Small engine reliability question
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Thread: Small engine reliability question

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    BOBL's Avatar
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    Small engine reliability question

    I own an almost new Power King wood chipper. Great unit and really well made, however, long story short I ended up with the 9.5hp model through no choice of my own. I want to repower the chipper vs. re-selling the chipper, and have been looking at low cost options. The motor on the chipper now is a Kohler, but the name doesn't mean as much as it did to me in years gone by. To that point I can find engines manufactured by Duramax with electric start rated at 16hp for $350 at the local HD. Anyone have any experience with the brand?? I know, you get what you pay for, but the chipper isn't critical in the same way my tractor is, and buying from HD is at least better than buying from Ebay.

    Any thoughts would be welcome.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Duromax-...6HPE/205173769

    I own the same chipper as below but with 4 less horsepower. I believe the upgrade to 16hp should be just about perfect.

    WoodMaxx DC-1260 gas engine powered wood chipper (1999.00) - YouTube
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    Is the transmission components and rotor bearings on your chipper the same as on the 16.5 HP machine?
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    BOBL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff B View Post
    Is the transmission components and rotor bearings on your chipper the same as on the 16.5 HP machine?
    Everything appears to be identical including pulley and shaft size. I think my only question will be mounting bolts and reliability.
    Jeff B likes this.
    JD X738
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    Polar 1700 3/4 ton cart with side rails
    Power King 5" 15HP towable chipper

    Kubota G2000S w/ 4w steering, hydraulics, 60" deck

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    If you are looking for a cheap engine, then consider a Predator from Harbor Freight. A lot of people like them. I have never used one but when I look at them in the store they appear to be a Honda knock off, so they have that going for them. I have never heard of the brand you are referring too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 69project View Post
    If you are looking for a cheap engine, then consider a Predator from Harbor Freight. A lot of people like them. I have never used one but when I look at them in the store they appear to be a Honda knock off, so they have that going for them. I have never heard of the brand you are referring too.
    My buddy that owns the small engine repair hates to admit it, but the Predator engines from Harbor Fright are good engines and the price is hard to beat. He calls them "Honda Clones" and said in many instances, the Honda parts are a direct fit for many of the Predator engines. I know two people who have re-powered older Deere tractors (3xx, about 40 plus years old) and one had the engine fail right after the warranty expired and the other has had a very good luck so far. The one that had the engine failure bought another Predator motor and got the extended HF warranty with the 2nd engine and has been using it very heavily for snow removal and summer mowing, leaves, etc.

    I have also never heard of DurOmax and would likely go the Hf Predator route with the extended warranty, if the warranty price makes sense. These engines have gotten so cheap, they have become yet another "throw away" item when they fail........Also, with the DurOmax, I would want to make sure you can get replacement parts as that's often an issue with some of the real low cost engines.

    Don't forget to check with Northern Tool. They have always been great to work with as well.

    One thing I did notice about some of the replacement engines is the crankshaft diameter is smaller than the OEM motors, like the one on your chipper. Make sure to measure the crankshaft to make sure you can get it to power your chipper without a bunch of new parts and searching for the pieces to make a smaller diameter crankshaft fit your chippers drive system.

    Looking forward to hearing what you select and how the swap goes.
    glc, mark02tj and 69project like this.

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    Id be wondering about replacement parts, carb parts especially, if its going to sit for extended periods. Ive never heard of that brand, and would be wary of using it, but I was of Predator engines too, and still kind of am, but Id use one. The issue I see with the Duromax is that it is 419cc and 16hp, but most other 420cc engines are around 13hp (HF has a 13HP electric start Predator for $359). Getting another 3 hp out of the same size engine is pretty impressive...too impressive for me.
    The key though is making sure the crank size is the same. The mounting can be made to work if necessary, much easier than the crank. You may not find a Predator engine that works.
    It may be a bit more money, but check out smallenginewarehouse.com. They have a ton of engines, and excellent prices on most of them.

    A few years ago I looked into the Predator background a bit because I thought I might want to buy one for a project that didnt pan out. At that time, the story I found said that there was some issue with Honda selling engines in China that werent made there, so they built a factory there to sell engines there. After that it gets a bit hazy. Either suppliers to the factory started supplying someone else, or the factory closed, and the initial clones were produced using the old factory. Lately, the Predators are not quite exact clones, though many external Honda parts will fit.
    There is quite a bit of support for the Predator engines, since they seem to be very popular with kart racing guys, and many others.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SulleyBear View Post
    My buddy that owns the small engine repair hates to admit it, but the Predator engines from Harbor Fright are good engines and the price is hard to beat. He calls them "Honda Clones" and said in many instances, the Honda parts are a direct fit for many of the Predator engines. I know two people who have re-powered older Deere tractors (3xx, about 40 plus years old) and one had the engine fail right after the warranty expired and the other has had a very good luck so far. The one that had the engine failure bought another Predator motor and got the extended HF warranty with the 2nd engine and has been using it very heavily for snow removal and summer mowing, leaves, etc.

    I have also never heard of DurOmax and would likely go the Hf Predator route with the extended warranty, if the warranty price makes sense. These engines have gotten so cheap, they have become yet another "throw away" item when they fail........Also, with the DurOmax, I would want to make sure you can get replacement parts as that's often an issue with some of the real low cost engines.

    Don't forget to check with Northern Tool. They have always been great to work with as well.

    One thing I did notice about some of the replacement engines is the crankshaft diameter is smaller than the OEM motors, like the one on your chipper. Make sure to measure the crankshaft to make sure you can get it to power your chipper without a bunch of new parts and searching for the pieces to make a smaller diameter crankshaft fit your chippers drive system.

    Looking forward to hearing what you select and how the swap goes.
    I have two predator engines. One on a Go Kart and one on a wood splitter I built. They are both worked hard and I have nothing bad to say about them. I was skeptical as it is a Harbor Freight product but honestly I would not buy anything else.
    2018 1023e

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    BOBL's Avatar
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    I'll be buying the engine as soon as the weather warms a bit, but after looking very hard I don't see where I can beat the Predator 420cc electric start engine for $359. Thanks to you all. When I pick it up and get it mounted I post another thread.
    69project and Herminator like this.
    JD X738
    48" deck, 3pt hitch, 54" blade w/ full hydraulics, quick attach
    48" York rake, 56" box blade, mid row buster, dethatcher, 48" 3pt aerator, 900lb roller, Imatch
    Various Heavy Hitch adapters, ball hitch, hook, 2" sleeve hitch, etc..
    3200lb. hitch mounted winch
    Polar 1700 3/4 ton cart with side rails
    Power King 5" 15HP towable chipper

    Kubota G2000S w/ 4w steering, hydraulics, 60" deck

    Gone but not forgotten;
    Ford 4000
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    JD X580

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