Top critical review
15 people found this helpful
Not ready to use out of the box
on February 19, 2013
This unit requires user mechanical and electrical skills to place it in an acceptable operating condition. It should not used 'as is' out of the box to provide power or charge batteries. The unit could damage connected AC devices and batteries due to poor or non existent quality control and assembly by the manufacturer. If you are looking for a 'start and go' generator then avoid this unit. If you don't mind some cleaning, adjustment, improving, modification, disassembly and reassembly then you can consider this unit worthy of your skills for a decent sale price. I inspected the unit for obvious mechanical problems and noted the 'room for improvement' issues before starting it. I used a break-in oil to gas mixture of 30:1 for the 2 stroke engine. The engine started easily on the third pull but was running rough and erratically after 15 minutes of operation. Disassembly of the carburetor revealed manufacturing debris and metal particles inside the passages, carburetor cleaner and compressed air solved those issues. Spark plug inspection showed fouling already, cleaned the plug and tested several more times, each time the plug fouled after running for 20 minutes or more. Replaced the plug with a Champion RN9YC (couldn't find a non-resistor plug) and the fouling issue stopped. So, cheap quality factory spark plug no good! Engine starts on the first pull now (after the choke pull) and runs smoothly. There is no screw adjustment on the carburetor for fuel/air mixture, an issue for rich air/fuel mixture fouling and piston carbonization if you live at high altitude (as I do). Put that on the to-do list to install a metering screw on the carburetor. Note: that spring loaded screw at the side and bottom of the carburetor is a bowl drain (grin :-p ). I tested the generator voltage outputs after getting the engine to run well and found 150 volts AC/ 30 volts DC, bad news for connected devices and batteries. The governor adjustment was set at 'good enough' allowing the engine to overspeed resulting in higher generator head voltage output. Hmmm, a test of patience at this point so far with this unit. I had to try different springs at various locations with the factory set holes on the governor arm to get good voltage output and engine RPM. The factory wiring routing and bundling for the generator head, spark plug, magneto, switches and voltage outlets was a joke, I dont think the wiring would have lasted for too long before shorting to the metallic parts from vibration and causing a disastrous problem. I installed grommets at the generator head case wiring hole (don't know or understand what the thinking was here, just a matter of time before the wires short to the case) and magneto wiring case hole, bundled and secured all the wires in a flexible sheath to prevent abrasion. The carburetor cover and air cleaner assembly is also noteworthy for having no screw stops to prevent overtightening and cracking the plastic, so I installed special oval head type inverted washers to prevent overtightening and provide plastic stress relief around the cover screw holes. The muffler was installed off center on the exhaust port due to bad welding positioning of the attachment bracket, fixed all that and stopped an intermittent exhaust leak and oil drip. Oh yes, I think a heat shield between the muffler and the gas tank would be good also (To-do list). Enough you say? Fortunately I have lots of patience and enjoy this type of work making a piece of equipment operate better than it came from the factory. The only thing I really dislike about this unit is having to remove and reinstall the gas tank constantly to get to anything underneath that needs servicing. I hope this review gives you some good insight about this unit.