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 propanecarbs.com.  With this kit  I can run gas, high pressure LPG, and Low Pressure LPG.

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  1. Meia Uili
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