Portable generator starts, runs for 1-2 minutes, dies


Old 07-06-15, 07:50 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 2
Question Portable generator starts, runs for 1-2 minutes, dies

The generator is a Homelite LRI 2500. It has a Briggs and Straton 133412-0070-1 motor.

It fires up pretty easily, and the RPMs start surging up and down. You can look down and watch the magnet opening and closing the throttle. This will last a minute or so, then it'll smooth out and run nicely. However, as soon as the governor tries to lower it down to idle, it will sputter a bit and snap to wide open throttle, which immediately kills the engine. This happens so regularly you could set a watch to it.

It had sat for a long time, so before trying to start it I thoroughly cleaned the fuel tank, replaced the fuel line/filter, and soaked the carb in a can of carb cleaner overnight. The carb was completely frozen when it went into the cleaner. I used a thin strand of metal wire and some cleaner spray to clean as many of the jets and passages as possible. It honestly seems to run pretty well, for some reason it just snaps the throttle open and stalls. If I hold the throttle around the 25% mark it seems like it'll run all day. If I take the bowl off and manually operate the float, it looks like there is plenty of fuel supplying it. Obviously, the ignition system works fine. I disconnected the oil level switch (it grounds when the level is low) to rule that out. My dad thinks it's the governor system, but there isn't much to go wrong with that. When running, it provides enough power to run an A/C sawzall.

Any ideas? I'd slap a new carb on it, but you can't get them anymore and the carb is extremely simple. I've practically rebuilt it already just from disassembling and cleaning everything. What's my next step in diagnosing and fixing this thing?
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Old 07-06-15, 08:27 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

It doesn't sound like the governor..... it sounds like something is still clogged in the carb. If you think it's the governor..... hold the throttle while it's running. If it stumbles or stalls... it's the carb.

I've found the only true way to clean a carb is to take it to a small engine shop and have them clean it in their tank.
Old 07-07-15, 08:12 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 2,365
A couple things to check, the carb bowl nut is the main jet it has a hole down the center and one across the bottom, make sure they are clean, there is an "O" ring gasket on the intake tube behind the carb it might be missing or failing, while the engine is running spray/dribble some carb/brake parts cleaner behind the carb, if the engine tempo changes you have an air leak. Have a good one. Geo
Old 07-07-15, 11:33 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 2
Will do. I haven't replaced any gaskets.

I've cleaned the passages in the main bowl nut a couple of times. They seem completely clear. I also thoroughly cleaned the passage running from the main jet into the venturi.

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