costco honda generator

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costco is selling this weekend a honda gx390 13hp powered briggs&stratton rig for under 1k
the unit is listed as 7000 watts running power with surge power at 12000 watts
is there something in the powerhead design that allows such a wide margin that could potentially shorten the life of the unit since normally commercial units are 6000/8000w or 6500w/8000w but this one a whopping 7000/12000w ?
the costco unit is equipped also with electric start, battery and runtime meter
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jethro wrote:

BS engine and it is noisy but Honda should run quietly. When I bought mine at HD, they told me you never know what engines might be used. I considered the generac part of the unit important and another consideration is sound insulation which, I believe, keeps Honda quiet.
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Frank wrote:

thanks for the reply
any idea on the 7000/12000watt part of my question?
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I haven't seen the unit you are talking about, but the 7000 wats is probably set by the hp of the engine, and the surge 12,000 by the capacity of the generator end. In other words, you might find that same generator end connected to a larger engine rated at perhaps 10,000/12,000. If so, that sounds like a pretty good combination for home standby power.
Vaughn
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Why would B&S a motor manufacturer use a honda motor, I dont think they would. The honda motor is good, but the 12000 rating is misleading and only a second or 2 surge rating.
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wrote:

Why would B&S a motor manufacturer use a honda motor, I dont think they would. The honda motor is good, but the 12000 rating is misleading and only a second or 2 surge rating.
I guess they found out many people won't buy an engine that says B&S on it and have to use Hondas ;-)
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wrote:

I have the understanding that Generac was bought out by Briggs. When I looked for a manual for my Generac 10 hp Tecumseh, they showed the same generator stock number with a Briggs engine. I guess that for a while they used up existing stock. Yet the Generac's like mine are all over. I got a 3200 watt 4,000 peak Porter Cable generator that had a 6 HP Tecumseh engine and I replaced it with a Honda 5.5 hp. The Honda wouldn't pull the load and ran at only about 1/2 the wattage load. I later found out that Honda engines are over rated on their HP. At work they use the 18 HP Briggs and as an option they offer a 20 HP Honda. The 18 HP Honda would pull the same load as the 18 HP Briggs, so the had to use the 20 HP Honda. Both engines are the V2 design. This is on the Stanley Hydraulic Power units.
http://stanleyhydraulic.com/Products/PowerUnits/tabid/142/Default.aspx
Richard W.
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wrote:

I actually have only a little experience with the B&S OHV engines and it has been favorable, but those of us who have tried to work on their old standard lawnmower type engines realize they are basically disposable. Short blocks are available for a reasonable amount of money for the vertical shaft models but none were available for a comparable horizonital shaft engine such as is found on their Pulse 1850 generator. So, basically, in my mind they have a reputation for making cheap, crappy engines. That doesn't mean that they don't make better engines now, but in my mind B&S means poor quaility so I don't even look at them.
I'm not surprised to hear that your Honda engine was overrated. I've had the same experience on a couple of their engines. Plus many generator manufacturers seem to underpower their units, probably so they can sell them for less. The maximum output they give apparently is possible under ideal conditions. I've had three (two are still running) generators in the 5000 watt range: one is powered by a Honda 9 HP, another is powered by a Tecumseh 10 HP, and the other one is powered by an 11 HP Chinese OHV engine. The Chinese have given us the little bit more power needed which can come in handy on a hot day at 3000' elevation. Without actually doing any scientific tests I would say the Honda is not quite 9 HP, the Tecumseh really does seem to be 10 HP, and the Chinese is the best suited of the three. I also have a Chinese 2000 watt generator and they put in a 5.5 HP engine and it easily keeps up with the loads. Theoretically 4.5 HP should be able to provide their surge rating of 2300 watts. I noticed that using a slightly bigger engine does not seem to increase fuel consumption, possibly because the engines are not having to work quite so hard.
I have two riding mowers and one has a B&S OHV 12.5 HP engine. The other has a Tecumseh twin cylinder 18 HP engine. The B&S seems to have more power even though the Tecumseh is rated much higher.

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wrote:

I pretty much agree with everything you say. Although did you know that the V2 Briggs engine is made Japan? It's seems all the larger Brigg's engines are made in Japan including their diesel engine. You shouldn't have had any trouble ordering a short block for a briggs generator. Also Tecumseh has went broke and you might want to find a new short block while you can. They say parts will be made for many years, but so far no one has picked up the engine lines. I read this on the generator forum on Smokestak. There is a seller on Ebay that has bought up a lot of stock. The seller goes by "small-engine-deals". He has had complete engines in the past.
I know people have made adapters for generator heads so that they can be used with a belt and pulley or direct coupled. I would like to try running one with a 6 hp diesel engine. This may be a way to use generators ends with the Tecumseh engines, since no one else make an engine with the proper taper to fit the gen heads. At least if they do I have never heard about it.
Richard W.
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Caution. Many portable generators (and some that are not-so-portable) have only one bearing on the generator rotor. The other part of the rotor is supported by the engine crankshaft. It would take a machine shop to make an "adapter" to swap engines for most of those units.
Further; unless you engineered an adapter that incorporated a bearing, belt driving one of those generators would be impossible.
Vaughn
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Try an alternator pulley for a tractor. The International Harvester 1066 and the John Deere 4430 both use a dual groove pulley on the alt. IIRC the IH pulley is a larger diameter than the JD one. Your other option would be to go to a serpentine belt setup but that would require very precise belt alignment and a suitable pulley for the engine.
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message

Thanks! Someone else suggested looking at farm equipment but I didn't really know where to start. Now I have specific tractors for reference!

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On Mon, 13 Jul 2009 08:53:53 -0700, "Ulysses"

As I'm sure you know, the modern, imported, OHV small engines are all starting to look *very* similar in quality. I have a 13hp clone of the popular Honda model and it's really nicely made. Time will tell if it's as good as it looks, but there's one thing I have no doubt about: most of Honda's rep for quality was based on the difference between them and their competitors' older models. Honda earned that reputation, but the resultant brand loyalty should be less now that their competitors have improved so much.

With either engine It takes the same amount of horsepower to do the job. All other things being equal, a bigger engine should use a little more fuel since there's more friction and waste with larger piston etc. But it seems that design can sometimes make up for that. For example, our car was offered with a 2.4L 4 cylinder, and a 3.5L 6 with 100 extra hp. Even though the 6 added some weight, it delivers slightly better highway mileage. Things like chain-driven cams and variable valve timing on both cams probably more than made up for the extra friction and weight. The following year they offered a redesigned 4, and now the same vehicle gets slightly better mileage with that, which indicates that the tech is probably now equal in the 2 current engines.
Wayne
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Just want to make a NOTE, Here.....
With all the interest in Gensets that this thread has generated, it would seem that a bit of Term Definition would be in order....
1. Prime Power Generator: A Generator that was designed and built to provide power 24/7/365, for its life, with periodic Maintainance being done at OEM prescribed intervals. Typically these turn 1800 Rpms OR Less and usually are bigger than 5 Kw, and can be as big as 5000 Kw. Design Lifetime is "Indefinant" with OEM Spec'd Periodic Rebuilds, usually in the 10-20K Hour range for Topends and 20-40k Hour IN-Frames.
2. Standby Power Generator: Similar to Prime Power Generator but rated to provide power 24/7 for anywhere from a few Hours, Days, or Weeks. Again with periodic Maintainance being done at the OEM prescribed intervals. Usually in the 5 Kw to 1000 Kw Range. Lifetime is "Indefinant" with OEM Spec'd Periodic Rebuilds, usually in the 10-20K Hour range for Topends and 20-40k Hour IN-Frames.
3. Contractor Grade Generator: These are much less robust than either of the two above, but the are designed to provide power for 18/6 for there operating life. Maybe 1800 Rpm, or 3600 Rpm, depending on their Design Lifetime, and usually are rebuild-able which can extend their useful life, out 3-5 times. Usually will have a Pressure Lubeoil system and LubeOil Filter. Design Lifetimes, with OEM Spec'd Maintainance, in the 10-20K Hour Range.
4. Consumer Grade Generator: These are typically what is found in Hardware Stores, and Discount Houses. Mostly 3600 Rpm Units, and Splash Lubed with No Oil Filter. Come is various quality Grades from "Superb", all the way down to "Cheap Junk, even when New of the Shelf" Design Lifetime, with OEM Periodic Maintainance, will vary from 500 Hours to maybe 10K Hours, for one of the "Superb" Grade Units. Most of these type units, are built in limited Factory Runs, with limited Parts availability, and this severely limits there rebuild-ability, due to lack of parts after just a few years.
From the discussions seen on this thread so far, we are not talking about either of the first two categories, and mostly about Consumer Grade Gensets.
If one REALLY wants a GOOD Genset, then it will cost a lot more than what Costco is charging, and basically the Old Adage, "You get what you pay for", applies here. I have had a couple of Prime Power Generators in the 20Kw Range, that were both in the 66K Hour Operational Range when they were replaced, and that only happened because they were 20 years old, and InFrame Parts were no longer available from the OEM in Japan. Replacement costs were in the $6K range, and if you figure in how many Contractor Grade Gensets one would have to buy to do the same job, they were cheap, at twice the price. I also have a Fairbanks/Morse 45B/3Kw that is over 60 years old, was last InFramed 5 years ago, and will not need another, in my lifetime... It runs a neighbors operation, 16/7/180 each summer, and turns at 1200 Rpm. I sold a Lister 12 Kw last summer, that came from a Mountaintop Telco Microwave Site, that had 120K Operational Hours on it, with InFrames every 40K Hours. It had just 120 Hours on it after the last InFrame, and the only reason they replaced it, was they added more load at the site, and had to put in a bigger Genset. It went to a neighbor for $1.5KUS....
--
Bruce in alaska
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wrote:

Thanks for posting that Bruce. Basically what I'm saying is that I think some cheap, crappy generators are better than other cheap, crappy generators ;-) I would like to find something that would qualify as a Prime Power or Standby Power generator that would directly charge my 48 volt battery bank. Know of any? If I ever get my 6.5 HP engine to drive my Delco alternator satisfactorily and reliably I would be very interested in either driving it with a high quality engine, or replacing it with something else altogether providing it will hold up to a few hours of every day use.

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On Mon, 13 Jul 2009 17:47:40 -0700, "Ulysses"

Take a look at the redneck generator thread. That is exactly what I am doing. This is the trick to get it to put out. Note that the light needs to be there and that it goes to the +12v.
http://gfretwell.com/electrical/DelcoSI.jpg
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I know we're always trying for the least worst solutions rather than the best. Must be because we're not living off a trust fund or have six figure incomes huh?
best of luck man
-zachary
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If only I could find someone to pay the all the stuff I want to play with...
Part of my problem is that I simply don't need a huge generator that produces 20K watts or more. All I need is about 3000 watts. Any more than that I wouldn't know what to do with it.
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Yeah me too -- i live happy on around 1000 with the occasional need for - 2-3k. Maybe this winter i'll try to build a generator out of parts like you are doing. My hondas are mostly dying now. Just plain worn out after all these years. I like the idea of using a custom exaust.
Might have a look for a used onan like those guys were saying too rather than shelling out the big bucks (which I don't have) for another eu2000
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My eu2000 #2 still runs as long as I put oil in it every hour or so. Enough power to run my little chain saw anyway.
To charge my 48 volt bank at C10 I need about 3500 watts but since batteries don't continue to charge at the higher rate then I can squeeze by with 3000 watts. I suppose there might be some advantages to using a slighty bigger than 63 amps alternator but then you would need a bigger engine, more gasoline, and the extra power would only be needed at the beginning of the charge cycle. Since I have the OutBack inverters it is possible to run my well pump with the engine-driven alternator outputting only about 35 amps AND running one inverter as a charger with a 2000 watt 120V single phase generator to get a total of around 50-60 amps which will allow me to run the pump without discharging the batteries (It'll even charge at about 10 amps with the well pump running). And, as you probably know, instead of buying a third eu2000 I bought the cheap UST GG2300 for under $200 and have had no regrets (not many, anyway). I had to replace the muffler (fell apart inside but still worked) and it has taken me two weeks to remove the rotor from the tapered shaft so I can replace the impeller but it has 3000 hours on it and still starts with one pull and has more power than the Honda. They replaced the muffler under warranty plus sent me a new air filter for free. If it turns out that I need to replace the whole rotor it's only $25! Their service center/parts distribution/technical support is in Fullerton (Orange County) so I'm lucky that I don't even have to pay shipping since they are close by, but even with shipping the parts seems to be WAY cheaper than if it was a Coleman or Homelite etc.

Yea, the Onan is very appealing, especially since I learned they run at a slower speed. But I can also run my engine/alternator at a slower speed once the batteries get somewhat charged. Maybe not quite as low as 1800 rpm, but probably in the low 2000s.
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