Cleaning Instructions for a Honda Generator Carburetorby Wesley Tucker
Honda portable gasoline-powered generators for both home and work applications all use the powerful Honda commercial OHV (overhead valve) engine. Occasionally, as with any gasoline and air engine, the carburetor on the Honda OHV engine will require some maintenance to clean out any built-up deposits of dirt, yard debris or oil-based contaminants. Any of these substances can foul the carburetor and lead to reduce gas and air flow to the engine and reduced horsepower or tendencies to stall and stop. Cleaning the carburetor means first getting access and then removing anything harmful to the engine’s smooth operation.
Accessing the carburetor
Before accessing the carburetor, remember that raw gasoline is added directly to the carburetor manifold. So the first thing to do is shut off the gas. There are two ways to do this: use a clamp to pinch the fuel line (a rubber hose from the gas tank to the carburetor fuel intake fitting) or disconnect the hose completely. This is done easily be using pliers to grip the hose clamp, loosen and remove the hose from the fitting. Then drain the gas into an approved EPA container and save to re-use later. The carburetor on the Honda commercial OHV engine is directly behind the air filter. Remove the air filter cover and then remove the air filter. Behind the filter is the mounting screw. Remove this and the air filter housing will come off.
Cleaning the carburetor
In front of you is the carburetor, a round cylinder with a rotating flap that opens and closes the carburetor intake. Fuel enters from fuel line fitting and air enters from the filter. The two are mixed and then pushed into the engine piston by the action of the moving flap. Make sure the flap, all spring and attachments to the carburetor move freely and without excessive grease or built-up oil residue. Clean this away with a good degreaser cleanser, such as Formula 409 or Fantastik. And remember: spray nothing onto the carburetor on the motor. Spray the cleanser into a rag, paper towel or scrub pad and apply to the dirty areas. Use some gasoline on a rag to clean out the inside of the carburetor housing. Of course, have no open flames when working with gasoline solvents (put out the cigarette). Make sure all the surfaces of the carburetor are bare metal with no grease, oil or dirt. Also clean the pivot where the air/gas flap rotates inside the carburetor cylinder. Dirt and grease like to work into that area. Once you’ve cleaned all the surfaces, let the open carburetor dry completely of all solvents and cleansers before reassembly.
Wesley Tucker is a lifelong southerner whose politics are objective, whose sports are many and whose avocations range from aviation to anthropology to history and all forms of media. With a master's degree in mass communications from the University of South Carolina College of Journalism, Tucker has been a writer for more than 30 years, with work ranging from news reports to feature stories.