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  • 5hp Honda keeps shuting down

    My son is a roofing contractor and has an air compressor powered with a Honda 5hp gas engine. I'm not positive of the engine size but it is about 5hp give or take. This engine will run fine for an hour and a half or so then turn off.

    Now he is roofing in cold weather and says the engine problem seems to be worse. Last summer he took the compressor to
    a local lawn mower shop and they said they found nothing wrong with the engine. I worked on the engine for a couple of
    hours and found nothing. It did shut down on me a couple of times.

    My son says they had some success over riding the speed control governor.

    I think the problem is somewhere in the ignition but hopefully someone here has had the same problem and knows the solution.

    Thanks, Jim
    So much to learn, so little time

  • #2
    Do these have the oil pressure cutoff

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    • #3
      Joe; I think they do but it is more of a low oil level sensor. Is there a way to bypass this cutoff? Someone said last week the engine needs to be dismantled to replace the sensor. I'm not sure what this motor has. Jim
      So much to learn, so little time

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      • #4
        Two years ago I tuned my 5hp Honda generator that only gets used occasionally. It had been very reliable to that point and I wanted to continue that…no such luck.
        As it was only used occasionally it was some time after the tune up that when run long enough it would die unexpectedly.
        Went through it …could not find anything wrong…suspected and bypassed the low oil sensor…rebuilt the carb…then replaced it with a new one….all to no avail…
        After a lot of looking at nothing…it was the spark plug…the one I installed with the tune up...

        Joe

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        • #5
          Joe; Was it the wrong plug or a defective plug? I have experienced spark plugs that were the wrong heat range failing or
          fouling but that was with CDI ignition. I have also experienced bad ignition coils where the engine runs and shut down.

          How did you bypass the low oil sensor?

          I'm trying to find the process of elimination to this problem. Jim
          So much to learn, so little time

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          • #6
            I had a great little Lincoln welder/generator that did this. (Vanguard Briggs built by mitsubishi,) and yup it was the low oil sensor.
            Bypassed it and ran for over 6000 hours after trouble free, best engine i ever owned. (The dealer just bypassed the shut down switch.)
            PITA this safety stuff,, -like Just check the oil regularily!!

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            • #7
              Does the engine still have a spark at the plug when it quits? How long before you can restart it? Is there fuel at the carb? Is it possibly icing up in the carb/intake?
              The low oil level switch is normally open when the oil level is at the proper level, have you varified that it is open?

              No sense bypassing the low oil level switch unless one needs to. In order to diagnose the problem properly certain fundamental procedures must be taken so that one does not go off like a fart in a windstorm. Do the easy stuff first.
              Remember an engine only needs fuel/air, compression, and a spark at the right time in order to run, after that it's just tuning in order to make it run better. If all of those elements are present it should at least start and run.

              When it quits obviously one of those elements is missing.
              Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
              Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

              Location: British Columbia

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              • #8
                Outback, I should have also asked, when it shuts down does it quit like someone hit a switch or does it slowly start running rough and then die?
                I realize you're not there when this happens but ask your son. These are all clues as to what the problem is.
                Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                Location: British Columbia

                Comment


                • #9
                  Exactly what Willy just stated,
                  You can't fix it if it ain't broke, so get it to act up then check the simple stuff.

                  spark and fuel and then expand from there... to go about it any other way is a wild goose chase at best...

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                  • #10
                    If I remember correctly the low oil level switch is a N.O. switch. When the oil level gets below a certain point the contacts close and the ignition is shut down. So just unplug the sensor.
                    Find the sensor, start engine and let it warm up. Shut it down and unplug sensor, than restart and let run until you are sure that the fault is not happening.
                    At one job I had we had a 4"trash pump that would shut off and would not restart, it turn out to be ignition switch itself. We went through everything we could think of and then Hot wired the switch. It ran reliably after that with a new switch.
                    Dan.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I like to check the easy things first too. Verifying the oil level, fuel level and spark plug are very easy and usually tell you where to look for the next round. I like to use a inductive timing light to check the ignition as it runs, flashing evenly or missing will tell if that is a problem. An empty fuel bowl will point to tank blockage or a fuel pump or hose problem. Crap floating in the fuel tank means crap may be in the fuel bowl. I think the key here is your son is a roofer and is probably trying to do his job. I recently worked on contractors compressor and found it lacking maintenance in a big way. Time is money for them and as long as they had one working and the other being fixed they were happy. The oil safety switch had saved this particular compressor from blowing the motor so my suggestion would be to have it functional. Mike

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                      • #12
                        Ok, I have a little more info. My son says they have disconnected the oil switch so that has been eliminated and the spark plug has been replaced. He says when the engine stops it does it suddenly. The cold weather has made the problem much worse.
                        My son says in warm weather the engine will run for hours and hours then stop. In the cold weather the engine may only run for 10 minutes and stop.

                        He says the engine gets more difficult to restart as the day goes on. To restart he says he uses a half choke or a full choke to get it restarted, (on warm engine???). Sounds to me like a fuel problem.

                        I'm going to have him bring the engine to my shop where we have heat, lighting and tools later today. Jim
                        So much to learn, so little time

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Trying to think as to what could cause this and so many things do not add up,,,

                          except for one,,, check your fuel tank venting in the cap, if plugged it will run for awhile and then stall out,

                          in the winter it will happen almost immediately due to the tank not having internal pressure, in the summer the tank will power itself due to the heated fuel expanding...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Is the compressor unloading? If the compressor binds the motor will stop.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Carb icing?
                              Paul Compton
                              www.morini-mania.co.uk
                              http://www.youtube.com/user/EVguru

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