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Wisconsin VG4D Wont start

Discussion in 'Generators/Gensets' started by vinman69, Jun 3, 2021.

  1. vinman69

    vinman69 Member

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    I have a Wisconsin VG4D natural gas powered generator. I can't get it to start. It has a battery that has 2 toggles. start, hand crank and off. I can turn the shaft with a wrench so its not seized. I believe this has a magneto and no starter. it makes a clicking sound but nothing is moving. This technology is before my time. Any help is appreciated
     
  2. heymccall

    heymccall Senior Member

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  3. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    Now I will reply

    Some had Delco starters some had Prestolite. Try jumping/bypassing starter solenoid standard early Ford/Autolight style three post solenoid.
    One question? does it have a 6 volt or 12 volt battery.
    One other thing---When hand cranking this engine or any other-----------Do not wrap thumb over crank handle-handle in palm of hand {do not wrap thumb over crank handle
    to grip handle} Slowly crank engine over till crank is at the 7 o'clock position and give crank a sharp upward thrust to 11 o'clock each time. Never push down on a crank or wrap your
    thumb over handle, great way to dislocate your arm and break your thumb. Even with a crank kick out style hub.

    I rebuilt a lot of the 4D's and V65's in the 70's {baler/swather engines. Cantankerous engines they can be but tough as nails.
     
  4. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

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    We had a few of those engines within the company back in the day! Never dislocated an arm or thumb but both myself and dad had the crank smack us between the eyes!

    Have you done any simple checks like removing a plug and laying it on the head and turn engine over slow by hand to see if you have spark? You should get a puff of compression out the plug hole just about the time you hear the snap of the magneto.
     
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  5. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

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    I do have a manual for the VG4D, but it does not have anything on natural gas systems. Not sure if there is any thing in there that would be of help.

    Like I asked before can you check to see if you have spark coming from the magneto? You have to start some place and that would be the first thing I would want to know!

    Guess the next thing I would want to know is have you or anyone you know ever seen it run?
     
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  6. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    kshansen-that reminds me like you say check for compression. Those engines could after setting for sometime stick the valves from moisture, pretty common.

    Being left handed and hand cranking can be a disadvantage also.
     
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  7. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    I doubt the mag is bad, even on a very slow cranking those mags would stand your hair on end.
     
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  8. MarshallPowerGen

    MarshallPowerGen Senior Member

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    You have any model/serial for the unit (not the engine)? Does it have a battery hooked up? Some older units were hand crank or could be "motored over" and have the generator crank the engine then switch over to generating when running.
     
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  9. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

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    Yep seen that more than once!

    Last one I touched was on a chipper I was loaned by the brother-in-law of a guy I worked with! Think I might have got taken a bit on that loan, spent three times as long fixing things than I did chipping up the brush pile! But it did the job once I had it running.
     
  10. Rob Gunn

    Rob Gunn Well-Known Member

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    Small engine class 101. You need Spark, compression and fuel to make it run. Sounds like you have compression. I assume you are getting fuel but maybe give it a shot of starting fluid to see what happens? Last is Spark, like kshansen said above, try removing a plug (or all 4) to see if you have spark. Could be the mag needs to be rebuilt or maybe you just need new set of plugs. let us know what you find.
     
  11. vinman69

    vinman69 Member

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    So it has a 12 volt battery hooked up to it. What I think is the magneto has a stamp. Wico model x, Spec. xH2207 impulse range 27.5, ser 397. This thing has one side pressed against the wall which makes access to the other side nearly impossible. The owner has seen it run but not for years. Its primary use was as an emergency generator fueled by natural gas. i dont have a hand crank for it but the switch box has that setting.
     
  12. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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  13. MarshallPowerGen

    MarshallPowerGen Senior Member

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    So battery hooked up and you're getting a "clicking sound" but it's not cranking? Battery good? Find where the clicking is coming from. If in the control box could be a relay/solenoid/contactor if it is set up to motor over.

    If there's no starter installed and no hand crank available, that's what I'd be leaning towards without a model number or some pictures.
     
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  14. Welder Dave

    Welder Dave Senior Member

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    Sounds like it has been sitting for a while and you're hoping it will just start right up. It's usually not that easy.
     
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  15. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    Wico made impulse magnetos that fire really hot. As the rotor in the mag turned it hit a stop and then would wind up a spring while the engine continued to rotate. When the spring got so much tension on it the rotor would release over the stop and rotate extremely past the coils and fire the spark. I've had very little problems with those mags over the years. What I have had a lot of problems with are carburetors that were set up for duel fuel. The gas / propane rigs always gave me fits, especially if the machine had sat for any amount of time. You don't get much smoke from a propane fired engine so it is hard to tell if fuel is getting to the cylinders in the right proportions to burn. I've never had anything to do with a natural gas rig but in this case I might check the source of fuel in addition to all the suggestions above.
     
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  16. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    That's almost a understatement, toasty is more like it.
     
  17. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

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    Not to get too far off topic but that reminded me about a problem one of the welders had at the quarry with his personal welder.

    See Dan was having a problem with the old Lincoln not starting and knew it was due to weak spark! Dan pulled the magneto and took it to a local shop to get it rebuilt. When he got home with the fresh rebuilt Wico he for some reason turned the impulse coupling while holding the mag in his left hand.

    Guess they did a good job fixing the mag because when the coupling tripped it shot a nice strong shock into his left hand which opened up and the rebuilt mag fell to the floor and smashed the cover. After second rebuild he was a bit more careful!
     
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  18. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    ks-that's too funny. People think HEI is hot, If they have never been bit by a mag they don't know what hot is.
     
  19. vinman69

    vinman69 Member

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    I think you're on to something hear. It's a Kohler controller No. D-268591D. I can hear a clicking coming from the control box. There is no starter or coil. So your saying they wired it to use the generator to turn the motor over for ignition? It has the Wico model xh magneto.
     
  20. vinman69

    vinman69 Member

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    The battery cables go right to the control box.
     
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