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Old 10-11-2008, 04:51 PM   #1
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Honda EU30is - does it need running in? (Breaking in).

Hello there. I'm new to this forum and, as is so often the case, feel very ill-informed - I've been having a bit of a browse. There seem to be a lot of knowledgable and helpful people here so I reckon this might be a good place to be.

I have just bought a Honda EU30is generator and I was hoping that someone could help me out on a couple of points.

First - should it be "run in". (I hope I've got the terminology right - British English and American English sometimes differs on these things, I find. What I mean is - should I be treating the engine differently for the first few hours of use).

There's nothing in the manual about a running-in period but I'd be interested to hear the opinions of people who are familiar with these machines or with the more general concepts involved. If I should be running it in, what exactly should I be doing - varying the load? Keeping it low with an occasional burst of "full throttle"? What?

Also - on the subject of oil:- the manual says that 10w-30 oil should be used. Actually, having had a bit of a look, I found plenty of 10w-30 oil made by people I'd never heard of. Then I found plenty of other grades made by people I HAD heard of. But not a lot of 10-30 made by anyone whose name I recognised. So now I'm confused. Would I be alright with a 10w-40 made by Castrol or Mobil? I think I'd prefer that to buying 10w-30 made by "Cheap Oil Products inc." of Shanghai, you know. Or perhaps a 5w-30? (As you may have gathered I live in temperate England, where the temperatures are usually somewhere between minus five and twenty five degrees farenheit).

And also - should I use a synthetic oil? So far as I can tell it's not recommended in the running-in period but if there is no running in period then that would be irrelevant, no?

So - please help. I don't want to void the warranty by doing something stupid but Honda are pretty uncommunicative really.

Hope someone can give me a bit of help.

Thanks a lot
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Old 10-11-2008, 07:29 PM   #2
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Hello, and welcome to the forum.
First, the oil that came with the generator should be used for the break-in. It is usually found inside the box with the generator. Honda only recommends 10w-30 non-synthetic oil for the generators, both while breaking-in and during use. I seem to remember the first oil change is due at 30 hours' running, then on the order of several hundred hours thereafter (I don't have the owner's manual for ours in front of me, so can't be more specific). I use Mobil 1 synthetic in ours, and have had no problems at all, oil related or otherwise. If you want to follow Honda's recommendations, you should be able to find Castrol 10W30 (currently owned by British Petroleum).
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Old 10-12-2008, 07:54 AM   #3
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Hello Terry, et al.

Thanks a lot for that. I think this is probably a pretty stupid question but what should I be doing to run it in? I just want some really simple instructions, like "run it at a quarter load for twenty hours going up to full load for five minutes in every hour" - something like that.

I should know what to do but I don't, and Honda don't seem like too much help. The actual dealer is pleasant enough but doesn't strike me as all that well-informed really so I'm out on my own here!

So if you could give me some instructions along those lines it really would be very helpful.

Thanks a lot.
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Old 10-12-2008, 08:17 AM   #4
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At the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta the Honda dealer on site was setting up units for new buyers. They would fill it with oil and gas, plug it into the trailer and start the unit.
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Old 10-12-2008, 08:34 AM   #5
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Do what the manual say's. If that's nothing then don't worry about it. Our 2000i is doing just fine on 10w30 and I certainly wouldn't use a 10w40.
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Old 10-12-2008, 08:36 AM   #6
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I also was surprised at no mention of a break-in period in the Honda manual. I filled mine with Vavoline 10w-30 the ran it for an hour with 1/2 load (1000 watts of heat lamps on my 2000i genset). About every 15 minutes I'd unplug the load for a few seconds then replug it.

I did an oil change at 10 hours of normal use and figure I'm good to go.

Right or wrong, that's what I did and it's running like a champ!
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiHoAgRV View Post
I also was surprised at no mention of a break-in period in the Honda manual. I filled mine with Vavoline 10w-30 the ran it for an hour with 1/2 load (1000 watts of heat lamps on my 2000i genset). About every 15 minutes I'd unplug the load for a few seconds then replug it.

I did an oil change at 10 hours of normal use and figure I'm good to go.

Right or wrong, that's what I did and it's running like a champ!
What's probably the most important thing is to shut it down and change the oil after a few hours' run-time. This will purge most of the fine metal shavings and grit that will get into the oil from the manufacturing process. Something I didn't mention in my previous post, it is important to not use synthetic oil until after the generator has run a while. It is so slippery the moving parts will have no chance to "seat". If that happens, you will find it may use more oil, and have less compression than it should.
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:53 AM   #8
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Hello again - thanks for the replies.

It would be nice if Honda could have made some mention of running in - even if it was just to say that it wasn't needed. I take the point about not doing it if it isn't specifically mentioned but the manual is terse and not overly helpful and I find it quite easy to imagine that it might leave something important out. I may be maligning Honda there but it's the impression I get.

HiHoAgRV - can I ask what sort of use your 2000 normally gets- is it frequently run at, or close to, it's maximum capacity or well below, or what? Is that Valvoline a synthetic oil, by the way?

As I got the generator already filled with oil and tested I never got to see the box or any oil contained in it. I'll give the supplier a call but I'm not too confident that my specific contact there will remember! So it would be nice if I didn't have to rely on him. Honda U.K. are pretty useless - more interested in flogging their latest pastel blue car than providing useful information about oil - and they tend to just refer you back to the supplier.

Anyway - it's all interesting and useful stuff. Please keep those replies coming - I need all the help I can get.

Thanks again.
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:05 AM   #9
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I'm not Vernon, but...

When our 2000 is run, it gets used at anywhere between 10% and 95% rated capacity. Most of the time it is at about 25%, with occasional spikes. We've run it overnight in that load range, and it has run about 8-10 hours on a tank of gas (a bit over 1 US gallon).
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:19 AM   #10
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Thanks Terry- it's those vital first few hours that particularly intrigue / worry me. Do you think I should be giving it a few hours on , say, quarter load before going up to occasional higher loads? Something like that? I'm just worried that I'm going to do something wrong in the first week of use which is going to mess me up for ever.

I'll certainly change the oil early and frequently, and stay away from the synthetics for a while, but I'm still a bit confused as to whether I should be treating it like a gentle little baby for a while (low revs all the time) or giving it a good hard run, in the hope that it gets used to the idea. Or a combination of the two.

Any suggestions on that one?

Thanks a lot.
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cape Wrath View Post
...HiHoAgRV - can I ask what sort of use your 2000 normally gets- is it frequently run at, or close to, it's maximum capacity or well below, or what? Is that Valvoline a synthetic oil, by the way?

Thanks again.
The Vavoline was normal Dead Dino grade - non synthetic and like Terry said, the first oil change was mainly to flush the leftover materials from manufacturing.
The load on my unit is 95% very low, just charging the batteries and the 2000 is basically at idle. The remaining 5% is when it powers hand tools like a saw - the startup amps hit the Honda with a pretty good load.
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:25 AM   #12
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Hello, it's me again.

I went to get some oil from the oil emporium in our local town today. 10w-40 as far as the eye can see but not so much as a pint of 10w30.

I went to a few other places and I did, I seem to remember, see some 10w30 at one of them but it was the store's "own brand" and I wasn't too sure about that.

A few messages up, Ahab says "... I certainly wouldn't use a 10w40...". Now I'm curious as to why that is. Obviously I don't want to do anything stupid but I could easily get 10w-40 with a brand name I trust.

I can understand that 10w30 might not be a good substitute for 10w40 as it might not operate properly at the high extremes of an engine's temperature - I'm not so clear about the other way round. Would a 10w40 really be unacceptable as a substitute for 10w30? And why?

Thank very much.
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Old 10-15-2008, 01:18 PM   #13
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Sorry folks I had to jump real quick. My 2000 specs said to use a specific which I found to be for a 4 stroke engine, similar to ATV type oil. It comes in a small bottle like the size you would use for chain saws, weedeaters and the such. Is this wrong?
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Old 10-15-2008, 02:54 PM   #14
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Hi Cape Wrath,

My Honda manual for 2Kva says 15w-40 for our climate. We use l5w-40 in our Fat Boy, recommended by Harley, and l5w-40 in our F350 Super Duty, recommended by Ford. Haven't used any other viscosity oil for 30 years or more. Even got l5w-40 in oil can!!!

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Old 10-15-2008, 05:52 PM   #15
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Break-in, fill with gas, ck oil and pull the cord.
Our 2000i started life with 10-30 dinosaur oil, changed at 10hrs to 10-30 Mobil1. No problems at all, converted to LPG & petrol dual mode last season. A lot cleaner, less exhaust smell, and runs cooler.
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Old 10-15-2008, 06:00 PM   #16
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The 10W30 is to make the generator easier to start, use less fuel while running, and be thin enough to splash around to lube everything.
Maybe next time you order some "stuff" from North America, you can talk them into tossing a gallon jug of 10W30 into the box to ship to you.
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Old 10-15-2008, 06:39 PM   #17
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Cape Wrath
What ever the owners manual says DO IT. No break in is required of today's small engines.
I find for today's small engines, the Engines worst enemy is the OWNER.
Neglect is the culprit.
If the owners manual say's Change oil at 25 hrs runtime DO IT or take it to a Small Engine Tech and have it done.
I have had to pass along bad news to 3 owners this yr that their gensets were destroyed from lack of service.
Clean Oil, CLEAN AIR (changing air filters regular) and Clean and Fresh Fuel and essential to long life.
Read that manual and follow religiously.
Trust me Im in my 25th yr as a small engine tech
Good Luck with your new toy
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Old 10-15-2008, 07:58 PM   #18
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Mike's (Roger's) got that right. I used to represent an engine manufacturer, and they had a zillion engineers who all day long ran engines to destruction and tested all sorts of lubrication regimes. They actually KNOW what their engines like, and they KNOW what casuses 'em to fail. The recommendations in their manuals are totally fact-based and data driven.

And the received wisdom for air cooled engines is to run plain old dino oil for some hours until the rings wear in properly, and some load is required after the first few minutes of running, or the cylinder pressures won't get high enough to keep the rings seated and wearing in the cylinder walls to their eventual shape. I always run in my air cooled engines for a few hours at a light but increasing load and then change oil after 5 - 10 hours' operation to remove (as someone noted earlier) any manufacturing shavings, the abraded cylinder wall material, etc. that wound up in the oil. Then I eventually, after a few dozen hours' use, change to synthetic, as I think it just lubricates better.

One caveat: if you go synthetic, it's a good idea when starting your engine after a long period of non-use, to pull it through several times before actually starting it. There's a substantial body of evidence (gleaned through aircraft reciprocating engine failures) that synthetic is so slippery that during long periods of sitting, it actually (unlike Dino oil) all drains out of bearings, etc. to crankcase. Pulling it through a few times gets a little oil splashed up on crank and sleeve bearings and cylinder walls and avoids most start-up wear.

But DO change it per factory specs., and DO keep fresh fuel in it and a clean air filter and it'll run a LONG time. At today's engine prices, that's important.
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:19 PM   #19
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Fill it with oil and gas and run it.

Hi, Just fill it with oil and gas and run it. When was the last time you were told to break in any engine? Fourty years ago or more? I have a Yamaha generator, but that makes no differrence. I put oil in it, gas in it, and started it. I let it run for about ten minutes as is. Then I plugged a 500 watt light into it and let it run another ten minutes. No problems; So it was ready for my first use in New Mexico for four days. Note: I did run the air conditioner on my trailer with my generator for about an hour, just to see how it handled the load. Run the oil the factory says to use. Too high of viscosity of oil has been known to blow off oil filters and strip/break oil pump drives on cars. The clearances of the engine usually determine the oil thickness. [Viscosity]
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:49 PM   #20
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Thanks for that people - all good stuff. I've found some 10w30 mineral oil from a 'net seller - hopefully it's alright. Obviously not flavour of the month on the high stree, nowadays.
Thanks again.
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