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Predator Generators


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  #81  
Old 09-10-2016, 06:49:08 AM
Arkie Arkie is offline
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Default Re: Predator Generators

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Originally Posted by armandh View Post
I got this free + $16 trailer rental and a 1/4 tank of gas
with only 1120 hrs on it, why mess with a clone?
http://www.smokstak.com/forum/attach...3&d=1472049673
I had to go look. Thought that was my Onan. Mine was still here.

Mine had about 100 hours and would not start when went to exercise test.
Further testing revealed no oil pressure. Could not believe I found the Oil pump gears broken with clean oil in the unit.

I exercise the unit at least once a month, usually two times a month and all at once the carb clogged, even with a inline fuel filter and non-ethanol fuel. Have to unbolt manifold to remove carb. Good cleaning with low pressure air only and back together and ok again.
I trust the non-portable Onan as compared to my other PORTABLE gens.
If it's mechanical Murphy's Law can strike at any time.
If it's China made you are inviting trouble. (Murphy's Law is built in)
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  #82  
Old 09-10-2016, 07:34:05 AM
Thaumaturge Thaumaturge is offline
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Default Re: Predator Generators

I find it interesting that all these people who typically run their generators a few hours a month (at most) view themselves as experts on the subject of machines that they would never consider owning.

ACTUAL FACT: I ran my -junk- Predator 3200 W (4k) generator 320 hours between August 10th meter reading and September 10th (today). That is an average of 10.3 hours every day!

Maintenance? I change the oil once a week. I've replaced a few spark plugs. I never run E85. Typically starts first pull.
I own other gens including a mil surplus diesel powered 7kw and a Kohler 4.5CMK21RV. The wiring smoked on the mil surplus gen because some egghead US engineer used crap molex connectors between the Baldor head and the output panel. The Kohler has electric choke problems and the parts to fix it only cost twice what I paid for the whole gen.
I paid $289 for my -junk- Predator gen delivered to my door. When it wears out (which I expect after about 1500 more hours) I have a brand new spare sitting in the box. When I switch over I'll swap a brand new in box Predator $99 engine into the gen I'm using now. That will become my new spare.

I don't just occaisionally run my gens to keep my freezer from thawing or my air conditioner working during an unexpected power outage. I rely on and run them every single day as my primary power source. If they don't run, I spend a dark night.

So exactly who has the most applicable experience to report on Predator gens?
Doc
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  #83  
Old 09-10-2016, 08:12:09 AM
armandh armandh is offline
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Default Re: Predator Generators

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Originally Posted by Handyhiker1 View Post
Throw that [NH] in the back of your truck by yourself and head out to a job site for the day. Then realize that they need the generator on the other side and your truck can't get there. Again, generators are built for different needs, they produce power sure, but one size/style doesn't fit all.
point well made
and for running the hedge clippers at the former home's far end [etc]
I've got a harbor freight 1000 [850 watt] 2 cycle
but I would not want to actually depend on it.
If it absolutely had to work [for me to work] I'd go for a 2KW Honda inverter portable.

as noted earlier you could not afford [insert brand] if built that way today
when it comes to cheap but replaceable vs quality; I'd prefer inexpensive in the long run, with quality, see next.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Edwards_Deming why Ford did not need a bail out.

Last edited by armandh; 09-10-2016 at 08:57:35 AM.
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  #84  
Old 09-10-2016, 12:04:49 PM
Arkie Arkie is offline
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Default Re: Predator Generators

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thaumaturge View Post
I find it interesting that all these people who typically run their generators a few hours a month (at most) view themselves as experts on the subject of machines that they would never consider owning.

ACTUAL FACT: I ran my -junk- Predator 3200 W (4k) generator 320 hours between August 10th meter reading and September 10th (today). That is an average of 10.3 hours every day!

Maintenance? I change the oil once a week. I've replaced a few spark plugs. I never run E85. Typically starts first pull.
I own other gens including a mil surplus diesel powered 7kw and a Kohler 4.5CMK21RV. The wiring smoked on the mil surplus gen because some egghead US engineer used crap molex connectors between the Baldor head and the output panel. The Kohler has electric choke problems and the parts to fix it only cost twice what I paid for the whole gen.
I paid $289 for my -junk- Predator gen delivered to my door. When it wears out (which I expect after about 1500 more hours) I have a brand new spare sitting in the box. When I switch over I'll swap a brand new in box Predator $99 engine into the gen I'm using now. That will become my new spare.

I don't just occaisionally run my gens to keep my freezer from thawing or my air conditioner working during an unexpected power outage. I rely on and run them every single day as my primary power source. If they don't run, I spend a dark night.

So exactly who has the most applicable experience to report on Predator gens?
Doc
I have to DEPEND on EMERGENCY gen's also.

Was out of utility for 21 days once and couple years before that for around 15 days. Quiet often in winter for couple days. Utility was off for about 4 hrs labor day.

Have 4 gens. the Onan like in the picture. (it did good.)

A electric start 5 kw coleman, A 1500 vintage sears 120v,
and I loaned a Honda clone 2 kw to my son to keep a freezer and fridge going and gave him oil and told him to check oil each time it needed gas.

The China Honda clone ran for about 24 hrs and engine quit running and he broke the recoil mechanism cranking it. A valve spring came off and the valve dropped and ruined the head. I installed another heads and Honda valve system and fixed the recoil.
You have the right idea when actually having to depend on a emergency gen, have a spare one ready for backup or immediate parts no matter what type of unit you have.

I loaned my son the 1500 Vintage sears, (one guy or gal can carry it around) and he kept his fridge, freezer and central heat fan running (natural gas burner) for several days, intermittently using the Vintage 1500 with a 2 gal gas tank. (and he actually returned it)

I only have a big wood pile for heat when utility is down. Almost ready to start burning wood furniture at the latter part of the 21 day event.

Last edited by Arkie; 09-10-2016 at 12:08:11 PM. Reason: typo
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  #85  
Old 09-10-2016, 12:34:05 PM
Birken Vogt Birken Vogt is offline
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Default Re: Predator Generators

[QUOTE=Arkie;1315404]You have the right idea when actually having to depend on a emergency gen, have a spare one ready for backup or immediate parts no matter what type of unit you have.
[quote]

You got that right. Even a fancy high end generator still has hundred of parts that can break at any time and put you out of business for days. Especially if the roads are not in good shape. I just had a near new Onan GGDB break off part of a tensioner spring and go through the timing belt. Took out the belt and idler and the crank pulley has to be puller'ed off to fix. Ordinarily the Ford motor is bulletproof but things happen....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkie View Post
I only have a big wood pile for heat when utility is down. Almost ready to start burning wood furniture at the latter part of the 21 day event.
Huge snowstorm a few years back. Power out at 4am and snowing and blowing and carnage everywhere. Fired up the Honda to light up the house and get through the morning. Once that was done we shut it down to conserve and went to work. The house got cold during the day (no wood there) but it was a sight warmer than outside, and drier. Wife wore a sweater. Powered up for the evening and then went to bed.

Lots of people have it worse than an unheated dry house.

Not that I wouldn't burn wood now that I have a stove. I also have a gravity gas furnace here which is doubly nice. Of course I now have a real generator too.
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  #86  
Old 09-10-2016, 12:59:54 PM
Archaeometrist Archaeometrist is offline
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Default Re: Predator Generators

I don't have one of their gensets, but I did put one of Harbor Freight's Predator gas engines on my (self-propelled) mower. It's the first lawnmower engine that didn't cause my body to go into spasms trying to get it started (after a year of use), and it's lasted three years now - and runs as good as the first day. The motor got filled with water once because of a worse-than-usual storm here (even though it was covered and in shelter) and I had to drain the oil and gas and get it dried out, but once that was all taken care of, fresh gas and oil, choke on, gas on, spark on, and two pulls and I was up and running. No problems since then - the storm was a few months ago. (KNOCK ON WOOD!)

The only drawbacks have been that the gas tank seals too tight and I have to leave the lid a bit loose to let air enter (otherwise it kills the motor), and after it gets hot it's hard to re-start until it cools. Oh, and the air filter is plastic and the mounting to the carb broke. But it's been the easiest to start and run I've ever had (with maybe the exception of my old Clinton Angler). With the f-ed up body I have, easy start-and-run is necessary!

Better yet, it was affordable. I can't afford to throw away stuff and the price the shops around here demand for a new Briggs... prohibitive! It's almost cheaper to buy a whole new mower than replace a Briggs!

(Down here, we don't have to worry about staying warm or anything like that - we need a genset to keep the humidity down so the clothes won't mildew in the closets, and to keep heat exhaustion at bay, plus keep food from spoiling and water in the pipes!)
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  #87  
Old 09-11-2016, 08:07:11 PM
Newoldstock Newoldstock is offline
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Default Re: Predator Generators

The Predator, Powerfist, WASP, ect are all basic the same engines.

The difference in quality comes not from the assembler but the man who ordered it.

I am told making copies of things is something of an art in China.
They do not see reproductions or clones of things as bad but rather a way to bring something too the masses.
And if you make a really good copy of something you are respected not made fun of.

Here is the hook...
Anyone can order anything from China as a clone or copy and they are more than willing to make it as cheap as you ask, or the best they can deliver.
Most companies that outsource did so to make things as cheap as possible so it is inevitable we get a lot of crap from China.

Clone GX and GXV engines are the bees knees!
The best ones have interchangeable parts, and even new parts can be had to fix things you might normally consider scrap.
You can get a lot of good service from those clones and they start easy too!

Now if Tecumseh had of seen the writing on the wall they would have bought the best parts from China and made the best clones in their plants.
Briggs and Kohler saw the light and they make and sell clones too!

The clone is a defacto standard engine now with a lot of non standard parts to customize them to an application.
Its a great thing to have a standard engine ( part of the reason we could beat the fascists and Japs was we built mass quantities of standard things our enemies could not. we should be mindful of that too.... )
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  #88  
Old 10-06-2016, 01:11:59 AM
Thaumaturge Thaumaturge is offline
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Default Re: Predator Generators

Okay, honestly have to report a failure of my 3200 / 4000 W Harbor Freight Predator generator. Roughly 2500 hours on it. (Plus a month before I added hour meter, so maybe 100-350 additional hours). Anyway, output just went to zero volts. Motor running fine. Checked the breakers and neither popped. Both sides just dead. I'd speculate that my exciter cap died. Not going to fool with it tonight (30 deg f out there!)
So tomorrow I open box on new spare and get it on line. Just have to remember where I put new inductive hour meters.
Doc
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  #89  
Old 10-06-2016, 08:57:43 PM
Railroads Railroads is offline
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Default Re: Predator Generators

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thaumaturge View Post
I find it interesting that all these people who typically run their generators a few hours a month (at most) view themselves as experts on the subject of machines that they would never consider owning.

ACTUAL FACT: I ran my -junk- Predator 3200 W (4k) generator 320 hours between August 10th meter reading and September 10th (today). That is an average of 10.3 hours every day!

Maintenance? I change the oil once a week. I've replaced a few spark plugs. I never run E85. Typically starts first pull.
I own other gens including a mil surplus diesel powered 7kw and a Kohler 4.5CMK21RV. The wiring smoked on the mil surplus gen because some egghead US engineer used crap molex connectors between the Baldor head and the output panel. The Kohler has electric choke problems and the parts to fix it only cost twice what I paid for the whole gen.
I paid $289 for my -junk- Predator gen delivered to my door. When it wears out (which I expect after about 1500 more hours) I have a brand new spare sitting in the box. When I switch over I'll swap a brand new in box Predator $99 engine into the gen I'm using now. That will become my new spare.

I don't just occaisionally run my gens to keep my freezer from thawing or my air conditioner working during an unexpected power outage. I rely on and run them every single day as my primary power source. If they don't run, I spend a dark night.

So exactly who has the most applicable experience to report on Predator gens?
Doc
Doc, Well said. I've seen some decent reviews and the HF and Champs seem to do a fair job for the price.

Robert
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  #90  
Old 10-06-2016, 09:07:24 PM
Thaumaturge Thaumaturge is offline
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Default Re: Predator Generators

FWIW.... New spare gen started first pull!
Doc
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  #91  
Old 10-29-2016, 06:01:41 PM
Deveak Deveak is offline
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Default Re: Predator Generators

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thaumaturge View Post
Okay, honestly have to report a failure of my 3200 / 4000 W Harbor Freight Predator generator. Roughly 2500 hours on it. (Plus a month before I added hour meter, so maybe 100-350 additional hours). Anyway, output just went to zero volts. Motor running fine. Checked the breakers and neither popped. Both sides just dead. I'd speculate that my exciter cap died. Not going to fool with it tonight (30 deg f out there!)
So tomorrow I open box on new spare and get it on line. Just have to remember where I put new inductive hour meters.
Doc
What kind of maintenance/ changes do you do to it? Oil??
2500 aint bad. I have seen some of the smaller champion units hit 5000 hours with really good oil like royal purple and zinc. I fully expect something to rattle loose before that though.
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  #92  
Old 10-29-2016, 06:04:56 PM
Birken Vogt Birken Vogt is offline
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Default Re: Predator Generators

5000 is all you can expect out of a Honda or even a CCK working hard, so if they make it that far or even half that, I am impressed.

Usually something goes bad long before that, though.

However I am not convinced it is only build quality but also the type of maintenance to be expected from a person who buys a 200 to 300 dollar generator.

I've fixed them with bugs clogging the gas line and lots of ones with water in gas.
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  #93  
Old 10-29-2016, 06:33:43 PM
Archaeometrist Archaeometrist is offline
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Default Re: Predator Generators

How much someone spends on, for instance, a generator has nothing to do with the sort of maintenance it would receive. Maybe that's all someone can afford?

Just because someone doesn't throw money at a gold-plated big name boat anchor, does not mean that they're also lazy, incompetent, or anything like that. Maybe that $200-$300 generator meets their needs, they've found that the brand is reliable enough, and they are happy with it?
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  #94  
Old 10-29-2016, 07:37:40 PM
Birken Vogt Birken Vogt is offline
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Just stating my experience.
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  #95  
Old 10-29-2016, 09:49:01 PM
Thaumaturge Thaumaturge is offline
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Default Re: Predator Generators

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deveak View Post
What kind of maintenance/ changes do you do to it? Oil??
2500 aint bad. I have seen some of the smaller champion units hit 5000 hours with really good oil like royal purple and zinc. I fully expect something to rattle loose before that though.
I run NAPA cheapo 15w-40 multigrade, mostly because NAPA store is much closer than big city options. (I usually like to run Castrol 20-50 in my air cooled engines. A habit from my VW days.)

Maintenance? I admit to being somewhat lax about at times. But first thing I do is to slap a good N45 neodymium magnet on the drain plug. It gets wiped clean every oil change. Given all the particles that picks up I'm convinced it contributes a lot to engine longevity just by removing abrasive particles from oil. I try to change the oil once a week. Given a 10-12 hour daily run time this averages 70-84 hours between changes. Worst case was probably two weeks (168 hours). I also do a one time addition of one teaspoon of pure molybdenum disulfide powder to third oil change (to give engine time to fully break in.) I'm convinced that this also contributes greatly to engine longevity. I've torn down one of the smaller 79.5 cc engines with over 4000 hours on it that looked almost new inside after being similarly treated.

I also run my gens atop at least a pallet to get them up out of ground dust. (Local dirt very fine silt and very windy most the time.) I also rinse air filter in gas when I do oil change (needed!)

Doc
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  #96  
Old 11-21-2016, 09:14:10 PM
turtmaster turtmaster is offline
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Default Re: Predator Generators

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thaumaturge View Post
Okay, honestly have to report a failure of my 3200 / 4000 W Harbor Freight Predator generator. Roughly 2500 hours on it. (Plus a month before I added hour meter, so maybe 100-350 additional hours). Anyway, output just went to zero volts. Motor running fine. Checked the breakers and neither popped. Both sides just dead. I'd speculate that my exciter cap died. Not going to fool with it tonight (30 deg f out there!)
So tomorrow I open box on new spare and get it on line. Just have to remember where I put new inductive hour meters.
Doc
i think that your gen has an avr, not a cap. eBay has replacements.
also what type and brand of hour meters are you using? i have gotten maybe 8? cheap $10 ones from different sellers on eBay, and 2 have failed, one had 50 hours on it then somehow reset itself to zero hours, and the other had about ~40 hours on it then the next time I looked at it it was (the generator has NO MORE then 45 hours of run time on it) "stuck" at 6230 or 6320 hours and would not change or add up hours.
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  #97  
Old 11-22-2016, 12:28:04 AM
Archaeometrist Archaeometrist is offline
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Default Re: Predator Generators

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thaumaturge View Post
(I usually like to run Castrol 20-50 in my air cooled engines. A habit from my VW days.)...
first thing I do is to slap a good N45 neodymium magnet on the drain plug. It gets wiped clean every oil change.
I use 20w50 if a motor has some age to it. Down here, it doesn't get cold enough to require anything thinner - and often stays so hot that the extra viscosity is a benefit.

The magnet is a great idea.

Oh, and there is an artificial lube my dad used to swear by - and it actually worked. I don't remember the name, but it was invented by a guy he knew. I wish I could remember the name!
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  #98  
Old 11-22-2016, 01:27:36 AM
Thaumaturge Thaumaturge is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turtmaster View Post
i think that your gen has an avr, not a cap. eBay has replacements.
also what type and brand of hour meters are you using? i have gotten maybe 8? cheap $10 ones from different sellers on eBay, and 2 have failed, one had 50 hours on it then somehow reset itself to zero hours, and the other had about ~40 hours on it then the next time I looked at it it was (the generator has NO MORE then 45 hours of run time on it) "stuck" at 6230 or 6320 hours and would not change or add up hours.
Correct on AVR, but a simple one. Just a full wave bridge and a varistor.

I've tried several different hour meters. Currently using an inductive pick up model I got a good deal on from Aliexpress. Paid $4.50 each for a batch. Don't know how long they will last, as they have battery potted along with circuit, but LCD displays.
Discovered the most common failure on the electric clock models was mechanical vibration induced failure. If you open them up you find a broken pad or trace on small circuit board. Here is what I'm currently using:https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Wate...667190339.html
Doc

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaeometrist View Post
I use 20w50 if a motor has some age to it. Down here, it doesn't get cold enough to require anything thinner - and often stays so hot that the extra viscosity is a benefit.

The magnet is a great idea.

Oh, and there is an artificial lube my dad used to swear by - and it actually worked. I don't remember the name, but it was invented by a guy he knew. I wish I could remember the name!
The reason I like 20-50 is that air cooled engines inherently run hotter than water cooled. Don't know on artificial lube. My faith in molybdenum disulfide is based upon real experience. Have torn into an engine with 4,000 plus hours on it that looked almost new inside.
Doc
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Old 11-22-2016, 07:25:55 AM
armandh armandh is offline
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Default Re: Predator Generators

my daughter has a big, heavy, no way a true portable, even on a cart....
refurbished 1978 6.5 KW Onan NH motor home pull-out.
while it only had 1000 hours on it, [just broken in]
with just modest upkeep, I expect another 35 years stand by use.

with clones and klunkerators I would expect big trouble much sooner.


home tools will not do in a setting that requires hard use; they are not built to last
if the time wasted in continuous replacement is less than the cost of a good tool...
then maybe.
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:24:57 PM
84prerunner 84prerunner is offline
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Default Re: Predator Generators

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thaumaturge View Post
Okay, honestly have to report a failure of my 3200 / 4000 W Harbor Freight Predator generator. Roughly 2500 hours on it. (Plus a month before I added hour meter, so maybe 100-350 additional hours). Anyway, output just went to zero volts. Motor running fine. Checked the breakers and neither popped. Both sides just dead. I'd speculate that my exciter cap died. Not going to fool with it tonight (30 deg f out there!)
So tomorrow I open box on new spare and get it on line. Just have to remember where I put new inductive hour meters.
Doc
back from the dead bump! did you ever get that thing back up and running? how many hours?

I guess ill add a little experience with Chinese generators. I have a small one i picked up off craigslist 3yrs ago for $300. it was "used" but look brand new. guy said he tool a tent camping for 1 trip to run a fan and charge phones, approximately 8hrs.
Specs: 2000 watts peak, 1650 running. labeled as a "stark toolds 62002" although i still to this day see them being sold with no labels, somethings with a black tank instead of red.

At this point i have put 62hrs on it, plus the "8" it had when i bought it. It hasnt been entirely trouble free, but it has been very abused. I use it with my cab over camper. The bulk of the hours (probably 75%) are running the AC unit which pulls a continuous 10amps. 2 years in a row now i have gone on the same trip where it is 110-115* all day which means the AC runs all day with the poor little generator cooking out in the sun. First year was probably free, ran 7hrs straight on a full tank of fuel. last year on the same trip about 2-3hrs in it started smoking the voltage was going nuts. i let it cool off and figured it was done for but fired it back up and it seemed fine for the remaining 15 or so hours i put on it. brought it home and decided to investigate the source of the smoke and tore it down. found the main output power from the gen goes through a plug before getting out of the case. that plus was almost fully melted...and i assume was shorting out when i shut it down. the plastic then rehardend and prevented further shorting out. I cut out the plug and hard wired it up. been probably free since then. Ill be going on the same trip this coming weekend, lets see if it has another 115* trip left in it!

Here are some pics. You can see how hot the plastic pieces got inside the gen. No wonder it was smoking ����







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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


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