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Here's the deal....I have a 30 year old 2,000 watt Coleman generator that works like a charm. I purchased a WEN from Menards 4 years ago that has 8 hours on it but have had nothing but trouble. The 2 is one 1 ....1 is none nags me.

The WEN has been giving me fits. I have replaced the carb and it still does not idle right. It revs high and back to low every second. So, if I take it to the shop to get it fixed.... the thing cost me 150 bucks?....I can buy another new one around $350.

I am attempting to rationalize another purchase and then down the road fix the the stupid. I do have two small and one medium freezer full of meat from a cow and hog.

Thinking of pros and cons of purchasing a new one.....
 

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Capes are cool.
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2000 watt won't help you with three freezers. Spend 500 and get a 6500 watt gen. 5 gallons of gas for a whole day off power.

Or go solar. You can spend 500 and get panels, inverter, and battery for 800 watts. No gas required.
 

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NRA Life 1971
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There are many more choices available than there were when I purchased my Homelite over twenty years ago. I intend to purchase a new unit soon.
Do your research. I will buy an American made product.
 

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Militant Normal
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Sadly WEN is nothing like the company it once was. Nothing but junk coming from them since 10-12 years ago. Don't try too hard to fix that WEN generator.

I'd like to buy American, too, but most of the "American" names are actually rebranded Chinese now. I bought a N.O.S. Coleman/Yamaha a few years back. It got stolen. In a rush I bought a Generac 5kW to replace it. It's Chinese under the paint job.

For a friend who needs a 14kW whole-house natural gas generator, I researched several, including Eaton. Electrician clued me in Eatons are rebranded Generacs. You just can't know anymore. :(

I'm no longer thinking long term due to health issues, but if I were it would be Yamaha. Honda is popular, and they run right out of the box, but to my intense dismay I learned a while ago that they have plastic camshafts. Not my cup of tea, thank you.
 

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If it's a generator' yes buy another one. You want to be ale to depend on it. Based on your description though, it sounds like you have a govenor problem. Maybe hanging up?
 

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I have 9 generators, 4 Onans, 1 Honda,1 Champion, 1 Powerback and two military.

One of the Onans is a propane 7.5 KW I haven't got hooked up yet but came out of a AT&T relay center. The other three Onans are 2500 watt rigs and run well but parts for the old ones are harder to find.

The Honda is a EZ3500 I put a hour meter on when I got it and it now has about 240 hours on it and has run 14 hours a day in ice storms.

The military generators are both 5KW, one is gas and the other is diesel. The MEP 802 is designed to run 24/365 changing oil I think every 150 hours. Longer if you are running full synthetic oil which I will change to next oil change. The MEP017 will run 24/365 on gas and I think it is changed every 80 hours. I run 30 SAE in both of them.

The main thing is to NEVER RUN ETHENOL GAS in a GAS GENERATOR.

I am saving the military models for SHTF but now run a 5250 Powerback I reworked carb on and in Hurricane Matthew I ran it 15 hr and 35 min on one tank full which powered up two fridges, one freezer, computers, lights, TV etc and would run the gas furnace had it been cold weather. It would not run the well pump so when bad weather comes we bath and lay in drinking water and fill tub to flush the john. We have run it up to five days cutting it off at night. The directions called for 21oz of SAE30 but I put in 24 oz and moly powder. On most of my stuff I remove oil plugs and change them by drilling hole in them and installing a cylindrical earth magnet to attract particles that are left from manufacture. Got the earth magnets off ebay as well.

I found out 12 years ago I could run the Honda a tank in the AM and one in PM and we were down five days and did not lose any food.

If you have run Ethenol gas in your generator you might mix some Seafoam fuel treatment with real gas and run it and let it soak.

I was forced to run ethenol in my Honda a few years back and I could tell right away it wasn't running right. Ran it for three days. When I got it home I got real gas and Seafoam and decided to just let it sit there and run with a electric heater hooked two it.

The Honda runs two hours and 8 minutes on a tank (1.6 gal) and on the third tank with Seafoam and Ethenol it finally freed up and revved up and ran fine since.

On the generator forum you will see some discussions about adding moly powder which I am a firm believer in. I use half a teaspoon to a quart for the small ones and it runs great. Most oil filters will allow about 5 microns to pass through them and the fine grain moly is about 1.5 Microns. I also run it my vehicles along with Mobil 1. Or you can buy motor oil from Germany that has moly in it but it is pricey.

On the generator forum one engineer out in I think Idaho runs a 2KW unit for his place and the model he got generally gave up about 1100 hours on the first three. On the 4th (same model) he put in Moly and it ran about 4000 hours if I remember correctly. All had the plastic internal parts.

You can get the moly powder on ebay. Just put in "moly powder". You can get it from 1 oz to large cans. A one pound can should last you about ten years. I also use it in my power steering pumps and is a excellent dry lube for firearms.

I can't tell anything on the Champion yet as it is NIB and I never unpacked it. It is a 4KW made for supplying 30 amps 120v for campers. When I do get around to cranking it up it will have Mobil 1 10W30 in it and moly powder.
 

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NRA Life 1971
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IMHO, additives do prolong generator life.
The 5500 Homelite is over 20 yrs old and has 1000 plus hours. The Briggs 11 horse motor still runs like a top.
I put an ounce of dry gas and Marvel mystery oil per tankful. Also regular maintenance and exercise are paramount.
 

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Speaking of maintenance I have 3 generators and I've never had to use them I start them up every 4 to 6 months for 10 minutes or less just to make sure they run without issue my question is how often I should be changing the oil, my current schedule is once a year but I'm thinking that it maybe overkill I'm contemplating once every other year or go with synthetic and change it once every 3 three years?

Any thoughts?
 

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Third World'er Lunatic
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my oldest is a 70s Chrysler Boat Motor company Military generator, wind the rope and and give it a tug, off she goes, 2 Onan's, one of those i pulled out of a wreaked motor home, a Honda and a Coleman, my newest one is 10, that's the Honda. I fix em up all the time. worth the trouble. stay away from 'Whacker" brand, light duty gear at best.
If yours is surging, sounds like you have a problem with the Governor , usually just a simple adjustment, sometimes a gear issue,

Last one I gave 20$ for at a yards sale, changed the fuel, cleaned out the carb, set the choke, and she fired up with the second pull.

99.9% of the time, its worth fixing them up.
 

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Sounds like the Governor needs adjustment.try putting the rod with the spring on it into another hole on the carb throttle assembly. That should stop the hunting.i believe that's what it's called.
 

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NRA Life 1971
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Speaking of maintenance I have 3 generators and I've never had to use them I start them up every 4 to 6 months for 10 minutes or less just to make sure they run without issue my question is how often I should be changing the oil, my current schedule is once a year but I'm thinking that it maybe overkill I'm contemplating once every other year or go with synthetic and change it once every 3 three years?

Any thoughts?

I would run them for an hour or more if you only do it two or three times a year.
 

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That'll be the day...
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I have had a nice Kipor, inverter, ultra quiet generator for the past 10 years. My son in law just purchase an RV Camper and bought a new $1,000 generator. He picked it up at Home Depot, its really quiet and here is the best part.....it runs on propane or gasoline. It is supposedly supposed to run solid for 17 hours on a 20lb propane bottle.

I am intrigued.......


...........
 

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reluctant sinner
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Sell the crappy one. Buy more storage fuel with the money or a small photovoltaic system - panel, charge controller, battery perhaps an inverter.

I'm betting a vacuum leak, bad gas or a mechanical issue with the governor.

10 minutes isn't enough time to warm the oil so the condensation/blow by is driven out.

I lived on generator power for weeks at time to run my radio's in the Army. Never let the generator run out of fuel with your load on it - surges can fry things.
A good ground on your unit can save your life.
 

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At work they sell a brand called Lifan think that is the name. The box says it is made in the USA. I have never heard of them and asked the driver and he knows nothing about them. Thought maybe other stores etc have said something. I would love to have one
 

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Here's the deal....I have a 30 year old 2,000 watt Coleman generator that works like a charm. I purchased a WEN from Menards 4 years ago that has 8 hours on it but have had nothing but trouble. The 2 is one 1 ....1 is none nags me.

The WEN has been giving me fits. I have replaced the carb and it still does not idle right. It revs high and back to low every second. So, if I take it to the shop to get it fixed.... the thing cost me 150 bucks?....I can buy another new one around $350.

I am attempting to rationalize another purchase and then down the road fix the the stupid. I do have two small and one medium freezer full of meat from a cow and hog.

Thinking of pros and cons of purchasing a new one.....
There doesn't seem to be a good reason to throw good money after bad. It sounds like you just got a lemon of a generator, but at least you know that now and not three months into a disaster when you need it and it doesn't work. This really illustrates the value of thoroughly testing your preparedness items rather than just buying them and sticking them on the shelf.

I would highly recommend that you simply purchase a new generator. Test it thoroughly (i.e. put a decent number of hours on it with a decent load) while it's still under warranty.

You probably don't need a big generator. If your freezers aren't too large or old, their power draw is probably a lot smaller than many here think. Our chest freezer is Energy Star rated and only draws about 150 watts running, maybe 300 to start. So even if yours draw double or triple that, a 1500 watt generator would run them all simultaneously without a problem.

There isn't a huge price difference between small and mid-sized generators. A Champion (brand I've owned and recommend and also know of many others who really like it) 1200 watt generator is about $220, while a 3500 is about $285. Many would automatically default for the larger generator ("I want maximum POWER!!"), and that may not be a bad choice depending on what other power needs you have besides the freezers.

But the other side of that argument is that a smaller generator will be more fuel efficient if it's able to provide you the power you really need and no more. That 1200 watt generator will run for 10 hours at 50% load on 1.5 gallons of gas, while the 3500 will run for 12 hours at 50% on 3.8 gallons of gas, roughly double the fuel consumption. If you don't need that extra power, the bigger generator may turn into a gas hog that's wasting precious fuel. This issue is rarely discussed on SB or by any 'preparedness gurus'.

I'm sure that you're aware of this, but you should be running your generators every month for a few minutes at least, preferably with some kind of load on them that makes them rev up a bit. If your generator allows, turn off the fuel petcock valve and let it run itself empty every time. This will prevent many/most fuel problems. Don't leave the gas tank full or it may go stale before you use it all. And don't worry about E-10 (i.e. regular gas); I've stored and used the stuff for years in my generator and vehicles with zero problems and know of many others who've done the same.
 

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Here's the deal....I have a 30 year old 2,000 watt Coleman generator that works like a charm. I purchased a WEN from Menards 4 years ago that has 8 hours on it but have had nothing but trouble. The 2 is one 1 ....1 is none nags me.

The WEN has been giving me fits. I have replaced the carb and it still does not idle right. It revs high and back to low every second. So, if I take it to the shop to get it fixed.... the thing cost me 150 bucks?....I can buy another new one around $350.

I am attempting to rationalize another purchase and then down the road fix the the stupid. I do have two small and one medium freezer full of meat from a cow and hog.

Thinking of pros and cons of purchasing a new one.....
What you're describing is a governor problem. Its called "hunting" and it isn't a really big deal. Just annoying.
 

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I had a similar issue with my DeVilbis generator, constant hunting and ranging power levels. After a lot of tinkering with it and numerous carb cleanings and settings I discovered that the problem was the fuel line valve. Wide open the thing would hunt, I closed it back a bit, had to find the point, and it would run perfectly. Idle at no load and full throttle at load. No problem after that, except when I let someone else use it and even after telling them exactly how to set it up for proper operation they mucked around with it and got it so messed up it hasn't run straight ever since.
Get it set up proper and don't let anyone else fool with it, you know your machine they don't.
 

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Micro-homesteader
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2000 watt won't help you with three freezers. Spend 500 and get a 6500 watt gen. 5 gallons of gas for a whole day off power.

Or go solar. You can spend 500 and get panels, inverter, and battery for 800 watts. No gas required.

Or diesel. 1800 RPM liquid cooled (i.e. has a radiator). Fuels stores better. Gen lasts longer. Can run 24 hrs a day if required until you run out of fuel.


--- Lobanz
 
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