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Old Dec 08, 2013, 10:33 AM
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Harbor Freight Generators for Field Chatrging

I'm sure this has been discussed - maybe someone can give me a thread(s) link? Any info appreciated!
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Old Dec 08, 2013, 12:01 PM
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United States, MN
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Guess what's the question? Some people use them, others prefer inverter generators. I don't think there's any threads dedicated to them. Biggest thing is they are traditional generators so they are noisy. If you are going to be around a lot of people you might want to look at an inverter generator unless you want people unhappy with you.
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Old Dec 08, 2013, 01:15 PM
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United States, CA, Bear Valley Springs
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Use the Advanced search engine for "Harbor Freight generators". You'll have plenty of reading.

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Old Mar 30, 2015, 04:55 AM
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At the usual sale price between 99 and 89, the small (and noisy) HF generator is a good bargain if you get a good one. This is an old thread, but the question still arises!
The HF is two cycle, and does require several hours of break-in. It may have some sort of coating in the fuel tank that gets dissolved if you use the usual 10% Ethanol gas we have in the US.
(Take the carb bowl off, clean things out, etc.) I had several of these generators before I needed to get a higher power unit.
Of those I had, One failed with engine lockup during break-in after about two hours. One failed when the ignition module quit after about an hours run. I had to clean the fuel system out on another one, due to the tank anti corrosion coating mentioned above. So, spring for the exchange warranty!
After break-in, you may need to adjust the governor a small amount to reduce or eliminate engine RPM "hunting".

For the price and higher power, I replaced the HF units with first a Ryobi 2200i. and when that wasn't quite enough, a Sportsman 3500i. Both are inverter types. The first sportsman ran very well, but the case and one axle had been damaged in shipment. The replacement started and ran four about an hour, then quit. The ignition module failed! Swapped it with the one from the damaged unit before I returned the damaged one! After that, the Sportsman and the Ryobi seem to work well. You can buy both for the price of a comparable Honda!
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Old Mar 30, 2015, 11:42 AM
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For all the time you've spent screwing around, exchanging and repairing practically brand new units and dealing with downtime due to failed ignition modules, that doesn't sound like much of a bargain. Personally I'd gladly spend the extra on the Honda and be confident that when I need it, it will work. My free time is in short supply as it is, I don't want to waste it fixing stuff right out of the box.
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