How to Adjust the Governor on a Champion Generator

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Things You'll Need

  • Socket wrench

  • Pliers

  • Laundry detergent

  • Small-engine tachometer

  • Screwdriver

  • Multimeter

Champion Power Equipment produces four different portable gas-powered generators. These are used for camping, powering RV's, emergency standby power, and for powering on-site construction equipment. Since frequency output, measured in Hz (Hertz or cycles) and engine RPM (revolutions per minute), are directly related, it is impossible for a gas-powered generator to produce a constant 60-Hz power output to match grid power precisely; slight variations in engine speed produce slight variations in power output. Optimum governor settings control engine speed to between 3600 RPM and 3720 RPM. This can be achieved in one of two ways.

Step 1

Remove the four corner bolts securing the gas tank to the chassis with a socket wrench. Undo the two bolts securing the gas tank end-plate to the chassis. Shut the On/Off fuel-delivery valve. Remove the fuel line by compressing the two spring-loaded lugs on the clip with a pair of pliers. Slide the tube from the On/Off valve. Remove the gas tank by pulling it sideways.

Step 2

Take off the air filter cover by undoing the central wing-nut. Remove the foam filter element, and wash it in warm water and laundry detergent. Rinse thoroughly in clean water. Squeeze out excess moisture and allow time to dry.

Step 3

Replace the filter element and filter cover. Re-install the gas tank by bolting the end plate back onto the chassis, replacing the four corner mounting bolts and re-connecting the fuel line.

Step 4

Wrap the red lead from a small-engine tachometer around the spark plug wire and attach the white lead to the chassis. Loosen a convenient screw, slip the white terminal under the screw head and tighten. Start the generator and allow sufficient time for the motor to warm up.

Step 5

Plug the generator in and power up the most common tools, lights or appliances used. This will impose a typical load on the generator while adjusting the governor settings.

Step 6

Insert a flat screwdriver into the yellow governor control screw with a spring around the screw threads. This screw is located on the governor linkage. Monitor the tachometer reading during adjustment. Turn the screw counterclockwise to increase engine RPM, and clockwise to reduce engine RPM. Set the speed to between 3600 RPM and 3720 RPM while the generator is working under load.

Step 7

Connect a multimeter to the generator power outlet as an alternative to using a tachometer. Turn the control knob on the multimeter to the Hz settings. Start the generator and impose a typical load as described. Adjust the yellow governor control screw to raise or lower the Hz output. Set the engine speed so that the generator produces between 60 Hz and 62 Hz while under load.

Ian Kelly

After graduating from the University of the Witwatersrand and qualifying as an aircraft engineer, Ian Kelly joined a Kitchen remodeling company and qualified as a Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD). Kelly then established an organization specializing in home improvement, including repair and maintenance of household appliances, garden equipment and lawn mowers.