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This is my 6th brand new Harbor freight Generator in the last 6 weeks. I currently have 2 of them, one is broke down only spitting and sputtering with 0 load applied and now the other will not handle even a coffee pot without going into AC overload. I will be taking these back Monday and getting new ones AGAIN! THE LONGEST I HAVE HAD ONE RUN IS 130 HOURS BEFORE THIS PROBLEM. Everytime the spark plugs are charred black with carbon. I take them out, replace with a new one and runs good for 10 seconds and turns the new plug black from carbon. First couple times I thought it was a fluke but this many times with the same problem says otherwise. Harbor freight tell me I am the only person they know of that has this issue. I have followed their break in procedure, use seafoam in the gas, changed oil at 30 hours and still keep having these issues. Once the generators start this I have not been able to get any of them to recover..even after changing and cleaning the plugs numerous times. If I remove the air filter COMPLETELY, the generator will run but only without a load applied. If I put the filter back on, the vacuum sucks it right it and starts spitting and sputtering. I noticed on this last one that the air filter is soaked in gas and you can see it spitting gas out while running. Any help would be greatly appreciated as this is getting very old considering the closest store is an hour and a half from me.
 

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This is my 6th brand new Harbor freight Generator in the last 6 weeks. I currently have 2 of them, one is broke down only spitting and sputtering with 0 load applied and now the other will not handle even a coffee pot without going into AC overload. I will be taking these back Monday and getting new ones AGAIN! THE LONGEST I HAVE HAD ONE RUN IS 130 HOURS BEFORE THIS PROBLEM. Everytime the spark plugs are charred black with carbon. I take them out, replace with a new one and runs good for 10 seconds and turns the new plug black from carbon. First couple times I thought it was a fluke but this many times with the same problem says otherwise. Harbor freight tell me I am the only person they know of that has this issue. I have followed their break in procedure, use seafoam in the gas, changed oil at 30 hours and still keep having these issues. Once the generators start this I have not been able to get any of them to recover..even after changing and cleaning the plugs numerous times. If I remove the air filter COMPLETELY, the generator will run but only without a load applied. If I put the filter back on, the vacuum sucks it right it and starts spitting and sputtering. I noticed on this last one that the air filter is soaked in gas and you can see it spitting gas out while running. Any help would be greatly appreciated as this is getting very old considering the closest store is an hour and a half from me.
Try Leaving gas cap loose when running.

I had very similar episode with predator 3500 today. unit was running the air conditioner on my rv. was a hot day about 98 deg F, ran about 4 hours sitting in direct sun light on concrete slab with no breeze at all. I heard the generator start to run kind of ragged then air conditioner stopped working. generator was still running but badly! the overload light was on, I unplugged the rv and turned off the generator and let it sit had vert strong smell of gasoline. an hour later it would not start, checked the oil level (it has a low oil cut off switch) oil was fine. removed spark plug, (could still smell gasoline) plug was covered in black soot and definitely fouled out. spun generator over without plug to clear cylinder of excess gasoline. cleaned plug and reinstalled. tried generator again. started right up. left gas cap loose and reconnected to rv ran great for another 4 hours until I turned it off.


I believe the heat of day and heat of generator caused gas tank to pressurize and flood carburetor with gasoline. I am going to buy replacement gas cap and drill 3 1/16" holes in it. will only use this cap when running In safe location install original for transport.
 

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Mine did the same thing after <100 hrs. Are you also removing the spark arrestor? Behind the spark arrestor is another fine wire screen that is inserted into the generator exhaust port. You need to use a small screwdriver at the lip to pry it loose and pull it straight out. When my plug fouled, this screen was also loaded with fouling, not letting exhaust out of the cylinder. Cleaned screen, replaced plug, runs great. Don't know why it fouled to begin with.
 

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Mine ran rough within a few minutes of running right out of the box. Yanked the carbon canister out, cleaned the spark plug and spark arrestor. Ran the little generator for 45 at 2700 watts without any issues. Also had no more gas dripping out of the overflow tubes in the bottom of the enclosure. Also closed the spark plug gap a bit, was a little too much for my liking.
 

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OK necro thread, but this is still worth stating...

The price difference between a Predator and a Honda may be twice as much, if not more. But the price difference between a Predator and a Champion or similar may only be 20% or so. I really don't understand why one doesn't just pay a little bit more for something better than to deal with SIX returns!!

That being said, there is a long thread on this forum about Predator 3500 fixes if you are willing to perform some minor surgery. It'll fix all your issues.
 
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