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Discussion Starter #1
I've been considering purchasing one of HarborFreights new 3000Watt Inverter generators.

I tend to have doubts as to the durability but it is a pretty good price at $700 for a 3000watt inverter generator.

It looks good and very Hondaish.

Anyone here have one yet?
 

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I'm not usually a Harbor Freight guy but I have to say, this is a pretty nice generator.

As for quality, well it's not a Honda but for the money, Dang....

Here are a couple of links for a decent review of it.

 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
it "seems" like a pretty nice generator....I agree.
But it's very new on the market. Very few have any significant time on them.
Time will tell. So much can fail. What will be the availability of parts?
They have a 90 day warranty. Hmmmm...

Here's the EXACT Warrnty.....
We guarantee the emissions control system on your engine will be free from defects in material and workmanship for two (2) years, provided there has been no improper maintenance, misuse, or abuse of your engine. We guarantee this product to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for 90 days from the date of purchase. Limitations apply.


Limitations? What Limitations? I couldn't find these "limitations" at their website so Caveat Emptor. Let the buyer Beware.

Another important consideration is that the Honda EU3000iS is 30% heavier at 131lbs vs the HF Predator at 99.5lbs.
That's a BIG difference. I'm going to guess that most of that difference is in the Stator/Rotor assembly. If true, then the HF Predator is "probably" not made as durable as the Honda Stator/Rotor assembly and hence the big weight difference. Those assemblies are very heavy by nature and this huge difference in weight could be a telling sign of a big quality difference in manufacturing. In generators, size DOES matter and the weight difference is most likely due to rotor diameter and or number of windings (or both). I would confidently guess that the Honda EU3000is would outperform the HarborFreight Predator 3000 in a test of sheer load capability, regardless of the published specs.

Honda's EU3000i Handi is significantly lighter than their EU3000is, but output is less and fuel capacity is less and the motor is 160cc vs 196cc for the IS.
The Honda IS also holds 3.4 gallons of fuel vs the HF Predator 3000 Inverter at 2.6 gallons. Almost a gallon difference. The Predator needs a bigger fuel tank IMO.

Note: Honda also makes a EU3000i which is also a 3000watt Inverter generator but it has a much smaller fuel tank and less output power.

The HONDA EU3000is


HarborFreight Predator 3000Watt Inverter


I'm planning on getting one because it would only be used for emergencies which are far and few in between and because I've spent many years as a motorcycle repair tech so working on engines and electrical systems comes naturally for me. Big advantage.

I'll say this.....if over the next few years they gain a reputation of durability, then it will indeed be a good deal......but the price will probably climb also.

Is it also "fair" to say that Honda 3000watt Inverter generators are "over-priced"? Probably. But they are priced at what the market will bear.
A Honda 3000watt inverter generator can be had new for around $2,000 of which I would rough estimate at least $1,200 is pure profit. Probably more.
Just WAG's though.

Whatever generator you get, try to keep it indoors under air. The humidity of outside storage in humid climates wreaks havoc on not only the motor, but the electronics and fuel system as well. Did you know that SeaFoam is not only good at cleaning fuel systems and removing carbon deposits but is also a great fuel stabilizer? Just don't add too much.

Removing the spark plug and oil fogging the cylinder for long term storage is also a good idea. Don't forget to change the oil before storage to remove any acidic by products of combustion.

I like to run my generators at least once every 4 months minimum to keep all the seals lubricated and passages open.

The carburetor is prone to gumming inside the float bowl. Be sure to run the motor long enough after adding SeaFoam or other fuel stabilizer to ensure it reaches the float bowl.
 

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It has all the signs of "buy." As for the Warranty.....pay the extra and take a two year option. I have a Predator that a neighbor gave me, when he was moving....it runs like a top. I recommend getting rid of the spark plug and get a Brand Name. Pull the trigger and get it, with the warranty. Ron
 

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Have to agree with Handyman, I'm not usually a fan of HF or inverter gensets, but this seems like a "BUY" if it fits your power needs. I have used the HF predator replacement engines on log splitters, tillers, etc. for $120 they run great and are "ChiHondas" which ain't all bad. my old genset is a Generac 3750, long time after I had bought it, was installing a predator replacement engine on something and it struck me how familiar it looked. Same engine in the Generac. Ten or twelve years later, still starts first pull and has been great. Probably the same engine buried in there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
It has all the signs of "buy." As for the Warranty.....pay the extra and take a two year option. I have a Predator that a neighbor gave me, when he was moving....it runs like a top. I recommend getting rid of the spark plug and get a Brand Name. Pull the trigger and get it, with the warranty. Ron
Thanks Ron.

The INVERTER series is kinda new, even though they might share the same motor. Not sure.
Hopefully it will be reliable as their others. I guess it's still an unknown for now.

I spoke with a representative at the company that actually handles the extended warranties on Predator Inverter Generators for HarborFreight. That company is called ASSURANT.

The representative told me that the Extended Warranty is a ONE TIME contract. Of course, that means that once you've had a malfunction and need to execute your warranty it's over. So, let's say the electric starter failed and it needed a switch....you would use your $139.00 warranty for that switch, and that would be the end of your warranty. Let's say the LED failed.....same thing. How about if a wheel broke? Same thing. No matter how big or how small the failure, once you use your Extended Service Plan for ANY item, your coverage ends with THAT repair or service. You would have to purchase ANOTHER Extended Warranty.

Pay extra attention to this....
Your 2 Year Extended Service Plan DOES NOT mean that you are covered for 2 years. It means that you will get ONE REPAIR within the 2 Year ESP period. You could use up your $139.00 ESP on a $10.00 item within the first two weeks of the 90 day manufacturers warranty ending....and that's it.
You will not be entitled to ANY additional repairs regardless.

The fly in the ointment would come if you did not buy another Extended Warranty (For another $139.00) and then had a problem after that.

Not to scare anyone.....most ESP's work this way.....but it's surprising how many people aren't aware of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Have to agree with Handyman, I'm not usually a fan of HF or inverter gensets, but this seems like a "BUY" if it fits your power needs. I have used the HF predator replacement engines on log splitters, tillers, etc. for $120 they run great and are "ChiHondas" which ain't all bad. my old genset is a Generac 3750, long time after I had bought it, was installing a predator replacement engine on something and it struck me how familiar it looked. Same engine in the Generac. Ten or twelve years later, still starts first pull and has been great. Probably the same engine buried in there.
Agreed.

For $700 I'm gonna try one. No ESP for me. I just hope I can get parts if I need it. I can do any necessary repair as long as the rotor or stator doesn't fry....in which case I'll try selling it for parts
 

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Predator: You talk of the warranty and you could be spending XXXX for a switch, and the warranty is shot.....then again you could run it out without a problem! We all try to cover all the bases and insure our buck, but there has to be a reasonable parameter to work within. If this generator meets your needs, saves you the cost of of a Honda 3K, and your expected usage versus the expenditure made. The final call is yours, and I hope you get all the answers you need. Also, doesn't Ryobi make a 3K Inverter? Ron
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Predator: You talk of the warranty and you could be spending XXXX for a switch, and the warranty is shot.....then again you could run it out without a problem! We all try to cover all the bases and insure our buck, but there has to be a reasonable parameter to work within. If this generator meets your needs, saves you the cost of of a Honda 3K, and your expected usage versus the expenditure made. The final call is yours, and I hope you get all the answers you need. Also, doesn't Ryobi make a 3K Inverter? Ron
I think Ryobi does, but I also heard "through the grapevine?) that they aren't good. Idaknow.

I'm gonna take a chance on no problems and skip the $139 ESP......will probably run it a good bit during the 90 days factory warranty, put max load on it etc.....hopefully if it's got any ghosts it'll give em up during that time.

Sure is a nice looking Genny.
 

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Sure is a GREAT looking generator. Glad you have decided; Now think real hard about not wanting to spend that extra $140.....covers 365. To me, that would be money well spent on a product you want around for a good while - cheap insurance. This way that when you let it lay up for a month or more, and then go to use it, you have the peace of mind should it fail. I don't know if you know about www.generatorguru.com, he has replacement parts for all kinds of generators that are of Chinese origin; might want to check it out for prosperity. On the Ryobi - who the **** would make a green generator, ha. Good luck, whatever way you go, I know you will be satisfied.Ron
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Sure is a GREAT looking generator. Glad you have decided; Now think real hard about not wanting to spend that extra $140.....covers 365. To me, that would be money well spent on a product you want around for a good while - cheap insurance. This way that when you let it lay up for a month or more, and then go to use it, you have the peace of mind should it fail. I don't know if you know about www.generatorguru.com, he has replacement parts for all kinds of generators that are of Chinese origin; might want to check it out for prosperity. On the Ryobi - who the **** would make a green generator, ha. Good luck, whatever way you go, I know you will be satisfied.Ron
haha
Thanks again Ron.

You make sense. I'm just a tightwad and penny pincher. I figure I'll put it through it's paces early on to make sure everything is right.
Will probably put 100 hours on it in the first 90 days and run it at full load a few times. If it's gonna take a dump on me I should know by day 89.
Then I figure two years will FLY by and the odds of really needing it are slim to unlikely...so I'm gonna gamble that I won't need the extra warranty and the 20% price hike..
Most of the time, failures happen fairly quickly off the assembly line if they're gonna happen.
If....it does, I'll use that money to buy replacement parts. :tango_face_smile_bi
If it wasn't from my really strong background with motors and vehicle electronics I might spring for it.

I checked out that link. Awesome!
I did notice he doesn't have any Predator INVERTER generator parts yet tho <sad>
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
So I went ahead and bought one today. I was gonna wait but....it kept nagging me and I couldn't get it off my mind....

Anyway, after a thorough inspection, it looks like there has been gasoline in it as there is just a little gasoline residue in the bottom of the tank......I was a little afraid they'd be re-furbishing returned ones from the two recent hurricanes but if it's been refurbished, they did an excellent job. Not a nick or scratch, the muffler is virgin, no signs of use, I would estimate that the crankcase had about 5 ounces of oil in it, no dirt, dust or any signs of previous use.

The fuel residue in the tank leads me to believe it may have been used. I can't see the factory packing it with ANY fuel fumes or residue in it at all if it was "NEW" new. And yet there definitely was what appeared to be the nearly dried remains of what was gasoline. There was alos the smell of gasoline. Maybe this was from a factory test run? Dunno....but somehow I doubt they test run these units. Maybe they do.

However, I ran it for 1/2 hour and put 2000 watts load on it and it handled it with no trouble. It did have that notorious drop in RPMs in the beginning. For about the first 5 minutes. Maybe that was some fuel residue gum in the float bowl? Many have reported this issue and returned units because of it but it smoothed out in the one I have after about 5 minutes.

That said, I can confirm these units have a slight breathing problem. When it was doing the RPM drop thing, I opened the oil filler access door and as others noted, the problem instantly stopped. Also, I noticed a considerable vacuum as I closed that access panel. The vacuum pulled the door shut with a measurable force.

Being a motorcycle mechanic, that told me the generator housing is not allowing enough air to pass through to properly allow the engine to get all the air it needs. This is a design flaw and can only be corrected by introducing vents for air to pass through the outer housing.

I may buy an extra oil filler access panel and introduce a few vent holes in it with a sponge filter in the back to catch dust and dirt. Sort of a pre filter for the air filter.

It should also be noted that this condition will cause the motor to run rich as the carburetor inlet will experience lower atmospheric pressure than it would otherwise. That will result in more fuel consumption and an engine that gets more carbon buildup inside than if the engine were running optimally.

I'm certain future units will have more breathing vents built in to alleviate this issue.

Other than that, everything worked and I can say this thing is VERY quiet. I also have a Honda EU2000is and this is just as quiet while producing 2000 watts as the Honda producing 1000.

If it lasts 10 years it'll be one **** of a bargain.

I have 90 days to make sure it's tip top. I plan to run it at least 50 hours before the 90 days is up and run a compression test.
 

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Congrats on your buy, I am betting it will serve you well. You question it being new or refurbed, because of the residue gas....that was probably as a result of fuel used to Test Start that model. Now let's hope your weather remains great, and your gen is called to be power a camper or electric yard product. Ron
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Congrats on your buy, I am betting it will serve you well. You question it being new or refurbed, because of the residue gas....that was probably as a result of fuel used to Test Start that model. Now let's hope your weather remains great, and your gen is called to be power a camper or electric yard product. Ron
Thank you sir. I hope you're right.

I like to be "ready"....just in case.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
To anyone who stumbles across this thread and has bought or is about to buy a new generator.....

Could you be so kind as to carefully check the fuel tank and see if you can determine if gasoline has ever been in the tank before you purchased it?

Could very well be as RonJ said.....factory test run.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Found a cure for the oil cover air restriction......bought this and it works perfectly. They were available in Red, Gold, Black, White and Silver.
Don't ask me why.....I just wanted Gold.
In the back is a Uni-Filter to filter the incoming air. Nice!

Runs cooler to boot.
 

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I bought one this week. Tried the new Ryobi 2300 for 2 days and it about died at 12 hours. Surging, stalling etc. Must have got a dud, because I see lots of happy folks reviewing it. None left in store to swap, didn;t want to wait so i just returned and got the Predator from HF.

It ran a little rough at first, stuttering a bit. I have ran in 10 hours now, and have changed the oil 3 times. First at 1 hour was pretty flaky. 5 hours was better, 10 hours better yet. Still a couple flakes in the pan, but maybe I didn't clean the pan as well as i should. Gonna try another change at 15 hours into a new pan. Just being paranoid because, hey, it's from HF.

It does seem very well built. I was very surprised.

I got the 2 year plan on it, plus a $50 coupon.

Hope it lasts. I will be using it at some land I have, running camper stuff and power tools, charging batteries etc. Only load I've had on it so far is 10A shop vac. it didn't even flinch.
 
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