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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After a long and ugly battle with Home Depot, I ended up trading my 3-y/o Powermate 5kW/6.25kW generator with it's Subaru EX30 engine for a B&S 5.5kW/8.25kW generator. The Briggs is powered by a 1450-series engine (14.5 ft-lbs).

I really liked the Subaru engine, and hated to dump it, but the case seal was bad and the HD contractors were too incompetent to fix it. The motor weeped a bit of oil from the bad seal, but was maintained and tuned exquisitely (by me) and ran like a Swiss watch. I would've done it myself, but it was still under engine warranty - unfortunately, the small-engine shop HD uses are a bunch of blithering boobs. HD ultimately offered to take my generator back and give me a new one. The closest thing they had was the B&S (Storm Responder).

I'm really not a big fan of B&S motors in general, at least not the new ones (especially compared to something like the Subaru EX30). As an emergency piece of equipment, this thing needs to run good and be reliable / trouble-free. Should I be worried, or are these engines OK?

JayC
 

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i have that same generator. got it because we lost power for 15 days in a snow storm fall 2011.

started first pull i believe from brand new. it comes with oil in it (but still check). ran pretty good. after about 5 hours i changed the oil which looked like a milk shake. then ran it another 25ish hours until the power came back. im going to change the oil for next power outage.

it ran better than i expected from a newer briggs. because the other new briggs i have had an experience with was terrible. my neighbors mower is a 6.75hp OHV briggs and it would not start back up after getting hot. i did everything including lapp and adjust the valve lash but its so much harder to diagnose and fix problems on the newer engines because they are so cheap and there is too much plastic.

took that POS 6.75 briggs OHV off and put a 6hp briggs flathead on and its a great mower now.

i assume the crapped out OHV briggs just passed its "expiration date". time to throw out and get a new one. the older flathead that took its place is 23 years old and runs better than that OHV piece of crap ever did.
 

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14.50 series is not a bad engine, but its a homeowner grade engine, the Subaru was more or less commercial quality. I hope they gave you a generous credit back as the briggs is cheap compared to the Ru.

The briggs engine is VERY sensitive to Ethanol and old gas...they will not tolerate it, and the carbs are very expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
14.50 series is not a bad engine, but its a homeowner grade engine, the Subaru was more or less commercial quality. I hope they gave you a generous credit back as the briggs is cheap compared to the Ru.

The briggs engine is VERY sensitive to Ethanol and old gas...they will not tolerate it, and the carbs are very expensive.
Yea, homeowner grade is my impression of all Briggs stuff. The Subaru engine was nice. I originally got the first generator on sale for $450 (down from $600), so the even swap credit on the $799 Briggs sounds like a good deal (on the surface). I still think the Powermate was a better generator, even though it listed for $200 less.

AFAIK, all engines are sensitive to ethanol and old gas, at least that's my experience. I have a dozen motorcycles in storage-mode, the little ones are the worst when it comes to old fuel. I keep all of my machines stored with fresh oil and a completely dry fuel system. When I pull them out, everything always starts right up even after sitting for years.

JayC
 

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i have that same generator. got it because we lost power for 15 days in a snow storm fall 2011.
:swow: 15 days?!? Wow, you have my sympathies. We were out (in northern MA, on NH border) for 2 days in the October '11 storm. I had a generator this time, though it's not yet wired into the house. But at least we had heat, lights, and water. We lost power for 3 days in the ice storm in '08, hence buying the generator afterwards. That was a dark & cold 3 days. But we still had it a better than a lot of people in that storm.

I've seen that Storm Responder generator in HD. Noticed it not long after I got my used 5500W Generac, was admittedly jealous of the high startup wattage (mine is 6750, I think), and the weatherproof outlets seemed like a good idea. I remember reading a bit about your seal troubles with the Subaru engine. Sorry to hear it continued to be a problem, but hopefully this one will be solid and reliable for you.

I've seen a fair bit of mention of the Subaru engines. I'll admit I know nothing about them, and was surprised to see Subaru's name on a generator engine in Lowes. But they appear to have a very good reputation, though perhaps lacking in brand-recognition to the general public/me. I presume the Briggs Vanguard engines are still highly-regarded, at least? I seem to recall that Briggs doesn't actually make those, though.
 

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I think Subaru is trying to make a comeback and get a larger market share. Over a year ago I emailed the distributor for our area to see about getting set up with them. No answer. Called and asked for a rep to get in touch with me. No follow up from them. They were a small distributor. A few months ago, the distributorship was awarded to a larger company with better resources and wider territory. subaru parts availability have not been an issue for us since.
 

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Not sure how well it relates but I have a 2005 snow blower with an 8.5 hp briggs. My experience is poor. It blew a head gasket last year. I replaced the head gasket but now it runs very lean, needs at least 1/2 choke to idle smoothly (idles is a loos term since it runs at max rpm's at all times, no throttle).

I'm guessing that the lean condition caused the head gasket to fail due to high exhaust temp which is where the gasket failed. When I bought the blower it had sat for a year or two because the original owner developed heart problems and was no longer able to run his snowblower. It seemed to run fine the first 2 years I had it, and I thought I kept stabilized fuel in it and started it every so often in the summer to keep things fresh but I guess it wasn't enough.

I agree with what red posted earlier about the carb being very sensitive to ethanol. I shared the story because I thought it gave more credibility to my opinion than to just say that I agree with red. I have the fuel shut off valve ready to be installed when I tear down the carb. Dry carb storage for me from now on. Good thing I have a 38 year old blower that runs like brand new to step in when the 7 year old blower is broken.

As generators by there nature are rarely ever run, and always stored for extended periods I would recommend strongly that you get a fuel shut off, drain the carb, and run dry every single time you use it (after).

Slight tangent, can closing the fuel shut off and running with the carb plug in do damage?? I would think that of the fuel pump is pulling on a sealed system it would be bad (I have an outboard that I am afraid to unplug the fuel line and let it run until it dies for this reason).
 
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