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Review of the $79 Harbor Freight Generator (with pics) 56k noway... update page 14
The_Beer_Slayer  [Site Staff]
mine will run my fridge and upright freezer
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swj0001  [Member]
Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
mine will run my fridge and upright freezer


Maybe I'll try it on my fridge - how many amps does yours draw?
Skibane  [Team Member]
Originally Posted By sned45:
Any recommendations for a AC/DC converter to run 12v items.


The AC/DC converter that Coleman sells for their thermoelectric ice chests works pretty well for most 12 volt devices - It'll produce up to 5 amps at approximately 12 volts (the output voltage isn't real tightly regulated), and it's pretty cheap (Wal-Mart sells 'em for under 20 bucks).


CarbineDad  [Team Member]
Originally Posted By 45acpfan:
I bought one yesterday and ran it for 9 hrs on one tank of fuel powering a 60w bulb. My only problem is that it doesn't idle perfectly smooth. I have not had a chance to upgrade the plug yet though. Couldn't be happier with the investment. I have no huge expectations for $80. This is purely for convenice.


Mine idles OK, but runs much better under load or part load. I broke mine in running a several hundred watt work light. Ran smooth at 1/2 load too
The_Beer_Slayer  [Site Staff]
Originally Posted By swj0001:
Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
mine will run my fridge and upright freezer


Maybe I'll try it on my fridge - how many amps does yours draw?


freezer max 6a fridge 4.5a. both are winthin spec as these are 900w surge = 7.5a
tenex  [Team Member]
Mine runs for about two hours then quits. If I open the gas cap it will start right back up and idle fine. I suspect, as mentioned above, the gas cap is not venting properly and creating a vacuum in the tank. Any thoughts on how this can be fixed short of returning the whole unit?
sned45  [Team Member]
Continuing break in with NGK plug and hardline hour meter installed.
45acpfan  [Team Member]
Finished the break in procedure and then used it to power a 2hp electric chain saw. Cut cedar fence posts for 1/2 hr with no problems. I like this little thing.....
DaveSpud  [Member]
Originally Posted By tenex:
Mine runs for about two hours then quits. If I open the gas cap it will start right back up and idle fine. I suspect, as mentioned above, the gas cap is not venting properly and creating a vacuum in the tank. Any thoughts on how this can be fixed short of returning the whole unit?


Redneck fix––just leave the cap on loosely when running.

Permanent fix––drill the smallest hole possible in the cap.

Someone wiser than me may have a better idea.
NYMini  [Member]
Just drove by the store yesterday and didnt stop in. Missed the sale again!. Any idea how often these go on sale? Called up my local and they said they have a whole mess in stock but at the pre-sale price of 129.99.



Skibane  [Team Member]
Originally Posted By DaveSpud:
Originally Posted By tenex:
Mine runs for about two hours then quits. If I open the gas cap it will start right back up and idle fine. I suspect, as mentioned above, the gas cap is not venting properly and creating a vacuum in the tank. Any thoughts on how this can be fixed short of returning the whole unit?


Redneck fix––just leave the cap on loosely stuff a rag in the top of the tank when running.




subvet707  [Team Member]
Originally Posted By subvet707:
Walked in today to pick up a $79 generator and found one out front that was marked open box merchandise. $45. What the hell, had 5 day exchange so I carried it out. its out in the barn right now running with a light plugged in to it. Hard to go wrong at that price


During the testing phase I noticed it would stop running after a couple of hours and there was a vacuum on the tank. I will drill a vent hole in the cap tonite. I guess that's why it was returned and i got for $45.


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The_Beer_Slayer  [Site Staff]
Originally Posted By Skibane:
Originally Posted By DaveSpud:
Originally Posted By tenex:
Mine runs for about two hours then quits. If I open the gas cap it will start right back up and idle fine. I suspect, as mentioned above, the gas cap is not venting properly and creating a vacuum in the tank. Any thoughts on how this can be fixed short of returning the whole unit?


Redneck fix––just leave the cap on loosely stuff a rag in the top of the tank when running.






dont forget to light the rag to burn off the extra fumes
tenex  [Team Member]
Drlled a small hole in the gas cap and it ran for four hours before I shut it down. Easy fix.
Bones45  [Team Member]
Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
mine will run my fridge and upright freezer


I was surprised to see how little our new fridge draws even on startup. Kill a watt is a very interesting tool.
rhermes0001  [Team Member]
I have one on order...should be arriving tomorrow. I can't wait to try it out. It will be a nice addition for emergency power, including my Miller welder on my service truck.
targetworks  [Member]
It looks like Harbor Freight has a 'new', very similar small generator, but it is red instead of blue.

See it at http://www.harborfreight.com/Portable-Generator-63cc-900-Watts-Max800-Watts-Rated-69381.html?ccdenc=eyJjb2RlIjoiNzEzMzQ0MDAiLCJza3UiOiI2OTM4MSIsImlzIjoiOTkuOTkiLCJwcm9kdWN0X2lk%0D%0AIjoiODk0MSJ9%0D%0A&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=4212c&utm_source=1002

"Only 99.99 with coupon 71334400 Add item to cart to redeem coupon"

The only difference that I can see from the blue one is that it uses one of their "predator" engines.

Anyone have experience with it?





ProfGAB101  [Team Member]
Looks like the same unit - user manual was written by morons with a para-legal degree.

Claims to use a 63cc OHV engine that runs on 87 Octane fuel with 10% or less Ethanol content and a 50:1 2 stroke oil fuel mix.

Go Figure.

( and I do have a blue version )
NYMini  [Member]
I think they figure the red will remind people of Honda and sell more of the inventory.



MtnMan57  [Member]
I saw the e-mail sale ad yesterday and was wondering if there was any difference in the two? They look exactly alike, so only the paint or a new engine? I see Storm Cat listed on the decal, but nothing comes up on Google. I picked up my second HF blue model on sale last week for $79.95 and just delivered the other day. Maybe they are selling out the blue model, so it might be on sale again. Both models are online as of last night. That's the best price I've seen in 6 months, so I couldn't pass it up. It runs much smoother than my first one that I bought even with the stock Chinese plug. I ran it for about 3 hrs yesterday with a light load and it ran great. I have a Yamaha 1,000 watt with about 3,000 hrs, but at 10 times the cost the HF is a super good deal. I have about 50 hrs on my first HF and it's done a decent job. Works great as a backup to my Yamaha running a charger or lights. Gas consumption is about 3 times more than my Yami, so you can't have every thing.

I think this may be the review I saw that someone recommended running a voltage regulator on it? I bought a APC regulator ($30) No way would I trust the HF on electronics, computer or anything sensitive to a voltage spike. When the HF runs out of gas the voltage spikes all over the place, so BEWARE. I'm a very happy camper with my HF, so I'll be interested to see how the new model performs.
targetworks  [Member]
Originally Posted By ProfGAB101:

Claims to use a 63cc OHV engine that runs on 87 Octane fuel with 10% or less Ethanol content and a 50:1 2 stroke oil fuel mix.



That is a significant difference between the blue one and the red one.

The blue one specifies 89 octane or higher.

The red one calls for 87 octane or higher.

I fill my vehicles with 87 octane fuel, and so I have to keep a separate supply of 89 octane gas for the blue generator (of course you have to mix in the 2 cycle oil, so you would still have to maintain a separate container for the generator and the cars, but refueling the red one would be less of an issue than the blue one, at least for me).

I did not find any caution in the blue generator's manual about a max ethanol level, whereas the red one spells it out explicitly, Whether that is due to the recent (or expected) proliferation of high-ethanol fuels or whether it is just an oversight is anybody's guess.





Snakedocc  [Team Member]
I went to Habor freight to check this out and they are posted NO GUNS

They will never get any of my money !
GLHX2112  [Team Member]
Great. Now I have to get a red one.
bcauz3y  [Team Member]

Originally Posted By Snakedocc:
I went to Habor freight to check this out and they are posted NO GUNS

They will never get any of my money !

No sign on ours. Must be just that store.
ProfGAB101  [Team Member]
Originally Posted By targetworks:
Originally Posted By ProfGAB101:

Claims to use a 63cc OHV engine that runs on 87 Octane fuel with 10% or less Ethanol content and a 50:1 2 stroke oil fuel mix.



That is a significant difference between the blue one and the red one.

The blue one specifies 89 octane or higher.

The red one calls for 87 octane or higher.

I fill my vehicles with 87 octane fuel, and so I have to keep a separate supply of 89 octane gas for the blue generator (of course you have to mix in the 2 cycle oil, so you would still have to maintain a separate container for the generator and the cars, but refueling the red one would be less of an issue than the blue one, at least for me).

I did not find any caution in the blue generator's manual about a max ethanol level, whereas the red one spells it out explicitly, Whether that is due to the recent (or expected) proliferation of high-ethanol fuels or whether it is just an oversight is anybody's guess.



I guess I failed to point out the IRONY that it claims its an CARB approved OHV engine that requires a 50:1 2 stroke oil mix.

I was under the impression that CARB had banned the sale of 2 stroke engines in California several years ago. Also, there has not been a modern consumer grade 2-stroke motor with Over Head Valves in nearly 30 years. Norton tried a few limited production models, and I think Honda played with the idea purely as track prototypes.

Moron manual writers - like saying this engine requires 104 octane low sulfer unleaded diesel fuel.

Back on topic - they may have increased the combustion chamber volume to cope with lower octane fuels - but that is a piss poor engineering shortcut.

This effectively lowers the compression ratio of an all ready low compression motor. The "Static" compression ratio is often as low as 5:1 on a 2 stroker the saving factor here is with proper tuning the effective compression ratio can be up around 9.8:1 and this engine really only needs to run at one speed - unlike a motorcycle which you need a range of power. Understanding 2 stroke tuning will soon be a lost art. And while I would now choose a 4 stroke for most applications - some things like motors for Ultra-lights, nothing beats a simple air cooled 2 stroke engine.
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