This post and attached video shows what I did to Convert a Generator to Electric Start.
Converting a generator from pull start to electric start Is not particularly difficult. In this case, it was really about finding a generator that had a toothed flywheel.
I’ve thought about how to convert a generator to electric start for years now. Actually, it is because 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.