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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
setting up a small portable 7HP generator on behalf of a relative, and now that I've broken in the new engine, I'm wondering about the correct grade of oil for long-term use.

It's a single cylinder petrol, 4-stroke with OHV, putting out 2.2KW. (During the year the typical temperature range for my locality would be -2°C to 22°C.)

The user manual states the following:
Recommended oil: 4 stroke Petrol engine oil - API class of SE, SF or equivalent to SG class SAE10W - 30 oil.


However, all I've managed to find in stores so far are these 3, none of which match type recommended:

(1) Castrol Garden 4T 10W-30 for engines requiring API SH/SJ or CD/CF performance.

(2) Castrol Power1 SAE 10W-30, JASO MA-2 (T903:2016), API SL

(3) Valvoline (Motorcycle) STN Power 4T 10W30, API SM,SN JASO MA, MA2

I understand the viscosity numbers ok, but all the JASO and API numbers/letters mean nothing to me. Can anybody explain the difference (in a nutshell !!), and recommend which oil would be best?

I'm guessing it would be bad news to use an oil with additives such as detergents, since a small engine like this has no oil filter to strain the crud out??

Thanks,
Paul.
(first post, so go easy on the newbie....:p )
 

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I am by no means an expert, but would go with one of the newer spec API oils, SN or SN+ S means automotive oil, second letter in this case an N means for vehicles manufactured after 2010. Now the good thing is that oils with later API ratings are backward compatible to earlier API specifiations. Usually a combination of tempetature resistance, wear prevention, and shear resistance. DO a goggle search and you can find all kind of info. Since it is an OHV engine I suspect it is of farily recent manufacturer I just looked at the owners manual for my little Honda EU2000, 2kw generator, similar to what you describe and they say use 10w-30 with an API specification of SJ or later, I am using SN, in fact Mobil 1 full synthetic 10w-30, Oil is cheap, generator is not. Change the oil often when using, The manual for mine says for break in 20 hours then change every six months or 100 hours. I may only run it 20-30 minutes a couple of times in that six months, so will extend the maintance change to one year unless used for a power outage in which case will change the oil if only used a few hours, again oil is cheap. I also have a magnetic dipstick installed, which i got before running for a short break in run. I was suprisec at how much metal, ie iron/steel it got out. Each time I run it the magnet collects less.
 

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just use a good automotive grade oil in the gen.
castrol 10-30
or the mobile one 10-30
or any high zdp oil works well too!
or use the additive in any car engine oil.
click here for the oil additives page
it just helps the break in period for the bearings to go well

and yes the dip stick and drain plug magnets work!
click here for the new oil magnets page with more data.
the more trash you can keep out of the open roller bearings in a gen the better off you are!
we use them on the first start up on any engine!
and first oil change is good the sooner the better... run them up full speed to good warm temps at least an couple of hours if run at the min.
then at the least shut down and look at the oil magnet to see what the oil and the oil trash looks like..
if it is heavy, change out the oil early!
if it is not too bad then clean the dip stick and go for the 20 hour change.

and i always clean the trash off the magnetic dip stick each start of the gen when you check the oil level!
a bit of carb cleaner or brake cleaner on a rag works well!
click here for the solvents page
that green can stuff works well!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies.

jkingrph..... I totally agree with the 'oil is cheap, but a new engine is not' philosophy. I will ask my local store for more advice on the API rating. Who knows, lawnmower grade might be the perfect oil after all, and a very modern motorcycle oil might be a waste of money. Interesting to see what your Honda calls for.

iowagold.... Love the idea of the magnetic dipstick and drain-plug. This generator has that made-in-China feel to it, so God knows what kind of threads are on it. (For definite, the drain-plug is not metric. An M10 bolt goes in one revolution and stops)
 

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Here is a link for JASO, apparently a japanese spec, and from my very quick look indicates oils mostly for motorcycles, some two stroke oils that can be used in some 4 cycles(makes me wonder if that means an engine like the Stihl 4mix, which i have in a big backpack leaf blower, a four cycle that use a 2 cycle oil in the gas, no oil in crankcase)
JASO Oil Specifications - oilspecifications.org

As I stated in my first reply my Honda EU2000 specifies API SJ, OR LATER, which could be SK, SL, SM, or SN, SN being the one I am currently using.

For me the bottom line is that I would go with a better grade oil, no matter how cheaply built the engine might be. It is air cooled and will probably run much hotter than a liquid cooled and might be a reason a synthetic would be of benefit. I also think a detergent oil would help prevent sludge buildup, keeping everything in suspension, good or bad, I really don't know, I change my oil frequently enough that that is not of much concern.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just bought this Honda oil at a farm machinery suppliers, but it's only after I got home I realised that it's grade SJ, (not SG as recommended by the user manual).
8552


I'm beginning to think that classes SE, SF and SG are almost obsolete now, and probably impossible to source.

The Honda bottle is 0.6 litre, exactly the capacity of the generator, so I'll take that as a good omen!

Also picked up a magnetic pickup tool with a flexible head, to be used in between oil changes (allows you to fish out any loose metal debris floating around in the case). I'm guessing you need to be careful doing this as you don't want to accidentally bump off the low-oil level detector in there?

While writing this reply I found an Airpress oil on eBay that has an SG API rating, so I ordered some. Expensive oil, but it will do me until I find a cheaper source.
 

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My little Honda EU2000 says use SJ or later. I am using SN, and next time will use SN plus, the latest. As I understand oils are reward compatible. Why don't you get one of the magnetic dipsticks and install it , and it will be constantly removing metal particles..
Paul, ie, iowagold, has posted numerous links for different things pertaining to genrator and small engine maintance.

OIL_MAGNETS_PAGES (poustusa.com)
 

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Well Paul8f,
I'm not sure what this Airpress oil is that you found on ebay, but make sure that it is engine oil and not compressor oil. Two totally different applications. You could maybe use engine oil in a compressor but you certainly can't use compressor oil in an engine. FYI, S rated oils are for spark ignition engines (gas) and C rated oils are for compression engines (diesel). Gas engine oils are backward compatible, unlike most diesel oils, but using the latest isn't necessarily the best. For example, oils that are SE SF or SG have a higher ZDDP content than the newest oils because the newest cars/motorcycles now have emissions systems that could be negatively impacted by ZDDP. However, ZDDP is a great ingredient for preventing metal to metal contact, and because your generator doesn't have an emission system with a catalytic converter, it would be the best oil for that hard working engine. JASO rating simply means that an oil can be used in an application with a wet clutch, as in a motorcycle for example. If I were you I'd find a 10w30 oil that is made for motorcyles and use that. Motorcycle oils are made to handle high heat and high revs, just like your generator does everytime you use it. The only thing that you would be wasting is the JASO designation. I will include a link to a synthetic oil (AMSOIL) that I really like here in Canada and that I consider a premium lube. It is a commercial oil that is also rated for small diesel engines. Open up and read each Product Overview and I'm sure that you will learn a few things. It's an American company that ships here to Canada, but I see that they also have an International link, top right of web page...
My 2 cents, Dutchy

Just bought this Honda oil at a farm machinery suppliers, but it's only after I got home I realised that it's grade SJ, (not SG as recommended by the user manual).
View attachment 8552

I'm beginning to think that classes SE, SF and SG are almost obsolete now, and probably impossible to source.

While writing this reply I found an Airpress oil on eBay that has an SG API rating, so I ordered some. Expensive oil, but it will do me until I find a cheaper source.
 

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Airpress oil
What the heck is Airpress oil? Can you provide a link to it?
Just use any good 10W-30 Synthetic oil that is LATER than SG.
 

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Hi,
setting up a small portable 7HP generator on behalf of a relative, and now that I've broken in the new engine, I'm wondering about the correct grade of oil for long-term use.

It's a single cylinder petrol, 4-stroke with OHV, putting out 2.2KW. (During the year the typical temperature range for my locality would be -2°C to 22°C.)

The user manual states the following:
Recommended oil: 4 stroke Petrol engine oil - API class of SE, SF or equivalent to SG class SAE10W - 30 oil.


However, all I've managed to find in stores so far are these 3, none of which match type recommended:

(1) Castrol Garden 4T 10W-30 for engines requiring API SH/SJ or CD/CF performance.

(2) Castrol Power1 SAE 10W-30, JASO MA-2 (T903:2016), API SL

(3) Valvoline (Motorcycle) STN Power 4T 10W30, API SM,SN JASO MA, MA2

I understand the viscosity numbers ok, but all the JASO and API numbers/letters mean nothing to me. Can anybody explain the difference (in a nutshell !!), and recommend which oil would be best?

I'm guessing it would be bad news to use an oil with additives such as detergents, since a small engine like this has no oil filter to strain the crud out??

Thanks,
Paul.
(first post, so go easy on the newbie....:p )
so exactly what is the make and model of the generator?
 
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