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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. New here, so I hope this hasn't been covered. Didn't find anything in a search...

I have an older (guessing late '80s) ES6500 that I use as backup power for my off-grid home to compliment wind and solar. I expect it's somewhat worn out, but it does run pretty well on gas.

I've been considering a tri-fuel conversion, so I could run it on propane. Figured it'd be less stinky, maybe run better, and hopefully less expensive to run. And of course, propane stores better...

I was looking at this particular kit:

Generator Tri-Fuel Conversion Kit for Honda Generators | eBay

Of course, it clearly states 'for GX series engines, mostly single cyl, 13hp or less'. My generator has a 2 cyl GX360 engine, rated 12.2hp. So I figure it qualifies for 2 out of three. Ain't bad :) Any thoughts on if this might work, perhaps with modification to intake? I am a reasonably competent shade-tree mechanic and don't care about intake air plumbing.

If not that, anybody have other suggestions? Or experience with running these things on propane in general? With or without the tri-fuel option. I recently scored a NOS 'backup' carb, so modifying the existing carb isn't a huge deal... it's easy enough to swap. But I like the idea of easily running gas.. if only I ran out of propane, I could drain gas from a car at absolute worse case.

basic stuff...
The generator is stationary... never needs to move. I understand there'd be a loss of output. Not a biggie, as this is way overkill for my needs. I would be running it with a small portable tank.. 10 or 20 gal. And, I'd like to keep it as cheap as possible, as I don't know how long the thing will last. I have a feeling it was used as a job-site unit for many, many years...

Any thoughts greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.

Matt
 

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VolvoMatt:

(1) Propane burns hotter than gasoline. That's why the one propane genset Honda did sell from the factory had a modified exhaust valve and valve guide. The engineers did not want to risk having a valve fail from too much heat, so they made those two parts out of different, more heat-tolerant materials.

(2) In order to get the gas to flow, I understand the size of the tank and ambient air temps can be an issue. I've seen other propane generators (4kw models) that require the use of the "Tall Boy" 40 gallon tanks to work consistently.

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Caveat: I work for Honda, but the preceding was my opinion alone.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks.. interesting to hear that.

I once bought a car (a Volvo, natch.. 1973 model) that had been converted to propane...

I recall the seller telling me about a couple things.. 1) hardened valves and seats (which were stock in a '73 Volvo for unleaded), and 2) that he'd shaved the head big time to increase compression to ~12:1...

But nothing about propane burning hotter, causing the valve issues... I thought it was just a lubrication issue with unleaded..

I re-converted that car to gas (seller wanted an extra $200 for teh propane setup. I declined, stupidly) and it ran like ****. Had to run avgas mix due to the compression issue...

heck. I guess I'll just play it by ear...
 
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