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Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion Antique Generators and Old Electric Motors: Questions and answers about restoring and showing old power generation systems.

Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion

Homelite 23A Reed Valve


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  #1  
Old 01-16-2018, 05:49:03 PM
Ed Stoller Ed Stoller is offline
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Default Homelite 23A Reed Valve

Some Two stroke engines have a reed valve in the intake. Does the Homelite 23A have the reed valve?? If so, where is it?
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  #2  
Old 01-16-2018, 06:05:51 PM
s100 s100 is offline
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Default Re: Homelite 23A Reed Valve

Many (but far from all) Homelite engines have rotary valves. The 23A is one those. It's easy to tell, as these engines do not use a throttle on the carburetor as the speed is governed by a throttle plates of sorts on the rotating element of the rotary valve. So if the engine has no throttle control at all (as the 23A does not) or if there is a throttle on the carburetor that is fixed wide open (as the model 8 and 9 do) the engine has a rotary valve. For an exploded view of these engines dig up an old edition of Howard Sams' "Small Engine Service Manual". Those books are the only readily available source of information about these engines I know of.
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Old 01-16-2018, 09:12:40 PM
Ed Stoller Ed Stoller is offline
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Default Re: Homelite 23A Reed Valve

Thank you for your help. Your post led me to https://www.smokstak.com/forum/showthread.php?t=162496 and more help.
I replaced the primer check rusty ball with a 3/16 SS one but it still does not work. I think I will try a smaller, lighter one. I did not know the original was made of rubber and the spring was an odd shape.

My Homelite 23A s/n is 291242. Can you tell what year it is?

Also, is the fuel tank pressurized? There is a vent on top near the filler cap.
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Old 01-16-2018, 10:32:30 PM
s100 s100 is offline
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Default Re: Homelite 23A Reed Valve

The primer check shown in the illustration in the SESM is not a ball but a little rubber dart. A ball can probably be made to work but as you are seeing it will take some tinkering to get it right. There's another ball in the bottom of the straight (not j-shaped) tube that extends into the tank. The tank is pressurized, according to the SESM but I too recall seeing what appears to be a vent hole in that nub that sticks up out of the tank near where the carburetor goes. There are a couple of views of the fuel system but they are pretty small and not all that informative. The only other useful piece of information about these carburetors is that the initial needle setting is 1 1/2 turns out. I figured out how these things worked once but that was long ago. I haven't worked on any of these in about 15 years so that's not any help either. I don't know much about the age of these machines except to things, one, Homelite was bought by Textron sometime around 1953 - 55 so if your tag mentions Textron so it's no older than that. Two, the silver painted machines predate the green ones.

What are you working on? I have four Homelites, a 24A115 generator I bought back in the 70's, a 24AS3 trash pump and an 8S3 or 9S3 trash pump (tag i missing) and some sort of 24V DC generator that has never been fired and I think is WW2 surplus that had been built to provide electrical power in tanks (can you imagine the noise?) I'll have to dig that one out one day and look it over. It's been sitting unloved upstairs in my garage since I got it some years ago.
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Old 01-17-2018, 11:56:46 AM
Ed Stoller Ed Stoller is offline
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Default Re: Homelite 23A Reed Valve

Thank you again. Homelite Model 23A, S/N 291242
Like thefixer's https://www.smokstak.com/forum/showthread.php?t=162496

In addition to replacing the fuel filter and tank cleanup, so far I have replaced the ball check at the bottom of the pick up tube.

Plan B is to use a Tecumseh Pulse type fuel pump to fill the fuel reservoir in the carb.
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:06:26 PM
Ed Stoller Ed Stoller is offline
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Default Re: Homelite 23A Reed Valve

The tag.

This is work in progress so I was reluctant to post it. There is more to follow.
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Old 01-17-2018, 07:44:30 PM
s100 s100 is offline
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Default Re: Homelite 23A Reed Valve

That's a nice looking generator and a worthy candidate for restoring. In my opinion it will be easier and less bother to figure out what is wrong with the existing carburetor setup and fix it than it will be to add the external pump. But that's just me. Maybe the 3/16" ball is too big to seat properly in the tapered seat. Maybe try a smaller one? The original dart (for want of a better term) that Homelite used looks smaller than that ball. These carburetors are bizarre by normal standards but they are simple beasts once one figures out what everything is doing (this may take a bit of thinkin', and the fact that little literature of much value is available out there doesn't help - but it can be done.) It worked once, it can work again. That's how I always look at it.

Good luck!
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Old 01-17-2018, 11:00:09 PM
enginenut2 enginenut2 is offline
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Default Re: Homelite 23A Reed Valve

I revived one of these little darlings in 1978 that had the fuel system heavily gunked up from old fuel so I got very familiar with the unique system, but working now from memory I am refreshed by your pics. I will testify: NO the tank is not pressurized. The simple carb with no moving parts except the primer pump is fed by what is most like what is known as an airlift pump-look at Wikipedia for airlift pump for the details. It works to lift liquid (and trash) by introducing air into the bottom of a vertical tube where the air-fluid mix is discharged at the higher level. Your Homelite sends crankcase air down the small tube turned upward into the largest tube pictured and the lifted fluid is discharged into a small reservoir in the carb body--excess overflows back to the tank through the short black tube (rubber) pictured in pic #1. I believe the tube with the coupling serves the primer only. Opening the cap at the top of the carb allows you to manually fill the reservoir before starting. The lift tubes extend below the bottom of the tank into a well which is a perfect trash collector-- I remember a screen and some screwed plugs in this well that need to be clean.

A very unique engine. The aluminum cyl is chrome plated inside, the crankshaft is carried on all ball bearings as is the one piece rod. The crankshaft is in 2 pieces-NOT pressed or bolted together.We usually try to evaluate the integrity of our small engines without teardown by slightly turning the crankshaft back and forth, noting the "slack" which is usually rod big end clearance.Not these engines-the slack would be scary but is only normal clearance in the coupling of the 2 piece crankshaft. Books with my engine were dated 1952 and I have seen ads of this engine setup on water pump and maybe air mover. I have seen them in ac or dc generator version and some with odd cycle and voltage. I think ours descends from some WW2 versions I've seen pics of and I think at least one version was used as military aircraft auxilary power (APU).Some newer versions I have seen had a Tillotson small engine carburetor installed. I feel sure you can mount a small engine carb and tie it wide open and the internal governor will do it's thing to control the speed. By the way I think the gov is adjustable through a plug in it's housing which is the plate between mag and crankcase. If you are looking for an engine that will annoy bystanders more than a Maytag, this is it. Pull that big muffler off and it screams as only a two stroke can--the muffler runs hotter than a stove, and the fuel consumption is legendary-without load.
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Old 01-18-2018, 08:58:19 PM
Ed Stoller Ed Stoller is offline
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Default Re: Homelite 23A Reed Valve

Thank you S100 and enginenut2. With no tech data, I would be lost without your help.

Thanks to my wife and s100, we have a 9 edition of Howard Sams Small Engine Manual on the way.

The engine does run briefly if I remove the air filter and block off the air with my hand, but then dies. It is not getting fuel. It has a nice fat spark.

I ordered some smaller ss balls and O-rings today to try to get the primer working. They come by a bag of 100 so there is plenty to share.
What is the unknown tube in the photo?

I have a model 32 to get working also.
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Old 01-18-2018, 10:36:40 PM
s100 s100 is offline
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Default Re: Homelite 23A Reed Valve

Engine Nut, I am willing to stand corrected re: the pressurized fuel system. I am quoting directly from the Small Engines Service Manual text associated with that carburetor: "Fuel tank is pressurized force fuel up into carburetor." I must admit it sounded suspicious to me even as I repeated that item. But hey it is in print, although the pictorial clearly shows a vent hole in the tank.

That's the first wrong thing I found in the book since 1969 so I guess that's not too bad. It's been mighty useful to me over the years.

I'm not sure about that tube. The pictorial in the book suggests that is called a feed tube. I'm thinking that is what delivers fuel to the upper chamber. If the engine will not run on its own check this. There is a tiny drilled pasage running from the crankcase up what I will call the intake manifold to the carburetor flange. Looks to be beside the lower mounting screw hole. That passage has to be unimpeded and sealed from the outside atmosphere.That's the "power source" that pumps gas up to the upper chamber. The carburetor side connects that hole in the mounting flange to the J tube so if you give it an air blast at the flange end it should be noticeable at the bottom.

I've always liked those little screamers and if I can help in even a small hit and miss way to get or keep one running, I'm happy to do so. I saw in another post that you are thinking of using a lean oil mix in that engine. I would not do so. In fact I have always done the exact opposite of what you are suggesting, I run 16:1 in all of my two cycle engines and have never had any reason to regret or question that practice. The only exception and a bit of a problem is the old Frazer Rototiller engine, which wants 40w non detergent. It's hard to find 40w non detergent. For the rest I use Wal Mart 2 cycle oil. No idea if it has any high tech additives but I suspect that it is cheap non detergent oil with some blue dye thrown in. As I say no problems so far and none impending so far as I can tell.
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