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Predator Generators

Motormowers

Subscriber
Age
55
Last Subscription Date
07/13/2019
I've seen those large Predators go the distance all the time on the local Spanish food trucks that park daily down at the shore in the city. Theres about 2 dozen that have a designated lot they all set up in. They get run daily all day. Pretty impressive for made in China. Oh yeah, the food is stellar.
 

Newoldstock

Registered
You would need to look up motor winding shops in your area and either call or take the rotor in and see what they say. You might get lucky and find that one smaller shop that can do it for a little less.

They don't have to be wound by machine if great care is taken in winding them and then good varnish is applied and let setup. The rule is try to match the old winding count and direction of winding and keep the coils consistent with the taught-ness of the wire and try to wind them neatly with each winding side by side.All the supplies for doing a winding job can be bought at a motor winding shop. Although the wire might be cheaper online depending on what gauge you need.

Robert
A winding machine that produces hands free rotors and stators is for production only.
The service industry does all this by hand, imagine for a minute an assembly line that built every kind of car on earth...
Obviously this is impractical.
You might see a coil making machine that is automatic to prepare coils, but I did this by hand at one time.
I even did it on wooden jigs....

Big shop, small shop the difference in prices is more a reflection the cost of labour and quality of work and materials.
Its a cut throat business with thin margins.
Most shops will not even touch this kind of stuff unless you are prepared to pay.
Then you need to question do they have people with the skill to do rotors and armatures, do they have a balancing machine?
 

Thaumaturge

In Memory Of
Age
69
Last Subscription Date
07/12/2019
Just a casual mention of the FACT that my current "junk" Predator 4k (3200) generator just logged 5,084 hours of faithful service, as of today's oil change.

Total parts cost $4.50 for a new brush block when original set wore out after about 3800 hours.

Longevity is mostly determined by just how you treat your engines. Add drain plug magnets, regularly change oil, don't let old gas sit in carburetor. I also treat all my engines with a one time MoS2 treatment.
Doc
 

dalmatiangirl61

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
Why only 1 treatment of MoS2? What brand? My Dmax gets a dose of Slick 50 every few years, no idea if it does anything, and its free at hazmat.
 

Thaumaturge

In Memory Of
Age
69
Last Subscription Date
07/12/2019
Why only 1 treatment of MoS2? What brand? My Dmax gets a dose of Slick 50 every few years, no idea if it does anything, and its free at hazmat.
Only one treatment as for the most part one is enough. As I have reported before, as it was explained to me back in 70s, the molybdenum ionically bonds to the metal parts. Then, in a condition of lubrication breakdown, where you would get metal to metal contact, the sulphur part of the molecule "shears" and slides like graphite. Preventing actual metal to metal contact. Thus, since it only comes into play with a loss of regular lubrication protection, IF you keep enough oil in engine, one treatment should be enough.
As to what brand? I go for the pure uncut stuff. 100% pure molybdenum disulphide powder. I use one heaping teaspoon added to 3/4 quart of oil (typical small engine capacity), applied on third oil change (to give engine chance to break in.)

All other "molly treatments" use less. The stuff is relatively expensive. Think it is about $50 a pound on Amazon. But one pound is a lifetime supply.

I think one of the most important and easily dismissed tool contributing to engine longevity is the addition of drain plug magnets that get wiped clean every oil change. No matter how fine those particles are abrasive! Get them OUT of your engines. This is all the more important on slinger lubed engines that don't have oil filters. Those slingers actually do an amazing job of moving oil around. Don't think so? Try removing the dipstick from a running engine and see just how much oil comes out the hole before you can get it back in. (Tried that once... ) But point being that even in a slinger lubed engine abrasive particles will make it all the way to the top of the engine if you don't attract them to a magnet and get them out of the engine. (Even gets aluminum particles out as there is some ionic bonding between ferrous and non-ferrous metal particles.)

Nothing wrong with using free moly treatments. Free is good.

Guess I rambled enough.
Doc

---------- Post added at 06:08:24 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:05:38 PM ----------

Aww c'mon. Fairies come at night and have swapped your unit out a few times.
Might be... but they certainly aren't helping me otherwise!
Doc
 

uglyblue66

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
11/07/2018
Suggest you clean up Coleman, fresh oil, filter, etc. store it in a dry, mouse free environment, and take care of it.
I have run one for 3 days solid every year for "Field Day" .

It a nice unit, and all you need.

If you get the gasoline out of the system after each run, or do the ATF trick posted on this site, that unit should last for many, many outages.

4000 Watts will handle your refer, freezer, some lights, TV, small AC or heating system.
Except for expensive Hondas, it is better than newer stuff on market.
Where is the ATF trick on the site here?.I want to learn about it.Also,has the quality improved on the harbor freight units since this thread started.?. I may be in the market for a quiet generator for a small camper in the coming year or 2 and my old 4000 watt generac works great but is LOUD.
 

Railroads

Registered
I'm impressed with Doc's success with these predator generators. In the future if I need another gen, I am going to consider the Predator over the Champion.

The only generators that are quiet would be the Honda inverter gens and similar units in the portable range. Any of the 1800 rpm generators would be quieter than the 3600 rpm units like the Coleman and Homelite generators I have.

Robert
 

Thaumaturge

In Memory Of
Age
69
Last Subscription Date
07/12/2019
Where is the ATF trick on the site here?.I want to learn about it.Also,has the quality improved on the harbor freight units since this thread started.?. I may be in the market for a quiet generator for a small camper in the coming year or 2 and my old 4000 watt generac works great but is LOUD.
Can easily verify that the Predator 4000 is noticably quieter than even 1500 W Champions I used to run. BUT they are heavy beasts. Think I saw on a shipping label a dry weight of 125 lbs.

Looking back over this thread and comparing to my own records I see I didn't post for almost nine months. The gen I talked about last year quit outputing power after 5554 hrs. At that time last August 15th I put the current gen online. Lately I had my handyman swap brush blocks on last gen and it came back to life. Again, current gen has 5084 hours on it as of 1PM today (June 7th, 2019).

I've now owned four of the Predator 4000 gens (five if you count the new spare I have waiting.) Out of the four the only real problems I had was the second one, which was a California CARB model I was shipped by mistake. It had fuel flow problems until I drilled out the fancy tank vent it came with.
It also had a short lived probllem of a stuck decompression pall on the cam that made it a genuine bitch to start while problem lasted. (HARD PULL!) Pull was so hard I broke pull rope and had to replace it.
I've replaced -one- carburetor on last gen after choke detent broke after about 3000 hours. (Amazon $20) and the worn out brush blocks on last two ($4.50 ea through Amazon on second and about same through Aliexpress on first.)

Looks like I only have records for three of four on this computer. Looks like I got about a full year on last two (Over 5,000 hours). The CARB model "hydro locked" when carburetor float stuck open and filled open intake valve with gas, after 1560 hours. I've never tried fixing it.

Will run current model till it drops and then put spare online. At $289 each I don't mind buying one a year. Just DO NOT ger a CARB model.
Doc
 

Wayne 440

Registered
Good advice to avoid anything that is "CARB approved" if possible. I think CARB must be an acronym for "Can Actually Run Briefly"
 

uglyblue66

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
11/07/2018
I will try to do some reading on here and elsewhere instead of bugging everyone here but I am looking at using my homebuilt camper a couple places that don't have electric hook up. And if it is HOT ,I need to be able to cool off some times at least with a fan or the Duotherm rv air conditioner on top of the camper.I think it is 13,000 btu. If I was alone,I would just take the old Generac but If I was somewhere other folks are at,I think I would get tarred and feathered!:eek:
 

Vanman

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
06/10/2020
How much load are you putting on the set? And what kind of kWhr / gallon figures are you getting?
 

Thaumaturge

In Memory Of
Age
69
Last Subscription Date
07/12/2019
Usually very light load, especially in summer. In winter I run a 1500W supplimental heater, which is generally enough for me along with an electric blanket. Haven't run kWh/gal numbers. But average 1/8th or less gallons per hour on lightest load up to maybe 1/2 gph under heater & blanket. I own 4 steel 5 gallon safe-T cans that get filled once a week. Current cost about $70 a week.
Know there are cheaper ways to go but current setup is convenient.
Doc
 

tinkerman2012

Registered
I would expect each coil to be around 20 ohms. I've rewound ONE rotor, a Champion 3500 watt. (actually did the stator too).
We did about 730 turns (#24 wire) which came out a bit low according to final resistance. I'm guessing it should have been 800 turns per coil. Found it difficult to count the original turns.

We made a jig to hold the rotor by the shaft ends on the same spindle used to make the coils for stators. If you're careful with the turns it should come out fairly well balanced. We had no means available to balance after winding but the machine ran fine and is still in service.
 

Thaumaturge

In Memory Of
Age
69
Last Subscription Date
07/12/2019
Sad news, but full disclosure. Generator locked up solid! Probably 5565 hrs (just need to get final reading.)

Don't yet know problem. Generator was running just fine. Ran wednesday night till out of fuel. No unusual sounds upon running out of gas. Yet yesterday when handyman came by to start it pulled once, then locked up solid. Other handyman has unit now and will let me know what he finds, but he did verify it was locked up solid. Pretty weird failure. Will post more when I find out.... but 5565 hrs wouldn't be such a bad total if fully dead.
Doc
 

dalmatiangirl61

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
Strange it would lockup just trying to pull start, gear drive to cam? Stuck valve? Stuck valve bent from piston hitting it? Please let us know.
 

Thaumaturge

In Memory Of
Age
69
Last Subscription Date
07/12/2019
Strange it would lockup just trying to pull start, gear drive to cam? Stuck valve? Stuck valve bent from piston hitting it? Please let us know.
Yes, obvious possibilities. Something stuck in cam drive gear, sudden stuck valve, (less likely) hydrolock. I'm dubious it might be seized ring. Was cold when it suddenly locked. Could be piece of crap between rotor and stator on gen head. Can't see it gripping so hard but could be magneto dropped onto flywheel. Will lrt everyone know what is found.
Doc
 

Birken Vogt

Registered
Your experience is my very general impression that I get from various customer experiences.

Many off brand screamers will run varying amounts of time but they usually fail in dramatic and unpredictable fashion.

Honda and Kohler seem to know how to build an engine so it gives fair warning before it goes completely kaput. Like reduced compression/power, high oil consumption, hard starting.

I never claim more than 4000 usable lifespan to any potential customer but I have seen many or most of the above go 1.5 to 2x that and never seen any of them do anything stupid, such as lock up, throw a rod, or burn excessive oil at a short time unless it was due to extreme abuse/neglect.
 

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