OT: Harbor Freight Predator Gas Engines

Anyone have any experience with Harbor Freight's line of Horizontal Gas Engines. Especially the 6.5hp model:
http://www.harborfreight.com/predator-212-cc-ohv-horizontal-shaft-gas-engine-certified-for-all-states-except-california-68120.html
or http://tinyurl.com/3kuzfej
==Description
Gas-saving overhead valves for cooler, cleaner performance and longer life. Horizontal shaft makes this an ideal all-purpose replacement engine.
-Upgraded engineering and construction for improved service life -Durable cast iron cylinder withstands wear and abuse -User-friendly controls for easy starting and operation -Recoil start -Fuel shut off for safe transport -Ball bearing support shaft for long life
Displacement: 212 cc, 4 stroke, 8.5:1 compression ratio Shaft size: 3/4" / 19.1 mm diameter x 2.43" / 61.7 mm L, end tapped 5/16-24 with 3/16" / 4.76 mm keyway 0.9 gallon / 3.6 L fuel capacity Shipping Weight: 38.00 lbs. == Some of their stuff is okay, some is just...
It looks an awful lot like the B&S on my Roto-tiller, cosmetically speaking that is. What I want it for isn't all that demanding, re-power an old Simplicity Walking Tractor. Only one review/comment on their site for these engines, which could be a good thing. Seems like bad comments are usually more prevalent that good ones.
With discounts/coupons they go for ~$110.00, really tempting to bite on one...
--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI/Zone 5b
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

http://www.harborfreight.com/predator-212-cc-ohv-horizontal-shaft-gas-engine-certified-for-all-states-except-california-68120.html
Last summer my neighbor considered buying one of HF's Robin engines. He asked a local repair shop for their opinion. "Great engine but we can't get repair parts" was the response. You may want to check your local repair shops for their comments on the predator engine. Art
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Looks like a honda OHV clone, similar to how Lifan and other chinese manufacturers cloned the Honda 200CC dirt-bike engine. Can't get parts for those either! You just hafta buy 2 of 'em...
Dave
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 14 Oct 2011 15:34:37 -0700 (PDT), Dave__67

My son bought one of those chinese scooters with the Honda clone engine. You can buy any part for those engines from several different online suppliers. Eric
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Looking around a bit, it's popular with the mini-bike and go-kart crowd, there are supposedly hop-up parts available.
Dave
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Harbor Freight makes decent stuff - it's perfectly fine for the stated purpose when used properly - Some of my tools are Harbor Freight.
But don't plan on abusing any of their stuff. At All. Won't take it. If you need the tool to work every time, and don't have the space to carry a complete spare set of tools for when it breaks on you... That's the time you go buy the Good Stuff.
They have their own parts department, so you can get the parts for at least a few years - but for major things like a scored cylinder or the main bearings, consider it "Disposable" and get a fresh one when it dies in 5 or 10 years.
You have to figure in whether it's worth several hours of your Labor (even figuring your free time at minimum wage...) and say $75 in repair parts to rebuild a $110 engine. When you hit the tipping point just go buy a fresh engine - and save the old one for the little replacement parts.
--<< Bruce >>--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 14 Oct 2011 14:27:57 -0700

<snip>
I vaguely remember the Robin offerings... They used to sell a few B&S models too, but alas I waited too long to score one of those.
I'm the repair man, but you bring up a point I hadn't really considered. Usually I just repair/re-condition existing parts to fix'em but of course that isn't always possible depending on which part goes blooey.
I thank everyone for their input, at least nobody said "run-like-hell" away from them ;-)
--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI/Zone 5b
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I've got a couple mini rails for the kids powered by 6.5 HP Subaru Robin engines. They are ok. I mention them because except for paint and lettering they look almost identical to the HF engines.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Leon Fisk wrote:

I built a pressure washer with one of them and a Cat pump off of ebay. I couldn't ask for it to work any better than it does. Engine starts right away, runs strong, seems to get good fuel economy in the 8-10 hours I've run it.
I have heard that the recoil start mechanism is weak and prone to break, but I've not had a problem yet.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 17 Oct 2011 10:19:02 -0700

I looked over one at the store a while back. It looked a lot like the B&S 6.5hp on my roto-tiller. I remember the recoil start housing though didn't appear to be quite as substantial as the B&S. So you probably heard right and I'll keep that in mind if I decide to buy one. I can handle fixing, making over weak parts like that. What I was mostly concerned about was how the piston, crank, valves... hold together. Kinda hard to inspect those parts before hand and any failure pretty much totals the engine. If it happens after I get my $110 worth of work out of it then I won't mind much :)
Thanks for the info!
--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI/Zone 5b
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.