Honda EU2000i not starting...

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 did not let the starting fluid from the air box go in 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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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.
 

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