Honda generators

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I almost bought a Honda EU2000i generator at the state fair 2 years ago (best price I'd seen) but I passed on it, mostly because I'd taken the bus to the fair and didn't want to wag the thing home on a bus.
Anyway, I'm getting interested in them again, and might buy one after hurricane season is over and before winter (ice storm season) sets in. But nobody lists their prices online. Is that a Honda thing? What is the street price of a EU2000i -- ignoring the current Hurricane Ike situation. Know any good dealers?
I also can't find any specs on expected engine life of the little Hondas. I know some of the really cheap 5000W generators are only rated about 500 hours, and you could burn that up in a month during an extended power outage.
I also can't find any small 1800 rpm diesel generators that might be a contender. There /are/ small diesels (Yanmar and Chinese knockoffs) but they all operate at 3600 rpm, which should have most of the durability problems of 3600 rpm gasoline engines.
Thanks, Bob
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On Thu, 18 Sep 2008 22:45:33 -0500, zxcvbob wrote:

My brother-in-law has a Honda generator he aquired several years ago, 15 or so, and it is still going strong and is very quiet. We were on a island several years ago when he heard someone in the wee hours of the morning, so he got up, gave it one pull, and the lights went on. They didn't even know it was from a generator! If I had the money I would go for the Honda.
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I've used eu2000s for a lot of years. I've had failures after 3-4 years of around 6 - 10 hours a day use. And then it was usually just the timing belt which you can fix. We used the crap out of them and they'll keep starting, and the power is clean and they're quiet as hell... and sip the fuel.
If you only need 2000 watts and can afford them they are the way to go. I've had the best deals from my local honda dealer.
I'm a big fan of these gens.. and they're light .. basically they kick ass.
I think I paid around a grand for the last one .. like $960 or something, but this was several years ago.
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Forger had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Re-Honda-generators-331898-.htm :
------------------------------------- z wrote:

My timing belt just crapped out because of a stuck intake valve, where can I get a new belt and can you explain how to time it?
Thanks
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f0rger_at_hotmail_dot snipped-for-privacy@foo.com (Forger) wrote in

I'll give it a shot. Here is the part
The Belt:
PRODUCT INFORMATION: Mfg Product Number: 14400-Z0D-003 Description: BELT (61YU7 G-200) for Honda Order Quantity: 1 Unit Price: $11.10 Total Cost: $11.10
Oil Splasher PRODUCT INFORMATION: Mfg Product Number: 16512-ZL8-000 Description: HOLDER for Honda Order Quantity: 3 Unit Price: $1.86 Total Cost: $5.58
Its always a good idea (thanks Ullyses) to change out the plastic oil splasher while you are in there. Its only six bucks or so. As they get older they tend to get brittle and its easy to change once you've got everything apart.
I ordered from http://www.hondapeninsula.com /
Even with shipping it runs cheaper than my local honda dealer who wanted like 18 bucks for the belt. Anyway you just plug the part no in -- or shop around as you like -- either way.
You'll also need some liquid gasket gunk. I use the stuff made by honda 'Hondabond HT, but probably any quality stuff would work.
So you gotta drain the oil, pull all the plastic, pull the carb, pull the exhaust, pull the valve cover and then pull the crank case. Its kind of a pain.
Give it a good clean out etc, replace the oil splasher. This might be a good time to test the low oil sensor -- i had one go bad just after I put everything backtogether.. sucked. You just hook a test light up to it and submerge it in oil. takes a few mins
So I've found its easiest to pull the pin on the timing gear (just with a plyers or whatnot) and set the belt up with the timing gear kind of hanging lose. Then you rotate the crank till you see a little square indentation on the crank and a notch. Line that up so its virtical (i think there might be another mark you can match with).. anyway its supposed to be at the top as you look at it. The timing gear itself has a horizontal line that should match up with the case. When you see it you'll know what I'm talking about. They made it pretty easy. That should be TDC.
Then you can pull up the timing gear and slip the pin back in .. then you are good to go. Clean the case and goo it up
Just use your aluminum fingers putting those bolts back in.. they'll strip easy if you get too aggressive with them.
They say you are supposed to change all the gaskets (exaust, carb etc) when you do this but i'm too cheap and so far so good on using the old ones. Just be careful and don't break em :)
good luck.
-zachary
PS: i've had the timing a bit off before after a rebuild. Once the belt is on you can pull that gear pin and set the gear a few teeth one way or the other after you reassemble -- once the belt is on you won't have to take the crank case off or even all the plastic again if you think it needs a little adjustment after you are done. Thank gowd for that man .. the plastic etc is a pain in the ass to keep taking off all the time.
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Forger had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Re-Honda-generators-333732-.htm :
------------------------------------- z wrote:

Thank you! Very clear - makes perfect sense.. thanks :)
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Also I would recommend replacing the seal on the oil sensor as that is prone to failure. Not as bad as a stuck oil switch but still not fun.

I'm probably just not understanding your explanation but on mine there were two raised marks (lines) on the cam gear. They should line up horizontally with the top of the cylinder head _ _ If they look like those two line just to the left of this you should be at TDC.

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Thats like 7,500 hours before the first problem? Is that right?!
I have about 150 hours on mine; I guess it will last a while longer.
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One thing that might help for longevity is to use an engine injector type cleaner into the air intake and spark plug hole when you change the oil each time.
The guys at honda told me to use Ames Power Foam and run that through it a few times when you change oil. Seems like if the generator is ran under low or mid load conditions for a long time it can have buildup around the valves etc. Turn off the 'econo mode' and spray that crap in there and give it a good italian tuneup once in a while running at full throttle.
but yeah .. overall very reliable .. 150 hours yours is bearly broke in mate!
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I did a search on Ames, but didn't find anything. What is it?
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amsoil I meant sorry
http://www.amsoil.com/StoreFront/apf.aspx
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includes getting every drop of fuel out the tank and carb (it has a special valve for that) and coating the inside of the cylinder with a bit of oil before storage. This is also a good time to change the oil. Since mine is used only for hurricane season, this engine "pickling" becomes an annual event celebrating the end of hurricane season.
--
Vaughn

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I've read many times about people using water in both fuel injected and carburated engines. I finally tried it on my old '78 F350 (carburated, of course) before I took it for it's last smog test. I did some other things too but the emissions were significantly lower. I just dribbled some water into the carb while it was running and the engine barely noticed it. It seemed like a dumb idea to put water in the engine but it seems to have helped. I also put some water in my new *free* Mitsubishi Mighty Max. It also has a carburator. Is this case I had nothing to lose as it was an abandoned vehicle and I have not yet spent one cent on it. When I got it the engine was froze and the throttle was so frozen that I could not move it with a hammer! I ended up using hydrochloric acid to losen up the butterfly valves. In any case I did a compression test and one of the cylinders has low compression with slow build-up so I guess the water didn't help. Even so It'll make it up my 4WD ONLY hill on 3 1/2 cylinders ;-D

I've had very good results on several engines by adding some Sta-Bil to the last little bit of gas and then running it out of gas and then draining the carb and spraying with carb cleaner. I too completely empty the tank. And the other thing I always forget to mention is to pull the starter rope until you get resistance so the valves are closed while in storage.

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Well, aside from changing the oil religiously another problem they have is with the starting rope. It is routed around some stuff and it can wear out after a few thousand hours. I coated the wear point with a little 5-Minute Epoxy and that seemed to help it last longer. In order to replace the pull rope you have to remove all of the red plastic and that can be difficult--one of the top (handle) screws on mine was so stuck I had to drill it out and one of the bottom bolts stripped.
Actually 7500 hours was the *last* problem. It barely runs now since the oil splasher gear broke and was replaced. I just dragged it out of it's tomb and tried using it with my electric chain saw because it is still the most easily portable genny I have that can run the saw. It shuts down the inverter when on Eco Throttle but seems OK when Eco is off. It burns oil and the oil turns black after only an hour or two. I used to change the oil about every 60 hours (I think) and it was still transparent.

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Forger had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Re-Honda-generators-331898-.htm :
Hey z let me pick your brain again if I can... I have replaced the timing belt and plastic gear in my own honda 2000 and a friend's. But I seem to have identical problems now with both generators. They seem to smoke for a few minutes when they are first started in the morning, and consume more oil than previous. I dont know what I did by replacing the belt and gear that would cause that, I time it with the square box on the crank straight up and the lines on the cam lined up with the case. Any ideas what I did wrong that would lead to burning oil? ------------------------------------- z wrote:

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f0rger_at_hotmail_dot snipped-for-privacy@foo.com (Forger) wrote in

Hmm.. not really off the top of my head. Are you sure its burning the oil? Like how much does it use? Could it be leaking from a bad seal on the crank case or something? I don't see how they could run smoothly and be totally 180 degrees off TDC or something .. but I'm not an uber guru (paging Ullyses).
I got off my arse and scanned the engine chapter in the repair manual. Have a look through that and make sure what you did matches that. I should have scanned this ages ago --
http://www.homebrewhydro.com/eu2000 /
Just click the PDF listed there.
Now Honda will probably take me to court but i'll take the risk :)
Best of luck
-zachary
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Forger had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Re-Honda-generators-348022-.htm :
Wow thanks for the service pages :) Yeah I am now wondering if I got it 180 off, I know I did have to push that cam down under the spring pressure now that I think about it to get the belt on. It never smoked or used oil before this, and tonight I had to add oil again, and no its not leaking but I see the muffler is actually wet with oil. I am really at a loss here, seems like it has to be the valves or piston involved in burning oil. Unless it has something to do with oil sucking through the vent hose? I wonder if being 180 off would cause suction or something there?
------------------------------------- z wrote:
ng? I don't see how they could run smoothly

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Forger wrote:

What sort of crankcase ventilation does it use? In my car that hose got kinked and it went through several quarts of oil before I figured out what was going on.
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It just has a hose going from the crankcase to the air filter. It's unlikely that it's clogged but you could blow a little air through it to be sure.
There are two raised indentations on the timing gear. They should be horizontal and lined up with the top of the engine case while the piston is at TDC. Pull out the spark plug and turn the engine until the piston is at the top.
Was your oil splasher/governor gear broken? If so then I'd say your piston/cylinder did not recieve enough lubrication and it's now too worn to seal against oil. That little plastic gear seems to be what does in these engines. I supspect that if you do a compression check you'll find the pressure is low.
I may not be able to connect again until next spring--when it rains my phone line goes out :-|
Good luck.
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i dont think 180 out on cam is a problem,because if you turn the crank another revolution its going to be in time like the book says. ive seen guys dabble some silicone on the oil pan and leak,an oil free surface and a bead of sealANT THAT SQUISHES OUT A LITTLE IS BEST. rings,valve seal , crankcase ventilation or oil leak cause oil loss. those honda black engines are about as cheep made as you can get with that plastic camshaft setup.
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