How to Install a Electric Start to My Generator

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Most new portable electric generators have easy pull-starts or electric starters installed. Older model generators usually have the pull-starter with a rope attached. To start the generator, the user must pull the rope quickly to turn the crankshaft that starts the generator engine. Sometimes these cranks can be difficult to pull, especially for people who suffer from conditions that make pulling the rope difficult. You can install an electric starter on some recoil start generator models. If your generator has a ring gear on the flywheel and a place to mount the starter, an electric starter can be installed.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • 12-volt battery
  • Ensure the electric starter and installation kit are correct for your generator.

  • Locate the space on the generator engine where an electric starter should be mounted. Verify that the electric starter can be installed on your generator. Look for mounting holes to attach the electric starter and a "cut-out" area on the cover where the starter will extrude from the engine. Remove the plastic plugs from these mounting holes.

  • Remove the cover and examine the flywheel to make sure that it has a ring gear so that an electric starter can be installed. Replace a flywheel that does not have a ring gear attached. Use the replacement flywheel that is supplied with the electric starter kit.

  • Install the flywheel with a ring gear by inserting the flywheel into the opening on the engine where the old flywheel was removed. Install the starter by placing it on top of the flywheel and pressing it into place. Bolt the starter to the engine using the bolts supplied with the kit.

  • Attach the starter wires to a 12-volt battery placed beside the generator to power the starter. Attach the positive (red) wire to the "+" battery post and the ground (black) wire "-" battery post.

  • Insert the key and test the installation by starting the generator.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consult an expert small engine repair technician for tips about installing an electric starter on your generator.
  • Keep your sales receipt in the event that the starter kit will not work on your generator.
  • Exercise extreme caution when performing maintenance on an electric generator.
  • Wear protective eye-wear.
  • Disconnect the starter from the battery when the generator is not in use.

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