Honda EU2000i not starting... - "Resolved"?

e9999

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I wanted to get my generator going. Have had nothing but great things to say about it. Normally, it would start right away (as in 3 or 4 pulls) after a year of storage (with carb empty). Gotta love Hondas.
But not this time. Would not start. Nada.
Stored carb dry, tank empty.
Gas is a tad old (Feb '21) but still works fine in saws etc.
There seems to be gas sucked in, plug looked wet after repeated attempts. And starting fluid did not help, either through carb or directly in plug hole.
Spark seemed weak and intermittent so I put in a new plug. Spark looks good after that.
Tried again, with and without starting fluid and after letting excess fuel evaporate from the cylinder. Would not start. Nothin'. Not a single pop.
Oil is full so hopefully the cutoff switch is not kicking in. (What does that thing do? Does it completely cut off the ignition? How?)
I don't have a service manual (is there one someplace online?)
The usual list of possible culprits come to mind but that thing is so compact, it's hard to see let alone get to just about anything in there. And no time for disassembly right now.
Main switch (but there is spark), carb messed up, too much gas, oil switch, spark too weak?
What is this world coming to, if even Hondas get temperamental...

Thoughts about possible causes?
 

e9999

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Yes, that was my thought as well, so I checked the plug which seemed iffy and replaced it with a new one. When I checked the new plug for sparks by touching its body to the cylinder metal, and pulling the starter rope, I did see consistent sparks. So the ignition seems to work fine (assuming the sparks are "strong" enough). That is a bit puzzling. And seeing the sparks makes me think that other electrical switching issues (like the oil level switch and the main switch) are not a problem (but that is just guessing).
One long shot might be that the carb is plugged and that I also did not get the starter fluid well enough directly in the cylinder so my starter fluid test is not good. Then again, I saw the plug being wet after some pulling so that suggests the carb lets gas in.

So, all that seems inconsistent and I'm not seeing an obvious cause as of now...

I may try some fresher gas but that is a long shot I think.
 

e9999

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Tried again. No start, no pop.
Thought that the plug and piston and air filter seemed wetter than normal. Suspecting Flooding condition.
So emptied tank. Emptied carb bowl. Tried. No start.
Emptied partially full (from lines) bowl again. No start but couple of pops (encouraging ignition wise?).
Numerous pulls so should be pretty dry by then. Bowl is dry too.
Squirted starter fluid in carb inlet. No pop. No start. Nothing. Zip.

Grrrr...
 
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Sorry this isn't clicky, but the service manual is right here.

Screenshot_20210922-060605.png
 

e9999

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fantastic! got them both. that will help. Thanks so much!
 

e9999

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I went back and tried the starting fluid again. Nothing. I would hope for at least a pop if there is good ignition. And usually I get at least a second or so of running time with starting fluid in just about any small engine. That made me look at the spark again and it looked pretty weak at first and after a few pulls / some time, no spark to be seen (I think). Maybe my imagination and too much squinting. But that plus also the fact that it looked like there was plenty of gas in the cylinder makes me focus on the ignition side for now. I may have just assumed too fast that the spark was OK.

Well, it turns out that compact as this thing is, it's actually not so bad to (begin to) disassemble it. Had forgotten about that. Outside panels come off quite easily. But they sure packed stuff in there tight.

So started to check things out:

main switch: testing good!
oil switch: testing good!
ignition coil: testing good!
ignition module harness : trouble getting in there, unlikely to be a problem so may leave it for later....

I want to check the air gap for the pulse generator next I think.
 

e9999

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well, I have done a bunch of tests per the service manual over a week or two after the last post. Everything looked fine. Never got to the air gap cuz that's a lot more disassembly. So just gave up for the time being since I could not find an obvious issue. Then I hear we're having an outage tomorrow. So I figured might as well try it again and see what happens. No need to reassemble all the exterior panels, just put all the connectors back together. Bit of starting fluid. Nothing. With choke, without choke, nothing. This is with fresh gas. And I see that gas does indeed get to the carb. Then after 20 pulls or so, a pop. Took me by surprise. Not sure what that was, maybe some plastic cracking? Oh well. Another 5 pulls or so, it starts. What??? Where did that come from? Ran just fine.
Since then I turned it off several times. Always starts the first pull afterwards. Overnight resting, first pull the next day. Seems perfectly fine and content and back to its former glory. Finished putting it back together. Still starts on first pull each time. Gotta love Hondas. No idea what I did or what happened.

Mystery fix..... But eh, I'll take it. Have some batteries and a big inverter ready for tomorrow, but dang it feels good to have my little Honda up and running again... I might run it just for the fun of it.
 
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Those systems aren't pushing much amperage. Doesn't take much resistance to pull them down.
I've "fixed" a number of our machines by the plug unplug method. Lol
 

e9999

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Yup, maybe just a bad contact some place that got fixed by connecting / disconnecting various bits. Or some bit of dirt in the carb got disloged after futzing around with gas. Who knows. Goes to show ya! Hope it lasts. Fingers crossed...
 

e9999

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Well, the Honda saved the day. Power outage today, as planned. So I played with a little solar system, batteries, and inverter to keep the fridge going and various computers, modems etc. Easy peasy. However, I did face a serious issue: Espressi! Our buddy Spressomon will relate. Now, my espresso maker takes about 1150W. That should be fine for my inverter rated at 1500W since it's all resistive power, but it would draw something like 100A on the DC side, which is a lot and I'd rather not go there.
But eh, it's a EU2000i so can do 1600 continuous, 2000 peak IIRC. So, choke on, first pull, it's going. 30s later: Espresso!

Ooooh, yeaaah!

Moral: Solar is Cool, but Dino juice Rules ! :)
 

greenbeast

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Funny, I just had to send mine out with identical issue. They're great when they work though. Stored in dry environment with no fuel and no luck when I tried bringing it back to life. On the farm these are priceless, hauled one around cutting shyt (pipe fences) up with Sawzaw saving myself some serious labor!!
Appreciate you posting this!
 

e9999

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^Kindly tell us what the cause was if you find out.
I have to say I was surprised when it happened to me. Very uncharacteristic. Those are good machines.
 

greenbeast

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^Kindly tell us what the cause was if you find out.
I have to say I was surprised when it happened to me. Very uncharacteristic. Those are good machines.
Will do, I agree I was surprised as I thought I did everything right other than run it every once and awhile. Local guy tried his best but no luck.
 

Weedhopper

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I have two I run in parallel and if I don’t run them every few weeks, good gas and stabilizer, they are a b!tch to start.

I have a landscaping company and we have all kinds of engines (mostly electric start). I think there is an air lock or maybe evaporation in the fuel lines. I think a primer bulb would solve the problems.
 

e9999

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well, I don't think there was an airlock in my case cuz gas was getting in the cylinder. No idea what caused the issue. But either taking things apart or just waiting did the trick and Honda came through... (such a pity their cars may well have gone downhill in recent years...)
I have been starting the thing every few days since the fiasco above. This is not a figure of speech, but just factual: it has started on ONE pull ever since.
 

Weedhopper

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A bad coil can cause symptoms like that too but that’s usually poor performance and intermittent spark, then it dies. Back pack blowers do that, never heard of a Honda.
 

e9999

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I tested the coil, that was easy, it was very accessible. Tested Good. Unfortunately, as I mentioned, OTOH the air gap on the spark generator was difficult to reach and needed removal of the whole starter assembly and more. So I never got to that one.
It really is pretty impressive how they crammed all this stuff together in a small package.
 

e9999

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update: for the last month or so, I've started it up once a week. Did start every time on the -literally- first pull. Weird that it's so reliable now after utter silence for a bit.












Come to think of it, I think a demon from the cursed nether small-engine pits of damnation just took over the Honda's soul for a while there, and it finally came back to being itself... Yup, that must be it.
 

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