Well first issue after waking the old girl up this spring is the generator

McGarnicleMcGarnicle Posts: 202Member ✭✭✭
Fired up my genset Saturday for the first time this year, ran about 15-20min no issues and then died. Went to try and fire it up again, definitely sounds like it wants to start but dies like a safety isn't allowing it. When it was running, there was plenty of water getting pumped out the side, and just had the carb and impeller replaced last year. So thought maybe it was the thermostat not kicking on and it was over heating. Came back the next day to ensure it was cold, acts like its about to turn over and then immediately shuts down again.

Has anyone encountered this type of behavior? Is there sensors somewhere that might be faulty and preventing the motor from running? I'm already on the list for my mechanic to come take a look, but he was kind of surprised when he heard it didn't start the next day either because he thought for sure thermostat too. 


  • StodgeStodge Lake St. ClairPosts: 2,505Member ✭✭✭✭
    Check the motor oil and consider replacing the spark plugs.  There is an oil sensor that can make the shut off.  And they are tough on spark plugs.

    2002 FV 342 on Lake St. Clair - Past Commodore SHC - Vessel Examiner USCGAUX

  • McGarnicleMcGarnicle Posts: 202Member ✭✭✭
    @Stodge Yeah I checked the oil and topped it off, will do spark plugs next thanks. 
  • raybo3raybo3 Revere MAPosts: 4,217Moderator mod
    Plug............. These genny's eat them like candy.
    2002 342 Fiesta Vee PC Point Of Pines YC Revere MA. popyc.org
  • Liberty44140Liberty44140 Bay Village & Marblehead, OH.Posts: 2,371Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 12
    Agree on plugs first. When you re start cold does it start but then die when you release the start button? If so then it’s an electrical problem. Start with fuses and brushes. If it stays running when you release the start button and then dies then probably not electrical. 
    Wine-N-Down -- 2006 342 Express Cruiser

  • McGarnicleMcGarnicle Posts: 202Member ✭✭✭
    Same behavior from starting both at the cabin switch and the one on the generator. 
  • Liberty44140Liberty44140 Bay Village & Marblehead, OH.Posts: 2,371Member ✭✭✭✭
    Thanks but I asked when it shuts off, is it when you release the start button or after? 
    Wine-N-Down -- 2006 342 Express Cruiser

  • McGarnicleMcGarnicle Posts: 202Member ✭✭✭
    Last time I tried was from the cabin, held the button till the light turned on and I heard it starting, when I let go it got up to idle and shut off/light turned off, so maybe 10 seconds. Tried right after, light would never turn on and as soon as it got to idle I let go of the button and it died 
  • Liberty44140Liberty44140 Bay Village & Marblehead, OH.Posts: 2,371Member ✭✭✭✭
    Ok that’s good, if it kept running for more than a few seconds after letting the start button go then it shouldn’t be electrical. So agree with comments here to do plugs next. 
    Wine-N-Down -- 2006 342 Express Cruiser

  • zaverin1zaverin1 Harrison TWP ,MIPosts: 1,627Member ✭✭✭
    Its the choke and plug bro
    those kholers are junk 
    they always wants or need something 

  • Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Holland, MichiganPosts: 4,634Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Are you sure the fuel valve is on?

    2003 342FV "Black Diamond", 350 MAG MPI, 20P 4x4 Props, PC BYC, Holland, MI
  • PickleRickPickleRick Posts: 278Member ✭✭
    edited June 15
    Can you rule out carb issues?  Carb issues are my # 1 source of income.

    Buy orileys brand brake cleaner, it works well for both parts and carb cleaning and a diagnostics tool. The epa hasnt taken the flamable out of it.  Give a little squirt directly into the carb.   A real little squirt. If she back fires you want it to be so little you can blow it out like a birthday candle.  Keep a fire ex handy in the event of an issue.  Any time you're diagnosing or working on fuel system issues keep a fire ex on hand.

    If she fires up and runs and keeps running so long as you keep giving her little squirts its a carb or fuel delivery issue. There may even be a 12 volt fuel cut off solenoid on the carb that might not be opening up. Might not be getting fuel to the carb. Might just need a carb clean/rebuild.  Id imagine she has a fuel pump of some kind and many kohlers i see are diaphragm cam/crank/rocker arm driven and fail regularly with today's fuels. 

    For an engine to run it needs


    So long as the epa allows gasoline companies to save money by not putting fuel stabilizers in fuel as well as adding ethanol we will have loads of fuel system issues, more so on carb motors than anything else.  

    Im assuming its not a pre 83 model genset so it has electronic ignition, pretty reliabe on a kohler.  Timing and compression issues are usually rare and expensive.

    Today's fuels burn hotter than fuels of past so loose rocker arm studs are not uncommon if you do end up with a timing and or compression issue. Kohler sent out a service bulletin on their command series engine some 10 years ago advising more torque on the rocker arm bolts due to them coming loose. I even add a drop of loctite to them once i assemble. Your motor is liquid cooled where as i work with air cooled motors so this shouldnt be an issue for you but if you get that far simply removing valve covers can rule that out.

    Im a factory certified briggs, koher, honda among other brands tech fwiw

    Post edited by PickleRick on
  • McGarnicleMcGarnicle Posts: 202Member ✭✭✭
    Well I have a feeling my genset is toast. 

    So far switched out the plugs, topped off all fluids, replaced the AC volt regulator, and generator only stays running while holding the start button. When it is running with the start button pushed down it’s only putting out 45-50vac so I think the stator must be shot 
  • Liberty44140Liberty44140 Bay Village & Marblehead, OH.Posts: 2,371Member ✭✭✭✭
    The stator can be re wound, I had that done on my 310 for $450. The rotor would need to be replaced. Could also be the control panel. At this point I’d get the local Koehler dealer aboard 
    Wine-N-Down -- 2006 342 Express Cruiser

  • raybo3raybo3 Revere MAPosts: 4,217Moderator mod
    I had the same problem. Mine ended up being that it needed a new carb. Replaced it and been running great for the last 4 years...........
    2002 342 Fiesta Vee PC Point Of Pines YC Revere MA. popyc.org
  • PickleRickPickleRick Posts: 278Member ✭✭
    Will it continue running once the start switch is let go if you are squirting flammable carb/brake cleaner into the carb? (Should only be attempted if a fire ex is handy qnd only short squirts). 
  • Dude_HimselfDude_Himself Charleston, SCPosts: 555Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 1
    I'm not sure you'd see any AC voltage if the stator was toast. Do you have the tools to measure the frequency of the current? I'd hazard a guess you're not stabilizing the RPM - could be something simple like a speed sensor feeding the controller or the voltage regulator being shot.
  • McGarnicleMcGarnicle Posts: 202Member ✭✭✭
    Well after hours of troubleshooting, finally got the generator working. After replacing the regulator and getting the same exact issue I bought a new circuit board. While taking it apart to replace the board my mechanic noticed the connections going to the regulator were completely shot, replaced the connections and viola she stays running when releasing the start button. Loaded it up with everything I had electrical and she just purred for an hour with no issues, what a relief. 
  • rasburyrasbury Sanford, FLPosts: 5,404Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    sweet! Why do you think the connections went bad...just the environment? Looking at mine with the frame rusting away...it seems it is not a generator built for the environment it has to live in...
  • Dream_InnDream_Inn Annapolis, MDPosts: 5,364Member, Moderator mod
    @McGarnicle - if you can, please post some pictures of it so it may help someone in the future.  Thanks for the update and enjoy that generator!

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

  • McGarnicleMcGarnicle Posts: 202Member ✭✭✭
    @rasbury Not really sure, I had my engine bilge cleaned when they were detailing my boat this spring so maybe some water intrusion from them power washing it or when the regulator went out it caused flare up cause my mechanic said the wires were almost melted. 

    @Dream_Inn I will try and get some pics but I didnt see it first hand and now its all sealed back up but will see what I can do. 
  • Liberty44140Liberty44140 Bay Village & Marblehead, OH.Posts: 2,371Member ✭✭✭✭
    Great info, thanks for posting back!
    Wine-N-Down -- 2006 342 Express Cruiser

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