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  1. #1
    Veteran Member
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    Kubota B3200, Ford NAA, IH 454D, Case 1845C

    Default Generators again: Honda vs Northstar vs PTO vs?

    We're going on day 3 without power here after the snow storm and this has prompted me to start deciding on a bigger generator. I currently have a Honda EP2500 that I uses to run power tools for my business and it has been a great little generator. Super simple, two 120v outlets and a nice Honda GX160 engine that starts the first pull every time. It is currently running our freezer, refrigerator, a lamp and computer. Obviously it will not run the well. We honestly use very little electrical devices and a power outage is more of an inconvenience than anything. We are also currently working on being semi-off-the-grid so a lot of this wont be an issue again. We heat with wood, have a wood cookstove, good oil lamps, and soon hope to have enough solar/wind power to run the fridge and freezer.

    With all that said, I'm primarily looking to get a generator to run the well pump and milk pump at the barn. The well is fairly shallow and uses a 3/4hp 230v submersible pump, tag says 8 amp max (doubt that includes starting watts though). The milk pump is also 230v and 5.2 amps. Would be nice to run both at the same time, but not necessary. Each would only need to be run about 2hrs twice a day.

    Options I'm considering:

    Northstar 5500 watt model, uses Honda GX270 engine, not sure on the quality of the generator itself, $1100

    Honda EG5000, obviously top quality but the price makes me cringe, $1800

    Northstar 7800 watt PTO generator, I have three tractors but often the Ford NAA is the only one here and it wouldn't be ideal for a generator due to the poorly functioning governor, $1000

    Thoughts? Budget is realistically $1500, other options I should consider?

    Thanks in advance.
    Kubota B3200
    Ford NAA Jubilee
    International 454D
    Case 1845C skid steer
    JD 265

  2. #2
    Epic Contributor
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    jinman's Avatar
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    Texas - Wise County - Sunset
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    NHTC45D, NH LB75B, Ford Jubilee

    Default Re: Generators again: Honda vs Northstar vs PTO vs?

    I have two of these Gentron generators from Sam's Club. They are $889 each and that includes shipping to your door. The electric or pull start makes these very easy to use. They also use a SLA 12V 18ah battery that is common and can be puchased online for around $30. I bought two of them: one for my well and one for my house. The output is probably not as clean as a Honda. You could keep your Honda for things needing clean power and run the Gentron as a 'utility' power generator for your well and other loads not needing really clean AC. I just think for the money, you can't beat them. Free shipping to your door is icing on the cake.
    Jim


  3. #3
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: Generators again: Honda vs Northstar vs PTO vs?

    Quote Originally Posted by jinman View Post
    I have two of these Gentron generators from Sam's Club. They are $889 each and that includes shipping to your door. The electric or pull start makes these very easy to use. They also use a SLA 12V 18ah battery that is common and can be puchased online for around $30. I bought two of them: one for my well and one for my house. The output is probably not as clean as a Honda. You could keep your Honda for things needing clean power and run the Gentron as a 'utility' power generator for your well and other loads not needing really clean AC. I just think for the money, you can't beat them. Free shipping to your door is icing on the cake.
    Something of that nature is another option.

    A Generac GP5500 (6875 starting watts, 5500 running) can be had for about $800 around here.
    Kubota B3200
    Ford NAA Jubilee
    International 454D
    Case 1845C skid steer
    JD 265

  4. #4
    Veteran Member nybirdman's Avatar
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    north of upstate ny
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    Default Re: Generators again: Honda vs Northstar vs PTO vs?

    For a stand alone;Honda's tho expensive are hard to beat,you know you get what you pay for.That being said,I use a PTO generator when needed,runs my whole house and garage at about a gallon of diesel/hr.Your case if you don't have a reliable tractor the stand alone makes the most sense.My PTO genset is 10k and cost about $2,000 includeing the transfer switch.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Mickey_Fx's Avatar
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    Vancouver Wa.
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    Yanmar Fx24D, Cub 3204

    Default Re: Generators again: Honda vs Northstar vs PTO vs?

    Have you given any consideration on a Champion brand genny? Looks like most of the contractor gennys coming out of China but I believe they have their own factory. See company name cast into some of the engine castings. Engine is one of the Honda clones. They have at least one big warehouse here in the states. Have seen a number of reviews and don't recall any negative ones. Know Costco handled them for a number of yrs and may still do so. With Costco's generous return policy I don't think they'd carry a brand that was real trouble prone.

    I have several gennys, ranging from 1kW to 6.5kW. The largest one is a Honda. Have used it very little but have no issues. Great speed regulation. AC holds 60Hz from very little current to heavy load +/- .5Hz. This isn't the usual port genny and production stopped a couple yrs back. Think price just got too spendy. Has a 2cyl OHC, water cooled engine. Last price I saw for new was something like $3700. I picked this one up with maybe 2 hrs on it and had been converted to propane and came with a 10 circuit x-fer panel. Got it all for $1000.

    You might take a look for a used one on Craig's list. Model number is ES6500 honda es6500 generator | eBay

    Generators - Champion Power Equipment
    Yanmar Fx24D,
    Koyker 155 loader,
    RSB-1300 tiller
    Cub 3204, 48" mower
    Bolen 1257 GT with tiller

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
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    Michigan

    Default Re: Generators again: Honda vs Northstar vs PTO vs?

    I've heard good things about Champion, as well. Costco sells them and I believe that makes them returnable for a refund, forever.

  7. #7
    Super Member Scooby074's Avatar
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    Nova Scotia
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    BX 25, ZD 326

    Default Re: Generators again: Honda vs Northstar vs PTO vs?

    You have a Honda that works well, so Id say go with a new, larger Honda. We have a 6500w honda inverter. its impossible to beat a small Honda gas engine.

  8. #8
    Elite Member whistlepig's Avatar
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    Preble County, Ohio
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    Kubota B7800 with FEL

    Default Re: Generators again: Honda vs Northstar vs PTO vs?

    We bought a 6500 watt Honda on the neighbors recommendation when we moved here. They told us that the Honda generators were the most dependable. That has worked out for us so far.
    I used to do the Hokey Pokey but I turned myself around.

  9. #9
    Elite Member
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    North of Mtl,Que,Can (Ste Adele)
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    MT180D

    Default Re: Generators again: Honda vs Northstar vs PTO vs?

    Champion; my experience.
    A pal was given a champion for scrap as it had no compression and had 800 hrs on the clock, wheels missing as well as hand rope crank missing.
    I bought it for $50. as it seemed to have a broken rod or bent valves. (was able to turn over with my index finger)
    The genset was used/abused on a construction site.
    My plan was to convert to PTO drive but B4 I pulled the head and was surprised to find the inner tight and pristine like a new engine. No ridge, cyl walls like a mirror valves perfect so I cleaned it up, installed all new gaskets and adjusted the valves etc. added gas and fired it up' Started within about 4-5 rpms and ran just like new.
    A few days later we had a 3 day power outage and a friend ran it non stop for those days without a burp.
    My total cost was a used pull crank assembly and some gaskets.

    So, ask me if I am a Champion believer.
    And, I am no way connected with Champion nor Cosco (who sells them)

    Oh, yes, the prime problem was a badly adjusted exhaust valve that stayed open=all signs of no compression.
    Could be that the stem face wore down with 800 hrs of usage as the lock was real tight.

  10. #10
    Silver Member
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    Stonington CT
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    Kubota L-45

    Default

    I have the northstar, love it very reliable so far. Ran for 30 hrs straight in sandy. No problems.

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