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Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion Antique Generators and Old Electric Motors: Questions and answers about restoring and showing old power generation systems.

Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion

Coleman Crap


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  #1  
Old 08-13-2018, 06:35:37 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Coleman Crap

'I know it all' mechanic at work:
A guy in our engine club is working on a Coleman generator. It has what appears to be a Chinese knock-off of an overhead valve B&S, about 5 HP. At first he thought he had bad valve adjustments, but he could not get the valves to operate. He pulled off the valve springs, and everything moved, but when he installed the springs - no go. He decided to dis-assemble the engine. He tried beating off the engine sump plate, without cleaning the rust off the crankshaft. It only moved about 1/4" before jamming. He then tried using a lead hammer and wooden wedges -still no go. the lead hammer was destroyed. Next was a set of 4 bolts and a puller. Bingo - the sump is now off, with the seal in tatters and the sump crank bearing ripped up with imbedded rust. Turns out the cam gear was loose on the cam shaft. The gear and lobes are plastic, and the shaft steel. He bought a solid steel replacement cam. It also appears to be Chinese. the lobes are really rough - feels like they were smoothed out with 80 grit emory. Not polished at all. The guy re-assembles the engine as-is (no new seal and with the rusted crank), and used the torn up sump gasket with a liberal coating of RTV sealant.

We heard the engine run, in a few quick high speed bursts. "It runs" he said. He ran the engine sans oil, on a can of ether! The rotor had not been installed on the crank, no oil in the block, How it didn't shear the flywheel key, I do not know. I don't want to be around after he gets the unit all assembled and puts oil in it! I don't know if he adjusted the governor either - sure didn't sound like it when it fired up on the ether!

So - it's either going to puke oil out the sump seal, leak like a sieve where the sump gasket was torn up, or it is going to blow itself to bits when it gets going on the carb. If it does none of the above, at a minimum, the sump bearing and crank are not going to last long. We are waiting with bated breath!
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Old 08-13-2018, 08:16:18 PM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is online now
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Default Re: Colemen crap

The skills of your "know it all" notwithstanding, it is a shame that the typical consumer these days will buy stuff like that. It wouldn't be on the market if there wasn't a demand for it. The next cost reduction thing will probably be to use a metal foil lined plastic cylinder head.
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:44:23 PM
Vanman Vanman is offline
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Default Re: Colemen crap

At least he's only screwing up junk in this case... Hopefully he doesn't have any antiques to ruin!
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:15:30 AM
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Motormowers Motormowers is offline
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Default Re: Coleman Crap

And this hack is in an engine club??!!?!??!? Sounds like you guys just keep him around for laughs. I had a guy bring over a Chinese 1800 watt generator the other day that needed a new carb and tank from leaving gas in it over a year. Without even looking at it I told him to scrap it because right now Walmart has that same generator for sale online for $150.00 free shipping and he would pay more than half that to repair his.
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Old 08-15-2018, 10:42:44 AM
Newoldstock Newoldstock is offline
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Default Re: Coleman Crap

No one clones Briggs and Stratton engines, but Briggs does make some in China ( most I think ) and all use Chinese parts.
More likely you have a Honda clone.

Plastic cams are common now, they are also quiet and tend to be fairly reliable.
I think part of the reason might be relate to discourage the hotroding engines.

Most shops will not fix this stuff, labour exceeds the replacement cost.
But if you are going to do it that's up to you.
They are not hard to fix, parts are cheaper as dirt and most of the problems are not that hard to fix.

Often I find engines with issues I strip for parts from small engine shops.
I pay the owners for taking the time to sit on things that might be useful too me.
An engine that ran out of oil might be easily fixed with a rod from one that rusted up or has a weird crank ( like a pump or generator )
If you stick with clones you can almost always make one that runs from pieces.

As Motormowers says why waste your time and money trying to have this fixed.
He can't make money at it and he has a shop and all the right tool sand skills.
But the average fellow can fix a lot of things if he puts his mind too it.
The guy in the opening thread saw a " know it all " prove some people can not fix it themselves.

Be sure if you start to build engines out of scrap parts that the parts you use are actually the right ones.
You will find several types of engine now that look the same but might have differences inside.
The Kohler clones ( and the predator ) use a different taper on the flywheel.
This flywheel issue can be dangerous if it ever cracked and broke up.

Some cams have larger bearings, some wrist pins are bigger, some pistons have a relocated hole for the pin ( this was first seen in the 208s and 212 cc engines, but its possible to find combinations of any parts depending on who ordered what ).
Measure and be sure you don't build something that going to fly to pieces.

Some parts were made for purely political reasons like funny looking valve cover on the old HF greyhound engines.
Honda tried and lost a fight to keep the clones out of the US market and forced this cosmetic change

Last edited by Newoldstock; 08-15-2018 at 06:01:40 PM. Reason: More info
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Old 08-15-2018, 07:08:31 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Thumbs down Re: Coleman Crap

Our union hall bought a Coleman to power an electric blower. It was used to blow up a rubber rat at bad jobsites wwe were picketing. The hall got about 5 hours out of the generator, and when they took it back, the shop said "toss it" Not worth fixing, we will give you a new one. They then gave it to me to look at. The plastic cam lobes had wiped out, and the bits got into all the bearings and wiped then out too. Crank, sump, case and rod were all toast. Even the cylinder and piston were scored. it looked like sand had been thrown into the engine, but the only thing I found was busted plastic bits.. When the hall bought it, they pout 'energy saving' oil in it. Not a good idea, with the plastic cam. The stuff is murder on flat tappet cams and lifters.
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Old 08-16-2018, 08:54:12 AM
Newoldstock Newoldstock is offline
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Default Re: Coleman Crap

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Mackey View Post
Our union hall bought a Coleman to power an electric blower. It was used to blow up a rubber rat at bad jobsites we were picketing.
A rubber rat eh?
I like that very amusing.

Life was simpler back in the days when a picket line was respected, people made moral choices about employment, employers took a longer look at what they did and the future.
Now we are hurtling towards an uncertainty and precarious work.
You can't be sure of anything lasting long enough to make long term financial choices.

I feel bad for a lot of the people that cross lines, they are not all bad people often they are making a bad choice because they have no other choices to make. ( yes some are bad people, professional scabs. I try not to think about what makes a person turn into that )
They did the math and decided it was better to take the food out of my kids mouth and stick in their kids mouth and no one should have to live like that.

I am getting political now so I will withdraw from the discussion.
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Old 08-16-2018, 11:47:43 AM
armandh armandh is offline
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Default Re: Coleman Crap

I will add from the other side there is no assurance of anything lasting
and there really never was

the industry I owned a small piece of is much smaller these days.
many in the industry are gone
replaced by faster/better/cheaper information tech

who would have thought of cell phones replacing wrist watches, cameras,
personal music devices [which drove juke boxes to the wall] sorry Kodak

they say everyone remembers where they were at the moment of great events
an apartment in LA for the moon landing I held a child who is an A list success today.

there is the story of Trump leaving bankruptcy court noticing a homeless person pan-handling.
His comment; "that guy is about 900 million richer than me"

who would have thought that today the average Joe gets merchandise displayed in his home,
a service formerly reserved to the wealthy and royalty.
Amazon etc and UPS etc replacing the shopping centers. sorry walmart, sears, etc
[who did in the corner stores]

there will be change

my late mother regularly rode in a horse drawn carriage and 60 years later flew home on the Concorde
the wrist video phone was Dick Tracy science fiction.
this [2019] April 18 is the is the 244 anniversary of what is arguably our country's first digital communication
the decode algorithm known to most every boomer

the sharing of information such as this forum inconceivable by the library science of the 50s
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Last edited by armandh; 08-16-2018 at 12:12:37 PM.
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Old 08-16-2018, 12:07:09 PM
Newoldstock Newoldstock is offline
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Default Re: Coleman Crap

I am reminded of Lincoln electric.
No one laid off since the depression and a company policy to try everything to ever avoid that
Profit sharing that is transparent, honest and pays.

My employer does not promise 40 hours a week, uses layoffs and closer as a bargaining technique, modifies profit sharing and bonuses in ways to ensure you never can quite reach that carrot in front of your nose.
And sometimes people I know die on the job for reasons that seem preventable.

I am not warm and fuzzy about my employer, but we are tied together by a pension plan...
I think you get the workers/employers you deserve and its very hard to change people.
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:11:57 AM
armandh armandh is offline
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Default Re: Coleman Crap

I was lucky, I "merged" with another similar company keeping almost all of the factory side intact, keeping more of his more efficient office end and we found jobs in the industry for most every one not kept. running extremely well he was able to buy me out. paid me off by the late 90s he moved to new digs, new machinery, he even served as president of the industry's national trade organization, but fate was unkind the new lever too short for the weight tossed him but good. closed 5 years after the move. buying growth at the expense of the balance sheet is not a good idea. big leverage is a killer on the down side of the cycle. at least I have enjoyed the first 25 years of retirement. the day after tomorrow is anybody's guess.
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Last edited by armandh; 08-17-2018 at 08:53:08 AM.
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