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‘ New’ 10-year old generator. What to do first?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by JT105, Nov 23, 2018.

  1. broncobowsher

    broncobowsher Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    4,303
    Location:
    Baking in AZ
    I have a Briggs & Stratton that lived life on a snow blower through the 80s. About '90 it was made into a go-cart. That was stuffed into a corner a couple years later. Somewhere around '12 is was pulled out and shipped with the rest of my crap I left behind at my parent's place. That engine sat on a shelf in my garage until this year. In all that time that I knew it (starting about mid 80s) it has never had an oil change. This year I pulled it out and checked, still has oil in it. Added some gas and checked for spark. No spark. Pulled the flywheel and gave the points a quick brush with some 600 grit. Splashed some gas in the tank to dilute the orange bunk in the bottom and a little down the carb. Fired it up. It runs. Removed the muffler, got a length of 1" flex exhaust tubing and welded that to a ¾" nipple. Put the whole thing in the back yard and started it up, fiddled with the carb screws a little to get it to run as smooth as possible as rich as possible. Stuck the exhaust down a gopher hole and let it run a tank of gas. Found another tunnel a few days later while doing landscaping fixing the chewed irrigation line. Probably the same tunnel. Another half tank of gas. My uncle was having issues with gophers in a horse arena, so he has the engine now.

    That engine has oil in it that has to be 30 years old. It has been run and stored in poor locations early in its life. and is currently running in a poor state of tune intentionally. If a POS Briggs and Stratton can handle that, a new Honda will be just fine. An oil change can't hurt and doesn't cost much of anything. I am sure the fuel system will be in much better shape then the Briggs.
    #41
    ozmoses likes this.
  2. ozmoses

    ozmoses .

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    43,039
    Location:
    Blo,ME
    ??


    [​IMG]
    #42
    Hittman and JT105 like this.
  3. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,954
    Location:
    Hiding off Hwy 6, B.C.
    I am old enough to have punched many of them sealed metal oil cans.Once emptied they went into the rack grandpa had built.Held about 12 cans for a final drip.

    So.....we usually had to screen a few flies out, but all that good Havoline went into mowers,stationary engines,oilers and at times even some of dad's mechanics would pour it into their cars.

    Then we switched to bulk multigrade pumped out of 45gal drums into the 200gal tank.Still dripped them but into the tank.

    My former employer? I watched the oilers/deckhands pump so many drums of that very good Caterpillar 15w40 onto the ship's tanks.They never dripped them and each had 2 quarts of oil left at the bottom.Wasteful.....I could have done a few oil changes on my bike out of that as they were pumping in about 10 drums a few times a year.
    #43
  4. JT105

    JT105 Let's Ride!

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    Oddometer:
    483
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    Yea, there’s not a lot in each bottle, but after multiple oil changes on cars and bikes a little bit from each bottle adds up. Mower only takes 13oz of oil., about half of it ends up being the drippings.

    JT
    #44
  5. JT105

    JT105 Let's Ride!

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    Oddometer:
    483
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    Time to wrap up this thread...

    I took advantage of the nice weather and pulled the generator out of the garage. Put a gallon of gas (mixed 1oz 2-cycle oil to 5gal of gas) in the tank. Turned on the fuel valve. Three pulls and it started right up.

    This Honda is about 1/2 the noise of my old Briggs engine. Very pleased.

    Tested with an electric heater cycling between low and high and off. Motor didn’t miss a beat.

    I shut it down after 10 minutes and changed the oil to get the engine initial ‘new engine glitter’ flushed out.

    No smoke. No leaks. No squeaks. No rattles. No sparks. No drama.

    I want to run it about an hour next time to get the majority of the initial break-in and ‘glitter generation’ out of the way. Then I’ll change the oil again after that, drain the gas, put a little oil in the cylinder, fog the tank and put it away in the garage for the next power outage.

    JT
    #45
    Argus16, Tall Man, victor441 and 3 others like this.
  6. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    10,053
    Location:
    alabama
    Yup, sounds about right
    #46
  7. phillyrube

    phillyrube Leading Chief

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,836
    Location:
    Captive in Flatistan...
    Someone here had a post on breaking in a generator. Run 1 hour no load, change oil
    Run 1 hour no load, 1 hour 1/4 load, change oil. Something along these lines.
    #47
  8. showkey

    showkey Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,444
    Location:
    Wausau
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Totally unnecessary.............but.............overkill, much more of something than is needed, resulting in less effectiveness: 2. much more of something than is needed or suitable:
    #48
    phillyrube likes this.
  9. JT105

    JT105 Let's Ride!

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    Oddometer:
    483
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    I generally am conservative on breaking in a small engine. These small engines do not have an oil filter, so all the small fragments of metal generated in the first minutes/hours while the machined surfaces wear-in just circulate in the engine until flushed out with an oil change. I dump the initial fill after 10 mins. Then after an hour. There is always ‘glitter’ in the first few changes. Depending on how bad the 1-hour oil looks, I may do another 1-hour change or go 10 hours.

    Once the metal glitter is done, I’ll do the 50 hour oil change interval.

    I cycle the load up and down during break-in. Similar philosophy as varying your speed and rpm while breaking-in a new motorcycle.

    It took three oil changes to get my new lawnmower ‘glitter free’. 10 years later, it doesn’t use a drop of oil all season (about 30 - 40 hrs of use) and the oil change in the fall looks almost like new. The engine should outlast the rest of the mower.

    I’ve had similar experience with my other small engines.

    JT
    #49
    phillyrube and Tall Man like this.