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China Engines Going The Distance


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  #1  
Old 11-01-2017, 12:14:44 PM
Newoldstock Newoldstock is offline
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Default China Engines Going The Distance

I think everyone here hates clones except me.
Out of the box they run sometimes poor and have a short life without some attention.

So I thought I would start a thread and talk about what find wrong and what I do to get them to go the distance.

I throw away the oil seal under the intake valves.
I want oil to get sucked through and lubricate the top of the liner.
You won't notice a significant change but you will add many hours to the liner before it goes barrel shaped.

Timing is often all over the place on these things, the spec calls for 20 BTDC but in practice your engine will run a bit cooler at 22 to 24 range and this can make a big difference when you compare some clones are running under 20 out of the box.

Jetting is always lean and sometimes the engines hunt.
If you find one that hunts on the low speed jet try and open that up with a set of thumb drills one bite size at a time.
This can be tricky because not all clones have the same displacement and there are two carb variants.
There is also an aftermarket adjustable jet kit for the high side that is a much simpler solution.
China mowers use a similar carb with an interchangeable E-tube, this or the OEM Honda E tube from the GX140 will richen up the mid range of most clones if you find they stumble picking up a load at half load up.
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  #2  
Old 11-01-2017, 03:12:23 PM
Newoldstock Newoldstock is offline
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Default Re: China engines going the distance

Adding to this as I go.

Lash is something I do by feel.
These engines make lash and exp[and as they grow so the trick is to try and find where they are the tightest and never close up on that area.
The spec for this is around .003 to .005 cold.

Lifters must rotate, if they do not your lobes will wear funny and you lash will change unless you are on top of this all the time your first clue to trouble will be difficult starting as the compression release become ineffective.
Why they will not turn is one of those little mysteries, sometimes the lifters are not ground right too soft or something has happened on break in.
You can't fix this and unless you have spare cam/lifters from another stiff.
Some cams from 208 and 212 blocks will not fit standard Honda block do not interchange these unless you measure first.

Some Champions have cast rockers on a shaft, later version are stamped steel.
These will fit most honda and clone heads of the same family and make for a more stable valve train.
I think this part is better than Honda ( cast version anyway ).
Pushrods and lifters can be longer or shorter in the GX160 through 210 clones.
Mixing and matching is fine as long as you look at the valve train geometry and chose parts that sweep across the center of the lash cap at 50% lift.
Since you have spare parts from all those dead clones you collect use the exhaust lash cap and retainer on the intake of your kludge clone for added durability

If you have scrap engines to work with there is no harm swapping out the best parts from each when rebuilding a clone but you need to watch.
Kohler clones use a taper that is not the same as a Honda or standard clone, but it does match the taper on a harbour freight 212 predator.
This means you can not use a Honda ring gear flywheel on those engines or the lighting kits.

208 clones tend to use a wrist pin that will not fit Honda/clone rod, but 212 cc engines do use the same wrist pin.
That means you can use the predator pistons in the 208 block with a regular rod.
You need to test fit and measure to be sure but if it bolts in you are likely not going to have issues.
The reason for this difference is the wrist pin distance to crown is less on the 212 engines to compensate for stroke.

There really is only one Honda piston you need for all 68mm clones.
That is the honda Z4M piston, it fits all the stroke combinations and being a flat top will increase the compression slightly on some but not enough to cause trouble ( work around if you found you did have a problem is the .040 GX160 head gasket, for all other applications I use the .009 GX200 gasket because it is reusable )
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Old 11-01-2017, 09:34:48 PM
s100 s100 is offline
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Default Re: China engines going the distance

Thank you for providing an excellent compendium of reasons to avoid buying imported junk.

A while back someone gave me a Chinese generator, if memory serves 5500 watt, that a tenant left behind when he moved out. My original idea was to remove the copper and aluminum and scrap the thing but that seemed like more work than it was worth, as was taking the thing whole to the scrap place for a few pennies a pound. So it's been sitting around. This winter I am going to see if I can get the thing going and if it will run and make electrons fly I'll wait until the power goes out in spring and then see if I can get a few bucks for it.

The screw that retains the rocker cover is broken off and needs to be drilled out. The valves need to be adjusted and the fuel system needs cleaning. Whoever owned this thing was obviously a hack. If it looks like it will require more work than that and an oil change, I'll drag it out to the street with a big FREE sign on it. If someone hauls it away I will call it a win.

This is my first encounter with these engines. They seem to be based on the Hondas and I've had my share of problems (and then some) with those duds so my expectations for this thing are very low.
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Old 11-01-2017, 11:40:17 PM
gdstew gdstew is offline
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Default Re: China Engines Going The Distance

When I owned my shop, the 2 biggest problems that I saw were--- people would come in with broken/leaking gas shut-off valves. And recoil starters that the pawl didn't engage the starter cup. I messed around with a starter for 1/2 hour trying to increase tension on the pawl brake spring to make it work and another knowledgeable fellow who was watching me, tried for 1/2 hour also. We could not make it work, but the real pity was, it was less than 1 month old! I would not accept any of those engines in for repair.
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Old 11-02-2017, 07:53:38 AM
Kevin K Kevin K is offline
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Default Re: China Engines Going The Distance

If you can pick several of these China generators up for free, or close to it, you can start a junk box and have some fun tinkering and bringing a few back to life. It makes an interesting hobby. Clone parts are available and relatively cheap. But I'm not about to throw hundreds of dollars at a new one that will crap out as soon as I need it. That's just a waste of money I could put toward a Honda that will give trouble free service for years to come.
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Old 11-02-2017, 12:18:44 PM
s100 s100 is offline
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Default Re: China Engines Going The Distance

"That's just a waste of money I could put toward a Honda that will give trouble free service for years to come."

Careful! While the Hondas may be incrementally better than the Chinese they are cut from the same basic cloth - over designed and cheaply built - every corner cut to save a penny. I've got a couple of Hondas, both GX160's, one on an air compressor and the other on a 2" trash pump. The three times I have used the compressor it seems to work okay once you manage to get it started but the pump never wants to run. The recoils are junk and the carburetors are trouble prone. In my experience the Honda reliability story is no more than an urban legend. I am getting rid of both of these and replacing them with simpler, more reliable and easy starting Briggs and small, (8HP or under) flathead Kohler machines.
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Old 11-02-2017, 12:23:51 PM
Bolens 1000 Bolens 1000 is offline
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Default Re: China Engines Going The Distance

Just spend the $$ upfront and buy a quality brand name engine and you never have to worry about making crap out of the box last longer......

Slowly this past year I have seen my customer base slowly switching back to buying OEM parts over chinese crap which is encouraging
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Old 11-02-2017, 12:32:08 PM
Big Bird Big Bird is online now
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Default Re: China Engines Going The Distance

bash the clones if you want. But... their is a lot of folks who will disagree with them being junk.
The go-kart scene has a class devoted to the 212 cc predator clone engines....
Very fast , reliable... And cheap..
As a matter of fact I have one on a go cart that will run over 45 mph no modifications other than disconnecting the governor, straight out of the box from harbor freight for $129. Out the door.. it is starting on the first pull 99% of the time... Even after sitting for a week... The kids in the neighborhood love it..
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Old 11-02-2017, 01:23:51 PM
Bill Sherlock Bill Sherlock is offline
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Default Re: China Engines Going The Distance

I've found that Honda engines don't like to start on stale ethanol gas any better than a Briggs or Tecumseh! Not a problem anymore since I quit using ethanol gas for my air cooled engines several years ago.

Bill
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Old 11-02-2017, 09:14:23 PM
Newoldstock Newoldstock is offline
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Default Re: China Engines Going The Distance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Bird View Post
bash the clones if you want. But... their is a lot of folks who will disagree with them being junk.
The go-kart scene has a class devoted to the 212 cc predator clone engines....
Very fast , reliable... And cheap..
As a matter of fact I have one on a go cart that will run over 45 mph no modifications other than disconnecting the governor, straight out of the box from harbor freight for $129. Out the door.. it is starting on the first pull 99% of the time... Even after sitting for a week... The kids in the neighborhood love it..
Just to make you aware of a potential risk.
Honda and clones have a magnet held in the flywheel with one brass screw and some epoxy.
They have been known to spit the magnet off at 5000 rpm.
In stock classes its generally considered safe to spin them that fast and the valves float around that rpm.

Lots of haters I agree with you many of the arguments against the clone.
But up and down street they are everywhere.
They are the engine of choice on just about every genset around here.
People ask me what generator to buy and I tell them a good one.
If they balk at the price I tell them a 3000 watt Champion or what ever is on sale in that class.
I keep lots of parts and will help them if they get in trouble and really need it.

If your going to soup one up Big bird remove the governor completely by punching out the governor shaft ( from behind the flywheel ) and force a 1/4 20 screw in the hole ( it will self tap and stay ).

I would sugest a billet rod ( 60 dollars is cheap ) and flywheel for safety.
If you come across a Honda GXV160 mower engine use that flywheel to save some money.
The Mower flywheel is as good as billet and lighter too for better acceleration.

Lately I have been using more of the 70mm bore clones with a standard Honda crank on my builds with a 18cc honda head.
A few billet speed parts ( imported from the USA ) and the rest is just attention to detail.
You can make a fine reliable race engine from a clone.
You can make a fine reliable utility engine from a clone too...
( but its not an Onan... unless its an Onan brand clone, they do exist )

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