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Old 04-11-2015, 00:56   #1
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Next Gen 5.5 kW genset review

I am thinking to buy one of these and would appreciate any comments

I read somewhere tha the output power is "dirty" until it sees load. So dirty in fact that a Victron inverter/charger will not recognize the incoming power if the genset is not loaded
Any truth to this and first hand experience?

There seems to be several proprietary parts in order to get the package size down and that may be a long term concern
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:13   #2
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Re: Next Gen 5.5 kW genset review

We have this generator and I have written about it several times in these forums. Do a search for it here.

Yes, the power is "dirty", and somewhere here I have posted oscilloscope traces under various loads and types of loads. However, it is not so dirty that a Victron inverter/charger will not recognize it. We have a Victron Multiplus 3000 and it has no issues at all with the generator output. And it is not set on the "dirty power" mode (the fact that Victron has that mode speaks to it not having problems with dirty power).

I don't know of any proprietary parts in it, other than maybe the marinization of the cooling system. Even there, I suspect the heat exchanger and manifold are not proprietary.

The genset head is a common Markon unit, the voltage regulator is either a common run capacitor or common AVR, the drive belt is Goodyear, the relays are cheap Bosch ones, the water pump/impeller is a common Johnson, and all of the Kubota parts are common Kubota parts found in any tractor supply. I can't think of a single part that needs to be bought from NextGen - particularly no maintenance things.

Mark
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Old 04-11-2015, 06:04   #3
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Re: Next Gen 5.5 kW genset review

I have a 3.5 and have been very happy with it so far.
But these are not in my opinion the type of genset that is meant to be cranked before you leave the dock, to be left running for days or weeks at a time like you can do a Northern Lights or similar, but they are much lighter, smaller and less expensive and fill the gap between a Honda suitcase gen and the heavy duty 1800 RPM sets rather well.

The 3.5 went to a different gen head not too long ago, unsure as to why. There is a statement on their website that says if your going to run an inverter / charger, call them first. I did and was told that is no longer an issue, the hadn't updated their website to remove that statement.
I'd definitely give them a call, they don't seem to mind that much and were able to give me a few pointers on installation
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Old 04-11-2015, 06:22   #4
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Re: Next Gen 5.5 kW genset review

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
There is a statement on their website that says if your going to run an inverter / charger, call them first. I did and was told that is no longer an issue, the hadn't updated their website to remove that statement.
Same answer I got in 2010 when I saw that statement. Seems like they are glacially slow at updating their website…

The 3.5 no longer uses Markon heads with capacitor regulation (AVR optional)? Which ones are they using now?

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Old 04-11-2015, 08:47   #5
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Re: Next Gen 5.5 kW genset review

We sold Next Gens at a previous brokerage/dealership I worked out in the years 2004 or so till I left in 2010. We really had not issues. I'd agree with the statements they are not leaving running for days (IE like a westerbeke or Northern lights 5kw) but they are not the size either. I have the panda 4kw on my current boat (2006) and we had tons of issues with those back in the late 90s early 2000s till Panda fixed the issues. They are great units and super small, but super expensive. If you have the room, the Next Gen is a viable option in my opinion and the parts are easy to come by as someone stated before.
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:00   #6
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Re: Next Gen 5.5 kW genset review

Don't know about the 5.5 but forum member btrayfors has an older 3.5 and has the problem you described using his Victory inverter. Seems like the issue has been addressed on the newer units.

I second the comments from A64 regarding the use for the Nexgen vs Northern Lights or similar. Good kit but not to run all day, every day.
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Old 04-11-2015, 11:00   #7
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Re: Next Gen 5.5 kW genset review

We have the 3.5 and during our last cruise put 1,000 hours on it. Other than the water pump giving up the ghost, it's a Johnson, no issues whatsoever and it runs everything on the boat. You can read about our install here, The Trawler Beach House: Do-It-Yourself Generator Install . Chuck
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:09   #8
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Re: Next Gen 5.5 kW genset review

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
The 3.5 no longer uses Markon heads with capacitor regulation (AVR optional)? Which ones are they using now?

Mark
I really don't know, I didn't get that far, and it has to do with the water pump drive. I think and this sounds wrong, but what drives the water pump? I think Kubota made a change to their engines, and that drove them to do something different with the generator because of the water pump drive?
I know sounds crazy
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:17   #9
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Re: Next Gen 5.5 kW genset review

OK, I called because I forgot, but the 3.5 KW uses a Syncro 6.2 KW head now, they are all Cap you can't get an AVR.
What drove the change is they used to use the hand crank shaft to drive the water pump, but Kubota deleted the hand crank shaft, so now the water pump is actually driven from the generator.
They changed he said about four years ago, I believe they used to have problems with the mixing elbow, and that is now different as well, new one not mixing water into the exhaust til well down stream, leaving of course a hot exhaust pipe that is covered in insulation.

On edit, I'm pretty sure the 5.5 is still a Markon and can be had as an AVR still
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:21   #10
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Re: Next Gen 5.5 kW genset review

I've been wondering how long the thing will last, it is actually a ball bearing crankshaft, which is unusual, those bearings ought to last indefinitely, leaving I guess cylinder wear being what will drive one to overhaul. It is a single cylinder running I think at 2850 RPM, Kubota says 3000 is max, so it's right at near max RPM.
I sort of expected the thing to sound and shake like a lawnmower, but it isn't nearly as bad as I expected it to be, but you know the little Honda suitcase generators are pretty smooth for a single too.
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:23   #11
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Re: Next Gen 5.5 kW genset review

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Originally Posted by AnchorageGuy View Post
We have the 3.5 and during our last cruise put 1,000 hours on it. Other than the water pump giving up the ghost, it's a Johnson, no issues whatsoever and it runs everything on the boat. You can read about our install here, The Trawler Beach House: Do-It-Yourself Generator Install . Chuck
What happened when the water pump quit? What quit? I mean bearings, seals or the impeller? I want to know so I can carry the parts
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:58   #12
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Re: Next Gen 5.5 kW genset review

The seals went out and it was leaking pretty good from the weep hole. We were cruising so I just got another pump and still haven't had the first one rebuilt. This was only at one year old. The pump on our 3.5 is driven by a belt and is externally mounted on the side of the engine. We always carry extra impellers. Chuck
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Old 04-11-2015, 15:48   #13
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Re: Next Gen 5.5 kW genset review

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
What happened when the water pump quit? What quit? I mean bearings, seals or the impeller? I want to know so I can carry the parts
Just get the Johnson pump model # off it and order 2 sets of seals and 1 set of bearings from Depco. Really inexpensive and easy to rebuild, and you will probably never use the bearing set. You should always carry a few extra impellers, of course.

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Old 04-11-2015, 15:51   #14
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Re: Next Gen 5.5 kW genset review

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
OK, I called because I forgot, but the 3.5 KW uses a Syncro 6.2 KW head now, they are all Cap you can't get an AVR.
What drove the change is they used to use the hand crank shaft to drive the water pump, but Kubota deleted the hand crank shaft, so now the water pump is actually driven from the generator.
They changed he said about four years ago, I believe they used to have problems with the mixing elbow, and that is now different as well, new one not mixing water into the exhaust til well down stream, leaving of course a hot exhaust pipe that is covered in insulation.

On edit, I'm pretty sure the 5.5 is still a Markon and can be had as an AVR still
There is a 6.2KW head on a 3.5KW generator?

I can't imagine what the water pump drive mode has to do with the generator head choice.

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Old 04-11-2015, 15:54   #15
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Re: Next Gen 5.5 kW genset review

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I've been wondering how long the thing will last, it is actually a ball bearing crankshaft, which is unusual, those bearings ought to last indefinitely, leaving I guess cylinder wear being what will drive one to overhaul. It is a single cylinder running I think at 2850 RPM, Kubota says 3000 is max, so it's right at near max RPM.
I sort of expected the thing to sound and shake like a lawnmower, but it isn't nearly as bad as I expected it to be, but you know the little Honda suitcase generators are pretty smooth for a single too.
While it is running near max rpm (although I think 3000 is a bit low, but I don't know which Kubota yours uses), it is also running under a proper load - assuming you are loading it and not just running it free. This helps a lot with diesels.

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