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Predator Generators

Railroads

Registered
I am wondering if anyone has had any experiences good or bad with the Harbor Freight 3200 watt generator? I see they have them on sale right now and could not help but to wonder if it would be a good backup for the fridge and freezer? I have read a lot of information on the web about them being just more china crap. However, I get the feeling a lot of people may not know what the heck they are talking about. There is a lot of bias toward one brand or another. :rolleyes:

I am looking for a fair review and or personal experiences?

Robert
 

Billy J Shafer

Subscriber
Age
69
Last Subscription Date
09/03/2019
Some good advice. Find a stranger and just give him the money you were going to spend on the generator. I have three Harbor Freight generators in my shop. All junk. Have a problem with one. Good luck finding parts.:rant::rant::drink::drink:
 

Kevin K

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/12/2019
I don't know anything about this generator. However, three of my friends purchased the little 800 watt Harbor Freight generator when it was on sale. None of them made it over 20 hours of operation before they quit. And then there was the 1,000 pound Harbor Freight garden cart I purchased that bent with 400 pounds on it. I'll buy hand tools at Harbor Freight, but not much else.
 

Ed Sparks

In Memory Of
Last Subscription Date
06/28/2015
At the present time there are several factories in Mainland china producing generators under 25 different name brands and colors.

They are all JUNK

made using what ever parts are available today as it goes down the production line. Same parts will not be available tomorrow or next year when you need to replace them.

I knew a guy that imported them by the container load. He figured on 1 in 8 being junk right out of the box. But he bought them cheap enough to not worry about the failed units.
Same guy was giving away Yugo's with the purchase of a motorhome. Same concept buy cheap sell cheap get cheap .

nuff said.

If you want to spend money, at least get something that will give you electricity back in exchange.
 
K

Kpack

Guest
I figure if I buy a 15.00 dollar grinder and it last a little while it may be worth it or a cheap winch to pull stuff around but I wouldn't buy anything too high.
 

Isaac-1

Registered
Last Subscription Date
01/12/2014
While the question of repairability is a valid point, the real question is of reliablity since unless you have the parts on hand you will not be repairing any generator during a major outage. If it is a major disaster there is even a good chance that common repair parts (if available) will be back ordered for weeks or months afterward. Also you say here this is to backup a refrigerator and freezer, which I will take to mean you have a separate freezer, if so with today's food costs this means you are likely trying to protect several hundred dollars worth of food. Therefore it makes sense to buy something with a known reliable engine, to me this means a consumer grade Honda at a minimum, Briggs and Straton are ok for some things, Made in China no names may even have their place, but to me Honda while not perfect is a step above and stands a far better chance to still be running after a 5-7 day major power outage, even if you only get a "powered by Honda" unit with someone elses generator end.

Ike
 

Toesmack

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
02/08/2019
Unreliable, unrepairable, waste of money. See these Chinese generators at swap meets and Craigs list all the time. Sellers can't give 'em away.

If you can get it to run AND produce power, don't expect 3200 watts out of it. If you tie a rope to it you might have a decent small boat anchor. If the handle don't break off...
 

uglyblue66

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
11/07/2018
You can find a reasonable priced,repairable generator on Craigslist or the local ad's in the paper and it be a better investment than the china crap.
Save your self alot of trouble and leave that thing where it's at.
 

Andrew Mackey

Moderator
Last Subscription Date
05/14/2017
Even the Generac is a piece of junk. Home despot sells 'em, and 1 in 4 is expected to crap out before 100 hours of service! My sons shop used to sell them too. After Sandy, 1 in 3 came back with a multitude of problems. About 10% were owner fault - no oil in engine, bad gas, mice etc, but the other 90% - either bad gen ends or blown motors (chinese knock off of honda), most often con rod failure - they snap in two mid section! Several failed so violently that they blew the entire cylinder off the block!. One blew in half after only 10 hours total time.
 

Railroads

Registered
Well, Just thought I would ask. I did have a little episode this spring a quick violent storm blew out the lights thursday night and we did not get any power till saturday afternoon. Lost everything in both the fridge and freezer. over $400 dollars worth the meat. At that time I did not have any generator. Since that little episode I have picked up a second hand coleman powermate 4000 watt generator.

The sucky part of it was that all the power company had to do was come down and change a fuse on the power pole down the street. Instead they said we are a low priority since so many people in the state capital had lost power. :rant:


I honestly would love to find a Briggs powered Homelite of the 60's or 70's. A 3000 watt or 3500 watt model. But where I live we only have two places locally and a china freight 20 some odd miles away. At the local swap meets I only see Genercrap and chinese units from Lowes and Home depot, China Freight, etc. So I am kinda stuck with whats available.

Robert
 

I like oldstuff

Registered
Last Subscription Date
11/09/2015
We often see these Chisneeze gens for sale. The 5 and 7.5 KW diesels look good, and seem to be designed into in a nice user friendly box form factor with wheels and handles under names such as Titan, Aurora etc. We see them advertised for $3000-$5000. As expected they soon expire in a cloud of regulator or wire smoke. Or, the engines won't run or go bang in a spectacular fashion.

Then they show up on CL.
Titan 7.5 kW diesel generator. New in the wrapping $800.

Aurora 7.5 diesel generator. 4 months old, runs great but won't make power. $400

2012 7.5 kW diesel gen. Generator good, engine blown. $200

I cautioned a contractor friend about them but he went and bought one for a screamin deal around $2500. A couple days in and the regulator puked. Then output was low. Then the fuel injectors quit. Then the battery charging side went ballistic and cooked a couple batteries dry. He got mad at me because he knows I fix things and I wouldn't touch it. Then he got really mad as the local dealers wouldn't touch it either. Of course the fly by night seller of the things folded up.

So he went and got a new Onan unit. Ha ha guess what. Same crap Chinese quality. At least he got the dealer to refund his money on that turd.
 

Railroads

Registered
I am coming to the conclusion all these generators are just total garbage! :rant: :hide:

What is the most common problem with the china units? Is it the stupid regulators I have read so much about? Or is it the engines that are the problem? Or is it both?

Robert
 

Isaac-1

Registered
Last Subscription Date
01/12/2014
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.
 

Railroads

Registered
I was asking in regards to all portables. The Genercrap units Have already figured out somewhat from reading here and elsewhere.

Robert
 

len k

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/12/2018
Harbor Freight..... about 6 months ago saw all the ads about them. so I stopped in on way to someplace else. Everything I saw was low end and junky. All I bought were a pack of cheap wire wheels for air die-grinder. But I expect they will fly apart, china.
 

I like oldstuff

Registered
Last Subscription Date
11/09/2015
I am coming to the conclusion all these generators are just total garbage! :rant: :hide:

What is the most common problem with the china units? Is it the stupid regulators I have read so much about? Or is it the engines that are the problem? Or is it both?

Robert
Yes................................
 
K

Kpack

Guest
I am wondering if anyone has had any experiences good or bad with the Harbor Freight 3200 watt generator? I see they have them on sale right now and could not help but to wonder if it would be a good backup for the fridge and freezer? I have read a lot of information on the web about them being just more china crap. However, I get the feeling a lot of people may not know what the heck they are talking about. There is a lot of bias toward one brand or another. :rolleyes:

I am looking for a fair review and or personal experiences?

Robert
Craigslist has good older onans and sometimes other brands a little work on them and tlc I think its the only way to go. 1800 rpms all the way.
 

I like oldstuff

Registered
Last Subscription Date
11/09/2015
Rails,,,

Watch your local Craigslist and pick up something 20-30 years old which have no frickin failure prone electronics. You'll find very low time and nice Briggs powered 2000-3000 watt units with virtually new paint and shiny mufflers for $100-300.

Here's what you'll see:

...... Bought this 20 years ago and used it once. Won't start.
So clean the crap out of the carb and tank, put 15W40 Rotella in it
clean the slip rings, clean all the internal connections and run it another
20 years.

Here's a couple examples.
http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/tls/4053768393.html
http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/for/3990198798.html

As they're cast iron they hold the engine noise inside well. Stick a car muffler on them and they're very quiet.
 
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