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Predator generators

Posted By: Dave Sherman

Predator generators - 06/08/18 04:18 PM

Giving some thought to getting rid of my inverter generator and getting a Predator 4000 watt generator instead. The Powerhouse I have is 2000 watts and it's always been a pain to get it started. Figured a 4000 would be a little more practical and reviews seem generally favorable. Anything I should watch out for? Mostly Field Day use for ham radio, backup power if there's an extended power outage.
Posted By: skyactiv

Re: Predator generators - 06/08/18 04:27 PM

Does it have a fuel line valve? Shutting the fuel line off and letting it run until it stops helps prevent the carb from gumming up.
Posted By: andyd

Re: Predator generators - 06/08/18 04:38 PM

No exp with genset. BUT the Predator I re-powered my Sno- Thro with is very easy to start. I'm tempted to buy another and keep it for a
Quote:
tune up
. Replacing the engine was waay easier than fixing a 40 yr old Tecumseh grin2
Posted By: mk378

Re: Predator generators - 06/08/18 04:58 PM

The non-inverter generator will have much more noise and fuel consumption.

Proper put-away by draining the fuel system is essential for trouble free starting after months of storage. Whether you have a cut off valve or not, you should empty the gas tank then run until it runs out.
Posted By: Kamele0N

Re: Predator generators - 06/08/18 05:22 PM

Originally Posted By: Dave Sherman
Giving some thought to getting rid of my inverter generator and getting a Predator 4000 watt generator instead. The Powerhouse I have is 2000 watts and it's always been a pain to get it started.


It applies to all marks/brands wink



Posted By: Kamele0N

Re: Predator generators - 06/08/18 05:42 PM

Some more knowledge wink




Actually it is not such a biggie....unless you have 2 left hands laugh
Posted By: racin4ds

Re: Predator generators - 06/08/18 05:45 PM

I have the Coleman 4000 which is the same thing as the Predator. Great little genny! I turn the fuel valve off every time its used and allow it to run out before storing, I also keep stabil in the fuel tank. Starts first time, every time I've ever needed it and runs like a top!
Posted By: 28oz

Re: Predator generators - 06/08/18 06:14 PM

I have the big quiet Predator generator for my camp trailer. Handles the A/C with ease, runs quiet, and starts extremely easily. My son (9 last summer) was starting it with the pull cord pretty easily.
Posted By: Donald

Re: Predator generators - 06/08/18 07:20 PM

If you have propane or natural gas, go that route. Gasoline is a PIA. You can do all the things needed so it will start right back up. But storing the many gallons of gas that is going to be needed for running during an extended outage. That is a PIA by itself.
Posted By: Spartanfool

Re: Predator generators - 06/08/18 07:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Dave Sherman
Giving some thought to getting rid of my inverter generator and getting a Predator 4000 watt generator instead. The Powerhouse I have is 2000 watts and it's always been a pain to get it started. Figured a 4000 would be a little more practical and reviews seem generally favorable. Anything I should watch out for? Mostly Field Day use for ham radio, backup power if there's an extended power outage.


I have the Predator 4000 and I like it a lot. Good price, fairly quiet, starts easy. It has the fuel shut off, so you kill the fuel to run the carb dry.

Things to keep in mind: Get rid of the China made spark plug early (or buy a spare NGK and tape it to the unit), store it with Stabil in the fuel, and realize it is 4000 peak watts, 3200 running watts. If that's not enough juice, step up to the next size.
Posted By: itguy08

Re: Predator generators - 06/08/18 08:29 PM

Originally Posted By: Donald
If you have propane or natural gas, go that route. Gasoline is a PIA. You can do all the things needed so it will start right back up. But storing the many gallons of gas that is going to be needed for running during an extended outage. That is a PIA by itself.


I'm not sure I'd want to run a genny off propane - if you're using 20/30/50/100lb bottles the storage is the same issue as gas although it doesn't go bad but tanks rust. And if you've got a tank for heating/cooking you'll be competing for that propane unless you upgrade. And then there's the de-rating on Propane.

Natural gas would be the best but sizing and plumbing will have to be taken into account. It also de-rates same as propane.

Gas isn't that bad if you have a detached shed to store 10-15 gallons. I store the generator full (5 Gallons), 2 5 gallon cans, a 2.5 gallon can. I do mean to add another 5-10 gallons though. I use StaBil and MMO and rotate through using them for lawn care and once a year I dump the gas into the truck and fill it all up. If there's a disaster I can go for a while on that and within 1 hour can be in quite a few major areas to get more gas.

I've got the old 5500 watt Chicago Electric Blue generator. It works great, starts pretty easily (electric) and runs great. I'd not hesitate to buy another. I'm seriously thinking of the 3500w inverter for the camper.
Posted By: HeritageHighRoof

Re: Predator generators - 06/08/18 09:07 PM

Unless you have a true diaphragm style carburetor, turning off the fuel valve will not allow you to run the carburetor dry. The engine will stop running, but residual fuel will remain and It is still necessary to manually drain the float bowl.
Posted By: Spartanfool

Re: Predator generators - 06/08/18 09:50 PM

Originally Posted By: HeritageHighRoof
Unless you have a true diaphragm style carburetor, turning off the fuel valve will not allow you to run the carburetor dry. The engine will stop running, but residual fuel will remain and It is still necessary to manually drain the float bowl.


Yes, this is true. The Predator has a manual drain bolt on the carb bowl. Not as convenient as the spring loaded ones on B&S engines, but it does the job.
Posted By: eljefino

Re: Predator generators - 06/08/18 10:22 PM

I have a duel-fuel generator. Trade my tired old propane tanks that people just give me for Blue Rhino then refill the Rhinos at BJs. They're stored in a woodshed so if they rust out and leak, they don't leak in my residence. This would take many years vs many months for gasoline.
Posted By: Kamele0N

Re: Predator generators - 06/08/18 10:32 PM

Originally Posted By: Dave Sherman
The Powerhouse I have is 2000 watts and it's always been a pain to get it started. Anything I should watch out for?


Could be even that you just need to adjust valve lash...

Posted By: cronk

Re: Predator generators - 06/09/18 12:35 PM

I would also give Champion a look! I have one similar in size to the Predator you are looking at, and the Champion seems to have a slightly better muffler, and is quieter than the Predators I have heard in action.
Similar price points as well.
Champion has 3 year warranty vs 90 days at HF!
Best deal I have seen lately is at Sams Club, dual fuel gas or propane for $299
Sams Club Champion

Tractor Supply stocks as well, not quite as cheap for the gas only version
TSC Champion
Posted By: jonnied1

Re: Predator generators - 06/09/18 03:03 PM

Originally Posted By: cronk
I would also give Champion a look! I have one similar in size to the Predator you are looking at, and the Champion seems to have a slightly better muffler, and is quieter than the Predators I have heard in action.
Similar price points as well.
Champion has 3 year warranty vs 90 days at HF!
Best deal I have seen lately is at Sams Club, dual fuel gas or propane for $299
Sams Club Champion

Tractor Supply stocks as well, not quite as cheap for the gas only version
TSC Champion




Yep, Champions are great generators. I have a 2011 3500 watt model and it still starts on the first pull. I always store it full of 100% 91 octane gas (treated with a double dose of Sta-Bil Marine 360). I don't drain the carb, just turn off the fuel supply valve and shut it down. I drain the gas tank and refill every spring and fall.
Posted By: Dave Sherman

Re: Predator generators - 06/09/18 08:53 PM

Thank all, picked up a Predator 4000 today. Couldn't pass it up since it went on a 3-day sale for $279 and the local HF had them in stock. Pretty heavy compared to the inverter (128 pounds dry), but I expected that. Wheel kit took some figuring out, I thought they had shorted me 4 nuts but it turns out there are captive nuts on the frame that the instructions don't mention, and they don't mention what to do with the 2 extra washers; figured out they go in the rubber feet so the bolts don't pull through. Oiled it, gassed it, and it fired up on the first pull. Ran it for an hour with a 500 watt halogen lamp. Definitely louder than the inverter, but I discovered some of the noise is the plastic control panel vibrating against the gas tank. Maybe some foam weather strip material would dampen that. Figure I'll break it in on the GTX 10W-30 I had and run Rotella 5W-40 after a few hours.

Thanks for the tips on turning off the fuel valve; I've always done that on the inverter but it's still a pain to start even with Sta-bil in the tank. I think the auto choke is its biggest headache, I have to hold it closed when starting which means opening the case. Closing the fuel valve on the Predator makes the float bowl dry, I didn't get anything out of it when I opened the drain.
Posted By: Kamele0N

Re: Predator generators - 06/10/18 08:08 AM

Originally Posted By: Dave Sherman


Thanks for the tips on turning off the fuel valve; I've always done that on the inverter but it's still a pain to start even with Sta-bil in the tank. I think the auto choke is its biggest headache


If everything else is in order (your fuel system...your carburetor is WP etc) I would guess that your valve lash/clearances are out of limits....set your valves and everything will be ok with your "old" inverter generator wink
Posted By: Dave Sherman

Re: Predator generators - 06/10/18 02:12 PM

Given the poor construction quality, the valve lash and magneto air gap are probably questionable. Still, it starts and runs fine - if I hold the choke closed to get it started.
Posted By: Dave Sherman

Re: Predator generators - 06/10/18 08:48 PM

A few hours later...

I checked the valve lash on the Powerhouse. Great Scott that thing is terrible for serviceability, lots of stuff has to be disassembled to get to the valve cover. Managed to break off the old fuel line trying to get the case apart, and made nice lake of gasoline on the garage floor mad before jamming a screwdriver in what was left to plug it until I could get the gas tank over to the gas can to relieve the rest of it. To be fair, I think that fuel line was getting old and brittle anyway, so maybe it was a blessing in disguise. In the end, the valves were slightly on the tight side. Readjusted them, repaired the fuel line, and... No change. Still needs to have the auto choke held closed to start because it opens too quickly.

So, anybody want to buy a used inverter generator? Works great, just needs some coaxing to start it whistle.
Posted By: Cujet

Re: Predator generators - 06/10/18 09:01 PM

Remember, the Champion generator of similar size is not 240V. It's a 120V version, designed for RV's. The HF Predator is 240V.
Posted By: eljefino

Re: Predator generators - 06/10/18 09:42 PM

The fuel line on chinese OPE engines is notoriously shabby. A shame b/c the rest of the engines work pretty well.
Posted By: jonnied1

Re: Predator generators - 06/11/18 02:53 PM

Originally Posted By: Cujet
Remember, the Champion generator of similar size is not 240V. It's a 120V version, designed for RV's. The HF Predator is 240V.


Mine has both 120 and 240 volt Sockets and settings.


Posted By: Dave Sherman

Re: Predator generators - 06/11/18 04:52 PM

Originally Posted By: jonnied1
Originally Posted By: Cujet
Remember, the Champion generator of similar size is not 240V. It's a 120V version, designed for RV's. The HF Predator is 240V.


Mine has both 120 and 240 volt Sockets and settings.



As does the Predator, which has 2 x 120V as well as 1 x 240V.
Posted By: cronk

Re: Predator generators - 06/11/18 10:05 PM

Originally Posted By: Cujet
Remember, the Champion generator of similar size is not 240V. It's a 120V version, designed for RV's. The HF Predator is 240V.


Depends which one you get.
The Sams Club one is 120v only, the one I linked to from TSC has 120and 220.
I own an older version of the TSC model and it has 220 which is handy if you are feeding a house.
Posted By: Astro_Guy

Re: Predator generators - 06/12/18 12:01 AM

Originally Posted By: cronk
Originally Posted By: Cujet
Remember, the Champion generator of similar size is not 240V. It's a 120V version, designed for RV's. The HF Predator is 240V.

Depends which one you get.
The Sams Club one is 120v only, the one I linked to from TSC has 120and 220.
I own an older version of the TSC model and it has 220 which is handy if you are feeding a house.

My Champion is 120 VAC only also. It's a 3500 watt running / 4000 watt starting model. This is more than adequate for basic survival needs, meaning it will allow the gas furnace to run in winter, and cool the beer in the summer. There's enough extra capacity to run the dishwasher, the igniters on the gas stove, and the igniter and blower on the gas water heater. Unfortunately I've learned that the power is too dirty to run sensitive equipment like the LG front load washer and drier, as well as the network infrastructure.
Posted By: nascarnation

Re: Predator generators - 06/12/18 12:27 AM

My neighbor gave me a 4000w Predator that had sat for many years, and he couldn't get it started.
I tried to clean the carb but it was really bad, that old gas smells really nasty, so for 12 bucks I got a new carb from eBay.
Started on the first pull.
Ran for about an hour, exhaust valve head broke off the valve stem, jammed between piston and head wrecking both.
Bummer because the rest of the motor was in beautiful shape, cylinder bore like new.

Posted By: Cujet

Re: Predator generators - 06/12/18 09:31 PM

Originally Posted By: nascarnation
My neighbor gave me a 4000w Predator that had sat for many years, and he couldn't get it started.
I tried to clean the carb but it was really bad, that old gas smells really nasty, so for 12 bucks I got a new carb from eBay.
Started on the first pull.
Ran for about an hour, exhaust valve head broke off the valve stem, jammed between piston and head wrecking both.
Bummer because the rest of the motor was in beautiful shape, cylinder bore like new.



I remember that story. Sad really, as many people get good service from those 212cc engines.
Posted By: Dave Sherman

Re: Predator generators - 06/13/18 12:10 AM

Learn a new thing each day... Tried asking the HF gurus about the "deposit cup" servicing mentioned in the OM, but the OM makes no other mention of what it is or how to clean it. I was leaning toward the float bowl, but it turns out the bottom of the fuel valve has a hex head cast into it, and it unscrews. The HF product support folks thought it was the float bowl too. Oops.
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