator is running fine now, but has intermittantly had the described problem. It still clacks while running. I'm now thinking it's been shutting down automatically when it's been overheating. You can call me at(NNN) NNN-NNNNif you like. I'm in Houston without power, so I appreciate the help!

Expert:  PK. replied 5 years ago.

We're really not allowed to call or email, I don't know why your number showed up, generally it'd be all X's.

 

I found a parts breakdown of your engine and unfortunately it's of a design that's difficult to check out. Some 2-cycles allow easy access to the connecting rod and piston assembly for inspection and replacement, yours doesn't. Something you can check is the flywheel, hopefully one of the fins is smacking the shroud or something else is loose. I can't tell how the flywheel is secured from the manual. It shows a keyslot in the crankshaft but no key nor a key on the parts list. So maybe the flywheel is slipping a little. Check that it's tight and doesn't spin loosely on the crank.

 

What's likely happening though is that the piston pin has a scored needle bearing or the pin is loose in the piston. This creates a lot of friction and will overheat an engine and cause it to shut down. Take a long screwdriver, put the handle end to your ear and put the other end to different areas of the engine, like a stethoscope. The clacking noise should be easy to pinpoint this way. If it appears to be internal to the engine, you can further check this by removing the flywheel shroud and the spark plug and turning the flywheel back and forth until you hear the clacking noise. It could also be one of the bearing assemblies on the crankshaft, but it sounds like piston slap or a rod knocking to me.

 

The other thing to check is that it could be the shaft in the electrical generator itself. If the bushings or bearings it rides on are faulty then it could make a similar noise as could a loose magnet in the generator.

 

I'm sure you're right that the engine is overheating and shutting down. The last thing I want to hear from a customer bringing something into the shop is that it's making a "clacking" noise and shutting down. Compounding this is your particular position right now. You need this generator to work. Unfortunately, there's not going to be a quick fix if there's an internal problem in the engine or generator. So we'll have to hope you can find something loose. If the noise is internal to the engine, I'd increase the ratio of oil to gas, maybe to 40:1 instead of the manual's recommendation of 50: This can cause its own problems and may foul the plug and won't stop the rod or whatever from knocking, but it might keep the engine in one piece a little longer if it is an internal engine problem.

 

http://www.easterntools.com/images/tg1200manual.pdf

 

This is the link to the manual. It should be of some help in looking for the problem. Thanks and let me know if you pinpoint the noise.

 

PK., Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 1038
Experience: Retired Owner of a full service shop and national parts sales website.
PK. and other Small Engine Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Your answer is acceptable. The generator is running fine, but still clacking. It only cost $150, so if it crashes, so be it. But it's running for hours at a time without shutting down. I noticed that some trickle-charge transformers that I had plugged in that overheated (a lot!), so that could have been part of the problem. I'm no longer using them.

Anyway, thanks for all your research and timely responses. I'll troubleshoot the problem once I get power back.

I'm completely satisfied, so thanks a lot!

Best Regards,

Hal Payne

Expert:  PK. replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for using Just Answers and please come again. PK

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
< Last | Next >
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Curtis B.

    Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    6989
    have worked on and around most engine models for 35 yrs./Polaris ATV expert
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KO/koboma/2012-6-6_20917_DSCF1022.64x64.JPG Curtis B.'s Avatar

    Curtis B.

    Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    6989
    have worked on and around most engine models for 35 yrs./Polaris ATV expert
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/SM/SmEngPro/2012-8-5_3564_Rick1206290005Edit.fullres.logo.scrn.64x64.jpg Rick's Avatar

    Rick

    Factory Authorized Trainer

    Satisfied Customers:

    4126
    Outdoor Power Equipment technical trainer since 1990, covering eight states.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/GI/giftindex/2011-11-19_2715_JamesLWells500.64x64.jpg James W's Avatar

    James W

    Small Engine Troubleshooting Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    2978
    7 years as Mechanic & Parts Manager for Brother who has Owned Lawn & Garden Repair shop for 35 years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jonrk/2010-1-5_22551_jon.jpg Jon K.'s Avatar

    Jon K.

    Small Engine Diagnostic Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    2950
    Gold certified Stihl tech, Service Manager for a rental/repair shop.Certified in most small engines
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MR/mr2cycle/2011-3-12_03458_sears.64x64.jpg Vince O.'s Avatar

    Vince O.

    Small Engine Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    2374
    Over 30 years experience repairing lawn and garden equipment. Chainsaws, mowers,blowers and trimmers
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/rheisnger/2010-12-31_010856_41385_100001225699183_7012_q.jpg RUSS's Avatar

    RUSS

    SERVICE TECHNICIAN

    Satisfied Customers:

    1723
    28 YEAR SERVICE TECHNICIAN
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BriggsEngines/2010-02-26_230200_n1834842973_4823.jpg CJBennett's Avatar

    CJBennett

    Small Engine Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    623
    Briggs and Stratton Master Service Tech, Kohler, Tecumseh, Kawasaki certified. 18 years exp.