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 > Harbor Freight Predator 3500

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dangerbird

Delanson, New York

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Posted: 06/17/22 04:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've had one for several years that I use at the house for running water and heat when power is out. Use it a lot for yardwork in the woods. Power quality is excellent. Regardless of load, the frequency is dead steady at 60.02 Hz. Shows a perfect sine wave on an oscilloscope. Great for electronics and my ham radio gear. My only complaint is that the ignition switch is in combination with the fuel shutoff. This makes it impossible to turn only the fuel off to run the gas out of the carburetor. I added a bypass switch for the ignition so it will run with the fuel valve closed. I always run the carb dry after use. It has never failed to start on the first pull of the rope. The original starter battery didn't last very long. You can easily have a conversation right next to it at full load. It's a bit hefty. Any heavier and I would ask for help lifting it into the pickup bed. Hope this helps.

Carl, WG2E

big_jeff

tucson

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Posted: 06/17/22 09:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I bought one a couple of years ago, unfortunately I never was able to start it. Faulty unit, returned it and it was the last one. Bought a Pulsar inverter generator from Ebay and starts on the first pull every time. Very pleased with it. Light and very quiet.

otrfun

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Posted: 06/20/22 02:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Has anyone been able to obtain parts for the HF Predator 3500 inverter generator (or one of its related cousins)? About 3-4 years ago was surprised to learn HF didn't sell any parts for it. All they offered was the optional one-time replacement warranty. All or nothing.

From all accounts this appears to be an excellent generator for the money. However, it wouldn't be fun to have a $800 boat anchor all because you couldn't obtain a $5 part.

shastagary

minnesota

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Posted: 06/20/22 03:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

parts list for Predator 3500
predator 3500 parts list

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 06/20/22 04:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

shastagary wrote:

parts list for Predator 3500
predator 3500 parts list


Just because HF "lists" parts in the manual, does not mean that HF stocks and sells the parts. Parts are not their main business and may or more often may not be available from HF.

To make that even worse, once that model has been discontinued, all references to that model are completely removed from HF's memory.

However, that does not mean you are 100% out of luck, HF gens are copies of Honda engines, Honda or Honda CLONE parts can often be substituted with a 100% success rate. Basically you just need to know the CC size of the engine and match that to equivalent Honda or after market Honda clone engine size in CC..

Where you might run into a problem is gen and inverter parts, with that you might need to match those to equivalent wattage clone gens..

But as for reliability for HF gens, I have a non inverter 8000W HF gen and so far has been dead on reliable for many yrs.. Also have a smaller 4000W non HF generic Honda clone gen and outside of the normal Honda carb jets clogging has been trouble free..

The Honda Clones also use the same Honda carb design, it is the Achilles heal of Hondas. That carb design has a emulsion tube with many little pin holes, they clog shut even if you drain the carb between uses..

I just revived a smaller 2KW Honda clone gen that a neighbor tossed in the trash.. Carb was clogged from rust from the tank.. Good carb cleaning and substituted a temp tank and gen runs and creates power.. That gen predates my 4KW honda clone gen by many yrs and my 4KW gen is at least 20 yrs old..

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 06/20/22 04:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

otrfun wrote:

Has anyone been able to obtain parts for the HF Predator 3500 inverter generator (or one of its related cousins)? About 3-4 years ago was surprised to learn HF didn't sell any parts for it. All they offered was the optional one-time replacement warranty. All or nothing.

From all accounts this appears to be an excellent generator for the money. However, it wouldn't be fun to have a $800 boat anchor all because you couldn't obtain a $5 part.


I would rather have a $800 "boat anchor" than having a $1600 plus Honda that would cost well over $800 to repair.. Not sure you will find a Honda brand part for $5, perhaps you might get a Honda branded spark plug but I suspect even that would cost $20..

But the reality is even that cheaper $800 gen can often be "repaired" using generic Honda knock off parts which fit Hondas also.. Heck you can buy new Honda clone carbs for $15 and they do work as good as the Honda branded carb..

otrfun

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Posted: 06/22/22 09:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

shastagary wrote:

parts list for Predator 3500
predator 3500 parts list
Thanks for the link! Good to know they at least have a parts list. That's encouraging.

otrfun

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Posted: 06/22/22 10:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:

otrfun wrote:

Has anyone been able to obtain parts for the HF Predator 3500 inverter generator (or one of its related cousins)? About 3-4 years ago was surprised to learn HF didn't sell any parts for it. All they offered was the optional one-time replacement warranty. All or nothing.

From all accounts this appears to be an excellent generator for the money. However, it wouldn't be fun to have a $800 boat anchor all because you couldn't obtain a $5 part.
I would rather have a $800 "boat anchor" than having a $1600 plus Honda that would cost well over $800 to repair.. Not sure you will find a Honda brand part for $5, perhaps you might get a Honda branded spark plug but I suspect even that would cost $20..

But the reality is even that cheaper $800 gen can often be "repaired" using generic Honda knock off parts which fit Hondas also.. Heck you can buy new Honda clone carbs for $15 and they do work as good as the Honda branded carb..
Point taken. For me, best value is determined by individual wants, needs, and ultimately luck (or lack of).

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 06/22/22 10:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

otrfun wrote:

Gdetrailer wrote:

otrfun wrote:

Has anyone been able to obtain parts for the HF Predator 3500 inverter generator (or one of its related cousins)? About 3-4 years ago was surprised to learn HF didn't sell any parts for it. All they offered was the optional one-time replacement warranty. All or nothing.

From all accounts this appears to be an excellent generator for the money. However, it wouldn't be fun to have a $800 boat anchor all because you couldn't obtain a $5 part.
I would rather have a $800 "boat anchor" than having a $1600 plus Honda that would cost well over $800 to repair.. Not sure you will find a Honda brand part for $5, perhaps you might get a Honda branded spark plug but I suspect even that would cost $20..

But the reality is even that cheaper $800 gen can often be "repaired" using generic Honda knock off parts which fit Hondas also.. Heck you can buy new Honda clone carbs for $15 and they do work as good as the Honda branded carb..
Point taken. For me, best value is determined by individual wants, needs, and ultimately luck (or lack of).


Coming from 1970s noisy open frame gens with B&S engines, I was very intrigued by the variety of China import gens in the early 2000's..

I was looking for a 4Kw gen to power my campers AC and stumbled on a brand new open frame China import 4Kw gen for a mere $200..

Was absolutely amazed on how much quieter and smoother that gen ran compared to 1970s gen tech.

At that time a Honda gen of same size and style would have set me back over $400..

I took the $200 gamble and so far have one the lottery with it.

The Chinese Import gen impressed me so much that when looking for a gen large enough to power my home during power outages I didn't even consider a Honda. Nope, have a HF store that was put in near me and picked out a 8Kw HF gen with electric start..

While the larger HF gen has very few hrs on the clock compared to my older 4Kw gen, I am extremely pleased with the "value" of savings on both gens.

Got the HF 8Kw gen for $429 on sale, Honda in that wattage at the time was north of $1200..

Yes, Hondas are somewhat "quieter" but the reality is an extension cord can be much cheaper if the noise bothers you.

For reliability, one of the downfalls of most Chinese imports is the cheap "Torch brand" spark plug. The cheap plug doesn't fire well under pressure which often makes it hard to start and tends to fail quickly.

Simple and cheap to replace that plug with your favorite brand name plug of better materials and construction. I would highly recommend anyone that buys a Chinese import gen to replace the Torch brand plug as soon as you buy the gen, you will be thanking yourself each time you run the gen.

Heck, I have even repowered my log splitter with a HF 6.5 HP engine, starts each time on one or two pulls and runs very well and at $90 at the time was far cheaper than overhauling the old motor. Side benefit the OHV HF engine does run smoother and quieter than the original B&S..

pbeverly

South Carolina

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Posted: 06/23/22 05:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bikendan wrote:

There a literally thousands of posts here, about that generator.
Bottom line is tnat most love the generator. But the 2000w version is not a good choice because of its much louder noise rating.


I have the 2000 one and am amazed at how quiet it is.


Ridgeway, SC

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