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Ask Hank F. Your Own Question
Hank F.
Hank F., Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 14921
Experience:  Certified on Onan and Generac generators
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I have a ge 13,000 watt propane stand by generator that will

Customer Question

I have a ge 13,000 watt propane stand by generator that will not start. The only error code i get is FC_4 Engine Dos Not Start. I am getting to spark. I tested the the ignition mods with a meter and both are read 4.30 resistance. any suggestions??
JA: Do you have fuel in the tank? If so, is the shut-off valve open and the fuel clean?
Customer: yes
JA: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?
Customer: yes
JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?
Customer: no
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Small Engine
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I made a typo. I am getting NO spark
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
the engine turns over fast and I smell fuel
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 month ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am going to assist you with this.

What is the serial number of the genset?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I have the Briggs engine sn but will have to get the gen later. Prob won't help but it's a ge symphony purchased in 2011. Only has 116 hrs
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 month ago.

I will need to know the serial number so I know which controller it has.

Take your time - I am at work right now, and very busy.

I work 2 day jobs, and normally only help Just Answer in the evenings, but sometimes I can sneak in a question when the boss isn't looking.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Sounds good, thanks
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I actually wrote the numbers in the book. Model # 040324, serial #(###) ###-####
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 month ago.

Oh, a vertical unit.

There is a small black wire coming out from under the engine cover. Follow it to where it goes, and disconnect it.

Check for spark again.

Do you have spark now?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Are you talking about the generator cover over the engine or the engine cover covering the flywheel? There are many wires Are you thinking that there is a wire going to ignition module that is grounding it out or are you talking about another wire? Just so you know there are no wires going to the tabs on the ignition module I will take a look at it hopefully late tomorrow to see if there is a single black wire but if you can be more specific that would be helpful
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 month ago.

I am talking about the fan shroud - the cover over the flywheel. The small black wire is the shut down wire. It grounds the coil to prevent spark from occurring.

If you do not have spark with that wire disconnected, the coil is bad, the magnet is missing from the flywheel, or the coil air gap is too large.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
There are two of those coils. Neither one has a wire going to the taB. I checked the coil with an ohm tester set to 20 K and they both read around 4.3 It was my understanding that any reading under five was good. The magnet is there and I set both spacings with a business card at the magnet Any closer and it will scrape. I also do not understand why there would be no spark with no wires going to those tabs
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I just assumed there was no shut down like that and the engine just stalled out when the fuel supply was turned off
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I doubt that both of those coil's went bad at once
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 month ago.

There has to be something there to be able to provide a ground to shut down the ignition.

Without means to shut the ignition down, there would always be spark as long as the engine is turning, and the coils are good.

Spark goes directly from the coil to the plug.

With no spark, the possibilities are few:

Bad coil

Missing/weak magnets

Coil not adjusted properly

Bad plugs

That's it.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I agree, that's what I don't get. does that resistance reading mean anything? Both at 4.3? From what I read it seems those coil's rarely go bad and any reading under five means that it's good. How does this engine shut off without that ground wire ?? Just the fuel shut off ?? Seems crazy I will have to examine it more tomorrow or Sunday
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 month ago.

Engine shut down should happen when the ignition system is grounded to prevent spark from occurring.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
No wires on the tabs, magnet in place coil as close as possible to the flywheel, New spark plugs. Does that ohm reading mean anything to you. Sorry to keep asking you that but I don't want to throw money at it blindly
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I will recheck everything again
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 month ago.

What are the numbers off the engine itself?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
It is a Briggs propane professional series 810cc, sn 11 1020YG 44839. I will try to get back to you with an engine number if that doesn't help. I think it's a vanguard engine
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 month ago.

I will need the model, type and spec numbers.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Model is 49G575, type 0111E1, code 111020YG, there may be spark after all, I think my spark tester had a broken bulb I still can't see it at the spark plug but maybe that's because it's too light out. But I sure did get one hell of a zap from the tester itself. I will have to look up the engine specs later if you need them
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I adjusted the valves checked the pushrods and make sure the engine has compression
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Pretty sure it is getting fuel because I could smell the strong odor ofpropane
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 month ago.

If you got a zap from the spark tester, it is sparking.

Have you tried a new spark plug?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
two new spark plugs I also tried the old spark plugs which were in good condition. I don't know if this means anything but when I turn the flywheel by hand I can hear gurgling air escaping from somewhere around the engine I would imagine it's just some type a breather releasing internal crank case pressure? ?? This particular engine has a breather on the valve covers so I assume it's some type a breather somewhere on the engine
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Meant to say this particular engine has no breather on the valve covers
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Is that just normal, the engine releasing internal pressure?
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 month ago.
I am at one of my day jobs today, and won't be able to work on this until this evening. Sorry
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 month ago.

Ok, sorry about that.

Your engine does have a breather on it. It is under a separate plate on top of the engine, between the cylinders. There is a small rubber hose running from it to the air filter box.

I can't comprehend a gurgling sound, without being able to hear it,.

Have you checked the valves to make sure they are operating, and are gapped correctly?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I adjusted the valves. They were pretty much set correctly anyways. I will have to confirm that there is it actually a spark at the plug No sense in going crazy until that is definitively determined. So I imagine the only way this thing turns off is by cutting the propane fuel supply as there are no grounding wires on the ignition coils . Unless you know of some other way to kill the spark without those wires on the ignition coils. I know there is a low oil sensor but that sensor must be OK because I smell the propane when the engine is trying to start ( assuming the Propane cut off is what stops the engine ). I checked all the wiring and everything is intact. I was actually able to get it to start one time since this problem started but it hasn't started since.
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 month ago.

Grounding the coils is the only way to disable the ignition system.