Prepping Fail, Mea Culpa ( Updated)

Taking my own advice from the other day, I decided to do some checking on the status of some of my shit, starting with the other generator I have that has been tucked away.

Good fucking thing I haven’t needed it apparently.

I bought a new battery for it a while back and never quite got around to installing it and I know the fuel needed to be drained and refilled with treated gas too so I went up and got some fresh gas this afternoon. First I mowed the fucking lawn again.

I will be happy when that stops for the year.

Anyway, after I got done with that I drug the little generator out and disconnected the fuel line, hooked up a small rubber hose, stuck it in a one gallon gas can and opened up the pet cock.

I do have to give myself credit for shutting it off while it was running last time and letting it run its self out so the carb doesn’t get fucked up.

While that was going on I grabbed the new battery and fucked around getting it installed. Amazingly enough I bought the right one just by eyeballing it and the bracket fit perfectly.

I hooked up a trickle charger to it to top it off while I finished fucking with the fuel issue.

Even with Stabil in the fuel I’m glad I drained it out. I dumped it into my rigs to dilute it and they should be fine as both have basically full tanks.

I double checked a few things, flipped the gas on and the choke, grabbed the key to start it up and…… nothing.

Of course, human nature dictates that one must repeat this at least twice before it sinks in that something ain’t right here.

I grabbed a test light and started in on the fucker. No tripped circuit breakers or fuses, good battery voltage at the back of the switch, power at the solenoid from the battery.

What the fuck?

More testing revealed power going into the switch but none coming out on any terminals.

I jumped across the starter solenoid and it cranked right over.

Mother Fucker!

After a bunch of dicking around I finally got pissed off and yanked the switch out. Bigger than shit, no juice coming out. I took the cheap Chinese fucker into the garage, grabbed a dinky hammer and a pocket screwdriver and opened the fucker up.

I could see no reason for it not to work.


Plugged it back in, still nothing.

Fuck you then.

I dug around in my shit, found a momentary toggle switch, wired the fucker in and it cranked right over. The other wires were a mystery but I could see which ones connected together inside the switch when it was turned so I just wire nutted them together as if they were in the switch. Hit the choke again, cranked it over and it fired right up.




Not so fast chump.

I couldn’t get it to shut off.

It didn’t matter what wires I unhooked, it just kept running!

The only wires that I had messed with and were hooked to anything was one hot wire and the starter solenoid, hooked to the momentary switch.

I must have fucked around with that for a half an hour and finally said fuck it because my belly was growling.

I hooked everything back up, started it, shut the fuel off again and just waited until it ran out of gas.


I put all my shit away, hooked up a little Float Charger to keep the battery up and put the cover back on it then shoved it back into the corner for now.


I will have to find a push button momentary switch and hook it up to the coil as a Kill Switch later.

The generator works and puts out power so it’s there if I need it.

It’s probably fifteen years old and I’m not even going to try and find a new Chinese POS switch for it.

The moral of the story is to check your shit to make sure it works.

That fucking thing worked perfect the last time I checked it.

Mr. Murphy made an appearance sometime between then and now just to be a dick.

Now that I have discovered that, I am seeing a need to go through and check a whole bunch of shit out there for functionality.

Entropy is not your friend.


While I was in the shower a bit ago washing the days events off, it occurred to me that out of all that messing around with the generator earlier, the one and only thing I had to leave the house for was the fresh gas.

I catch a lot of shit for being such a Pack Rat but I had every motherfucking thing else I needed to get that going again right out in the garage. The switches, electrical connectors, heat shrink tubing,  extra wire, rubber tubing to drain the gas, electrical tape, testers, tools, drill bits, drill,  funnels and extra gas cans.

I even had the Stabil fuel treatment.

So tell me again where I am going wrong here, I seem to be missing that part.

17 thoughts on “Prepping Fail, Mea Culpa ( Updated)

  1. It could be worse, no power, wife unit wants a light on and a radio working and the refer working and you can’t get your gen started…. nothing like being impotent…


    • Dude, you have no idea how hard I pray that the power doesn’t go off for an extended period of time around here.
      My wife is clueless how to survive without it.


      • I know that feeling, Hurricane Katrina, we are living south of Troy, Alabama, tornadoes take out the power and were told it might be two weeks before rural areas may get power. My new 10K generator won’t start… good battery, fresh gas, nothing and the wife is getting pissed after three days… No other gennys around unless I steal one. I traced it down to a faulty switch too. Now power. But, she can’t understand why we can’t run the A/C and the TV/DVD and the refer/lights/hair dryer all at once… I pulled the rest of my hair out.


  2. I was just told yesterday that Murphy Gas (Wal-Mart) has some gas stations that sell ethanol free gasoline, the pumps have a blue handle. Might be news to others is why I mention it.

    No clue what you could have done wrong but if it kept running, I nominate you for a Hogwarts scholarship.


    • There are a few places around here that sell gas without ethanol. The last time I bought some it was $5 a gallon though.
      I am still waiting for my magic wand, I could have sworn I sent in enough cereal box tops.


  3. RE: kill switch. Instead of a momentary kill button, how about a “Master Engine On/Off” toggle protected by a flip-up shield? Unless the factory switch has a connection pair that grounds the ignition to stop the engine that should work.


      • I’ve found that a “Run/stop” toggle works best, along with a pushbutton or momentary toggle to run the starter. If you use a DPDT run/stop, you can use one set of poles to short the magneto and the second set of poles to enable the start switch.

        When you get a chance to do it right, that is.


  4. Glad you found a work around for the switch. We had to do similar on a riding mower a few years ago. J.D. wanted 125$ for a new one.Pick a day once a month as cranking day.

    PS This is why I use a harbor freight 1500 watt inverter instead of a genny.


    • Your statement just reinforces my assertion that Karma is female.
      The bitch never forgets anything you say or do that pisses her off.
      It makes me wonder if I wasn’t Genghis Kahn in a previous life because I’m really a pretty nice guy, most of the time………


  5. The first image brought back a memory, One of my buddies had a Japanese rice
    rocket. His rotary ignition switch took a dump and he called me up to see if there
    was anything I could do about it. I took it apart and found one of the contact
    points burned. I desoldered the contact point and started looking for some
    pure copper to fabricate a replacement.

    I had nothing on hand to fit the bill but I always tossed my loose change into a
    large container. I hit the Internet and discovered that the alloy pennies were
    produced starting in 1982. I took some snips and cut a small chunk out. After
    that, I filed it round to fit the Bakelite switch assembly. I then filed it to the correct
    thickness of the original contact point and resoldered the wire to the contact

    When the job was over, he asked me how much I owed him. I told him one penny,
    but it had to be pre-1982.


  6. Suggestion: double check your ethnic electrical engineering event to ensure your wiring is not draining the battery. Easy to screw the pooch when diddling with wires on a unit.

    BigOleFuckingDisconnect switch is a good thing.


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