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How to Convert a Pull Start Generator to Electric Start


Converting a Generator to Electric Start
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This post and attached video shows how I did a DIY pull start to electric start conversion on my generator.

Converting a Generator to Electric Start Is Not Hard.  In this case, it was really about finding a generator that had a toothed flywheel.

I’ve thought about converting a generator to electric start for years now.  Actually, some years ago I bought a generator off of craigslist.  Later I decided that pull starting a temperamental 10 hp engine was not something I wanted to do.  It was something my wife Could NOT do.

Most of the times a generator would come in handy (ice storms) I would be out of town for work.  SO having an easy way for Genny to start the generator became a priority.

When I bought the thing I did get a new flywheel installed so the engine would have the teeth needed to accept a starter.  I kept intending to add a starter, but I never got around to ordering the parts.

Things to Consider When Converting a Generator to Electric Start

  • Does the engine block have mounting brackets for a starter, if not, then this project is not feasible.
  • Does the flywheel have teeth to accept a starter?  You can replace a flywheel, but again, the cost and effort may not be worth it for the engine you have.
    • If you replace the flywheel, try to get one with magnets for a charging system – mine did not so I have to charge my battery in other ways.
  • Do you want a high amp switch or do you want to use a starter solenoid?  The high electrical demands of a starter will burn out a normal switch.  Personally I used a switch that could work with a circuit from the battery directly to the starter, but I used a solenoid to give myself some mounting flexibility and so I could use cheaper wire.
  • How will you get power?  For my model of engine I had several options, I had a very simple to install 110volt kit (why would I want my backup generator to start using house current?) and I owned a small motorcycle battery that could fit inside the generator cage (not enough voltage).  I ended us cutting off one end of some good jumper cables and installing terminals that would allow me to permanently install them.  That way I have more options when starting my generator, as I can hook it to any car battery, even one already in a car.

I am very glad I did this project.  The next project I tackled was to convert it from gasoline to LPG using a kit from  With this kit  I can run gas, high pressure LPG, and Low Pressure LPG.

Published inDIY Prepper ProjectsGeneral Building


  1. Meia Uili Meia Uili

    Please respond to my previous email…

  2. Meia Uili Meia Uili

    Excellent presentation , but I still have some problems following the schematic diagram of wire connections and extra ground wire from the gas plate support to the starter bolt or frame. On the solenoid posts (4) 2small/2lrge couldn’t see any marking which is which..I want to ask if you could please draw a schematic view of your wire connections for the slow learners like me…
    My generator is Coleman tecumseh 10hp and it’s a bear to start. I got all the parts you suggested online flywheel(ring gear, match nicely),solenoid and a starter push button
    I thank you for sharing your knowledge for the rest of us…..

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