How to Replace an Onan Generator Starter

From ice storms to hurricanes, mother nature can wreak havoc on us. It can also cause long-term power outages that make day-to-day existence almost intolerable. In such cases, an emergency generator is invaluable. Cummins Oman manufactures emergency generators for residential use. Like lawn mowers and other small gas engine devices, the Cummins Oman generator uses a recoil starter for starting the generator. It takes approximately one hour to change it out.

  1. Disconnect any wires you have running from the generator to your backup breaker box.

  2. Use a pair of pliers to remove the spark plug boot from the plug.

  3. Pull the recoil starter rope out a little and then push the T-shaped handle up on the rope. Untie the knot at the end, and then pull the T-shaped handle off the rope.

  4. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws holding the generator's recoil starter cover in place and then set the cover and the screws aside.

  5. Gently pull the return spring loose from inside the starter reel. Set it aside.

  6. Remove the friction plates, spring hook and reel cover, and then unwind the old rope from the assembly.

  7. Slip the spring hook through the reel groove and then place the reel onto the starter case.

  8. Slip one end of the new starter rope into the starter reel hole, and then tie a knot in it. Wind the rope around the starter reel in the direction of the directional arrows marked.

  9. Slip the other end of the rope through the hole on the outside of the starter cover and then through the rubber, T-shaped handle, and then tie a knot in it.

  10. Insert the friction plates, spring hook and reel cover. Also center and insert the return spring and then rotate the reel three full turns.

  11. Center and place the starer assembly onto the side of the generator, insert the retaining screws and then tighten them with a screwdriver.

  12. Replace the spark plug boot back onto the plug.

About the Author

Andrea Walk began writing in 2001, authoring user guides for technical software. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Loyola University, where she was a member of the Dean's Grade Review Committee for English. Walk is a member of the Automotive X-Prize team Global-E.