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1951 Kohler 350M21 350 Watt Generator Set #154768


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  #61  
Old 02-27-2019, 05:04:08 PM
Vanman Vanman is online now
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 Watt Generator Set #154768

One Kohler buffs another...
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:39:19 PM
Zephyr7 Zephyr7 is offline
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 Watt Generator Set #154768

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Originally Posted by Vanman View Post
Ah, yes, I can identify with the good old worm drive Skilsaw! I have a neat, OLD 8-1/4" job, and it is indeed a BEAST! Needs a shaft seal though. Likes to mark it's territory lol.

The little Kohler is not going to run this guy.
Gray body and brush ports does make that guy as an oldie :-) great saws.

Iíve seen some of the really old (40s/50s) versions of those saws that still work. As I understand it, skil can still provide a lot of parts so you should ask them about that shaft seal you need.

Bill
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  #63  
Old 02-27-2019, 11:47:14 PM
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 Watt Generator Set #154768

Oh wow, that's neat! It never occurred to me to try to get parts from Skil. I LOVE companies that support their older stuff. Maybe they could tell me more about the saw based on the serial number.

It's the only working circular saw I have. I enjoy living in the past. I pulled it all apart and cleaned it up when I got it. It works perfectly other than the oil leak.
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  #64  
Old 02-28-2019, 03:53:34 AM
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 Watt Generator Set #154768

Had the little Kohler running one of the lighting circuits, just for fun. Can see the 15 cps flicker in the lamps.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KmX0xy...ature=youtu.be
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Old 02-28-2019, 08:33:11 AM
Mike Cushway Mike Cushway is offline
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 Watt Generator Set #154768

Vanman,
I have really enjoyed this post. We think a lot alike. I gravitate to "older is better" every time. Case in point. A logging contractor keeps his grader here in my yard as its only 5 miles from the cut he is working on. Every substantial snow means 11 miles of road needs grading. He came the other morning ro start it up at -17. He pulled out his salamander and Honda generator. Pull as he may, th Honda would not even pop. I went in the shop and pulled out my old kohler 3MM55. I choked it and it started first pull. That even suprised me, but I grinned to myself. After about 20 minutes, I decided to check the fuel....nearly empty. I asked if he had any gas and he dug out an old ratty red can(mistake). As I was filling the genny it sputtered and quit. I smelled the can, yup diesel. I was not happy. Anyway, I said follow me with your extension cord. I took him into my Kohler command center and with a flip of the light switch, the 1A22 instantly fired up. Now he was grinning. He was fascinated with my old school gennys and meters. I'll take the old everytime.
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  #66  
Old 02-28-2019, 10:38:26 AM
Zephyr7 Zephyr7 is offline
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 Watt Generator Set #154768

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Originally Posted by Vanman View Post
Had the little Kohler running one of the lighting circuits, just for fun. Can see the 15 cps flicker in the lamps.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KmX0xy...ature=youtu.be
It picks up the flicker a little. It probably looks better in person though

Was this a special purpose genset? Iíd always thought the 15Hz stuff was used mostly to run motors back in the day. Lighting-specific stuff was higher frequency for less flicker. I know there were some places where the lights ran on low frequency because it shared a power supply with something else (famously old subway/railway traction power lighting at the stations).

Bill
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  #67  
Old 02-28-2019, 12:04:09 PM
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 Watt Generator Set #154768

Bill,

Uh oh, that's my bad. I should have been more clear. Being single cylinder, running at 1800 rpm, there are 15 power strokes per second. That results in the visible flicker in the lamps. The current is still 60 cycle.

These were marketed as portable sets to supply lights and radio in remote places like camping or small cabins and the like.

Mike,

I love your power station! To me, that's living the dream. I have a 1A21 project, but it has taken a back seat to more pressing projects for a while.

This little Kohler works so well, it also starts on just one wrapping and pull of the rope. Granted it's warm here.

Keith

Last edited by Vanman; 02-28-2019 at 12:34:26 PM.
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Old 02-28-2019, 09:05:06 PM
Zephyr7 Zephyr7 is offline
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 Watt Generator Set #154768

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Bill,
Uh oh, that's my bad. I should have been more clear. Being single cylinder, running at 1800 rpm, there are 15 power strokes per second. That results in the visible flicker in the lamps. The current is still 60 cycle.
Keith
I thought it didnít look very flicker-y in the video, but I thought it was just the video frame rate couldnít pick it up very well. It makes a lot more sense that itís just the engine power strokes. Small flywheel on that little guy, or just more common to see the flicker on the itty bitty gensets? Iíve never worked with one so small.

Bill
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  #69  
Old 02-28-2019, 11:16:01 PM
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 Watt Generator Set #154768

The visible flicker seems to just be a characteristic of the 1800 rpm singles. I consider it an endearing trait. I'm sure if they were built heavy enough they could be smooth, but they're usually meant to be somewhat portable. This 350 watt set is only 70 lbs!

The Onan ones even have anti-flicker points that I believe cut in a little extra field resistance during the power stroke. Pretty clever.

Keith
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Old 03-26-2019, 12:12:45 AM
sbbloom69 sbbloom69 is offline
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 Watt Generator Set #154768

Hi Vanman. I've followed you on several other Smokstak threads. I'm the guy that has 3 of the 350M21 plants. Mine were Civil Defense issue from the 50's right here in Los Alamos. Apparently we had several satellite CD centers, each with a generator, an old tube receiver, lights, and some CD emergency food and water. The 3 light plants plus a 1963 Onan 305CCK were donate to our Ham Club in the late 1960's. They were in the basement of our Ham Club for decades. They were started and run a couple times a year until the caretaker left this world. Two of my Kohlers run great. The paint was mostly intact, just a little varnish in the tanks, and a tiny deposit in the Carter N carb bowls. I replaced the fuel line fitting ferrels, changed the oil (almost new-looking, still transparent!), and the two started right up. Someone totally screwed up the carb settings and governors.

I have not had anything removed from the two runners, just the clean and adjust. I love the 1800rpm 4-pole machines. The air cleaners were completely stock and intact, as was the shielded spark plug covers.

The levers and governors were pretty much wired out of the way and the idle screw was set to give an average speed, frequency and voltage. I was able to undo the bodge and fix that. The third one has always given me problems. It now has no spark and I can't isolate the problem yet. I'll have to pull the flywheel. I have an official Civil Defense green Kohler instruction / service manual somewhere. I have to find it.

Did you find a compatible condenser?

So, I now have the 3 Kohler (2 run), 2 Onan 305CCK's (one contractor, one Remote with battery start/exciter), a 90's Generac (Craftsman), a Gilette / B&S, and a Harbor Freight 800w Yamaha clone (2-cycle). I'm ready for Doomsday.

Stu
Los Alamos, NM

BTW, I found the Kohler Electric Plant 350M21-K7 Operation and Maintenance Manual with Parts Catalog. I'll scan it and make it a PDF to upload.

Stuart
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  #71  
Old 03-26-2019, 12:42:26 PM
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 Watt Generator Set #154768

Hi Stu, I do recall your nice collection of three of these little guys. Glad to hear you have gotten them sorted out. Amazing the things that get "done" to old machines over the years.

Your lack of spark may just be dirty points. I got a deal on a 1959 Briggs Model 23 driven Winpower because the seller couldn't get it running. Took it home, cleaned the points, and it's been serving faithfully ever since.

As to the condenser, I took it down to the FLAPS and showed them. They brought out a few and I picked one that most looked adaptable. It took some minor modifications to it's little bracket, but I got it to fit, and it"s been working great ever since.

Interesting about the little two stroke Harbor Freight gen. How do you like it? I'd been feeling a tug every time I'd see an ad for them. But then I learned a friend had one, and it failed. It was within warranty, so he got a new one. That one lasted longer, but ultimately failed out of warranty. I don't recall exactly what went wrong. Something engine mechanical. I think at least one was a shaft seal that failed. Of course a two stroke won't run well with a bad crank seal.

Keith
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Old 03-26-2019, 05:20:35 PM
sbbloom69 sbbloom69 is offline
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 Watt Generator Set #154768

Hi,
The clone 2-stroke was sold by HF, and Cummins Tools (they use to travel the country in 1 or 2 semi rigs and sold the same stuff as HF. I don't think they're around anymore). The original engine was designed for Yamaha (late 90's). There are the same clone sellers on Ebay and Amazon too. Same basic engine, around 700 to 1000 watts.

I got mine at a scratch and dent sale for about $39. I kept it in the box for 5 years and finally broke it in two years ago. Apparently, there's a few things to do that will greatly enhance the reliability:
1. change the spark plug to something not Chinese
2. Pull the shroud and then the carburetor. This exposes the reed plate. Pull that too. Put some sealer around the intake manifold / reed plate box / carb gaskets, then put some star lock washers and/or some soft Lock-Tite on the studs/nuts. Apparently, the carb bolts come loose and cause induction of air and/or reeds into the crankcase. If you do the mod, it never happens.
3. Do a proper break-in. I did mine for about 5 hours total, using mixed third, half load and full load runs.

I have about 15 hours on it now. It's light, fairly quiet, and seems to work well. I've not had any problems. It runs a little rich here at 7000 feet where I live. The altitude also means I lose about 15 percent of my hp/kw. I can only load it to about 600 watts.

Finally, I found my Kohler 350M21-K7 Operations and Maintenance manual. It also covers the 350C21 (electric start), and the 500CE1-K7 (500 watt DC battery charger generator). I have it at high resolution in PDF.

Are you interested in a copy, or do you have one? The manual I got was in very good condition. It was printed in 1953. The carb in the manual is a Tilotson. Mine is the Carter N like yours I believe. I'm not sure, but I think the early (1949 - 1952) K7 engines had the Carter, and the Tilotson was later. I may have it backwards.

If anyone else needs this manual, I can provide. Is there a place to upload large PDF files versus the photo size limit?

I don't want to break any rules. It's 7.1 mb since I scanned it at 400dpi (photos and CAD drawings are really sharp). I've included 3 pages extracted from the PDF I made.

Stu
Los Alamos, NM
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  #73  
Old 03-26-2019, 10:34:46 PM
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 Watt Generator Set #154768

Good to know about the little HF gennies. If I ever pick one up I'll have to look into the mods. Hard to go wrong at $39.

I believe I also have a manual, but would graciously accept a digitized copy as well, so I could also share it.

I don't believe there is a place available here for large files. I know the Onan guys maintain a site, but there isn't one for Kohlers.

I'll send my email through the Stak.

Keith
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Old 03-29-2019, 10:18:20 PM
sbbloom69 sbbloom69 is offline
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 Watt Generator Ignition

Hi Keith (or anyone else with suggestion),
I pulled my 3 350M21 gennys out to fire up. My best one fired up after I smacked the carb a few times to close the fuel needle. I ended up pulling the carb and giving it a quick clean. There was a little varnish growing inside. Then I fired up #2. It ran, but ran badly. I had read your posts and Boilermaker's. I rememberers that the governor had no spring back-pressure like my #1 engine. Sure enough, the ring / tang / washer hook was not catching the governor shaft hook. I put it all back together, but the governor speed droop was terrible. It wouldn't carry 250 watts and the throttle was fully open. I pulled the carb to clean and noticed the float was very far off (too low fuel level). I adjusted it, finished the cleaning, and put it back together. It ran better, and can pull over 300 watts now, but the speed droop is still not good. My #1 droops 62 no load, down to 59 hz full load. The #2 runs from 67 down to 57 hz no load to full load. Compression seems to be down, so I'll check the valves later. That's too much droop. Then on to #3. No spark.

I pulled the mag apart and took it off the engine. Open circuit on the primary, so suspected the worse, and open coil winding. Just when I was giving up, I notice a brief reading when I wiggled the wire that goes to the points. You can see in the picture what the problem was. The primary wire (solid copper), is inside the fabric cable cover, along with the secondary (braid). The primary was severed. It has a thin painted or rubber insulation. They tie together at the points. I had what I think are valid readings after I soldered the wires back together with a splice:
Primary: 0.8 ohms
Secondary (plug terminal to points): 3.9 kOhms.
Condenser checked at 0.2 uF on my capacitor tester (this should be good)

Seems OK. I cleaned the points and checked for proper insulation stack on the points screw. Also, I lifted the soft rubber insulator block that holds the plug wire agains the coil. The plug wire is just wrapped 3 times around the coil secondary post out the side of the coil. It's not screwed or soldered. Is this correct?

Anyway, I put it all back together. With the flywheel off, I spun the shaft and no spark. Actually, I got the teeniest little spar when I held the plug wire against a ground.

So, everything individually checks out, but no spark. I'm thinking of taking it back apart and installing a new plug wire (I have some copper core wire I just fixed my Onan 305CCK with last weekend).

Any other ideas? The wire is the only suspect I can think of. Might try another condenser too, even though mine checks out good.

Stu
Los Alamos, NM
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Old 03-29-2019, 10:30:37 PM
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Default My Kohler 350M21 350 Watt Generator Set

Here's my #3 Kohler 350M21. Sick ignition. It's in such good shape. I really need a third running one to go with the other 2.

Stu
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  #76  
Old 03-30-2019, 02:03:32 AM
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 Watt Generator Set #154768

Hey Stu, you do have some beauties there.

Speaking from perplexing personal experience, on the condenser, it is possible for them to test good with an ordinary capacitance meter, yet break down at the high voltages encountered during operation. I would try another known good one and see what happens.

Some thoughts on the low power, maybe timing / points opening timing (set by their gap), mixture as you have experimented with, and loss of compression as you mentioned. But also I recall your elevation is high.

I'm at ~400 feet here, and could easily push 450 watts (at considerably below rated voltage). I had a wattmeter hooked up when I was running the angle grinder and so could easily vary the load while watching the meters. I didn't have a frequency meter hooked up, but it didn't really bog down, just barked louder.

For high elevation, you might try advancing the timing. You could probably get away with a little by setting the points gap a wee bit greater than spec.

Keith
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Old 03-30-2019, 12:13:30 PM
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 Watt Generator Set #154768

Thanks for the input Keith.

I deal with our altitude all the time. I"m an engineer at Los Alamos. I'm a systems engineer for our backup generator (1250 kVA at sea level) and an 80 kVA UPS. We have a typical 17% reduction in power in any engine (an IC engine is just an air pump) due to the reduced atmospheric pressure. We are at 11.2 PSIA versus 14.7 PSIA at sea level. Our backup generator is de-rated to 1000 kVA.

This affects electrical and HVAC components too. My UPS is de-rated from 80 kVA to 67 kVA and all of our HVAC coils are similarly de-rated because there are just less air molecules to move the thermal energy around.

I'm going to go look for a condenser for #3. I"ll also check the valves and actual compression for the #2 generator, and go ahead and pull the flywheel to check the points.

You brought up that the Bendix ignition plate can be set in one of two fixed spots. My crankcase has two sets of holes to rotate the ignition plate about 5 degrees. Of course, I can't remember which set of holes I"m mounted in.

We'll see. BTW, I have 4 of those little Kill-A-WATT meters from Harbor Freight. I have one on each of my big generators and I have one on a pig-tail cord to test stuff. They're great for checking power and frequency/RPM.

Well, I have one more generator to finish today before working the Kohler. It's a 1980-ish Gillette 1250W. It has a standard Briggs 3.5hp engine (i.e. loud and 3600l rpm). It was given to me, so I don't have any investment into it. Virtually no use. The governor set nut and threaded rod that pre-loads the governor linkage was missing. I'm still fabricating a replacement. It works, but to get it to govern, I have to hold the rod in place. My son wants it for a backup.

One last item: did I see that you have a tube radio or radios? Are you a ham? One of my other hobbies is resurrecting tube radios. I've brought several back to life recently. Another topic.....

Thanks for the comments,

Stu
Los Alamos
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Old 03-30-2019, 12:29:00 PM
Zephyr7 Zephyr7 is offline
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 Watt Generator Set #154768

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanman View Post
Speaking from perplexing personal experience, on the condenser, it is possible for them to test good with an ordinary capacitance meter, yet break down at the high voltages encountered during operation. I would try another known good one and see what happens.
That’s probably dielectric breakdown inside the capacitor. Once an arc punches a hole in the dielectric layer, the cap might check ok with the few volts from a tester, but it will fail with the hundreds+ volts in actual operation. The dielectric breakdown effectively reduces the maximum voltage that the capacitor can handle.

Bill

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Originally Posted by sbbloom69 View Post
One last item: did I see that you have a tube radio or radios? Are you a ham? One of my other hobbies is resurrecting tube radios. I've brought several back to life recently. Another topic.....
There are a surprising number of hams here on the ‘Stak, but many of us only recently became aware of each other since we don’t usually sign with our callsigns here. There is a forum for ham stuff now:

https://www.smokstak.com/forum/showt...=1#post1558788

Some of us have discussed setting up an HF net for stakers, but so far it’s just an idea.

Myself, I have some drake tube stuff (TR4), but I don’t use it. I usually use my elecraft stuff. I moved two years ago and haven’t setup any antennas yet at my new place so I’ve been off the air a while. I hope to have some antennas up later this year. I have a lot of acerage and am planning a 160m four square among other things.

Bill
KB8WYP
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Old 03-30-2019, 06:08:27 PM
Vanman Vanman is online now
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 Watt Generator Set #154768

I do have a tube radio, and I am a HAM, KE6LRZ, but it isn't a HAM radio. As I recall it's from around 1928. It's a nice looking floor model I picked up for $25 at a garage sale. I've had it working, sort of, but it needs work. Too many projects and way too little energy.

I'd have thought that the (presumably) turbocharged generator sets that you're working with would have been less effected by elevation.

Looking in my Cummins manual for the NH series, the turbocharged engines maintained rated output up to around 5,000 feet as I recall. I want to say some up to 12,000!

Keith
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Old 03-30-2019, 10:06:36 PM
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 Watt Generator Set #154768

Yeah, you get MOST of the HP back with turbo or super charging. But, this was the derating factor from the manufacturer.

My call is KD5HVO. I have a Rohn 43 tower up about 55 feet in the neighborhood I live in. I have a cup-de-sac lot, butting up to an arroyo that runs behind my house. I have a 24x34 steel work shop. I currently run an old Yaesu FT-101 as my primary base. I have a Henry Tempo One (made by Yaesu as the FT-200) also. On my tower I have a Cushcraft beam, a G5RV dipole, and I just put up a 160m short sloper. I have a Xiegu X108 QRP rig that I use for digital modes.

Lately, I've been working on old tube receivers. I just finished recapping a Hallicrafters S-38, a S-120, and my current favorite, a SX-100. Still in the resurrection que I have a National S-46 (works, but needs a recap and alignment). My final project is a Hammarlund SP-600. That was my winter project, but I finished the SX-100 instead.

On a brighter note, I found the problem Kohler #3. I repaired the coil as I said before. I went ahead and got a new condenser. No change. I had decided it was something with the magnet, but it seemed strong.

Then I decided to fix the governor catch as a break. I fixed it (the governor shaft hook came out from the washer hook like on my other one).

Finally, with the cover off the crankcase, I looked in and ran the piston to top-dead-center. The points cam SHOULD have been just opened. It was 180 out. I pulled the key off the shaft, pulled the cam sleeve off the shaft, and low-and-behold, I saw the little rotation arrow on the BACK SIDE of the cam sleeve. I reversed it, spun the shaft and SPARK. I pulled the brush cover off and checked the brushes. They looked OK. I blew out the dust and cob webs and cleaned the slip rings and commutator with some lectraclean.

So, what did I learn? It turns out I never ran this engine. I repaired the other two over a 3 month period 8 years ago. I just have THOUGHT I worked on this third one. The tank was pretty nasty inside, again a sign that I had not worked this engine. I acid flushed and cleaned the tank. Put it all together again. I had to cut off and replace the spark plug wire cap. the wire was down to 2 strands at the plug.

I cleaned the carb, reassembled, filled with gas. Not kidding, first pull with choke and it ran. It runs better than my #2. I let it run unloaded for a while, then added 100 watts then 200 watts. Runs great.

Here they all are.

Stu
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