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Any interest in Chinese Diesel clone gensets?


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  #1  
Old 08-04-2009, 08:46:57 PM
Joe Romas Joe Romas is offline
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Default Any interest in Chinese Diesel clone gensets?

First I know these are not top of the line units that will run for a million hours
But being retired and mostly broke I've found that some of these air cooled Chinese diesel gensets can be gotten at a reasonable price with very little wrong with them and they are fun to play with.
The engines are Yanmar copies and the generators are mostly capacitor regulated but some have brushes and true electronic AVRs. They come in basically three HP ranges, 4, 6 and 9 HP ratings and some sellers grossly overstate the ratings

I've gotten 4 of them so far, two are mine and two are my son's. Two of them are the totally enclosed yellow "Silent" ones that are around 5000-5500 running watts and two middle size open frame ones that are around 3300 watts. I'm still looking for one of the smaller 2000-2200 watt ones. The engines are all electric start and reliable. The two "Silent" yellow ones actually have catalyic converters and two mufflers with a crude form of EGR

The most expesnive one so far was $450 for an enclosed yellow one with only 4 hours on the meter and it has a key fob remote start! It wouldn't start because the fuel filter was clogged by home made bio. It's gotten us through two 3 day power outages and it's realitivley quiet.

I've found Yanmar manuals for the engines and have gathered several wiring diagrams for the generators and control panels.

I've had three generator failures. One bridge diode on the rotor. One capacitor regulator with burned spade lugs and one with a burned out field because of how some do-do grounded the battery. The engine and generator are rubber mounted (isolated from) to the frame and the battery cable was fastened to the frame. So when the starter motor was actuated the ground path was from to frame AC ground through the control panel and into the generator through some thin wire that melted the insulation on it and one of the field leads. That shorted it to ground and burned it up. I got a replacement field but it was not cheap.

Parts are available and one source is of all places Harbor Freight. They sell a version of the "silent" one.

Do these units have enough interest to have their own sub forum? I would be interested hearing other's experience.

Sorry for the length

Joe
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2009, 10:49:40 PM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is offline
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Default Re: Any interest in Chinese Diesel clone gensets?

I would certainly play around with one if I got it for next to nothing, but I don't think those will cure "green fever" very well. If you are infected with green fever your set must be capable of its full rating for 24 hours or so.
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  #3  
Old 08-04-2009, 11:18:23 PM
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John Newman, Jr. John Newman, Jr. is offline
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Default Re: Any interest in Chinese Diesel clone gensets?

Hope I'm not diverting the thread, but I've always thought the open flywheel diesel (Chengfa, etc.) engines belted / coupled to a ST generator head made a good affordable combination with plenty of exposed spinning stuff to be interesting.
The pros & cons have been pretty thoroughly discussed here, but I'd buy & use one if the opportunity presented itself at a price I could live with.
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Old 08-05-2009, 08:22:11 AM
Joe Romas Joe Romas is offline
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Default Re: Any interest in Chinese Diesel clone gensets?

John and Wayne.

Thanks for the replies

On the "green" side once these units are warmed up the exhaust is clear and depending on fuel the typical diesel smell is not bad. I've not used B20 in them yet but B5 helps on the smell. The two larger ones with the catalyic converters and EGR makes then 2006 EPA compliant and the two mufflers make them quiet. But there's nothing to watch going around

I also have a 9 HP engine only that I belted to a Honda 3500 2 pole head that required 3600 rpms. I found once below 3000 rpm's the torque curve of these engines dropps off fast. But it was much quieter at 3000 then at 3600 rpm's though. I have since sold the honda head and put the engine on my 4 gpm 4000 psi pressure washer.

I'm a Diesel nut as I also own a 06 Jeep Liberty CRD (Common Rail Diesel) and these air cooled units are toys used only for my intertainment and power outages. Not for "off grid" use. The fuel consumption is about half or less then a gasoline powered unit. My son's "silent" one was full of rot gut off road #2 when I found it and it's taking forever to burn up 3.5 gallons of fuel

If I were green and off grid and lived on 80 acers I would have a Lister and ST generator. But I live on a small lot in the city

As for cost they have to be cheap
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Old 08-05-2009, 08:40:15 AM
K D Redd K D Redd is offline
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Default Re: Any interest in Chinese Diesel clone gensets?

Joe,

The "Green Fever" that Wayne 440 was spaeking of is the LOVE? of Onan equipment.

Kent
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Old 08-05-2009, 04:52:27 PM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is offline
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Default Re: Any interest in Chinese Diesel clone gensets?

Sorry I failed to make my self clear. That must be another side effect of our particular brand of "green fever" - the other two are that the eyes become somewhat immune to diesel smoke and lunch always smells a little like diesel fuel.
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Old 08-13-2009, 12:14:38 PM
Brian Howard Brian Howard is offline
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Default Re: Any interest in Chinese Diesel clone gensets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Romas View Post

Do these units have enough interest to have their own sub forum? I would be interested hearing other's experience.

Joe
I've had a few in the shop. On one, (welder-generator combo) the governor arm came off the rack and the unit ran for a while with no RPM control. Lots of smoke, but I put the governor back together right, and it runs fine, with no apparent damage.
Another one broke a valve adjusting screw. Comparing the rocker assembly between this Yanmar clone and a "real" Yanmar shows the difference. The finish is totally different and the clone parts don't have the color change from heat treating that the Yanmar parts do.
I think that these units are pretty good, IF you get a good one. I have noticed that the Chinese quality is improving all the time.
I own a couple of Kubota 6500 silent units. The engines are excellent, but once again, the electrics are weak, and these are $6000 units.
I think that the main problems on the 120/240 units is that people try to take all the output from one leg and overload the windings.
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:28:26 PM
pjw pjw is offline
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Default Re: Any interest in Chinese Diesel clone gensets?

I have a united power version. I have only ran it for 10-15 hours and so far the capacitor failed after 2 hours of use. Then the intake valve broke at the stem and the valve dropped into the engine and embedded into the piston but not before it destroyed the cylinder head and smashed the injector. These units look good but that is where the quality ends. I have wrote "united power" 4 times trying to get parts with no response, so this means there is no customer service after the sale. I have finally gathered all the parts I need to repair the generator after months of searching. I found most of them on e-bay. I still have a capacitor issue since the only replacement I could find is 12mfd and the one that was in it was 13mfd. I am hoping
I could just use a motor run capacitor rated at 13mfd to bring up the voltage to the correct level, maybe someone could answer this for me.

I was able to tear this unit down fairly easy in the field, I have a hunting camp in the u.p. of Michigan, right up to the point of replacing the piston. So most work can be peformed without to much effort. My overall opinion is these units are typical poor Chinese junk. Unless you get a good deal, I paid $600.00 for mine (to much), I would save a little extra and buy something of better quality.
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:57:16 PM
pegasuspinto pegasuspinto is offline
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Default Re: Any interest in Chinese Diesel clone gensets?

cheap chinese capacitors would probably be -50%+200% tolerance, in other words it would be 6.5 to 26 mfd out of the box actual, and be considered good. In almost any circuit, a capacitor has to be able to be 20% off value-better tolerances start to get a lot more expensive fast.

Robert
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:03:41 PM
pjw pjw is offline
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Default Re: Any interest in Chinese Diesel clone gensets?

Thanks for the reply. Perhaps I have another issue with the genhead then. I will be tearing it apart this weekend to install the new piston and will report my findings.
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  #11  
Old 10-27-2009, 10:07:21 PM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is offline
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Default Re: Any interest in Chinese Diesel clone gensets?

pjw-You can use a motor run cap of equal or higher voltage rating to replace yours. If you can't find a 13 mfd, two in parallel will add together, i.e. 12 + 1 =13 or 10+2, etc.

I'm sorry but not suprised to hear of your engine troubles, there are numerous accounts on the web of problems with the Chinese diesels such as loose parts, improper bearing clearance, governor/ rack issues, oil leaks and so on. I believe they might be reasonably reliable if one took the time to completely tear down and (properly) reassemble the engine.

But if you are going to do all that, why not start with a chunk of U.S.A. made iron? My 25 year old RDJC Onan and the even older 3.5RM21 Kohler are both probably more reliable than a "new" Chinese set- and given a proper rebuild, either would no doubt out live me.
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:26:12 AM
armandh armandh is offline
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Default Re: Any interest in Chinese Diesel clone gensets?

caps in parallel add the values
caps in series 1/a+1/b=1/T
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:28:31 AM
armandh armandh is offline
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Default Re: Any interest in Chinese Diesel clone gensets?

spare gen sets = good
at a price you can pitch them when a rod exits the block = better
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:59:13 PM
pjw pjw is offline
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Default Re: Any interest in Chinese Diesel clone gensets?

wayne440,

No doubt you are correct about buying an older American made genset then a Chinese one. I would not recommend one of these to anybody looking for any sort of reliability.

I am glad you brought the PARALLEL statement to light. I had alway's thought that you added the caps in series to get to where you wanted to be.

I did just test both the capacitors and both show that they are o.k., I never tested them before, with the 12mfd one reading 12.513 mfd's and the 13mfd one reading 13.15 mfd's. One of the odd things that this unit did before the valve broke was when I turned on the roof air in my r.v. with the 12mfd capacitor in it was the output voltage increased from 100 to 115 volts, I had a kill-a-watt hooked up. This led me to believe that it was under capacitored. The reason I replaced the cap was that voltage output dropped to around 50 volts and when I installed the new one it put out around 100 volts and climbed if I used the a.c.. Based on what I am reading here I think I better take a good look at the diodes when I remove the rotor this weeked to replace the piston.

Again, I appreciate everyones help. Hopefully I can return the favor to any future "silent diesel generator" owners out there, you are going to need it.
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:25:50 PM
KidDynamo KidDynamo is offline
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Default Re: Any interest in Chinese Diesel clone gensets?

Sounds like some of you bought that famous brand from the "old country". Known in these parts as a Hung Ashita.
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Old 11-01-2009, 08:28:06 PM
pjw pjw is offline
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Default Re: Any interest in Chinese Diesel clone gensets?

O.K.,
I didn't get it totally torn down because I need to get a bolt to drive the rotor off the engine and the hardware was closed. I have a question about testing the diodes on the rotor that I am hoping someone can help me with. Do you need to unsolder them from the rotor to test them? Thanks
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Old 11-02-2009, 09:17:20 AM
K D Redd K D Redd is offline
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Default Re: Any interest in Chinese Diesel clone gensets?

yes

kent
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Old 11-06-2009, 11:23:31 AM
pjw pjw is offline
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Default Re: Any interest in Chinese Diesel clone gensets?

So I just finished testing the diodes on the rotor and I have the following readings 1.010 vdc on diode 1 and 1.033 vdc on diode 2. The current only flows in one direction on both diodes. Is the voltage difference between the two diodes any cause for concern? Thanks
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Old 11-06-2009, 12:25:28 PM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is offline
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Default Re: Any interest in Chinese Diesel clone gensets?

It wouldn't be to me.
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Old 11-06-2009, 12:42:45 PM
airbatica airbatica is offline
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Default Re: Any interest in Chinese Diesel clone gensets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjw View Post
So I just finished testing the diodes on the rotor and I have the following readings 1.010 vdc on diode 1 and 1.033 vdc on diode 2. The current only flows in one direction on both diodes. Is the voltage difference between the two diodes any cause for concern? Thanks
The voltage difference between the two diodes isn't much of a concern. However, the voltage drop across the diode seems a bit high. Most power transistors (diodes in this case) have a forward voltage drop of between 0.6-0.8v (with a few exceptions). I'd replace both of them in the interest of reliability.
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