Generac 8Kw generator balky start and transfer switch makes clicking sounds

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On Monday, December 15, 2014 1:05:24 AM UTC-5, Danny D. wrote:

I doubt it. Some of them the rubber boot just grips very tight.
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Terry Coombs wrote, on Fri, 12 Dec 2014 11:40:24 -0600:

Interestingly, the filter that was on there was Wix.
https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8570/15406030833_69a4e2fb07_b.jpg
I'm still confused why there are TWO oil filler caps, one of which is seemingly on the head on top of one of the cylinders:
https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8681/15406031673_110ab1d788_b.jpg
It took me a while to realize there was an oil-drain hose, tucked away *behind* the filter:
https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7544/16024976062_381057e677_b.jpg
The really bad news is that nowhere near 1.5 quarts came out:
https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7514/15406031083_6282feb6ba_c.jpg
So, from the start, the generator was very low on oil:
https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7514/15406031753_689fb6228e_b.jpg
Does anyone know why there are *two* oil filler caps?
https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8569/15406031533_ca105db40a_c.jpg
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On 12/15/2014 1:12 AM, Danny D. wrote:

not yet seized up and turned into a rock. I guess a wise and caring friend of yours knew some how that you needed to check oil?
No clue about the two oil caps.
- . Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
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On Monday, December 15, 2014 9:07:48 AM UTC-5, Stormin Mormon wrote:

I would be amazed that with that little oil, the oil pressure or level cutout wouldn't have shut it down completely long ago. And IDK how low you can go without screwing the engine, but I agree, I would think if that's all the oil there was in there, you would think the engine would be shot.
See my other post about his previously mentioning an external oil tank, eg a dry sump kind of settup, that was in the manual. If that's actually there, then maybe what he drained is just from the crankcase, there is more in the tank? What he drained is clearly one oil drain, the very obvious one that you'd go to, but could there be another? IDK.
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On Monday, December 15, 2014 1:12:54 AM UTC-5, Danny D. wrote:

That may get back to the separate oil holding tank you mentioned. You said the manual says it has one, but it actually doesn;t. But are you sure? If the engine is designed to be used in applications either with or without the extra tank, you could have one cap on the engine, one cap on the tank or hoses leading to the tank, etc. without, then having a cap on the engine
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Smarty wrote, on Fri, 12 Dec 2014 10:49:27 -0500:

I saw the air filter had old sound-deadening insulation in it:
https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7583/15839917967_5abf2b5dd7_c.jpg
I can see a badly chewed on set of high tension wires: coil #1
https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7533/15839916557_8e95eab7a2_b.jpg
coil #2
https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7575/15406029463_d8401dcdf8_b.jpg
And, the spark plugs are probably shot, but I couldn't get them out:
https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7485/15403409544_58dabf8053_b.jpg
And, the oil was definitely very low:
https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7514/15406031753_689fb6228e_b.jpg
So, once I figure out the two enigmas, it should be back up and running.
Enigma #1: Why are there two oil fill holes? Maybe there was truth to the second oil tank in the first owners manual?
https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8681/15406031673_110ab1d788_b.jpg
Enigma #2: Why can't I pull off the spark plug boots? Maybe they are bolted on somehow? Can that be?
https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8675/15403408714_4872312917_b.jpg
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On 12/15/2014 1:22 AM, Danny D. wrote:

CY: I saw bare copper low voltage wire, and some bad insulation on the high voltage wire, on the other one. The colored wire might be possible to cut out the bare copper, and splice in some newer wire. The black wire, I'd buy a roll of good electrical tape, and wrap it.

CY: Less than a quart and a half, for sure.

CY: Most likely lack of maint. Twist left and right repeatedly, and then pull again. use spark plug grease inside the boots when reassembling.
- . Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
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On Monday, December 15, 2014 1:22:34 AM UTC-5, Danny D. wrote:

Just for the record, only one of them is on the high voltage side, the one that isn't too bad. The other one, blue, is on the primary side.

They aren't bolted on. It's a conventional spark plug, with nothing to bolt to.
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On Mon, 15 Dec 2014 06:22:10 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

That doesn't look good at all.
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Stormin Mormon wrote, on Mon, 15 Dec 2014 09:07:49 -0500:

Thanks for that suggestion. Much appreciated.
When that little dribble came out, I was embarrassed to snap the picture. I actually considered not posting it. I'm shocked that I allowed the oil level to be *below* the dipstick!
I'm surprised the thing ran at all (since it has a low oil pressure switch). I realize pressure does not equal volume (but eventually lack of volume equals lack of pressure).
I suspect that's why it was shutting off in the beginning, until it built up enough oil pressure. But I'm not sure.
Nonetheless, not only was the oil extremely low, but, it came out muddy. Mea culpa. <hides head in shame>

I'm waiting on the Generac support line to ask them. 1-888-436-3722x2(consumer)x2(existing)x2(permanent)x3(all other)...wait...
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On 12/15/2014 10:27 AM, Danny D. wrote:

that, over the years. I hope that runs properly for you with repairs, spark plugs, etc.
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trader_4 wrote, on Mon, 15 Dec 2014 06:20:38 -0800:

You are correct in the doubt of whether there is only 1 oil tank or two oil tanks.
Clearly, there are two oil-filler caps, one of which has a dipstick, while the other is on top of a cylinder head (which is a weird spot).
Yet, that second (blue) oil filler cap clearly has an oil-can symbol on it, as does the (black) oil filler cap next to the drain.
OK. I just got off the line with Mitch at Generac. There is only one oil tank, he says. The blue oil filler cap is for when the engine is mounted 90 degrees to where mine is mounted, so, he says, I should use only the black cap.
He says there may be a special tool needed to remove the spark plug cap, so, he's going to research that for me and get back to me.
You'd think the manual would mention these two things...
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trader_4 wrote, on Mon, 15 Dec 2014 06:15:51 -0800:

I'm confused, because: a) The rev 0 manual said there were two oil tanks of different volume, b) The rev 1 manual only mentions one tank c) I have two oil-filler caps d) Yet, the blue one is vertical (so it would be hard to fill).
Generac support (Mitch) asked someone for me, who told him to tell me that the second (blue) one is for when the generator is mounted sideways, and for me to use just the first (black) one.
As for the spark plug boot, Mitch says he'll research that further as a special tool may be needed. It must have some kind of spring mechanism because it pulled back hard when I tried to pull it off.
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Stormin Mormon wrote, on Mon, 15 Dec 2014 09:03:50 -0500:

Yeah. Those wires look chewed on.
Maybe I need to stick some rat poison in there in addition to putting the cover on.
BTW, the exposed fins are only because I had removed the cover to them; which I will certainly put back on.
Thanks for noticing that detail!
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On 12/15/2014 10:54 AM, Danny D. wrote:

some things stay in memory. The rat poison sounds proper.
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Stormin Mormon wrote, on Mon, 15 Dec 2014 09:11:13 -0500:

It's raining now (woo hoo!) but when the rain stops, I will wrap the blue bare wire with electrical tape (and maybe reinforce it with some bare copper wire) and wrap up the high-voltage wire also.
Thanks for the suggestion!
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On 12/15/2014 10:56 AM, Danny D. wrote:

part. use wire, crimps, and some electric tape to spilce what's chewed. But, that's me.
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On Mon, 15 Dec 2014 06:12:30 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

Generally I agree - but recently I had a good look at the Fram Ultra Synthetic (Gold) oil filter last week and it appears to be built as well as any Wix or other mid-line to premium brand filter. It has a silicone drainback valve, metal end caps, premium dual layer filtration media, and metal screen support for thefiltration media to maintain flod spacing. I really could not think of many ways to make it a better filter.
The silver Tough-Guard is a cheap filter - bsing sold at a more premium pricepoint than the also cheap Orange ultra-guard filter
Now, to be sure, this is NOT a cheap (or even inexpensive) filter - Next spring when I change the oil on the Taurus again I'll try to remember to open it up and get some pictures.

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Smarty wrote, on Mon, 15 Dec 2014 10:59:51 -0500:

Hi Smarty, I apologize for not responding to all your posts, and I did read the suggestion to go to a generac-specific forum. I had actually gone there and realized I had to create an account, login, etc, and decided to call Generac instead (which is well documented).
In addition, I updated this thread, since that's where the question started. It's usually not a good idea to have multiple threads in multiple places, so I had opted to remain in this thread and not open an ancillary thread.
I realize you feel that is folly, and I do understand your point, but I have had lousy experiences with the quality of results from many web-based forums, not the least of which is the mechanical problem of remembering the various logins and passwords unique to each web based forum - none of which is needed for Usenet posts.
I believe I am moving in the right direction, and I do appreciate your advice and information. While I fault the manual for not explicitly stating there are two spark plugs, the fact is that the exploded diagram shows a v-twin engine, which, even though there are no spark plugs shown in the exploded diagram, would have intimated two plugs.
Anyway, I have the second plug, and I am just waiting word from Generac Support (Mitch) on how to properly remove the boots.
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On 12/15/2014 2:20 PM, Danny D. wrote:

I am delighted that you are converging on a solution, and that help has been available. It is true that a login is required to participate in Ziller's forum, but the benefits of talking with many experienced Generac trained people who are fixing these units on a daily basis should not be underestimated. They have solved a tough problem I was having (and I have 2 engineering degrees and 40+ years of repair experience!) so I just wanted you to get the best and most direct assistance.
I also urge you to buy the Generac brand maintenance kits going forward. Everything you need for annual maintenance is there, and they are not outrageously priced. Once you make the annual maintenance simple you will be less likely to put it off in the future.
Best of luck Danny and hope I have provided some useful inputs here.
Smarty
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