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Old 09-14-2011, 11:30 PM
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Default What oil is in your small generator?



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Getting ready to do the second oil change on my EU2000i and that got me thinking...what type of oil is everyone running in their small 4-stroke generators? 10-30? Straight 30w? What's your climate? Dino or synthetic, etc?
Old 09-14-2011, 11:34 PM
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I use synthetic, but the viscocity rating depends on the temperature.
It gets a little colder here than where you are.
Old 09-15-2011, 12:01 AM
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Same here, synthetic 10W30. Might not need it in California but up north here it is essential. If you have any doubts, try to pour standard oil at zero degrees. It is like thick honey and will not circulate (or "splash") well until it warms up thus is hard on the engine at startup. Synthetic doesn't gel in the extreme cold nearly as bad.

Generators take so little oil and their intermittant use does'nt require frequent oil changes so why not get the best oil?
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:47 AM
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I use Mobile 1 10W-30W in my Honda EU2000i. This is the second one of these I have owned. (lost the first one in a divorce). It uses around a QT so why take a chance.
Funny story.
I was in my dingy at a floating dock in the Hudson River. I was loading the dingy up for the return trip to NC in my sailboat which was on a mooring above the Tappen Zee bridge.
A large motor boat went by causing a huge wake just when I was lifting my Honda EU2000I off the dock.
The dingy capsized and I went to the bottom of the Hudson River holding on to the Generator. The water was dirty, and cold and I found my self standing in mud on the floor of the Hudson River still holding on to the generator. I didn't panic but I would not let go of the generator which was keeping me on the bottom.
I started to walk in the dark cold water to where I figured the dock was when my feet hit some rocks.
It was the longest I ever held my breath in my life. I thought my lungs were going to burst.
I stepped up on the rocks and managed to get 3 fingers on my left hand on the boards of the dock.
I pulled my self up still holding the gen in my right hand just enough to get a breath of air.
I held on for dear life keeping my mouth above the water line.
I tried 4 times to lift the Honda with my right arm hand onto the dock while holding on the dock with 3 fingers on my left hand.
With one blast of adrenaline I managed to lift the gen out of the water and up 12 inches onto the dock with my right hand.
I was cold and wet and It took 6 months for my right shoulder to heal but I didn't let go of the Honda.
I took it and washed it with fresh water, changed the oil and air dried it.
That was 5 yrs ago, It still runs fine. It had the Mobil1 synth in it at the time.
I used it all this summer to power a pump from my creek to water my garden.
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:40 AM
arleigh arleigh is offline
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On generators that have an oil filter fallow manufacturers recomendations
On Generators with out oil filtration every 100 hours faithfully.
The first 10 hours oil change is critical and a thurough flush of the pan is advisable if possable .
On break in the rings are polishing off the cylinder hone microfine scores made while honing the cylinder during manufacture.
This iron is murder on bearings if allowed to recycle through the engine continiously.
Quick sloppy oil changes do not get rid of these filings .They settle in the rough casting areas of the pan and recontaminate the new oil, hence many generators don't last long even though oil changes have been performed .
Engines with good oil filters have magnets in the filter to catch those filings . Other tricks I have done are to take the drain plug and install a magnet in it securing it with an epoxy glue . Works great .ideally the magnet needs to be glued in such a way the metals do not touch. your not trying to magnitize the plug it's self or the whole block.
Lighter weight oils are best in small engines because the oil has to splash up into the piston and wrist pin when the dipper on the connecting rod hits it .
Non detergent oils are prefirred because the detergents tend to foam and some crank case breathers wil draw that oil through the intake of the engine and eventually run out of oil. I made a good living on people that ignored this .
Be suspicious of oil appearing out side the engine any where. I have found blocks that did not seal well from the manuacture= poor machine work or assembly or dropped. Have one on my shop floor now.
Some argue with this, but I use a heavy oil on the carb and govenor linkage, setting for long periods of time.
These get stiff and throw off correct diagnosis of poor starting after setting .
I wouldn't have said this 10 years ago, but because of the condition of the fuel we are now getting,shut off the fuel and let the generator run out of fuel and die , rather than shutting it off with the switch or key.
Good luck with your project.
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:52 AM
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Royal Purple 5W30. Generator is a Genrac 8000 watts with 13,500 starting power.
Old 09-15-2011, 02:23 AM
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Straight 30W Castrol. Change it every 30 hours of running time. Straight weight is best for an air cooled motor. I used to work on small engines and that was the recommendation from Briggs and Stratton. What I still use to this day and it has never failed me.
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:41 AM
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Mobile 1, dmen
Old 09-15-2011, 11:11 AM
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if you are running a Honda generator... Honda makes a special multi weight oil.

other than that... it depends on the temperature where you live. the manual that came with your generator should have a chart.

most climates use a 30 weight.
Old 09-15-2011, 12:16 PM
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same as my diesel truck 15-40 valvoline
Old 09-15-2011, 12:21 PM
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Mobil 1 10W30 fom Wallly World,can't beat the price...
Old 09-15-2011, 12:22 PM
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Castrol 5/30 Syntec...
Old 09-15-2011, 12:41 PM
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Mobil 1
Here is a neat vid of how to do it without a mess!
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:51 PM
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Good thread, oil is one of those items you don't see to much as far as preps. Make sure we stock plenty of it for all equipment we plan to use especially for our small engines.
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:16 PM
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I use 10 - 30,,, or whatever I have on hand.

I use 10-30 high mileage castrol in my truck, so I use the same thing in my generator.
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:14 PM
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Royal Purple 5W-30 in a Yamaha EF3000iSEB
Old 09-15-2011, 06:02 PM
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Mobil 1 Synthetic 10/30
I use it in my Honda EU2000's (I have a pair) and all my other small engines.
I am also changing out all my gas engine automobiles out to the same.

Old 09-15-2011, 07:29 PM
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I have a Generac 5 KW. I keep a logbook for it to keep track of the run hours for maintenance purposes. It has a 10 HP Tecumseh engine, and the oil specifications are: above 32 deg. SAE 30W, 0-32 deg. 5W30, and below 0 is 0W30 which I had never heard of. I followed the book for break in period then I called Generac to ask about using synthetic oil. They told me absolutely recommended synthetic oil. I have had that generator since 1999 and it has never failed me.
I also keep on hand extra spark plugs, and air filters. I hope to get a carb kit for it just to have on hand, you just never know.
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Old 09-15-2011, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Warrior View Post
I have a Generac 5 KW. I keep a logbook for it to keep track of the run hours for maintenance purposes. It has a 10 HP Tecumseh engine, and the oil specifications are: above 32 deg. SAE 30W, 0-32 deg. 5W30, and below 0 is 0W30 which I had never heard of. I followed the book for break in period then I called Generac to ask about using synthetic oil. They told me absolutely recommended synthetic oil. I have had that generator since 1999 and it has never failed me.
I also keep on hand extra spark plugs, and air filters. I hope to get a carb kit for it just to have on hand, you just never know.
My Coleman 5000 Watt - ER also has the 10 hp Tecumpseh. We bought ours in 1994 and it's still running great. I'm still running regular oil in it instead of synthetic and the only time it's ever had to go into the shop was when we got some gas that turned milky (it had been stored with StaBil for about 9 months), but we decided to run it anyway. The genny ran on that tank, but refused to start after that tank ran out. Carb rebuild and tank flush brought it right back to 100%.

A friend of mine also had the exact same genny and he was very OCD about only running synthetic oil in his and he changed the oil at the proper levels. His genny ended up throwing a rod through the side wall of the engine, making about a 3 inch hole in the side. I'm not necessarily blaming the synthetic oil for that because I do not know exactly how many hours he had on it. I think it could happen to any engine if something mechanical was wrong with it.

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Old 09-15-2011, 08:33 PM
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I probably use my Honda EU2000i more than most here. I have been using it on my boat


for the stove, microwave, battery charger, and A/C every weekend in the summer, 6 - 13 hrs. a day for the last 6 yrs. It gets an oil change at the end of each season (Castrol 10w-30), and got it's first new spark plug last summer. These things cost more, but are bullet-proof. Mine has sat on the swim platform many nights in the pouring rain with no damage. Best deal I have found on Hondas is Mayberrys. Give them a call as they can't list their low prices online.
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