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4.0BGE Flooding questions, and 220V conversion?

wvukidsdoc

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Hi all, new to posting here, but been skimming the excellent advice for a couple of years. So onto the question. This is my 4th 4.0 BGE, I actually love these things, have never started with one running, have never put more than $10 into one. My first 2, carb cleaning/rebuild, now backup power in my dad's and sisters houses, my last one (when I found this forumn) the dread slip ring resistance, came and went with the RV that moved us here to AK. Anyway, I'm not a novice to engine repair. So this one is a spec C, points style machine. Bought for a whopping $100 the other day. PO said, "I replaced the points, a plug wire, and fiddled with it and it ran and made power but puffed black smoke." It was cold, the price was right, I noted it looked like it had been sprayed with a dry chemical extinguisher at the carb, but handed over the whopping asking price without looking at it too hard.

So get it home, pull off the carb (Nikki 146-0443) get it soaking (not obviously tinkered with too much though the air intake screws are previously stripped) and start to look at the rest. Uh, oh, crankcase is overflowing with very thin, very gas smelling "oil." Drain, change filter, reassemble carb. The metal tab on the float is bent down much more than I recall in previous similar carbs, and when I hot wire the pump, bowel off the carb, I have to really bottom out (top out actually I guess) the float against the housing to get the needle to stop the gas, I straighten it out a bit so that nearly topping out stops the flow (mostly I think, the pump still ticks slowly but the gas isn't obviously pouring out with light finger pressure holding up the float.) I reassemble, carefully putting both needle screws back exact turns where they were. Try to fire her up. Cranking, cranking, suddenly I notice raw gas is coming out the exhaust, stop pull plugs, front one soaked more than back, but both cylinders awash in gas. Have another look at float, bend it a bit more, and adjust the needle on the bottom of carb to about 1.5 turn out (had been out 3.5 turns.) Cranking, eventually starts, runs pretty well for about 4-5 minutes, I shut her down to go find a load to put on it. Had a look at the plugs, looked nice light gray burn wise. Get ready to load test, won't start, take the needle out about another turn, starts but pouring black smoke, rich as hell, stop it and plugs black. So I can only get it to start with the needle out 2.5-3.5 turn, but it runs rich, and may flood grossly, with it out 1.5 turns if I start it, it runs cleanly, and the generator makes good power.

So I see the replacement carb is only $160, which I'd pop for, but raises the other question, I'm pretty sure my last one (a spec K Emerald Plus) had a little double poll breaker and actually a 220V bus in it, even though it was a 110V generator. I picked this one up with thoughts of house backup of critical circuits, at the moment I run the boiler on a Honda EU1000i, but need 220V for the well pump. Anyway, so unless I can get that from it some how, not much point in tossing more money to it, I'll just try to pass it along for what I paid if I can finagle it to run a bit more when summer comes along.

I had a BGE service manual, but can't find it now for some reason (might have gone in the RV), so I'm open to thoughs suggestion, any help.

Thanks, sorry for the long post.
John
 

BTPost

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Staff member
Age
70
Last Subscription Date
12/29/2008
John,you need to give us the complete Model and Serial Number of the unit, so that we can get you the correct wiring diagram for you unit. That will also tell us the Voltage Code for the unit, which will determine if it can be wired for 120/240 Vac or not.
 

wvukidsdoc

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Thanks Bruce, will do so when I get home. There are a ton of unused taps on the transformer, so perhaps I will get lucky.

John
 

Gunny

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gratis
John:
Check that electric fuel pump for output pressure. Onans don't like it if you give them too much pressure, should be in the 2 to 4 psi range. If yo get a new one from an auto parts store, be sure to get a low pressure one, a regular automotive pressure one will flood them right out.
 

wvukidsdoc

Registered
Gunny, the thought occured to me instantly of course, right after the float and needle, enough so that I ran out and bought a little low pressure universal replacement pump to put on. However the Facet on it is original, and I don't imagine they tend to fail with increased pressure, but perhaps depending on what they use internally as a limiting valve if that gunked up. Problem is the local auto parts places don't have a fuel pressure gage, and I can't locate mine (2 years and the garage still isn't fully unpacked.) So I ordered one online which is coming. I don't want to just swap on the new pump as again the more $$ mounts (even the $45 for the pump) if I can't make the 220V I don't want to get $4-500 into this thing when I could do better off craigslist for a running unit. I did find my leakdown gage set, as I was concerned about what it meant to the cylinder walls to have that much gas in the oil the last time the PO ran it. Fortunately leakdown on my gage is in the 15% range, which is actually pretty darn good on my gage set. Anyway thanks for the suggestions all, will post the full model and s/n when I get home this evening, if I can make 220V with it I'll put some $$ in it.

John
 

wvukidsdoc

Registered
So the full model number and serial #

4.0BGE-1R/26100C

C870877948

I do wonder a bit, hopefully this is able to do the 220V, but oddly I'm pretty sure that my last Emerald plus claimed in the service manual to be a 110V set only, and yet had 220V capability. Anyway, hope I get lucky, any help appreciated.
 

Dave Edmonds

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Last Subscription Date
01/27/2014
The -1R would designate a 120-volt-only unit. However, Onan did do a few strange things, like occasionally using a -3 genend on a -1 unit, and labelling it as a -1. To make sure, you need to look at the generator output conductors. If you have only one, it's 120-only. If you have four, it's 120-240 (ususlly labelled M1, M2, M3, M4). You could obtain a step-up transformer to get from 120 to 240, but one big enough to do some good would cost more than a few bucks unless you're lucky enough to find a leftover somewhere. Good luck with your engine situation.
Dave Edmonds
 

wvukidsdoc

Registered
Float was fine, I can't sink it in a jar of gas, and it has nothing in it when you shake it around. Fuel pressure gage came today, love the USPS. Fuel pressure from the original Facet pump is readng just a hare over 4psi, less than 4.5 on this high quality chinese gage... I don't think off hand this would be enough to cause issue, anyone think it might be enough to justify me wasting $45 to put on the new low pressure 2.5-4psi pump I bought? I will tinker with the carb a bit more this weekend, when I was in WV, I could buy just the needle and bowel gasket (about all there is to this carb) from a good local small engine shop, here I can get nothing, perhaps in Anchorage. I guess since I can't rewire it for 220V, there isn't a lot of appeal to popping for a $160 carb replacement or for putting on another pump. Back on craigslist it will probably go.

Thanks all.
 

Gunny

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Would think that it would be of considerable more value if in good running condition.

Don't think that 4.5 psi would give you greif, sounds like a bad needle/seat. If the existing pump is making that pressure, its good.
 

EricWood

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Last Subscription Date
10/15/2019
Per the service manual, 5 psi is the max operating fuel pump pressure. Mixture screws are initially set as follows: Idle-- 1 turn +/- 1/4; High Speed--2 turns +/- 1/4. Float is set at 1/16 to 1/32", from bowl gasket to end of float.

Manually override the throttle control to fine tune the idle mixture screw. At 1800 rpms and no load, the throttle plate is barely open, so it is possible to suck fuel from the idle and high speed circuit (cross-over zone). Getting too much fuel from the idle circuit would make the high speed adjustment seem unresponsive, or continually too rich.

I have a '76 BF that is verrrrry sensitive to the octane of the gasoline. If filling the tank with a different grade, its a good bet I'll make a very minor adjustment to the high speed screw. The "sweet zone' on the high speed screw is very small, like about 1 turn from too lean, to beginning to chug black. So, very small adjustments, and testing with load for response is key to setting it corrrectly.

If you needed to put any kind of real pressure on your float during your pump testing, then I would suspect your needle/seat need work as Gunny said, unless the float tang is so distorted that the float body is hitting the carb housing before sufficient pressure can be put against it.

And yes, I second that if you're going to sell it, get it running first.

eric
 

wvukidsdoc

Registered
Eric, thanks for that. May indeed be the issue, the idle needle is set out quite a bit more than that, 2.5-3 turns. Both needles still had their little plastic caps on, and both covered with green Onan paint, so I really didn't think they had been tinkered with so much, though the first thing someone would probably see is the idle screw and go for messing with it. I think I probably guestimated the float right on 1/16" off the top of the carb, this one doesn't really have a "bowell gasket" per se, just the O-ring in a groove perhaps that spec is for a different style carb, but I think it islikely OK. Hopefully it is just as you say, too much from the idle circuit. We'll see.
 

wvukidsdoc

Registered
I want to give a thanks to all for the suggestions, perhaps particularly Eric, though I'm not sure exactly what solved my issues. Regardless genset running great today, making plenty of power. Looking at it this AM, noticed the point gap looked big "replaced by PO." Indeed was pushing 0.028 or better, from the forumn it looks like 0.016 is correct (I set em a bit more like 0.018 just in case that is small.) Set the idle mix and main mixture screws as Eric had suggested. Think fired up with some tinkering of the choke (perhaps it is overchoked by the electric element, should if have pretty fair tension on it on a 50F day?) Regardless starts, runs, stops, runs. I can put a good 3500W or so on it and it does nicely. I am right now letting it cool to see how it does restarting cold, but is certainly running enough to put back on craigslist and look for something to give me 220V. So I guess this makes number 4 BGE that I've not had to put $10 into to get running (though the fuel pressure gage with shipping did set me back about $20 but that I'll reclaim again.) There is a CCK on craigslist right now for $700 perhaps it has 220V.
 

EricWood

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Last Subscription Date
10/15/2019
wv,

See if this will help you out after it cools down.


eric

ps, You might need to save the attachment, and open with a better program to more clearly read it.
 

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wvukidsdoc

Registered
One more big thanks to Eric, adjusted the choke according to this today. Generator fires up now cold on a single crank. I would have never guessed it was as far off as it was, adjusted to the manual specs and what do you know, works perfectly. Perhaps I will just pick up a 2kW transformer off of ebay and keep the thing as I have pretty much nothing into it.
 
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