Champion 2000w inverter generator won't start

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Old 11-18-19, 09:37 AM
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Champion 2000w inverter generator won't start

4 years old, couple hundred hours on it. Was working three weeks ago. Two weeks ago wouldn't start. Wouldn't start even on starting fluid.

Opened it up and didn't appear to be getting any spark. Did some additional disassembly - unplugged the front panel connectors and removed the switch panel. Tested the on/off switch. It's open in on and closed in off, so I presume it grounds the engine to turn it off. Looked around, didn't see anything else that appeared odd, unusual, burnt, smelled bad, or broken.

Found instructions at Champion for testing the coil:
Connect a 12V battery to the two leads coming out of the ignition coil. They are blue (positive) and green/yellow (ground and negative).
Hook the battery to each appropriate lead and then make and break the negative connection to force a discharge spark from the end of the plug wire as you hold the wire near the engine case (1/4 inch air gap).
If you see a spark during each make break cycle, then the coil is just fine, provided you see a nice and bright blue/white spark.

Fairly idiot-proof - did the test. No spark. I"m thinking coil is bad but talked to the local small engine repair shop to get one. As soon as I told him what it was he got a look of horror and told me they don't work on these 'cause at their $120/hr rate it's not cost effective.

Then he stated that this test was impossible and by connecting 12v to the coil it destroyed the coil because the coil only has 1 wire... And that the problem was likely a bad low oil switch (presuming the oil wasn't actually low, which it never is).

I didn't find any topics in here about Champion 2000w inverter generators not starting, so hopefully I can tap your brains to get some advice on how to proceed... Is the coil supposed to be "testable" the way Champion says? If so, since I'm not getting a spark and I have the thing apart, do I put in a coil? Supposedly if the coil passes (which this one doesn't seem to) I should replace the ignition module...

I haven't found any test for the low oil switch (or have I found the switch), so any thoughts on where to go from here?
 
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Old 11-18-19, 11:29 AM
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Either post a picture of the coil or a model number on the engine.

A battery fed coil can be tested like you described. A magneto type ignition module typical to small engines can't. It would ruin that module.
 
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Old 11-18-19, 12:00 PM
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That engine is apparently Chinese and the ignition parts may be set up differently from a common small engine ignition module. Your shop guy was describing what happens when you hook a hot wire to the kill wire on a small engine module. It would ruin it.

But if you have two wires from the coil and tested it the way the manufacturers says, you have to take those results as credible. It may be using an external capacitor.
 
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Old 11-18-19, 08:42 PM
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I think all of those I've seen have a chinese clone of a honda for an engine. If so, the coil is now ruined if you put 12 volts on it. Does your generator have electric start or a battery? If not, that seals the deal and you'll need a coil at the very least.
 
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Old 11-23-19, 01:38 PM
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Since there wasn't any spark originally, and the replacement coil was $12 including shipping, I just got one. That way if I did damage the coil despite what I did being specifically how Champion SAYS to test it, I've got one.

I also found the procedure for testing for a bad oil level sensor, and I'll try that too tomorrow when I put the coil on.

I"ll also see if there's a number on the engine, but as far as I've been able to tell, there's only one setup for the Champion 2000W Inverter generator...
 
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Old 11-25-19, 02:01 PM
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Coil was bad. Plugged the two wires in on the new one. Mounted it to the outside of the case (it doesn't go anywhere near a flywheel, just sits on the outside, apparently getting the signal to the coil from the wires), pulled the cord, had spark........

Put it back together, fired it up, and it surged, which it had started doing before it wouldn't start. Checked and found it's common for most everything small these days to gunk up or plug up the idle jet, so I pulled that out and poked a strand of wire in, shot some carb cleaner on there, reassembled, and it works fine.

It's still a little slow to figure out when you throw a load on, and it bogs momentarily before revving up, but it worked fine as near as I can tell - certainly as well as it did before.
 
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Old 11-26-19, 12:02 AM
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Good, glad you got it figured out. The coil having two wires might mean the 12 volt application didn't hurt anything after all. Normally they don't work that way but without knowing the engine (Asian import), it's hard to say.
 
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