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Donald
Donald, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 1800
Experience:  I have 25+ years of experience repairing 2 & 4 cycle engines
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I am trying to start a 4000 watt ETQ generator that is 2

Customer Question

I am trying to start a 4000 watt ETQ generator that is 2 years old but has never been started. The engine won't turn over.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for choosing Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I will do my very best to get you the answer you need to your question.
You stated that you tested spark plugs for spark. Are you getting spark?
During the two years your generator went unused, was there any fuel inside your fuel tank, during this time? Are you getting fuel to your carburetor?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
there was fuel in it, but I when I checked the fuel line to the carb I drained a pint out into a bottle and it looked and smelled totally fine. The spark plug appears to be sparkinging. When I test it I get shocked if I don't have it grounded, but I only see a spark cross the gap once in a while. It's a brand new NGK spark plug I installed yesterday. I haven't taken the carb apart but the fuel line that connects to it is definitely getting fuel through and when I opened the screw on the bottom of the carb fuel drained out. When I did a compression test earlier today was at 90 psi.
Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for this information. Did your engine start briefly, after you sprayed fuel into your carburetor?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, it still won't turn over period. No sputtering, it looks like there is no combustion at all. How does the file get from the carb to the combustion chamber of the engine? Could be it something there?
Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

Your fuel gets to your combustion chamber, via your carburetor. Have you checked your oil? Do you generator have a low oil sensor?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it has a low oils sensor, but I fille it up and have checked with the dipstick. If thelow oils sensor was triggered a I thought that it wouldn't spark? Also, (here is where my technical lack knowledge will be a problem) I took off the metal cover over what I assume are the Pistons. One of the valves is positioned up and the other is down. The one that is up has no play, but the little metal diamond shape piece on the other valve is able to wiggle around.
Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

The valve that is up, should not have play in it, due to the tension from your valve spring. If you spin your engine, will both valves open and close?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
will using the pull cord spin my engine?
Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

Yes it will.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They both definitely move, but the same one is loose all of the time and can be slid around
Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

Are you familiar with adjusting your valves?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, this is my first time ever working on a combustion engine. Here is a pic to make sure what I'm talking about:
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This part cab wobble around
Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the picture. That part is your rocker arm. Its purpose is to open and close your valves. If one rocker arm have considerably more wobble than the opposite one, then you could have a partially stuck valve.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
that could possibly cause the engine to be unable to turn over?
Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

If you have a partially stuck valve, or if your valves are out of adjustment, yes, this can prevent your engine from turning over. If you rotate your engine until your piston is all the way to the top, and both valves are closed (compression stroke). You should have an equal amount of wobble on both rocking arms.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Should the valves mo din unison?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Should the valves move in unison?
Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

Yes, one should be opening, as the other one closes, except for when your piston is at top dead center, on your compression stroke.

Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

Keep in mind that your engine need three components, in order to perform to your satisfaction. It need Spark, Fuel, and Compression.

Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

You stated that you are getting spark to your spark plug. The gas you sprayed into your carburetor, provided fuel. This leaves compression.

Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

If your valves are not working properly, this could be our problem.

Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

So, if you are absolutely certain about your spark, and your spark plugs are new, then compression could possibly be an issue.

Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

Have you ever heard your engine run?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well ther is definitely not equal wobble in the rocking arms. One arm and the metal pin that is holding it in place (in my picture my finger is covering the loose one, but you can see it on the other rocking am) have a lot of play and can be wobbled and slid all over the place.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is 90 psi not enough compression for a generator, and could an improperly working valve account for the discrepancy?
Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

90 psi could possibly be enough, but I am concerned about your valves.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the valves are in the combustion chamber?
Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

Yes they are.

Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

Your valves are a part of your cylinder head, which includes your spark plug.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
is that they type of thing that can be replaced?
Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

Have you ever heard your engine run?

Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

We can continue from here. Thanks!