Generator break in?? - RC Groups
Thread Tools
Oct 17, 2011, 10:46 AM
Go Navy!
maverick06's Avatar

Generator break in??

I just got a new Generac ix2000 (4 stroke, 2000 watt generator). Its a great looking generator, looks and feels very well built! Deflinitely feels better than the honeywell 2000i that I have, which wasnt bad, hard to start, but ran great. Anyways, I havent fired it up yet, but am thinking about breaking in the engine. The only guidance the manual gives is to change the oil (SAE 30) after the first 5 hours, then every 100 hours. I know there are a lot of opinions out there, if it is better to run at no load to slowy mate the pieces, or run it flat out to seat the piston rings. based on the change out at 5 hours, i guess they are anticipating some moderate wear byproducts in the oil fast, then nothing. I found someone on the internet said that after 4 hours the oil was "pretty nasty"

I have to think that it is a generator, made in china, not a fancy race car engine. Maybe the logic to run it hard is true for a fancy engine.... but not for a basic motor. I think that breaking it in more slowly is a better idea. There was some resigual fluid (oil?cutting fluid? it felt oily? in the crank case), there is no soot in the exhause pipe at all, so I am pretty confident it never has been run.

I am thinking:
half hour at no load
half hour at 100 watts
half hour at 500 watts
half hour at half load

I would probably run all of this in the "eco" setting so the rpm is a little lower than full power, likely about 3200-3500rpm), but based on load. Then operate as usual and change after the 5 hour mark ( I have an engine hour meter installed).

Does that sound reasonable to break in a 4 stroke generator? (Only worried about the motor, the generator is brushless, so nothing to worry about there)
Oct 17, 2011, 10:55 AM
Figure Nine Champ
madsci_guy's Avatar
The manual should tell you the proper break-in procedure.
Oct 17, 2011, 11:05 AM
Suspended Account
The proper break should be the same as a motorcycle. This is what I would do, which is the same as a race engine. Run it very short at first, just enough to get it to operating temp, no load, shut-down and let it cool completly.. Then run it again, this time for about 15 minutes, keeping the manifold pressure low, but getting into to higher revs, no load, shut down, cool completely. Then again for 30 minutes, low manifold pressure, no load, manually rev the engine varying rpm, cool completely. Change oil, then start with small loads and work up.

The most critical thing is that the rings seat properly for long engine life. Too much manifold pressure too early will put to much pressure on the rings. Too litle and the cyclinder get glazed.
Oct 17, 2011, 11:15 AM
Not THAT Ira
Real Ira's Avatar
The manual will give a middle of the road recommendation but 5 hours for a first run seems a bit ling to me.

Also, you don't ever want to run a new motor "flat out" but you don't want to idle it either. Best thing is to avoid one specific speed for any extended period of time for the first hour or two, varying the rpms every couple of minuets. This will help seat the rings. I would do this with the recommended oil and change after two hours. Then change again at 5 hours just to be rid of any residual particles before putting it into normal service.
But then I am usually a bit overly cautious about this kind of thing.
Oct 17, 2011, 11:44 AM
Alarm Bells Softening!
Big Foot 48's Avatar
Aren't engine break-in periods a thing of the past? I just read my Honda 2000i generator instructions and it had no break-in instructions. Just put oil and gas in it and go.

I'd run it at idle and with a load for an hour just to make sure it works and go from there.
Oct 17, 2011, 11:53 AM
Suspended Account
Engine break in procedures from the manufacturer are not the best in most cases, at least if you want a long engine life.

Follow this;
Oct 17, 2011, 11:56 AM
Figure Nine Champ
madsci_guy's Avatar
Not following the break in procedures, may void your warranty.
Oct 17, 2011, 12:34 PM
Suspended Account
Originally Posted by madsci_guy
Not following the break in procedures, may void your warranty.
Only after the company conducts a full investigation complete with oil analysis, metelurgy, interviews with your neighbors, and downloads the data from the machine's hidden black box that records all engine parameters.

Manufactures suggest a break-in procedure that is easy to follow and consumer friendly, but is also the safest for them. This however is not the best for a long engine life.
Oct 17, 2011, 12:40 PM
Start spreadin' the news.
Park_Flyer's Avatar
Just follow the manufacturer's oil change instructions and use the damn thing
Oct 17, 2011, 12:46 PM
Forever TMWT Pilot #11
LcJ's Avatar
Just be sure to run it every 30 days or so for a while and keep the gas experience at any rate.
Latest blog entry: RC Logger's Eye One Xtreme Quad
Oct 17, 2011, 01:08 PM
Start spreadin' the news.
Park_Flyer's Avatar
Originally Posted by LcJ
Just be sure to run it every 30 days or so for a while and keep the gas experience at any rate.
Not sure of the need to run it every so often, but great point about keeping the gas fresh, especially where infrequently used equipment is concerned. I use my pressure washer once or twice a year, normally in the spring. When I figure there is no more need for it, I drain the gas and let it run until it quits. Do the same for all my power equipment that gets laid up for winter. I do keep gas in the gas cans and add Stabil over winter. Chain saw gets drained and run dry after each use - it may go two to three years without being run.
Oct 17, 2011, 01:12 PM
Suspended Account
Why drain the gas? Just use a stabilizer. I put some in my generators, etc, and I can go out and start them up with no problems after sitting for 2 years. Although I do try and keep them fresh by running them every few months.

Also, if you use decent pre-mix for chainsaws etc, it has a stabilizer in it, so no need to drain after use.

It still blows my mind that extermophile bacteria can grow in gasoline.
Oct 17, 2011, 01:25 PM
characters welcome!
Mark Wood's Avatar
Stabilizer = Sea Foam. The greatest thing for stored gas engines since...well...since.

I used to use Sta-Bil but Sea Foam does a lot more for valves and general engine protection.

Oct 17, 2011, 02:45 PM
Start spreadin' the news.
Park_Flyer's Avatar
Originally Posted by crypto666
Why drain the gas?
There are still manufacturer recommendations to do this and in my experience gasoline hardens fuel lines after awhile.
Oct 17, 2011, 02:53 PM
Certified Balsa Breaker
56S's Avatar
I think it is more important to keep the load light until the generator warms up. I have a 1600 Yamaha that as soon as started I'll hold the throttle back to a fast idle for a minute or two before allowing it to rev. I'll then spread the cords while the generator warms. Fresh oil every fall and it will out last me.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion Best nitro content for break in. ModeTwo Racing Boats - Internal Combustion 6 Oct 12, 2011 12:09 PM
Discussion Slayer Pro 3.3 Engine Break-In chucksolo69 Nitro and Glow Power Cars 6 Oct 01, 2011 01:00 PM
Question Lipo break in Corelli Batteries and Chargers 2 Mar 04, 2011 06:06 PM
Question Can I re-break in an engine with a bad break-in? lectraplayer Engines 4 Jul 26, 2007 08:33 PM
To break in or not to break in Manic Flyer Micro Helis 2 May 23, 2004 02:28 AM