Generator question

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  #1  
Old 09-04-14, 06:36 PM
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Generator question

First post, long time lurker.

A buddy of mine gave me an old generator he had laying around that he couldn't get running. It is a 1000w Harbor Freight inverter. Before he bought it, he thinks it sat in HF with ethanol gas in it for a while. He then proceeded to put more gas with ethanol and the thing basically ran right for a day. He took it to his local small engine guy who never got it fixed, although he charged him each time. He gave up and let it sit in his garage for two years. Since I like to tinker, I asked if I could have it just to mess with. Got into it and changed the plug, got a spark, but the motor wouldn't turn over. I figured the carb was clogged, so I soaked it overnight and cleaned it. I took the governor off the carb to do all if this. The engine now runs like a top, but I get no power. Before I cleaned the carb, when it would sputter start, the board would light up as if it was good. I did unhook all the connections when cleaning the carb and took the plate off the power section. I made sure to label each connection and hooked it back up the same. Now when the engine runs, I get no lights or power, although the on/off switch still shuts the engine down. Pictures of the plate are at the below links.

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Any ideas what I can do or where to start to trouble shoot? How to go about troubleshooting? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Tinny
 
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  #2  
Old 09-04-14, 06:47 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Usually when servicing a generator there is no need to disconnect all the wiring.

Maybe with a model number we could find a wiring diagram.
 
  #3  
Old 09-04-14, 06:56 PM
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Chicago Electric
Item #65588
Also has 08h-08I
 
  #4  
Old 09-04-14, 07:18 PM
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Chicago Electric 65588 is correct. I can find the owners manual but no wiring diagram.

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Last edited by PJmax; 09-04-14 at 07:40 PM.
  #5  
Old 09-04-14, 07:20 PM
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You say generator, which it obviously is with a motor, but then you reply "inverter" . What size of generator is it? What lights are you refering to when you stated " the board would light up"? Is this a 900 - 1000 watt small/quiet generator?
 
  #6  
Old 09-04-14, 07:27 PM
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Small quiet 1000w. Tailgate type. When I was looking at stuff online, everything called it an "inventor generator". The overload light was blinking when it was sputtering which the manual for the 2000w version, only one I could find, said was normal on start up. I guess I just thought this meant that, at least, the electrical still worked at the time.
 
  #7  
Old 09-04-14, 07:30 PM
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Flashing the fields

Sometimes when generators sit too long the field looses it's flash, not sure if this generator falls under the same catagory, I work on larger generators. Like a car alternator, it has to have voltage to start a magnetic field so it can generate the voltage and increase the amps out. By flashing the field, it magnatizes the field so that it can generate the power out required.
 
  #8  
Old 09-04-14, 07:37 PM
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Manual

See if this address does any good for you. I see now what you mean by inverter generator, it is a small generator which takes the small voltage then inverts it to a higher A/C, sorry. I will study it and probably ask you more questions soon.

Chicago electric 65588 Manuals
 
  #9  
Old 09-04-14, 07:42 PM
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Yes.... that is the owners manual. No wiring diagrams in there.
You need to find service manual.
 
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Old 09-04-14, 07:43 PM
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DC outlet.

Does the motor stay running even when the overload light is on? if so, check to see how much voltage is coming to the DC outlet.
 
  #11  
Old 09-04-14, 07:52 PM
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Overload light doesn't go on anymore. I didn't test any outlets since I couldn't get a 60w bulb work light to turn on.
 
  #12  
Old 09-04-14, 07:55 PM
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Wiring

Coming off the rotor shield you may only have 2-3 wires, DC volts. It appears to me that it is a small 12vdc generator with a 900 watt inverter attached to it. There is a diagram of the unit on page 17, however it does not give a good view of all angles, check to see if the wire is attached to the inverter or broken somewhere along the route.
 
  #13  
Old 09-04-14, 07:55 PM
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I mean test with a multimeter or anything
 
  #14  
Old 09-04-14, 08:01 PM
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DC outlet.

The DC outlet will only put out 12 volts DC, like a battery charger, however it has a special angled plug to go into the socket.
 
  #15  
Old 09-04-14, 08:19 PM
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Just checked it with the engine running and it showed it was getting juice! Still nothing from the 120 outlets
 
  #16  
Old 09-04-14, 08:23 PM
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Dc

DC that is. I ran the multimeter on the DC outlet.
 
  #17  
Old 09-04-14, 08:36 PM
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Inverter

Sounds like the inverter is bad, look at the board and see if anything is fried or broken. Sometimes the boards look burnt in places near the transistors or diodes, that is normal, but sometimes a resistor or capacitor will be broken/burnt in half, or a cold solder joint on the back of the board. Good luck, let me know, for now I have to go back to work.
 
  #18  
Old 09-05-14, 02:46 PM
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Tinman14, if you have 12 vdc, then the bridge rectifier is good, if you look on the board, you may find a manufacturer for the board and possibly get a new one, but that may be more expensive than the whole unit. If you have a good electronic repair shop in the area, they might look at it for you.
 
  #19  
Old 09-07-14, 02:36 PM
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Inverter

So, I got to the inverter and, although it showed from sitting for a long time, nothing looked burned and everything was plugged in. See pic at the link below:

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Multimeter showed that all connections were good. Model # for the inverter was: hf1-1000-120

Searching that model # brings up Harbor Freight's current stand alone inverter you would use with a battery. Doubt I could hardware that sucker into the generator.

As DiamondDave said, probably need to take it to someone who knows the electronics. Really frustrating getting the old motor running, only to find this issue. Any creative ideas, besides boat anchor, for this engine if I can't get the electronics working? Thanks for everyone's help.
 
  #20  
Old 09-07-14, 09:38 PM
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My personal opinion is that a generator that small is nothing but a toy and not worth anything to begin with.
 
  #21  
Old 09-15-14, 06:26 PM
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Update

Since the 10v DC had juice, I purchased a cheap Harbor Freight inverter to see if I could hook it up. The two wires going to the DC from the generator were black and white. I guessed black = neg and white= pos. Got the engine cranked and hooked the inverter up neg (black to black) and pos (white to red clamp). Nothing lit up on the inverter. I went and tested it on my truck battery, and although it never showed green for ready, it did show red. I thought I at least got a working inverter, so maybe my wires were backward coming from the generator. (The instructions said the inverter would be red until it charged up). Went back and reversed the wires. The light went red, but a few seconds later there was an audible pop from the inverter. Why would I get nothing wired one way, then overload it the other?

Inverter model link
12V Power Inverter - 1500 Watts Max
 
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