From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: EU2000 semi-perm. install ??
Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2003 14:37:00 -0400
It can be done but the results might not be so satisfactory in the long run.
The first thing to consider is that the EU2000 is not electric start. That
means you'd have to go outside in the weather to crank two generators every
time you wanted power. That kinda quells the enthusiasm for a quick microwave
meal. I carried a pull-start genny on a trailer for awhile before I replaced
my internal generator and came to loathe that trip outside to yank on the
The second consideration is that these units are not sufficiently weatherproof
to live outside a moving vehicle. Road splash would quickly saturate the
internals. One could build an enclosure but then the cooling air flow would
have to be managed.
The third consideration is that these are not continuous rated generators like
RV generators. I don't know what Honda's expected life is but I know that it
is fairly short. As I travel around to shows and festivals with my
concessions operation, I'm noticing more and more EUs making noise. Sounds
like a rod knock or maybe piston slap. This generator is VERY popular with
small exhibitors. I don't have a count or anything but I hear this enough to
take notice. We're probably talking about a couple of years of every-weekend
RV generators are big and bulky for the capacity precisely because they ARE
engineered for long life when running continuously for long stretches. Big
heavy iron blocks, extra oil storage, lots of iron in the generator.
If you still want to do this there are a couple of different approaches. The
most direct is to install an electric fuel pump at the tank to supply fuel to
the generators. At the generators, install a low pressure regulator to drop
the fuel pressure to something the carburetors can handle. They're not
designed for pressurized fuel so the floats and springs are not adequate to
handle normal automotive fuel pressure. Perhaps a half psi or so will be
another approach that will avoid any problems with fuel pressure is to pump
the gas to a small "day tank" of maybe a quart capacity and from that transfer
fuel to each genny. I've made these tanks by attaching a Holly float bowl to
some sort of small container. Honda uses a small vacuum operated diaphragm
pump on some of their engines. This pump supplies fuel at the appropriate
pressure to the carbs. It lacks the suction to draw from the vehicle tank but
it CAN draw from a locally mounted "day tank".
You can see this pump here:
It is the round white plastic thing on the right side of the engine. I use
this pump in several applications in which I want to feed fuel from a large
tank to a small engine. My cordless battery charger, for example. I have one
mounted on my Generac 7kw catering generator. It pumps fuel from a 20 gallon
fuel caddy directly to the carb, bypassing the tank on the generator itself.
On Wed, 24 Sep 2003 12:46:02 GMT, ht <Munged89Roadtrek@ADDRESSmyrealbox.com>
>Reading the EU3000 thread, I figure nows the time to ask a question
>I've pondered for a while.
>The going thing seems to be to pair 2 EU2000's to get 4000 watts, save
>weight and reduce the cost. This method has a lot going for it, of
>course. Easy to handle, probably easy to install in a semi-perm.
>location in most units. The only draw back (or main one) as I see it
>is the 4 hr. run time and the gas tanks to refill all the time
>problem. It seems that there should/could be some system out there to
>modify the fuel delivery system of these units and have them run from
>lines to the vehicle fuel tank. It would need what? A fuel pump,
>adapter to add fuel lines, maybe a remote switch if you could rig up
>auto-start on it, but not necessary, I guess. I've seen kits to
>convert gasoline to propane and propane to gasoline, so what'd be the
>difficulty of switching a paired EU2000 system from individual tank
>system to fuel pump (pumps?) fed from the vehicle gasoline tank?
From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Honda EU2000 DC Plug
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2007 23:55:21 -0500
On Fri, 23 Feb 2007 15:39:47 -0500, "CrazyDayz" <CrazyDayz@blah.blah>
>Anyone know of a source for a plug that'll fit the DC outlet so I can make
>my own cord?
No idea where to buy 'em. My plans of attack.
1) Get any old cheap-spit zip-cord extension. Grasp each prong near
the plastic with needle nose pliers and twist as necessary. File off
the extra width of the polarized plug if necessary.
2) get one of the tool-less replacement zip cord plugs that are made
from hard plastic. Give each prong the same treatment. The closer to
the plastic you make the twist the better it fits the generator.
Optionally, heat the prong a little so that the plastic surrounding
where it sticks out becomes soft. Twist. The twist is mostly
embedded in the plastic.
I've made up several using technique 1) and a couple using technique
2). For #1, if one grabs the prong at the plastic line then he can
usually make all of the twist stay down in the plastic. The plastic
(PVC) is soft so no problem of cracking. I've thought about heating
the prongs so that the whole prong assembly would turn inside the PVC
but I've never had the patience.
The above assumes that your DC plug is of the form \ /
I've seen them of the form |
For that type you can get an AC plug, forget if it's 120 or 240 volts,
that will fit after you cut off the ground pin.
From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Chi-Com Generator Question
Date: Mon, 03 Dec 2007 03:20:49 -0500
On Sun, 02 Dec 2007 14:46:43 -0800, altar nospam <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>On Sun, 02 Dec 2007 05:12:41 -0800, -Gar <email@example.com> wrote:
>>Whats a Honda EU2000??
And over-priced and over-hyped and incapable of handling an overload and built with
Honda's throwaway line of engines and.....
Oh, they're OK if you don't mind paying three prices and have only boutique loads to
power. But slap, say, a battery charger that draws about 1100 watts on an EU1000
(the 1kw version) and the thing goes Tango Uniform, sitting there merrily and quietly
glowing its "fault" light.
Slap that same load on that cheapie ChiCom special and it'll grunt and load down and
slow a bit and drop frequency a bit... And power that battery charger for as long as
the gas lasts.
With the Honda you sit there with a nice quiet generator, a glowing FAULT light and a
dead battery. With the Chicom cheapie, you get a little more noise and a charged
battery. When it wears out, you throw it away and get another. You can do that 5 or
6 times for what that EU costs.
I've had my first ChiCom cheapie since 03. I bought it from a ChiCom tool vendor at
the Daytona Turkey Rod Run that year. I throb the hell out of it, including using it
to operate my electric chainsaw and my homemade electric lawn mower. Both devices
draw considerably more than 1kw but that l'il booger "gets 'er done".
Oh yeah, and it runs my 60 amp PD Intellipower charger/converter in my MH wonderfully
well. It's the "about 1100 watt load" that I mentioned above.
PS: to head off the inevitable smart-ass remark about why I run an electric mower on
a gas generator, the answer is simple. My little homemade mower weighs in the
neighborhood of 20 lbs. I can toss it around easily with one hand. Meanwhile the
engine noise, weight and exhaust fumes are over on the other end of the extension
cord. That is, when I'm far from the cabin. When I'm near the cabin the extension
cord is plugged into shore power.
From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Chi-Com Generator Question
Date: Mon, 03 Dec 2007 19:19:27 -0500
On Mon, 03 Dec 2007 08:42:42 -0800, altar nospam <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>On Mon, 03 Dec 2007 05:49:51 -0800, -Gar <email@example.com> wrote:
>>Take *that* all you Honda Heads... so there! ESAD! :)
>You probably know that many, if not most, Honda EU owners disagree
>with NJ's quality description of the EU.
That's because "most EU owners", whatever that means, haven't lifted the covers and
taken a peak inside. Nor have they used them very hard. The EUs (speaking
particularly of the 1000 and 2000 now) are pretty on the outside but inside they're
cheap. In environments where hard usage is the norm, places such as craft shows and
concessions, I frequently hear the familiar sound of piston slap and rod knock.
There's a guy over on alt.energy.homepower who lives off-grid and has used an EU2000
as his light load generator for awhile. Long enough to wear it out. He removed the
engine guts, put a pulley on the crankshaft and lashed a more conventional general
purpose engine to it to continue using the generator and inverter.
At my request he posted some photos of the interior of his EU. I immediately
recognized that the engine was a GC series engine, specifically this one
like I used on my CBC. This is Honda's throw-away line of engines. That engine in
5hp trim lists for well under $200. The block, cylinder and head are one casting.
Almost straight angle valves with no guide inserts. Compromise combustion chamber
shape for ease of machining. No liner in the cylinder. The rod has no bearings - the
aluminum rides directly on the crank. Same with the cam.
This guy was grousing that Honda offers no replacement engine parts. He was told
that the engine was designed to be replaced when worn out. IOW, a throw-away engine.
The alternator is snatched pretty much intact from a motorcycle engine and is of
similar throw-away construction. As is the carburetor. Honda's genius is lashing
all this low-dollar stuff together to make it work as well as it does.
Frankly, nobody other than a RORTer would think that the EU line was designed for
anything other than light duty. Honda advertises them for light duty applications
and will admit as much if you ask.
>If a Generator is rated at 1000 watts, why would you expect it to
>happily run 1100 watts? That just doesn't make much sense.
I can certainly understand how you could be confused, Tom, so let me GREATLY simplify
things and bring things down to your level.
Let's consider an RV situation. You and I are dry-camping. For whatever reason I've
run down my batteries and don't have a generator. Being the friendly camper that you
are (sic), you bring your little EU1000 (we're talking about 1kw class generators in
this thread so you can leave your 2kw one out of it.) over and I plug in. My 60 amp
PD charger immediately trips your generator on "overload". As fine as (you think)
that generator is, at the end of the day I still have no lights.
Reverse the roles. You've run your batteries down and I come over with my Cheapo
ChiCom Special. You plug in and the CCS groans, loads down but keeps on truckin'.
Your lights come back on. In a little while your battery is charged.
Another example. I already have a CCS. I get an electric chainsaw and need to use
it away from the house. I plug the saw in, pull the trigger and go to work. Only
later do I plug in a Kill-A-Watt and learn that the saw actually overloads the
generator. It amounts to a curious factoid that I tuck away in the back of my head.
If my already-on-hand generator had been an EU, the saw would not have run. I could
not have gotten the job done.
Same situation, only with an electric lawn mower. Same situation with a microwave
oven on a picnic. Or a string of lights at an outdoor party. Or....
On a larger scale, if I'm at an event and I turn on slightly more load in my
concession stand than my generator can handle, do I want it to trip, black out my
stand and require my leaving customers to turn the damned thing off and back on to
reset the "overload" or do I want it to suck it up and handle the load even if the
power quality isn't up to IEC standards? I know what my answer is.
See a common theme here? Just as we don't want our electric drills to suddenly quit
if slightly overloaded and we don't want our trailer hitches to buckle if slightly
overloaded, so do we want our generators to handle a little overload gracefully. It's
better to muddle through and get the job done than to be pristine and fail. An
embodiment of the old Marine Corps saying that "Perfection is the enemy of good
Let's look at other factors. Size and weight. I might be able to conveniently carry
a 1kW generator but not a 2 or 3 so if the load is just a teeny bit more than the 1kW
generator's rating, it's awful nice if the smaller unit will "git 'er done".
Again, on that larger scale, I can single handedly load and maneuver my 5.5kW
QuietPack but I for sure could not do that with a 7-10kW generator, what would be
required to "legitimately" handle my concession stand's load.
On an engineering level, I know that the nameplate rating is just a label, what some
engineer, or more likely a committee of lawyers, decided to put on the label after
factoring in derating and other factors. I know that if I'm willing to accept
degraded power quality and perhaps a shorter life, I can successfully exceed that
nominal nameplate rating with no problems. Unless I have an EU, of course.
Is that simple enough for you, Tom? If not, I'll try to dumb it down some more.
>OTOH, I have friends with the Kipor line of Inverter generators, and
Yep, another fine little boutique generator. I bet the FOB China cost of that thing
is under $75 and it's made at least as good as the Honda.
>I personally will not own another generator that is not of the
>Inverter type, coach mounted generators excepted, and I don't even
>Most of the time my Onan sits idle, while the Honda powers my coach.
Good for you. Glad you're happy with it. Strange as it may seem, Tom's world
doesn't apply to everyone else. Seeing how you are the one sniping at Gar and me
about our choices, perhaps that's something you should learn.
My CCS power my rig while my Generac sits idle too, as long as I don't need AC. I
can use that $800 price difference to get other goodies for my rig.
It's funny how things frequently evolve, judging by the number of parallel kits being
sold for EU. Someone spends a kilobuck on an EU2000. He finds out that it won't
quite run his AC so he buys another plus a parallel kit. That's probably $2200 for
the two, the kit, taxes and/or shipping. He ends up with a "system" in which he
still has two heavy lumps to lug around, still has to fuel each one separately and
still has to deal with the wiring. He has to worry about theft and someone tripping
over the wires. Finally, he has to go outside in the weather and yank on cords to
get the things running.
$1400 got me my Generac inverter generator that's mounted in my rig. It makes 3.8kW,
just about what two EU2000's do in parallel. And even though it's an inverter
generator, it handles significant overload MUCH better than the two EUs would. It
draws fuel from my rig's fuel tank. Starting requires only the pressing of a button.
$1800 got me the Quiet Pack, a generator that is at least as quiet as an EU (I've run
'em side by side) but has a nameplate rating of 5.5 kW (actual is closer to 7), is
built to commercial/industrial standards, is electric start and doesn't have to be
If I had a 5th wheel, for less than the cost of two EU's, I could put either the
QuietPack or the inverter generator in the truck bed and have a much better system
with a lot less hassle. The Impact inverter generator's head unit is light enough to
be easily handled by one person, probably lighter than one EU and for sure lighter
To everyone else except Tom, I don't want this to come across as an anti-EU post. I
don't dislike EUs as long as they're applied in the proper context - light duty
casual applications. I do dislike the cult-like worship that seems to have grown up
around them. I similarly dislike Honda's price fixing policies. When there is an
equal or better alternative to a Honda product, as there is with generators then I
recommend the alternative.
The purpose of this post is to illustrate that there are other, usually more
satisfactory and always less expensive alternatives to the EU series for many
applications. The second purpose is to illustrate that inverter generators are not
panaceas to all power generation problems and to explain why.
From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: The Honda EU2000i..where to buy it and for how much?
Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2008 17:15:27 -0500
A little background information.
Honda makes two series of engines, the GC light duty (disposable) series and the GX
heavy duty. The GC/GS has a one piece head, cylinder and crankcase casting and the
entire engine outer engine is just 3 pieces, the mating part of the crankcase and the
cam cover. The rod bearings are plain aluminum (no inserts) and the lube is splash.
The cam is in the head and rides directly on the head's aluminum casting. The cam is
driven by a cog belt.
The GX series is of conventional overhead valve construction with the cam in the
block. The cylinder usually has a cast iron liner and the bearings have inserts.
Comparisons between the two.
The GC by virtue of the overhead cam and belt drive is quieter than a GX of the same
The GC is lighter.
The GC gets slightly better fuel economy by virtue of the OHC design.
The GC is cheaper by almost half.
The GC's crankcase splits on a diagonal while the GX splits conventionally
The GC is not rebuildable, as Ulysses discovered awhile back.
The GC series is the one used in the over-rated EU series of generators.
The GC has a plastic cooling shroud and pull cord housing, generally black, while the
GX has metal and is generally red.
From personal experience with both, unless the application is heavy duty, with
continuous running for days at time AND one would want to attempt a rebuild, the GC
series is the engine to go with. It's a sweet running engine and very quiet. There
is no pushrod, gear or chain noise. Honda has perfected sound damping aluminum
alloys and exploits that to great benefit. The plastic cooling shroud further
dampens noise. Almost the only sound emitted is the exhaust note which is,
unfortunately, somewhat loud with the stock muffler.
I designed a Cordless Battery Charger around a GC engine several years ago.
You can see some details of the engine in those photos.
Now to the en2500. I had a little trouble finding a clear enough photo but I finally
found one that showed me that Honda is using the GC engine on it. For an exposed
engine, it should be fairly quiet and for casual use would last a lifetime. The only
problem is the price. Honda doesn't let dealers publicize prices, even by email, so
the only thing I have to go on is the list. $700. Hardly an economy generator.
There are several options other than buying from Honda. Many companies make
generators using Honda engines. For example:
That's the highest price I've ever seen on that generator. The last time I looked at
the Chattanooga NT store it was $399. That's basically the same generator Honda is
selling for almost double the price. I spent some time in the store poking and
prodding that generator because I have a project that needs a cheap generator of that
power range. It looks like a nice generator. Generator heads are usually extremely
reliable so the engine is the main focus. That's the same GC engine that Honda uses
on their own product.
One nice thing about the GC engine is that because the gas tank is mounted low, it
has a manifold vacuum pulse operated gas pump. That enables you to remove the gas
line from the small built-in tank and connect it to a larger tank, say a 5 gallon
portable can or outboard motor tank.
Then there are the Chinese clones. Like this one, for instance
And (I think) the same generator sold by PeP boys for about the same price. The Pep
boys generator engine (and presumably this one) is made under license from Honda and
is a Honda clone. I've been told that parts interchange. It's a clone of the GX
engine so it'll be a tad bit noisier and a tad bit heavier.
The Harbor Freight generator, which was on sale for $265 at the local store at the
time, is the one I used on that project. It is a NICE generator, even ignoring the
It's almost a tossup but for your application I think that I might buy the Northern
Tool Honda-engined generator.
because it is lighter and a bit quieter than the GX powered generators. The only
downside is that you'll either have to refuel it often (~1 gallon tank) or connect a
larger tank. I like having the tank separate because it is easier to carry the
generator and fuel separately rather than having that extra 30-40 lbs of fuel on
OH, BTW, you don't become a member of the Church of Honda just by buying one. You
have to put it on an altar and worship it.
On Sat, 19 Jan 2008 03:23:18 -0800 (PST), "Chuck Wilson (Los Angeles Area)"
>Have you ever heard of anything good or bad about the Honda EN2500
>generator. I know it's their economy line and inexpensive (only $599
>out-the-door) but still packs 2500 watts of power. So, if a party
>operated it in an area where no one else would be bothered by the 76
>db sound rating, maybe it's not a bad way to have some portable power
>When we take the Ranger and Aliner out to the boonies rockhounding,
>the only ones hearing it, besides us, would be the coyotes. I think
>it might be an inexpensive way to get a genuine Honda (which would
>qualify me for church membership), get reasonable wattage, etc. Here
>are the links. What do you think, John? Or anyone else with an
From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: The Honda EU2000i..where to buy it and for how much?
Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2008 01:11:52 -0500
On Sat, 19 Jan 2008 18:48:27 -0800 (PST), Too_Many_Tools <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Another question...any idea what it costs to rebuild a GX engine
>versus buying a new GC engine?
Yeah. A new GC will be cheaper if you're doing a fairly complete overhaul. OTOH, if
the GX engine in your application has had special machining done to the case or
crankshaft or otherwise customized then you rebuild or buy a new engine from that
One more potential issue with the GC series (and the EU2000 at least) concerns the
timing belt. The early ones were designed such that oil could build up between the
camshaft timing belt pulley and the belt. In very cold weather with 10W30 in the
crankcase, this buildup can become thick enough to break the belt.
I had that happen to my first GC engine. I was camping in single digit weather. When
I cranked the engine it hit a few strokes and quit. A quick exam showed the camshaft
not turning. I returned the engine to HF and the service tech disassembled it while
I was there and then we talked to Honda tech support.
The tech told us that Honda was aware of the problem and had modified current
production engines with some sort of baffle that reduced the problem. His
recommendation was to use Mobil 1 or other lightweight synthetic oil. And he gave me
a new engine. Mine is from the same production run as the one that failed. However,
since I've gone to Mobil 1 exclusively in my utility engines, I have not had another
problem even in equally cold weather.
Even with current production engines, I still use synthetic 5W30 oil. I'd do that if
I had an EU too.