Kipor KGE12E3 Generator Problem

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  #1  
Old 04-18-16, 02:41 AM
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Kipor KGE12E3 Generator Problem

Good day,

I have owned a Kipor KGE12E3 10.5KVA 3 Phase Generator for about 1 and a half years.

The generator is used to run a 2.2kw 3 Phase Submersible borehole pump via a submersible pump controller.

For about a year, I had no problems at all with the generator. Then I noticed that while I'm pumping water, the generator seems to alternate between running normally and then "pulling heavy" as if additional load has been added. At first I worried that I had a problem with my pump, however, this soon proved not to be the problem.

At the moment the generator will run approximately 10-15 minutes under load of the pump, and will then move into the "heavy" cycle as I call it. The moment it moves into this cycle, the generator no longer continues to run and it appears that one cylinder is switched off. I unplugged the spark plug and discovered that if I pull a specific one, the sputtering does not change. It settles into a very uneven "idle" with sometimes back firing.

Then there are times that the generator runs as if it is brand new. It would run for 3 hours straight, under load, and not problems. This is less regular though.

Kipor has advised to change the fuel pump, and on their advise I fitted an electric fuel pump. This has made no change to how the generator runs.

I live about 450km from the nearest service agent, therefor taking it in for a check is not an option.

I have limited knowledge, but can find my way around, so if responding, please keep in mind that you're talking to a laymen!

Appreciate any response!
 
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  #2  
Old 04-18-16, 04:53 AM
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This website is primarily visited by North Americans. It would help if you told us where you are located and told us more about your generator as Kipor is not a common brand here. From the web it looks like your generator is powered by a two cylinder, V-twin, overhead valve gasoline engine.

You removed the spark plug wire from one cylinder and the way it ran did not change. That's a good indication that you are not getting spark to that cylinder. I would also test to see if you are getting spark to that cylinder when the engine is having it's problem. Often ignition coils and modules can fail when they get hot which could explain the intermittent operation. Get a good, known working spark plug and when the engine is having trouble pull the spark plug wire from the bad clyinder and put on the good spark plug. Then, while holding the rubber boot so you don't get shocked touch the tip of the good spark plug to bare metal of the engine. It should spark if the ignition is working. If no spark then you may have a bad coil or ignition module or it might be as simple as a bad spark plug wire.

Have you checked the valve gaps? I assume your engine does not have hydraulic lifters and it's valves need occasional adjustment. If the valves have worn it can cause an engine to quit or cylinder to stop firing when it gets good and hot.
 
  #3  
Old 04-19-16, 12:03 AM
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Thank you for the reply!

I am in South Africa and joined this site as I found quite a bit of information here that was very useful!

I followed your instructions regarding checking whether there is a spark while it's having trouble. Can confirm that there is definitely a spark. That rules out electronics I assume.

My logic then tells me that it has to be related either to the fuel supply, or the governor. Last night it ran for about 30 minutes before the troubles started. I kept the motor alive and played with the choke and governor. Took about 3 minutes to get it back to normal idling. Thereafter I continued playing with the choke and governor until I could get the motor to rev up to normal speed without it sputtering again. Switched on the pump, and it ran for about 2 hours before I switched it of. Continuously changing between running "normally" and then running "heavy", but did not start sputtering again. Pump kept running and was able to finish pumping.

The engine used in the generator is the Kipor K690 V-twin. I am struggling to find proper technical details online for it.

Have not checked the valve gaps but will do so over the weekend and revert. Anything else you can suggest?
 
  #4  
Old 04-19-16, 12:35 AM
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Playing with the choke indicates a fuel supply problem. However..... you said you had one cylinder not firing. One thing I'd try is to change both spark plugs first.

If changing the plugs doesn't help then the next step is to look at what creates the spark. Is it an electronic ignition module that could be going intermittent from heat.

I haven't found much tech info online. You'll need to check locally since that's where the machine is sold and probably manufactured.
 
  #5  
Old 04-19-16, 12:59 AM
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Thanks for assisting PJmax!

I can confirm that there is definitely a spark on the piston that is not firing, could it be that the spark is not sufficient? Would that also be related to the "heavy" cycle as described?

I have replaced the spark plugs multiple times, but will replace again and post the result. I could make a video of what it's doing if that is postable somewhere?

Also, the Kipor brand is manufactured in China (I believe they used to manufacture for Honda, but went on the sly with replicas and lost that contract) It is quite vigorously marketed in South Africa, and previous research indicated fair value for money, the reason I bought it.
 
  #6  
Old 04-19-16, 04:29 AM
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When I hear the word "heavy" I think of an engine running at high manifold pressure. It's a low throaty tone that comes when the engine is under heavy load and the carburetor is fully open. Running on one cylinder has a rougher sound and... sounds more like a single cylinder engine than a twin since there's a "bang" only half as often. A governor issue would simply be the engine not maintaining rpm when a load is applied.

I assume your engine has one carburetor. If it does then it's unlikely that a carburetor problem is causing only one cylinder to quit firing unless it has two barrels with each barrel dedicated to each cylinder. If it has two carburetors than it is a possibility.
 
  #7  
Old 04-20-16, 12:32 AM
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Good morning from SA!

Pilot Dane, my apologies, I think that my layman-ship is quite evident and may not have been very clear. I will try to explain the "symptoms" a little better by providing a step by step explanation of how things occur:

From new start (last run previous day)
a) Start generator and allow warm up run for about a minute (No problems, normal starting procedure)
b) Switch on pump (generator only dips on switch on, but immediately recovers and runs normally)
c) About 15 minutes later (on average, sometimes longer sometimes sooner) engine note changes to "heavy" note as explained by you. Normally this immediately results in the engine revs going right down, appearing to run on only one piston and sputtering and backfiring as previously described.
d) I switch off load at generator (pump controller has already switched off by now)
e) Turn the fuel lever right down to idle (usually still appears to run only one piston and sputtering and backfiring) (no change between switching generator of and restarting immediately. We have found though that if we wait for about an hour and restart, we can recreate to process up to this point)
f) Play with choke/governor until idling normally and choke and governor in normal position.
g) Start increasing motor speed turning up fuel lever slowly. This has to be done very slowly, otherwise the motor returns to the sputtering state and process to be restarted. I usually continue with this until I get the motor to run at full power again. I then rev the motor up and down a few times, and have discovered that the speed at which it revs up at this point is much slower than the normal rev up speed. IE, if it usually takes 3 seconds to rev up, it now takes at least 6 seconds.
h) Switch on pump. Sometimes it happens that when the pump is switched on, it immediately returns to the sputtering backfiring state and the process has to be restarted.
i) Once motor retains revs and power when switching on pump, it usually continues running in the "heavy" mode for about 30 minutes or so, suddenly changes to running normally (making it sound like the load has been switched off, but when checking, pump still runs), then after about 10-15 minutes, switches to "heavy" mode again. This cycle is repeated until the generator is switched off.

It sometimes happens that when it has run a while in heavy mode after the process above has been followed, and after it has then run for about 10-15 minutes normally, instead of repeating the cycle, the motor goes into the sputtering and backfiring state, and the process above has to be repeated. When it does this, it does not create its own cycle, and has to be goaded back to life every time it changes to the "heavy" cycle and then the sputtering and backfiring. There is no pattern to it either continuing to run in "heavy" mode, or bombing out totally and both occurs regularly.

Another issue is now raising it's head. The generator, although equipped with a new battery, appears to not charge it's battery and we have to manually charge it with something else. This is intermittent. We find that sometimes the battery is dead the next day (switches definitely off), or even at the first event when the motor has to be goaded back to life. Other times 2 to 3 days will go by before the battery appears to be flat (normally remains this long if a proper charge has been given from a charger). Don't know if this may play a role?

Also to confirm, it has only one carburetor, and it appears that it is always the same piston not running. (Have stripped and cleaned carburetor thinking it may be clogged or dirty... no change afterwards)

Trust I've shed light and not more confusion!
 
  #8  
Old 04-20-16, 01:45 AM
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The generator, although equipped with a new battery, appears to not charge it's battery
Not an engine person but from you last post I wonder if it isn't a generator (alternator?) problem. If the generator is bad then it may be running on battery only and as the battery goes down you begin to have problems because of lower and perhaps uneven spark. Maybe one cylinder pulling most of the power for the spark. I'd replace the generator but just a guess.
 
  #9  
Old 04-20-16, 04:54 AM
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I would suspect they dying battery is not providing enough current for the ignition system if it weren't for the engine returning to normal operation after half an hour of problems.

Are you absolutely 100% certain that both spark plugs are firing when the engine is having trouble?
Have you checked the valve clearances?

I'm back to wondering if it's temperature related. The engine gets good and hot and has trouble. One cylinder quits working and eventually cools until it starts working again.
 
  #10  
Old 04-20-16, 03:31 PM
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Do you have any idea who makes the engine on it? Some have a carburetor venturi for each cylinder and some have one single barrel to run both off of. With the cylinder coming in and going out, I'd suspect the coil, spark plug, or diode between the coils in the kill wire if equipped. This really sounds like an ignition problem... particularly like a bad spark plug or coil.
 
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Old 04-20-16, 03:48 PM
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I have to agree with cheese just off the top. In fact, I am betting on it being an ignition problem as I have a Kawasaki FH721v on a Deere ZTR doing the exact same thing.
If I advance the throttle quickly it does this dance, if I nurse it up to full throttle then put a load on it same thing.
It is carbon fouling plugs like no ones bizness and using gas like it was free. Just rebuilt the carb and rechecked it.
I get the same result with either plug wire off however....still ordered two new coils.....
 
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Old 04-21-16, 03:41 PM
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Just to add to this, new coils were no help.
cheese, what is with the diode? I looked on this one and found none but curious why would there be?
 
  #13  
Old 04-21-16, 07:26 PM
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De Beer

Check your compression on both sides. I can almost bet you have low compression on that one cylinder when it gets warmed up.
 
  #14  
Old 04-21-16, 09:03 PM
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On engines with two coils and a simple kill wire connected to them to ground them, there must be diodes between them to keep them from backfeeding through each other. If you get a twin briggs with a blown diode you'll see what I mean. The one coil with the blown diode will backfeed into the other coil and sometimes the coil will quit firing altogether or it may do funny stuff that makes you scratch your head.
 
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Old 04-23-16, 09:09 AM
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There is no diode per say in the wire between the coils, unless it is somehow incoporated in a special wire that acts as such. There is a faded label on the wire with some Asian looking symbols on it...???

I did try disconnecting both terminals and got the same result...
Time to eat crow and go see if one of the deere mechs will let me pick their brain.
 
  #16  
Old 04-23-16, 01:56 PM
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Try it without an air filter and see if it behaves the same.
 
  #17  
Old 04-24-16, 10:45 AM
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Any diagnosing and testing I do is done first without the air filter. Only put it on when its going to sit or final testing.
 
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Old 04-24-16, 01:05 PM
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Sounds like a carb issue mostly, if the problem persists with the kill wires disconnected.
 
  #19  
Old 04-28-16, 05:25 PM
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Tossed a 300$ carb at it and now runs like a kawa should
 
  #20  
Old 04-29-16, 05:33 AM
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I just hope debeerjohan comes back. I'm dying to find out if he got his generator working properly. I'm also curious to find out if he's a diamond miner.
 
  #21  
Old 12-13-16, 12:08 AM
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Generator issues

Hi DebeerJohan

Did you come right? I am also in South Africa and I have the exact same issues as you.The problem is I imported these units years ago and now I am sitting with 10 of them and can not sell them. The units I did sell ran for approximate 20 hours then starting giving problems. The revs surge all the time and it does not put out right amperage. Tried everything
 
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