So You Bought a Used Generator...
Buying used generators can save you money but they don't come without their risks. I recently purchased a used Predator 3500 and wanted to share what I did after I got it home.
The first thing I did was ordered a new battery. The one that was in it was dead. You can find the same one I purchased on Amazon HERE. It has push button meter to see current volts and battery level! Pretty awesome!
Next I gave it an initial dust off. Looks like this one spent some fun time at the Dunes #Glamis! I just used my air compressor to get the surface dust off.
After I dusted off all the fun, I got to work with the heart of the tune up. I noticed it was slightly surging at idle so I knew a full tune up would do it some good.
To start I emptied the gas tank. There is a clear line at the bottom of the carburetor that goes to the bottom of the generator. Take this line and put it in an old gas can (You may have to play around with the height of both to get it to work). After the line is secured in the gas can there is a flat head screw where the line goes into the carb. Undo the screw a few turns. Turn the master knob to "run" which allows the gas to flow. It is a slow trickle so budget some time depending on how full your gas tank is.
While the fuel was draining I was able to change the oil an install the Magnetic Oil Dipstick which you can find on our site HERE. I used a good Oil Stabilizer like the one below, and a good Full Synthetic oil. I also lost the Charcoal Canister somewhere so I was unable to put it back on...oops!
I was unsure on how long the gas was in there and didn't know if a stabilizer like StaBil was used so I took the carb apart and cleaned it as thoroughly as I could. Here is a good video showing how to do it from the Small Engine Guys. The air filter had a slight gas smell to it so I cleaned it in the sink with some dawn and let dry.
After this I worked on the exhaust and the dreaded spark arrestor. I believe they are the equivalent to the modern day facemask. Designed to keep something bad that may or may not happen from getting out and causing huge damage. I don't care what side of the fence you are on with that issue it is so true! I cleaned the mesh cone and the circle part fell right onto my snips cutting it in half like an Oreo...oops!
After the fuel was drained it took all of an hour giving it a proper tune up. When it was back together it was running perfectly, no surging at idle or anything, seemed brand new! Only thing left to do was install our Plug & Play Remote Start & Stop Kit and soon I'll give it a lift with our long awaited Wheel Kit.
Oh and I slapped one of our stickers on it to make it official!
At the end of the day you can get some value out of buying a used generator. Ask some basic questions of the seller but know you may not get the truest of answers. I was lucky and I knew the seller so I knew I could trust at least 80% of what he told me (HaHa! Just kidding MJ).
Some questions you should ask:
- How many hours are on it (If it doesn't have a counter)?
- How often do you change the oil?
- Do you use fuel stabilizer?
- How old is the gas in it?
- How long does it sit in storage for?
These will give you a good idea of the level of maintenance done to this point.
Please share anything else you have done to tune up a used generator so we can all Generate Better!
P.S. I forgot to empty the oil into a water bottle and it fell off of my stand....That was a fun clean up...