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Kiss It And Make It Better; Not This Time

Generac NP-66LPG generator up in the snout of the Old Girl

You will recall I wrassled my Generac propane generator on the rv all the way back up out of South Texas when we returned from that West Texas Ramble road trip to Terlingua.   I am still fighting it.   Somewhere along the way, it locked up tight and would not turn over.  I tried jumping it across the starter solenoid and proved out the solenoid was good.  So either the solenoid was hung up or the flywheel was jammed up in some fashion and would not turn.  Just a whole load a bad crap for sure.

After a day or two to recoup from the trip, I had to do something because it was weighting down on my mind heavy.   That is how my OCD works.  I haven’t got much but what I do have has to work when called upon.  If it doesn’t it,  just eats me up.

Working on a generator on an older diesel pusher recreational vehicle is usually just a plain old bitch.  Back in the day, they just shoved ’em in the front of the rv usually. If you had room to check and change the oil, count yourself lucky.   Nowadays, they put them in a side box or on a slideout tray.  What I wouldn’t give for that option right about now.   I did manage to get the top mesh cover off the top of the generator and only lost a few cc’s of blood doing it.  I pushed a wrench onto the nut on top of the flywheel some way or another and managed to turn it past whatever the hard spot was.

I hit the starter button with more than a little trepidation and lo and behold, it turned over and caught.  Ran like a champ it did.  I tried to ignore the little crunch-crunch-crunch it made when it was turning over to start.   Right, I only wish.  A crunch-crunch does not make OCD folks rest easy. So I turned it off and re-started.  Muy bueno. Maybe I really did fix it?   Third time’s the charm.  Crunch-crunch-boxorocks-clatter-clatter and it started.   We were sliding backwards folks.  So off and then on again.  Except there was no ‘on’ this time.  The starter spun freely but it never engaged the teeth on the flywheel that would spin the motor to start the generator.

Outpatient surgery on a Generac generator-maybe I needed a bigger hammer?

Button her up, put the tools away, wipe the sweat  with a shirt sleeve and retire back to the Old Girl for some headscratchin’ and interwebz research.   Later that same day, during the hottest heat of a late afternoon, our gate guard generator quit for no reason. It  just slowly died away.   For someone who always has Plan A through D ready to go in any crisis, I felt just damned helpless.  After 20 minutes I got the big generator started and still have not a clue as to the cause of the power interruption. Unsettling.  Boondocking in this heat with no AC is not possible.

So I figure I have a bad starter.  I can’t even see a starter — it must be on the back side.  It could be a bad flywheel.  If I could see it I could tell if the teeth were sheared off or not.  It could be a bad bearing on the rotor/stator or in the engine itself.  It could be a combination of factors.  The only thing I know is it sucks because the generator has to come out of the Old Girl for repair.

OK, so maybe it ain’t that bad.  After laying in the gravels for 30 minutes, I figured out the generator is suspended from a framework around the top by 4 bolts.  All I gotta do is disconnect all the various wires and fuel lines and drop 200+lbs of steel down out of the Old Girl’s snout.  Maybe I oughta just leave it broke and useless up in the nose to provide extra mass in case I run over a horse or something in the road.   I could always buy a cheap ass Chinese generator and call it good.  I just don’t know.


End Note: Bourbon Cowboy by Slim Bawb from the Hillbilly Fellini cd.  A rollicker with a good share of fiddle and bad ass slide.

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