Major problem averted today!
When I'd gotten Gunter (a.k.a. "Buddy"), "he'd" had a volt-ohm-meter attached to the top of the generator. It wasn't so much "attached" as "plunked", actually. Who ever had installed it had strapped it to the top of the generator with a big plastic zip tie.
I'd always had it in the back of my mind to remove the thing, for it never stayed in place. Usually, it would slip out of the zip tie, and fall back by the fan shroud, some what behind the oil filler cap.
Finally, today, the red flag went up! Really, the red generator light. I dropped the other half off at work in Saginaw, and then came back home. Just prior to leaving the house, I had checked under the deck lid to make sure everything was cool. I've been trying to trace an oil leak. Anyway, all was in order when we left the house.
When I got home and turned "Buddy" off, the generator light stayed on. Oh crap! I removed the back seat. A seat belt had fallen and rested against a wire coupling on the voltage regulator. Gingerly, I removed the seat belt, resulting in a light spark. The "Gen" light stayed on.
Alarmed, I popped the deck lid up. The voltage meter had fallen forward, rather than backward, out of its precarious mount atop the generator, and one of its connecting wires had been ripped free by the pulley!! What was worse, the generator was lightly smoking.
Buddy had clearly escaped an engine electrical fire by the slimmest margin!
I immediately disconnected the battery. Waiting for the generator to cool, I cut off the volt meter from its only tether, a single wire, the 2nd having been shredded away. Then, I removed the remainder of the two wires still attached to the terminals atop the generator.
Now, I'm just waiting for everything to cool completely down. Do you think all will be okay once I've put the little guy back together?