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Old 08-05-2019, 09:17   #1
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Small Diesel Generators

If you read the forum long you read a lot of generator problems. But if you really pay attention you will see that the smaller 3 KW type 3600 rpm units really stand out as having problems.

Not to say they don't have their place. But if you are going to be a cruiser and decide you want/need a generator, don't cheap out on one of these 3600 rpm units unless you really aren't going to need it much!! I brought my finely engineered POS Lombardini for $5600. It's suppose to be a 4KW unit, it isn't. And God only knows how they came up with the noise rating. Now I'm considering getting a Honda 2200 to run the aft AC at night. That will mean the only thing that the Lombardini will get run for is the main cabin AC in the daytime and it will use 1/4 gal/hr of diesel to do it.

So don't pay $5-7K for one of these little POS. Get a real generator even if it's going to be $12k as the extra cost is minor in the big picture (sorry to break anyone's bubble). Or get 1-2 Honda 2200s
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Old 08-05-2019, 09:29   #2
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Re: Small Diesel Generators

I couldn’t agree more with this. I have a northern lights 7 kW in one of my boats and the thing just keeps going and going. It’s about as reliable as the main engine. The crazy thing is you can put loads on it and you don’t even hear the RPM change. It’s amazing. 1800 RPM From the second you turn it on until the second you turn it off.

On a different boat, I also have a 6 kW gasoline generator. Oddly, that keeps going and going. It’s a Honda engine Paired with a very high-quality Northern tool generator head.

I didn’t have much luck with the EU 2000 models. One threw a rod, another just died all together. They never really ran well. They are 3600 RPM also, but are severely overloaded if you use one of them for an air-conditioner. The only way those work well as if you keep them lightly loaded. Nowhere near full capacity.
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Old 08-05-2019, 10:56   #3
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Small Diesel Generators

Well, so far my Baby Nexgen has been trouble free, except for its water pump, although I do tend to use a Honda more often, due to its lower cost to replace and ease of servicing.
Iíll run the Nexgen when noise is an issue or I want more power than the Honda can provide.
My Honda has been flawless, I run it pretty hard most of the time, at about 12 or 13 amps mostly. Watermaker takes 8ish amps and I turn the battery charger up until I get a 12 or 13 amp load.
Continuous rating for a EU 2000 is I believe 1600 W or 13.3 amps.
I have never done anything to the Honda except change oil and put fuel in it, I have an hour meter on the thing and it now has 522 hours on it.
Iíve left it out in the rain etc when I shouldnít have of course and it just keeps on making power.
Many people claim they are good for several thousand hours, Iím inclined to agree based on what Iíve seen from mine. I run synthetic oil and change it every 100 hours, which is I think too long, but itís what Honda recommends so Iím giving it a try. I started out changing every 50, but the oil looked clean still, so I went with 100. Itís pretty dark at 100.

I looked hard at Northern Lights as I suspect they are about as good as it gets, but went with the Nexgen mostly based on size and weight, and the theory that Iíd only run it a couple per times a week.
I believe if you were to run one daily for many hours, you would be better off with a ďrealĒ generator like a Northern Lights, and just lose the storage and accept the weight.

There are a few brands of generators that seem to be problematic though, the Fischer Panda comes to mind, which astonished me, being a German thing, I would have expected much better.

The power ďqualityĒ of the Honda, meaning itís Hz and voltage stability is outstanding, better than the Nexgen, it never varies from 60 Hz and the voltage is always between 120 and 125 VAC.
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Old 13-05-2019, 04:49   #4
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Re: Small Diesel Generators

I have about 700 hours on my Lombardini. It has had a control panel fail and the seawater pump fail (which caused a lot of corrosion). It's been running good for over a year since last failure and now that I added extra vibration mounts isn't shaking the boat apart as much.

But still I consider it a POS and in hindsight wish I had gotten a "real" generator and sucked up the extra cost.
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Old 21-05-2019, 18:42   #5
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Re: Small Diesel Generators

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I have about 700 hours on my Lombardini. It has had a control panel fail and the seawater pump fail (which caused a lot of corrosion). It's been running good for over a year since last failure and now that I added extra vibration mounts isn't shaking the boat apart as much.

But still I consider it a POS and in hindsight wish I had gotten a "real" generator and sucked up the extra cost.
spoke too soon, changed the oil yesterday and found that there is a seawater leak I think is the heat exchanger
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Old 22-05-2019, 04:56   #6
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Re: Small Diesel Generators

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spoke too soon, changed the oil yesterday and found that there is a seawater leak I think is the heat exchanger
Iím sorry to hear this. That one can happen to any generator or engine and is not a good thing. :/
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Old 22-05-2019, 07:57   #7
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Re: Small Diesel Generators

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
If you read the forum long you read a lot of generator problems. But if you really pay attention you will see that the smaller 3 KW type 3600 rpm units really stand out as having problems.

Not to say they don't have their place. But if you are going to be a cruiser and decide you want/need a generator, don't cheap out on one of these 3600 rpm units unless you really aren't going to need it much!! I brought my finely engineered POS Lombardini for $5600. It's suppose to be a 4KW unit, it isn't. And God only knows how they came up with the noise rating. Now I'm considering getting a Honda 2200 to run the aft AC at night. That will mean the only thing that the Lombardini will get run for is the main cabin AC in the daytime and it will use 1/4 gal/hr of diesel to do it.

So don't pay $5-7K for one of these little POS. Get a real generator even if it's going to be $12k as the extra cost is minor in the big picture (sorry to break anyone's bubble). Or get 1-2 Honda 2200s

I have just happened across-
https://www.empresascarbone.com/nues...a/generadores/

Generadores. (sorry in Spanish)

At a local metal supply place here in Panama. For a 4.5kW Diesel gen for $700 I thought it is worth a play with.

They had em listed $800 and change. He ended letting me have it for $700 as me and the Missus buy a fair bit from him.

Honestly I am not expecting too much from it but at that price it is worth a try.

I am thinking to put in a sound deadened deck box and maybe weld up a water mixed exhaust.

I'll keep you posted.
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Old 22-05-2019, 08:10   #8
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Re: Small Diesel Generators

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. . . There are a few brands of generators that seem to be problematic though, the Fischer Panda comes to mind, which astonished me, being a German thing, I would have expected much better...

Don't be astonished -- Germans don't have any special relationship with quality. I have driven just about exclusively German and English cars my whole life, and the German ones were sometimes horrendous, quality-wise, including a very expensive BMW X5 which was the worst car I ever had, worse in terms of quality even than my last car, the notorious Range Rover! . My first BMW, a '72 2002, although I loved it dearly, required more or less as much shade tree work every weekend as the MG's and Triumphs I owned previous to that, and a lot more than the very reliable Morris Minor. The Germans can build crap with the best of us! So FP generators are not at all out of character :headbang:





And my generator is American-made, and although we Yanks build a lot of crap manufactured devices, this one is a lovely thing! A Kohler EFOZ6.5, low speed, heavy duty, continuous rated. A quarter ton beast, but as reliable as the day is long, with super clean power. A couple thousand hours into it and 18 years old, and not a single problem ever which was not caused by the operator's stupidity.





But to the OP's point -- yes, be careful when choosing a genset!
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Old 24-05-2019, 08:17   #9
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Re: Small Diesel Generators

My finely crafted and engineered Lombardini LMG 4000 POS radiator just bit the dust!!! It's only 3 years old and has about 800 hours on it.
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Old 24-05-2019, 08:46   #10
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Re: Small Diesel Generators

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My finely crafted and engineered Lombardini LMG 4000 POS radiator just bit the dust!!! It's only 3 years old and has about 800 hours on it.

Sorry to hear that. Bummer.
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Old 24-05-2019, 09:01   #11
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Re: Small Diesel Generators

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My finely crafted and engineered Lombardini LMG 4000 POS radiator just bit the dust!!! It's only 3 years old and has about 800 hours on it.
Fatal? Hope not. You might have to start a new repair vs. replace thread, but this time about diesel gensets vs. propulsion motors.

Recently my old Westerbeke was nearly written off by a local repair shop, but I opted to risk a few $100 and some of my own time to remove the head and send it off for refurbishing. So far so good, and I've been told this could also help bring the rings back. Like yours, it has low hours but is much older. They often seem to die faster from under-usage rather than over-usage. But then it sounds like your issue may be completely unrelated. Hope you can resolve.
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Old 24-05-2019, 09:39   #12
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Re: Small Diesel Generators

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Fatal? Hope not. You might have to start a new repair vs. replace thread, but this time about diesel gensets vs. propulsion motors. .
I’ve send out quotes requests to like 4 places for replacement cost. Hopefully at least 1 will respond.

But I’m going to pull it out and take to a repair st
Hop. The issue may be on that is that it’s stainless steel.
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Old 24-05-2019, 10:08   #13
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Re: Small Diesel Generators

If itís an external crack, which I think it might be as it was leaking externally. It should be able to be welded pretty easy.
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Old 24-05-2019, 10:43   #14
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Re: Small Diesel Generators

We have an Oman 6.5kw that was installed in 1996. It runs every other day for an hour or so. It has over 8000 hours on it with only scheduled maintenance, expect for a run solenoid replacement. Just goes and goes.
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Old 24-05-2019, 12:04   #15
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Re: Small Diesel Generators

Which goes back to post 1 of thread
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