Generators and Electric Motors
[Home] - [HELP] - [Forums] - [Library] - [Photo Gallery] - [Groups] - [Classified Ads] - [Subscribe] - [Links] - [Books] - [Sponsors] -

Go Back   SmokStak > SmokStak® Vintage Electrical Equipment > Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion
Forgot Password? Join Us!

Notices

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

Predator Generators


this thread has 168 replies and has been viewed 117817 times

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #41  
Old 09-16-2013, 10:29:52 PM
jimafm jimafm is offline
Registered
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Posts: 6
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 1 Post
Default Re: Predator Generators

I picked up a 6KW older Briggs(read that made in America, parts and service available at any mower shop) at a local pawn shop for $200 after a little haggling. Even came with a 30 day right of return. Doesn't get any better than that! With all the referrals to Craigs and eBay, you would think someone would remember the guy down the street. Last time I was in there, they had no less than 6 for sale. And, you get to try it before you buy it, plus most will hold one for 30 days for 10%. Gives you time to sneak it past the wife if you are like me and just can't turn down a good deal on one. I'm going to convert mine to run on the natural gas at our house. Kits are available from an advertiser on this site, and the best I have found.

The biggest problem with any genset on gasoline is they consume far more fuel than you can safely store. During a recent tornado outage of 7 days, I went through over $400 worth of gasoline in my little 6.5KW Honda/Coleman. And I only ran it 12 hours per day. Just try finding gasoline when the power is off. Natural gas usually stays on regardless, but I also have a smaller diesel and a 55 gallon drum of fuel oil.

I once started and ran a 50 year old genset on fuel oil not used for nearly 15 years. It got me through 3 hurricanes in a row over a two week period on less than 40 gallons, running 24/7. The stuff is the cheapest of all fuels for gensets, by far. Plus, they even deliver it to your home for free, so all you need is a clean, used, 55 gallon drum. Even in your way for a few years in the garage, a 55 gallon drum of fuel oil sure beats trying to find a gas station with power when the roads are blocked.

Lacking natural gas, diesel is the only way to go, and still the most reliable of all. Natural gas is a little cleaner, easier, and more compact if you live in the burbs and have the neighbor factor.

Forget LP. A 250 gallon pig will run a 7.5 KW Genrack about a week, and cost you nearly a grand where I live! They don't mention that at Home Depot. Plus, the pig ain't cheap and just as ugly as, well, a pig. As for safety, you would be better off filling it with gasoline, which will usually just burn rather than leveling a city block or two if something goes wrong.

As for China engines, or anything else cheap turning at 3,600RPM for any length of time, they simply can't. The problem is the engines were never designed for running long periods, they were designed for cutting grass. Over time, they don't get enough air, and the overheated parts bind and the whole thing goes bang. Even the Hondas (best I've found) need to be the GX series designed for generators or pumps. You can spot them because they don't have throttles. They have larger air cleaners and better cooling and were designed for long run periods. Even those require oil changes every 2 days, or so, and should be rested 8 to 12 hours per day to last.

While I'm spewing advice, here's a trick I learned riding out Hurricane Hugo in Charleston, SC, for 2 weeks on my 7.5KW, 1945 Onan. When you go to bed, connect your electric hot water heater to the genset, even if it is only 120V and your heater is 240V as in my case. It will take about twice as long (i.e. most of the night), but, with care, you will have hot water all the next day. After a few days of disaster, a hot shower is golden. Note this 120 for a 240 trick is ONLY good on a pure resistive load like a stove oven or water heater. And, I'd stay away from modern, computer-controlled stoves. Anything with a motor like refrigeration, HVAC, dryers and the like will be damaged and may take the genset with them.

Best bet, gas or diesel, is a 30 year old Onan, Kholer, Wisconsin, etc. Cast iron everything, 1,800RPM, uses little fuel, long service interval and is both quiet and too heavy to steal (VERY important and often overlooked). If it is still running after 30 years, you can bet your $400 worth of meat on it.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to jimafm For This Post:
Sponsored Links
  #42  
Old 09-16-2013, 11:27:32 PM
len k len k is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Manchester, New Hampshire
Posts: 18,756
Thanks: 632
Thanked 7,150 Times in 5,109 Posts
Default Re: Predator Generators

Propane liquid fuel consumption is ~ 15% more than gasoline on gal/hr basis, for equal loads.
Eletric water heaters..... if don't rewire things power consumption (as is heating rate, watts) on 120 is 1/4 that of on 240.
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 09-16-2013, 11:38:27 PM
Ed Sparks Ed Sparks is offline
In Memory Of
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Bailey Island, Maine
Posts: 4,885
Thanks: 2,906
Thanked 3,482 Times in 2,060 Posts
Default Re: Predator Generators

I just signed my upcoming years propane contract at $1.99/ gallon, so thats a lot less expensive than gasoline [$3.72/gal] or diesel [$4,18/gal] in our area.
Plus they deliver.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Ed Sparks For This Post:
  #44  
Old 09-17-2013, 01:12:16 AM
Toesmack's Avatar
Toesmack Toesmack is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Sparks, Nevada
Posts: 522
Thanks: 290
Thanked 367 Times in 208 Posts
Images: 7
Default Re: Predator Generators

Per kilowatt of output you will burn up to twice as much LP as Diesel. My 7.5 Generac LP in the motorhome burns 1.5 to 2 GPH. My Onan Diesel 7.5 under similar load burns .7 to .9 GPH.
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 09-17-2013, 01:22:36 AM
Railroads Railroads is offline
Registered-III
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: North Carolina, USA
Posts: 2,006
Thanks: 1,783
Thanked 1,793 Times in 782 Posts
Default Re: Predator Generators

Ed, My home is a rental. The water pump line comes above the ground at the end of the house and runs along the outside of the house til it gets to a spot on the side of the building where it enters the service box. I have no darn clue as to why this line comes above ground in this manner. However, The silly thing did get chopped in the mower by accident a couple of years ago. Since then I secured the line to the side of the building and spliced it inside a water resistant box. Cheap fix for a person in my shoes!

Now, I do not have any switch panels or transfers. When I need to use my little genny I just run cords to my loads.

What I am asking is how would you recommend connecting the water pump directly to my generator?

When I loose power I would like to take a 5 foot piece of 12/2 and disconnect the splice in the metal box (after shutting off the breakers) and wire nut a pig tail to the well cable with a plug at the other end. The part of the original well power coming from my service would just be wire lugged and left for reconnection when the lights come back on. Would I use the 240 volt generator recepticle or the two 120 volt plugs?

The only problem I am having is the freakin generator plugs. The 240 appears to be a single phase supply? One hot, One neutral, One ground. Not the split phase wiring of a typical USA setup.


Edit, Right now my water is 120 volts. Assuming I go to the trouble for a conversion to 240 volts. What set of plugs on the 4 KW Coleman would I use? I would assume the two 120 volt plugs feeding a specially made up box that I could just plug the pigtale into and then plug the box in to the generator. The pigtale feeds the pump motor. The 20 amp service to the pump would be disconnected on the side of the building where the splice is hidden in a metal box.

Robert
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 09-17-2013, 04:39:25 AM
Horsepoor Horsepoor is offline
Registered
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: West Palm Beach, Florida
Posts: 1
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default Re: Predator Generators

I purchased two of these 2 strokes last year: One on sale from HF $79 & the other from Home Depot at $99 to get the 12 VDC port. For the money these are well worth it. If you do what I list below, your unit will power a 5,000 BTU window AC also. More on the AC unit later, first you need to conduct the following break in procedures:

#0 – Buy a Kill-a-Watt meter of you don’t have one. $30 investment and you will need it to set the RPM so you can get the proper frequency of 60 hz.

#1 – Clean all the metal shavings and other crap out of the new fuel tank. No quality control, metal shaving left inside both tanks. Clean float bowl on the carburetor while you have the fuel tank off, it is easy.

#2 - Replace the cheap fuel line with a contemporary / decent fuel line. Add a small fuel filter if you are motivated .

#3 – Buy a NGK, Champion, Autolite, or something similar. The spark plug it comes with is junk.

#4 – The most important factor is to follow the break in procedure of at least 20 hours at 50% load (400 watts). Yes, 20 hours or more, this seems to allow the rings to seat and the engine will then make full power.

Now you can load the unit up to 750 to 800 watts. Both of mine will make this level of power but what I really wanted to do was to determine if I could power a window AC. This is how you do it. For about $10 buy a Supco SPP6 two wire hard start kit. Takes about 15 minutes to install in your AC. Make sure it is not the SPP6E.

http://www.amazon.com/SPP6-Capacitor...=pd_sim_misc_3

Use of the SPP6 will allow the little two stroke to overcome the compressor start up surge and run the unit while consuming 540 watts of constant power. This is how you do it. And, in my opion, for the money, these little units are worth $80.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Horsepoor For This Post:
  #47  
Old 09-17-2013, 07:31:22 PM
Graycenphil Graycenphil is offline
Registered-III
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Eastford, Connecticut
Posts: 866
Thanks: 634
Thanked 176 Times in 135 Posts
Default Re: Predator Generators

I just read the latest issue of Consumer Reports, which has a test of generators. They gave the Predator a pretty good rating, and called it a "Best Buy".

I wonder how long they test them for? Maybe they should do a survey of owners to look for breakdowns.
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 09-17-2013, 08:14:01 PM
Billy J Shafer's Avatar
Billy J Shafer Billy J Shafer is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Centerville, Texas
Posts: 18,784
Thanks: 10,014
Thanked 16,628 Times in 7,720 Posts
Default Re: Predator Generators

They also gave the Onan Aux unit. A best buy rating. Biggest Onan flop before Tech star came along. Couldn't give the things away.
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 09-20-2013, 12:28:18 AM
Railroads Railroads is offline
Registered-III
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: North Carolina, USA
Posts: 2,006
Thanks: 1,783
Thanked 1,793 Times in 782 Posts
Default Re: Predator Generators

Hi Ed, I sorted out my problem. The 220 on the Coleman is in fact the standard two pole setup of the US. The third prong that looks like the standard earth ground on the 120 volt plug is the neutral/ground on the 220. These 220 plugs on the Coleman are of a older design and thus the confusion.

Robert
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 09-20-2013, 07:10:51 AM
armandh armandh is offline
Sponsor
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Suburban St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 3,090
Thanks: 292
Thanked 866 Times in 652 Posts
Default Re: Predator Generators

here is the problem the 230 volt plug is 2 hots and an earth ground

it is likely the generator is bonded as well [not a safe way to feed a bonded distribution]

I converted my Coleman to un-bonded 4 wire 240 for safely feeding my interlocked [bonded] distribution panel.

but if I had to back feed in a dire emergency
I would pull the meter if the mains could not be locked off.
and use two 115 volt 3 wire cords.
thus doubling the grounds and neutrals.

I think I would rather re feed a gas furnace power with an extension cord
Reply With Quote
  #51  
Old 09-21-2013, 02:23:36 AM
Railroads Railroads is offline
Registered-III
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: North Carolina, USA
Posts: 2,006
Thanks: 1,783
Thanked 1,793 Times in 782 Posts
Default Re: Predator Generators

Hi, According to my Clymer manual you are correct. The 220 is a bonded earth/neutral.

I do not feed the main circuit box. This is illegal around here. Since I have no switch over panels I just run heavy cords to my loads.

The water is the only pain in the behind. I have to shut off the pump motor at the circuit box. Then at the pump disconnect the wires and connect up a short cable to plug into the generator.

Robert
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 09-21-2013, 03:18:18 AM
armandh armandh is offline
Sponsor
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Suburban St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 3,090
Thanks: 292
Thanked 866 Times in 652 Posts
Default Re: Predator Generators

then the solution is simple
at the most convenient spot
put a socket and plug in the feed to the well pump
such that the well pump 3 wire connection [hot, hot, and safety ground]
can be powered by the generator in a safe 3 wire [240V only] connection
by simply unplugging it from the house power and plugging into the generator

even 240 volt only 3 wire extensions can be made with the correct plugs and sockets (-.-)

a good spot electrically is just B4 the pump pressure switch or controls which ever is first
but if there is a sub panel or any 120V use in the pump house it should be after that
in a situation where the pump controls and pressure switch are in the house [pit-less well]
the plug and socket should be between the distribution breaker and the pump controls

Last edited by armandh; 09-21-2013 at 03:31:17 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 09-21-2013, 03:44:40 PM
Railroads Railroads is offline
Registered-III
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: North Carolina, USA
Posts: 2,006
Thanks: 1,783
Thanked 1,793 Times in 782 Posts
Default Re: Predator Generators

Thank you for the reply. Any ideas of what kind of boxes would be correct for exposure to the elements? Pictures would be good.

Robert
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 09-22-2013, 07:26:41 AM
armandh armandh is offline
Sponsor
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Suburban St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 3,090
Thanks: 292
Thanked 866 Times in 652 Posts
Default Re: Predator Generators

this is the sort of stuff one wants to have work when needed

drip proof stuff is not all that water tight
having the "drip proof" connection point under roof is better

this type of enclosure except single 240 volt twist lock outlet
http://www.homedepot.com/p/GE-20-Amp...f#.Uj7XU_Wt1g8

Last edited by armandh; 09-22-2013 at 07:43:06 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 09-22-2013, 03:19:48 PM
Railroads Railroads is offline
Registered-III
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: North Carolina, USA
Posts: 2,006
Thanks: 1,783
Thanked 1,793 Times in 782 Posts
Default Re: Predator Generators

Thanks.

Robert
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 01-21-2015, 12:45:16 AM
magnumtd magnumtd is offline
Registered
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Knightsen, California
Posts: 1
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default Re: Predator Generators

Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
I have never owned one of these myself, but from what I have read they tend to have no strong point, failures are probably about 50/50 generator end vs engine end, and could be any number of specific failure points. Asking what the weak point on them is, is sort of like asking what the weak point was on the Yugo, and the answer is poor build quality.
Would all of you care for some cheese to go with your whine? After finding Harbor Freights customer service is less than useless, I got my smarter than me phone, went online, eventually finding the manufacturers ,and two parts sources, one that sells hot-rod parts for Predator engines. You're right about nobody wanting to work on them. Oh, the Coleman generator? Chongqing RATO, JONG DANG,and one other makes all the generators.I've got 2000+ hrs. on my Predator 4000/3200 gen. when it broke. With only a governor spring, and pull rope breaking, in 14months. Don't sound like junk to me, and I think I broke it, rrather than it failing. Anyone remember the first Honda cars? CChinese quality is improving. Magnumtd
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to magnumtd For This Post:
  #57  
Old 01-21-2015, 02:04:11 AM
Thaumaturge Thaumaturge is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Beryl, Utah USA
Posts: 4,640
Thanks: 3,729
Thanked 4,949 Times in 2,064 Posts
Default Re: Predator Generators

Magnumtd: As someone who also has many thousands of hours on Chinese generators -I have actually owned, not just speculated about- I must concur with your statements. The last one read 1752 hours on the meter when it suffered a nylon cam failure. No biggie. HF 79.5 cc just happened to be the exact same engine as one used on UST 1350 generator. (Save the FACT that the Predator engine has a steel cam instead of a nylon one.)

With a 20% off coupon I bought a HF engine for $87 SHIPPED to my door. I swapped the tapered shaft crank and side discharge muffler from the old gen onto the HF engine, set speed on govenor and it is running at this moment with about 600 hours on it already without a problem. All I do is change the oil weekly (not a biggie at about 1/2 a quart) and add a strong magnet to drain plug.

I own an old Kohler 4.5 KW and a U.S. military surplus Lombardini 6.5 KW gen that I use for my high power needs, but running on generator as my primary source of power I am much more interested in fuel efficiency and running time per tank. I get between 12-14 hours of gen power from a 1.1 gallon tank.

I've had FAR more problems in far fewer hours on both my Kohler and my surplus gen. A new automatic choke for my Kohler is priced at $234! The wiring on my USA MADE surplus gen (with Baldor gen head) was absolute CRAP that melted into a blob on the connector between gen head and output panel. (US mfg used CRAP 9A MOLEX connectors on 20 A circuits. My springtime project will be to fully rewire output using 40 A barrier strips between gen head and output panel.)

I wonder just how many hours actual running time -without any failures- all these China bashers are getting on their beloved Onans and Kohlers. I KNOW I can count on getting well over 1000 hours of REAL DAILY USAGE out of my cheap Chinese crap. And then buy TWO replacement engines for less than one Kohler replacement part.

I guess everyone is entitled to their own delusions.... I just choose to base mine upon actual experience instead of heavily biased speculation.

Let the flames begin!
Doc
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 01-21-2015, 09:05:17 AM
Joe Romas Joe Romas is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 399
Thanks: 24
Thanked 91 Times in 83 Posts
Default Re: Predator Generators

I've personally owned 8 Chinese Generators purely as a hobby. Our power is mostly reliable but has gone out for several days at a time. Four of the 8 were air cooled Diesel powered the so called "Silent" 10 HP ones and six HP open frame ones. I bought them all used and two with problems that were operator caused. (stupidity)
You don't use ether in a modern small diesel engine, it will break the top piston lan, even VW and Kubota say so.
And you don't connect the battery ground strap to anything other than the engine block. You can end up powering the starter through the frame ground wire. The ground wire will melt and short out power leads killing the generator.

I found on the small HF 2 cycle engines that don't start have stuck reed valves that is easily cured by spraying WD-40 into the carburetor throat.

That said my "real" standby is a Kubota powered former light tower. At 3200 hours it is just broken in, sips fuel and is built like a brick outhouse. The gen head is a Stamford/Newage built in England. The light tower enclosure makes it weather proof and with some stick on sound deadening it's almost quiet.

I have had clone engines on pressure washers, currently a 4000 psi 4 gpm 420cc unit and have had no problems.

For the money the current crop of China generators are a bargain.

There are currently two "runs good but no output" Honda EB3500's on Craig's list locally.
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 01-21-2015, 10:18:42 AM
Stevem Stevem is offline
Registered
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Portland, Oregon,USA
Posts: 13
Thanks: 7
Thanked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Default Re: Predator Generators

I tend to agree that Harbor
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 01-22-2015, 08:33:29 AM
armandh armandh is offline
Sponsor
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Suburban St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 3,090
Thanks: 292
Thanked 866 Times in 652 Posts
Default Re: Predator Generators

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnVH View Post
I love harbor freight, bought a lot of stuff there. I have a few friends with the $89 2 stroke generators, they love them, Im positive 99% of the time its user error when stuff fails.
you gave me a great laugh to start the day
I have one too for use with a hedge clippers far from power.
but not for 24/7 emergency use

as I said this one has been reliable since the early 1960s as far as the major stuff
http://www.smokstak.com/forum/attach...1&d=1179334731
built when I was in High School, powered by a K series opposed twin rated at 23 HP on a 7.2 KW generator [1PF]
the switch to Al Gore Gasoline caused a need for a few external replacements
run 24/7 through major winter Ice Storms it will likely out live my children.

Last edited by armandh; 01-22-2015 at 09:08:03 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

F o r u m Jump

Similar Threads Chosen at Random
Thread Thread Starter F o r u m Replies Last Post
Old car Generators as Starter/generators dhiesel Small Air Cooled Gasoline Engines 7 07-18-2012 01:41:03 AM
Syncing two generators or sinking generators James Storm Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion 7 03-03-2010 04:45:15 PM
Anyone know about Hol-Gar generators? DaveBos Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion 13 11-29-2007 11:02:17 AM
Generators George G. Fries Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion 5 08-22-2004 10:18:38 PM


Use "Ctrl" mouse wheel to change screen size.
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:46:51 PM.

Smokstak and Enginads site search!


All use is subject to our TERMS OF SERVICE
SMOKSTAK® is a Registered Trade Mark - A Community of Antique Engine Enthusiasts
Copyright © 2000 - 2019 by Harry Matthews P.O. Box 5612 - Sarasota, FL 34277