The cold start unit is nothing more than a fancy cigarette lighter with a fuel line attached to it. It is located in the very front of the intake manifold pointing toward the valve cover. When energized, a check ball opens and allows fuel to flow past it and onto a heating element, thereby creating a heated, smoking air mixture helpful for starting a cold engine. I've even seen them shoot out flames with the intake to air cleaner hose removed. Unit should be energized by holding key switch in the position just before "start". Make sure key switch is wired correctly! Makes for a really funny running engine if it is on all the time.
As far as your apparent charging problem, I'm sorry to hear that. I have absolutely no patience for those old generators. You could go round and round on those things and still not end up happy. Quality on the reman generators not good enough in my book. Do yourself a favor and install an alternator conversion kit.