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Old 09-12-2010, 11:31 AM
Kevbo Kevbo is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 66
Default Honeywell HW2000i 2000W generator service notes

I recently repaired an oil leak on my HW2000i inverter type generator, and did a lot of looking online for service information. I found lots of sales pitches and consumer reviews, but almost nothing of a nuts and bolts nature. The manual just tells you to pay someone else to do anything beyond changing the oil and spark plug. Nuts to that!

It is my intention here to try to fill a bit of that info gap. If you have never worked on small engines or motorcycles before, this is not a good unit to start out with. The compact design is the reason for this. It is literally a chinese puzzle. I think most SFT members can handle it, but Suzy Homemaker may have found her way here with Google.

The smaller 1000i might be similar, but I really can't say as I have never even seen one.

To be continued.

Last edited by Kevbo; 09-12-2010 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:36 AM
Kevbo Kevbo is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 66
Default So what do I think of this Generator?

Given the features and price, there is a lot of curiosity about these generators. Are they really a good deal? The service info is coming, but here is Kevbo's brief review:

These are nicely designed units, flat out amazing for the price actually. BUT: I think, from my unit, and the reviews I have read, that the quality control is lacking. They are great if you get a good one, but there seem to be too many lemons. I bought mine from an online seller, and I would not recommend that. I see Costco is selling them lately, and that is where I would buy another one if I needed it. Due to the gasoline, you can't ship one for warranty service, and Costco has a liberal return policy. Don't set the unit in the corner of the garage waiting for the next hurricane or camping trip. As soon as you get it, run it for at least 2-3 hours under moderate load, full load, no load, etc. Make sure it starts easy, works right, doesn't leak oil or gas, and take it right back if you find a problem. Mine had an oil leak that didn't show up on my first too short run, and I had to do without it on the first camping trip.

Now that I have fixed the oil leak, caused by a screw left out at the factory, I have a generator that works great and usually starts on the first pull, and always on the second. It isn't super noisy, it is fairly compact, and luggable with one hand. If you are not willing to work on it, though, then spend 2-3X more and get a Honda or Yamaha unit. Those are also a bit smaller, lighter, and quieter, and also offer the ability to gang two units together.

Last edited by Kevbo; 09-12-2010 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:39 AM
Kevbo Kevbo is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 66
Default Obligitory safety message, please take 2 minutes to read.

On fire safety:
These generators run on a highly flamable and volitle fuel: gasoline. You WILL spill a little gas if you work on them. If you are not careful or just unlucky you might spill a LOT of gas. If you are in the garage or basement with a gas water heater or furnace that could turn out to be a major problem.

Work outdoors. If you smoke, don't do it while you are working on the genny. Think about what you will do if you spill gas all over your workbench and it catches fire. Do you have a way to put it out? If you can't put it out, can you escape? If you have to escape the burning generator, will your whole house burn down?

Yes, I worry much. I once caught a motorcycle on fire while removing the fuel tank, and it was just luck that allowed me to get the large and growing fire put out and not lose the motorcycle or possibly even my house. Only a few melted wires. I have placed some reminders within this text at appropriate places. Please take these warnings seriously.

Oh one more thing: I did the experiment, and it turns out that profanity is not an effective way to put out a fire...though if you have a fire I suspect you will be repeating the experiment for yourself. Maybe it will work for you, but I recommend a class B rated fire extinguisher, preferably CO2, less messy.

Last edited by Kevbo; 09-12-2010 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:49 AM
Kevbo Kevbo is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 66
Default Getting her clothes off.

Getting the case off:

This is perhaps the worst part of servicing this unit. The case has to come off to do most any sort of service. It is not simple or quick, but I have learned a few tricks that help.

The case is structural. The guts are mounted on a sheet metal frame inside, but this is flexy and you will need to take some care not to bend it when handling the unit out of the case. The frame also has sharp edges, so take care not to cut yourself. Gloves might be a good idea if you need to move the naked unit.

If this is the first time you are removing the case, drain the fuel tank. With practice, you can leave some fuel in the tank, but the first time you need to make things as easy as possible, and taking care to avoid spilling fuel complicates things. Go back and read the safety post if you skipped ahead.

It is much more pleasant to work at a table or bench rather than the
floor/ground...especially if you are getting long of tooth like me. Enough primliminarys, lets get to work!

Turn the fuel valve off and remove the knob.

Remove the "oil change" service hatch, reach inside, and take the fuel line that goes to the fuel filter loose from the fuel pump. The fuel pump is inside the lower right corner of the service hatch. Looks kind of like a small aluminum hockey puck. Remove and store the spring clips from this and any other fuel or vacuum hoses you take loose. If you leave them on the hoses, they will soon get knocked off and lost.

Remove the four screws holding the black louvred cooling outletair/exhaust panel in place.

Pad your work area with cardboard or carpet scraps. Lay the generator over with the electrical panel down. (you did drain the tank, right?) Avoid laying it over the other way, as this will allow oil to flood the aircleaner. (voice of experience) Remove the four feet and the three nut/bolt pairs holding the clamshell halves togethor. The feet bolts hold the frame to the case, so the guts are now loose inside. Gently stand the generator back upright.

Remove the three 5mm allen bolts, two at the handle and one below the fuel cap. You will need a long allen wrench for that last one due to the deep counterbore. Remove only one of the two remaining screws holding the case halves togethor. (the metal bridge between them is likely to get lost if you take both out)

Pull the rope out, and tie a big knot in about the middle. This will keep the rope from getting sucked into the engine, which will waste a lot of time if it happens. Now work the metal insert out of the tee grip, and work the rope out and untie the knot in the end, and remove the handle. Now remove the screw holding the black cover where the rope comes out of the case. Twist that cover around so it can pass into the case. I wish they had made
that hole large enough to pass the handle.

Take out all the little black screws holding the electrical panel in place. Pull it out, turn it a bit, and allow it to pass inside the case as you remove that half of the case. You can unplug the panel if you want, or just lay it on the bench. Don't try to leave the panel on the case, because it is too easy to break a wire when trying to disconnect the plugs in the tight space available. I did that the first time before I got smart.

Now remove the fuel tank. and unclip the hose from the tool storage compartment. Work the case away from the guts, reach in with a stubby screwdriver and remove the screw holding the fuel valve to the case, and then the two mounting screws for the fuel pump. Now you can remove the second half of the case. Whew!

Reverse the above to reinstall the case. Take care not to allow the fuel tank vent line to get caught between the case halves. And remember to lay the generator over only onto the electrical panel side to avoid oil spills.

The fuel tank has two studs that fit into grommets in the plate above the inverter. If you are careless, you will knock those grommets out when you set the tank back in place. One will fall into the tool compartment, but the back one will fall into the inverter guts. A bicycle spoke is the ideal tool for fishing it out of there.

Make sure the starter rope is still below all the wires before you put that side of the case back.

Last edited by Kevbo; 09-12-2010 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:52 AM
Kevbo Kevbo is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 66
Default Cam chain tensioner

Not only is the engine overhead valved, it is an overhead cam design...nice! There is a self-adjusting cam chain tensioner on the intake side. This probably won't require any attention, but I had to take mine out in order to figure out my oil leak, so I might as well share what I learned.

No problem to remove, but you need to reset it (back off the chain tension) as you install it. The bolt in the center is actually a cover for the reset (and was never installed on my generator, the source of the afformentioned oil leak).

Take that bolt out, and you will see a slotted screw in the bottom of the hole. If you turn that screw clockwise it will retract the plunger. BE GENTLE! There is a clock spring inside, and a heavy hand can break it.

Also, have a VERY good reason if you take the adjuster apart. Spring loaded parts will fly everywhere, and after you find them, it is VERY tricky to three hours and 50 tries to get the GD clock spring back in place tricky.
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:02 PM
Kevbo Kevbo is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 66
Default About that primer bulb

This does NOT squirt fuel into the intake like the similar looking primer bulb on Tecumseh lawn mower carburetors. (Tillotson carbs) Instead it actuates the fuel pump and allows you to fill the carb bowl. Like the primer bulb on an outboard boat motor fuel line.

The fuel pump is needed because the carb is high mounted, and the fuel tank is not high enough to gravity feed. This is a safety feature, as a stuck car float will not drain the tank, spilling gasoline everywhere. The fuel pump can only move fuel when the engine is turning.

The fuel pump is of the diaphram type common on two-strokes. On two stroke engines they are powered by crankcase impulse. On this generator, variations in intake manifold pressure operate the pump. Pumping on the primer bulb simulates these pressure variations and pumps fuel to the carb. Once the float bowl on the carb is full, the float needle closes, and the pump stops working.

So unless the float valve is stuck open, you can't flood the engine by overpumping on the primer. Also if the primer bulb is not working then you will have to fill the carb bowl by pulling the rope many times. I suspect this is the cause of one of the negative reviews floating on the net. Most of the other reviews praise the easy starting. If the bowl is full, and the choke and ignition switch is on, it should take no more than 5 pulls to start the engine. More than that means something is wrong and you need to stop swearing find your tools, and fix it.

To test the primer bulb:

You are going to spill a little gas, so go back and read post three if you skipped it. Turn off the gas valve. Drain the float bowl by lossening the angled screw on the bottom of the carb. Drain the line with the fuel filter
by removing the line from the fuel pump or from the filter. Replace the line, tighten the bowl drain, and turn the gas valve back on. Watch the fuel filter while you pump on the primer bulb. You should see gas filling up the line and filling the filter. Give it about 50 pumps, and check that fuel comes out the carb drain when you loosen the screw.

If the primer bulb is not working you need to fix or replace it. In the mean time you can fill the carb bowl by taking a hose, sealing it into the fuel neck with a rag, and blowing into the hose, thus pressurizing the tank. Warning. Make sure the end of the hose is above the liquid gasoline. When you release the pressure, gas fumes are going to come back up that hose. Seal the end with your tongue while drawing the next breath, and pull the hose out of the tank when you are done.

Last edited by Kevbo; 09-12-2010 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:11 PM
Kevbo Kevbo is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 66
Default Sump Cooling Blower

The main cooling fan for the engine is located behind the recoil starter and blows air over the alternator, cylinder, head, and exhaust. There is a second cooling fan on the other end of the crankshaft. This sucks air over the finned oil sump and fins on that end of the crankcase.

The blower wheel is a nice aluminum casting, not plastic! It will have to come off if you need to split the case, or just replace the oil seal on the shaft. I mistakenly thought that was the source of my leak.

You do not need to remove the wheel to get to the oil level float switch. There is a sliding hatch on the bottom of the engine to get at that.

If you really DO need to remove that blower wheel, you will remove the 14mm nut, and find it has no tapped holes for a puller, the housing is too tight to get a gear puller on it, and if you could, it is so thin you would likely bend and/or break it trying.

The trick is to heat the blower wheel with a propane torch. Now would be a good time to go back and read post #3, even if you didn't skip it the first time. Move the fuel tank any other fuel containers far from your work area. Clean up any rags or papers you were using to soak up spilled oil or fuel. Spend a couple minutes thinking what could go wrong, and make sure those things don't happen. Don't set your torch down while it is still lit...too easy to knock it over and start a fire. The new trigger/piezo operated torches are a great safety advance and handier than a shirt pocket. Wish I had bought one years ago.

Take care not to melt the plastic cooling shrouds. There is some foam between the cooling shrouds that can hold spilled oil or gas. Aim the flame paralell to the shaft, and keep the flame in the cupped center of the blower wheel. Keep the flame moving, and don't over heat it. Just too hot to touch is about right. 150-200F or so. If it won't pop loose, cool it with a wet rag and then try again, repeat several times if you need to. Each time you heat cycle the aluminum wheel, it will "walk" a smidgen off the shaft. Better to take your time and not damage the shaft seal with too much heat, or bend the wheel trying to force it off.

If you need to run the engine with the blower wheel off to make sure the shaft seal isn't leaking, be sure to knock the woodruff key out first, so it doesn't get flung into your eye or otherwise lost. Mine was a very tight fit, but still better safe than sorry.

Last edited by Kevbo; 09-12-2010 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:13 PM
Kevbo Kevbo is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 66
Default Theuhbuhde, that's all folks!

The rest of what I did was just basic wrenching that you should be able to figure out. If I have to work on this thing again, I'll update with anything new I learn. At some point I guess I will need to set the valve lash, so there may be some new info there.

If anyone else has done work on this or the 1000W unit, please feel free to add any pointers to this thread.

I don't check in with SFT as often as a feller should. If you need a question answered, post it here so everyone can learn, but ping my gmail account (kevinferg) so I can check back here. Please don't assemble the foregoing info into an email address for the bots to harvest.

Last edited by Kevbo; 09-12-2010 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 09-14-2010, 05:24 AM
bunkclimber bunkclimber is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: maryland,USA
Posts: 416
Default Honeywell 2000i gen

I too bought one of these units(hesitate to call it a generator)-it's been kinda moody,sometimes will start on 2-3 healthy pulls,sometimes it takes 10 or more..I always run the old gas(6 months max)out,refill and prime it when I do a checkout before we do a major trip..we use it up in the mountains camping and it's been a bit tempermental but usually just works OK.Not bad for $400 shipped to my door,brand new..load tested it to the spec(18A)and it really struggles with inrush load but does settle out and make the current they say it can.Voltage regulation isn't bad,either.For my purposes,it runs OK now but upon any kind of failure,it'l become target material and get replaced with a Honda.
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Old 09-14-2010, 01:00 PM
Scott V's Avatar
Scott V Scott V is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Prineville Oregon
Posts: 3,292

Seems to me, by finding a used Honda/Yamaha inverter, you would be money ahead. There are so many good deals on Craigs list for 1000/2000/2400/3000 inverters. They go quick, but good deals can be had. They are so reliable, that buying used really is not a issue. (with normal maintenance)

My little Yamaha 1000 is impressive in the load it can start and run.(much better then the model it replaced) Although sometimes a quality old school type of generator can kick butt on the newer inverters in certain applications. I picked up a Thermal-arc scout with 17 hours on it, and it only puts out 2k on each 120 leg.(It is 240 volts unlike the Honda 3000) It can't be combined for a full output 120 like a Honda 3000 inverter can, but it's more then a match in motor starting capability.
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