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RUSS
RUSS, SERVICE TECHNICIAN
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 3666
Experience:  28 YEAR SERVICE TECHNICIAN
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Generac 4400 electric start generator. Starter gear does not

Customer Question

Generac 4400 electric start generator. Starter gear does not appear to be engaging with flywheel. My guess is the solenoid is not kicking in. Battery was fully charged. Not sure if this a DIY repair. Looks like access may require to remove the fuel tank, maybe more, and I don't want to get into trouble.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  RUSS replied 7 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
RUSS :

hi does the starer spin at all can you hear anything?

Customer :

Hi, Russ. The starter does spin. You can see the gear on it spinning freely. It just is not moving into position and engaging in the flywheel, or its equivalent. That's why I thought it might be the solenoid. It's Midnight on Sunday night (went to the Braves game). We can pick up tomorrow.

Customer :

Russ, when you're back on line, I will be looking forward to your ideas on a fix.

RUSS :

There are two possible causes. One is the starter is not spinning fast enough to make the bendix engage. the other is the starter shaft is gummed up and needs a wire brushing and cleaning and then oiled. I would start by cleaning up the shaft. thanks

Customer :

Not sure what the RPMs are generated by the battery. I had the battery on trickle so I think it was fully charged. Is it possible that the battery's the problem? I can try to recharge the battery or check it and go from there. Replacing the battery will be a lot easier.

RUSS :

i think the batter is wishful thinking, but it should be around 12.6 VDC and no lower then 11VDC when cranking.

Customer :

OK. I will check it with my VM tonight. Should I just spray something on the shaft that's exposed? As I recall, the gear is pretty close to the housing of the starter.

RUSS :

SURE TRY WD 40.. It cleans and lubricates. It may even remove any gum on the shaft. Needless to say I like the stuff.

Customer :

Thanks, Russ. I will keep you posted. If we have to bite the bullet and pull the starter, is this something I can do myself, or would it be easier just to drag the thing in to local shop. Once hear back from you, I will hit "accept" so you get paid for your time with me ;-)

RUSS :

If you are reasonably mechanical, you can do this. Shop rates are around 75 an hour now. GOOD LUCK. You have to remember there is a remote possibilty the starter is bad

Customer :

There is only one Allen bolt that I can see from the side that mounts the starter to the engine housing and frame. I can't imagine there is just that one bolt. Sounds like I have to pull the gas tank to get at it from above...is there a shop manual or do I just start unbolting stuff until I get a good look at everything.

RUSS :

I know of no shop manual for the engine. There should be 2 or three bolts and " some disassembly needed" I hate those words!

Customer :

Thanks for your assistance.  I will get back on line with you guys as I press on. 

RUSS and other Small Engine Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  RUSS replied 7 years ago.
many thanks