Well--I finally got around to addressing the generator problem on my recently acquired van. Previous owner said he wasn't sure why it wouldn't start ( same guy who said the water heater worked fine as well--it didn't).
On close exam--I could see the exhaust pipe was loose at the manifold. In fact, one mounting stud was missing and there was no nut on the other. The generator had to come out to fix it.
I decided to modify my floor jack to get the job done easily. I drove the retaining clips off the rod that the "cup" of the jack was held in by--and fabricated a new center piece to connect a small bracket that attaches to the 4--3/8 threaded holes in the bottom of the generator. This allows using the floor jack to lower the generator--disconnect the gas and wiring--and wheel it in to my workshop.
The pictures show the stock "cup,rod, and clips--as well as the fabricated center piece.I used some scrap angle iron and square tubing along with turning down some 1 inch threaded rod for the center piece.
The jack worked great. I had to use a wooden spacer at first--since the jack didn't go all the way up to the generator. I crisss-crossed some ratchet straps to hold then generator after lowering it, so I could remove the block and attach the bracket to the generator to lower it the rest of the way. I welded spacers around the mounting holes for the bracket to allow a space to pull the straps out at this point.
I had rotator cuff surgery 3 weeks ago--so this made it easy for a one armed man to remove the generator by himself !!
Oh--the generator--the exhaust was broken off where the neck meets the muffler--and at the bracket directly below the neck--as well as finding the stripped stud for the manifold at the bottom of the case. This had to be going on for quite a while. I suspect the valves are burned--will check the now that it is out.