For those who have not yet had occasion to clean their carburetor, I offer the following procedure. It is harder to describe the work than actually do it, and hopefully I can dispel any fears anyone may have of digging into the little bugger.
Cleaning the Carburetor
(see below how to remove the carburetor if uncertain)
Upon disassembling the carburetor (accomplished by removing the 10mm headed bolt retaining the carburetor's float bowl), it was obvious that considerable green algae had grown on the small amount of gasoline residue in the bowl over the past several months that was clogging the very small carburetor passages.
Using spray car cleaner, and a lint-free rag, I cleaned the green gunk from the bowl and down in the drain cavity (remove the small brass bowl drain screw to get down there to clean all the algae out).
Remove the float and needle valve by sliding the hinge pin out and lifting the float w/ needle attached and carefully and lay it aside, cleaning them with both gently a shot of cleaner and a gentle wipe w/ the rag.
Using a small slotted screw driver the width of which is almost the inside diameter of the threaded center post of the carburetor (from which you removed the bolt to remove the bowl) "feel" the screwdriver as in engages the slot in the main carburetor jet at the bottom of the post and remove the jet (counter clockwise).
Hold the jet up to the light to see if the hole through the jet) is fully open.
Mine was partially clogged, though I could still see some light through the drilled hole. I used a length of small diameter wire to clear the hole as well as the recesses of the jet transitioning to the hole. These recesses held a decent amount of algae that had to be "picked out" with the wire. I used brass plated 0.021" diameter "hobby" wire, and was careful not to enlarge the drilled hole in the relatively soft brass jet.
Note: If you intend to operate your Honda at high altitude (above 5000ft), the brass jet I refer to directly above is the item you will want to swap out with the stock jet that came w/ your Honda, using one obtained from Honda for high altitude.
Spray carb cleaner through all of the passages in the carburetor (shoot it into the idle jet hole and transition holes visible looking into the carburetor's air passageway by the throttle plate, or "butterfly").
If you have an air source, you can blow some air through the passages in the carburetor to ensure they are open.
Assembly is the reverse of the above steps, making sure that you install the bowl with the drain oriented on the choke side of the carburetor.
1) Remove the two silver 8mm headed nuts from directly at the end of the carburetor (located in the air cleaner extension.
2) Then after removing the large slotted screw in that air cleaner cover, remove the lower mesh insert to reveal a silver 8mm headed bolt that you need to remove.
3) Carefully remove the air cleaner (and the large attached rubber hose) that is inserted into the crankcase and put it aside (with the black gasket that lives between the air cleaner and the carburetor).
4) Slide the carb off the two long studs, removing the clear plastic tubing and the black fuel supply hose. That will leave the carb attached by the throttle motor under the white nylon cap. Leave the green gasket on the two studs so it won't get lost.
5) Depress the 3 clips retaining the cap, removing it, then unplug the small electrical connector, and separate the cable/plug from the motor, allowing you to remove the carb assembly from the generator for cleaning (or just replacement as described above).
From now on, I will resolve to drain the fuel tank and run the generator dry each season to preclude having to do this cleaning procedure every time. If you're not going to use the generator for perhaps only a month or two, simply draining the carburetor is probably sufficient. To do that, just remove the side cover, and unscrew the bowl drain screw a few turns (CCW). No need to remove it completely-the fuel will drain via the clear tubing through a hole in the bottom of the generator case.
Edited by Bobinyelm, 04 April 2009 - 04:09 PM.