I've mention that my Honda 2000i generator has been very reliable for the past five years. So reliable that when it came time to repair it there was a lot of aggravation involved. The original problem was an expected one. The pull cord that allows one to start the engine broke. A simple problem that will probably befall all generators at some point if they are used often enough. What I did not expect was how seized up the outside screws that hold the 2000i covers on would be.
The aggravation was in how long it would take to remove them. In addition some of the screws were ...
"special" types of screws which were not even stocked in the local Honda power shop. So there was additional delay in getting those parts as they had to be ordered from Honda. It took over two weeks after I started the repair for the parts namely the replacement special screws to arrive before I could finally start to repair the pull cord.
First a little more about those screws. To get at the recoil starter of the Honda 2000i I needed to remove the front, back and side covers. This required the removal of about 17 screws. Most of them I was able to remove but about a third of them were tightly seized and had to removed by drilling them out or cutting a slot into the head. Some of the screws are recessed so drilling was the only option. Below is the screws that were destroyed in the removal process:
On the left are one type of the "special" metric screws (PN 90380-GM-740) that Honda uses. It has a special shoulder milled into the screw that is used to secure the front and back covers. The middle screw is also a "special" screw (PN 93891-06020-07) that is used in the handle area to secure the two sides of the generator together. It has a captured washer built into it. One might be able to substitute here but, since I had to order the some of the other special screws I ordered this one as well. The screws on the right are the self tapping (5 x 16) screws (PN 93913-25480). You might be able to find them locally but, I ordered mine from the Honda parts supplier.
So with the replacement screws on hand I proceeded to move on to replace the broken pull cord. It requires quite a bit of tear down of the generator but once the covers have been removed it goes pretty quickly.
One of the major parts that needs to be removed before you can access the recoil assembly is to remove the fuel tank. To do this you need to first remove the fuel from it. I used a small Bulb Siphon Pump
But I had an annoying problem with it's flexible hose not always staying below the fuel level of the tank and so it would lose suction. The solution was to use a cable tie and attach the hose to one of the Fiberglass Pull Rods I carry on board for running wires.
This allowed me to place the siphon hose in the very bottom of the fuel tank with no further problems. After removing the fuel tank I finally had enough access to remove the recoil assembly. This is how it looked after I had removed the fuel tank and recoil assembly:
There was only three bolts holding the recoil assembly to the engine and they were easily removed. Once I had the recoil assembly off. I removed the broken pull cord and then turned the starter reel five times counter clockwise and used a Cable Tie to hold it in that position while I installed a new pull cord on to the reel. Then while holding the cord out I cut the Cable Tie and allowed the starter reel to slowly rewind the cord.
As I expected is part of the repair only took ten minutes getting to that point took over two weeks. I reassembled the generator making sure all the screws were received a generous coating of Ultra Tef-Gel before they were screwed back down. Hopefully, the next time I need to replace the pull cord things will go a lot easier and faster.