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 Post subject: Firman vs Honda??
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:59 pm 
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Firman vs Honda??

So, I take a lot of salt water aboard, and my Honda eu2000i is very unhappy about that.

Because we're overloaded with everything else related to a swamping, and doing other boat chores, I forget that we've had enough water in the cockpit to get it thoroughly wet, and immersed to some inches before the water, impeded from going down the scuppers and out the hoses due to my diver never touching the animals growing in the through-hulls, has gotten a lot of stuff well soaked.

Fast forward to almost 3 months after said swamping, when all that salt has had time to work, and I try to use my genset. It's not turning over with the same speed as before when I pull the cord. However, I eventually get it started.

It runs, but not as quickly as I'd expect, and shortly it starts smelling like melted plastic. I shut it off, open the hatch, and sniff; it’s coming from the back end. And, it now is VERY hard to turn over.

Research divulges that likely the inverter/charger section has not enjoyed the salt water. Off to a small engine shop, which was very discouraging when I called to talk about it, saying that they are rarely worth fixing, the cost of repair being too high vs another unit.

And that they sell Firman gensets.

I have no clue, as I've never heard the name, let alone know how they do. Research suggests that they are very well regarded (4.3/5 stars). Amazon sells them at a considerable reduction from others, only 499, shipped (https://www.amazon.com/Firman-W01781-Wh ... 60-4904568). They also sell 2200i Hondas at 1099, shipped,4.7/5 stars (https://www.amazon.com/Honda-2200-Watt- ... 60-4904568). As I have no clue here (many other things as well, but some are not as time sensitive), I ask the hive mind:

Is this worth a try at half the price (well, somewhat under half), instead of going back with another Honda?

Second question. Shop calls me back, saying the rings are compromised and it's not worth fixing. If I have to replace the electrical end AND rebuild the engine I think I'd agree. But not a word about the electrical end, which is where I expect the issue lies. As I'd expect determining compromised rings would involve some disassembly, but the word came back in only hours from my dropping it off, I have some niggles in the back of my mind. Their forensic charge is only $35, which I consider quite reasonable given my expectation that they'd have to split the case, get to the electrical moving parts, and determine the level of damage. I expect that (nearly anything shown above) didn't happen.

So, the question arises: Can they reasonably determine ring damage without a teardown? It's a relatively young (in hours terms) unit, probably 1-1.5KH, always Mobil1 at ~100 hours, so I would not expect ring failure (unless, somehow, it got salt water into the cylinder); certainly it was smokeless including during the short time it ran post-swamping (though it did leave some smudge on the horseshoe it was pointed at, so it wasn't pristine), and always before that.

So after all that, two questions:

At half the price, in a unit entirely built (no outside parts) by Firman, is it worth the risk vs another new Honda genset?

and

Could they actually discover a ring problem without a teardown?

Thanks, for knowledge on both questions, opinions from anyone with Firman experience, and speed, as I'll need to have something relatively soon!

L8R

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I expect to pass this way but once; any good therefore that I can do,
or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it
now.
Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

- Etienne Griellet


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 Post subject: Re: Firman vs Honda??
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:32 am 
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ring damage can be determined by a compression check, no need to tear down, just put the hose for compression gauge in the spark plug hole and spin up the engine. You get the reading in psi which is compared to the original specs. usually a 15 -20% drop is an indicator of worn/damaged rings. Secondly if the gauge starts dropping after the spin up is another indication of "blow by" which is the tech term for bad rings. Could also be bad valves or valve seats but the compression goes down fairly fast for bad valves.
I've never heard of Firman...were the reviews you read come from people who use them on boats? Salt air/water is a killer of engines, cast iron blocks and even aluminum blocks corrode, usually the cylinders are steel inserts and the rings steel, valves are steel. Same goes for the back end (the juice maker) lots of steel parts that are exposed because they need ventilation to prevent heat build up. Alternators suffer similar fates too. Also add electrical to the list of things salt loves to eat.
Hondas are famous for reliability and longevity. Take care of it and it will take care of you. Sounds like you skimped a bit on inspecting it, due diligence is imperative when operating in an salt water environment! I was in the Navy on Submarines... talk about hostile! We were constantly monitoring all systems and very strict on planned maintenance! Keeping the water out of the people compartment was number one priority! Make a PM schedule for all your equipment and stick to it.. it will pay huge dividends in the future!
I'd stick with the Hondas... Bite the bullet and get a new one, they improve their products constantly. Maybe strip the old one for spare parts if necessary.

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 Post subject: Re: Firman vs Honda??
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:10 am 
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I have a Honda EU2200i that I had to wait several months for, even though it was on the showroom floor, because they did a "STOP SALE" either late last year or earlier this year until an issue with "saltwater intrusion" was dealt with. They were pretty wishy-washy about the problem, but fire was a purported issue. I never could get a straight answer.

Don't listen to someone that knows nothing about internal combustion engines that aren't air cooled V-twins. :lol:

Or diesel or nuclear(?) combustion. Sorry about that.

Maybe he does know what he's talking about. You never know. I certainly don't (know . . . what I'm talking about). Google is your friend.

Here's a link: https://www.forestriverforums.com/forum ... 0to%20leak.


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 Post subject: Re: Firman vs Honda??
PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:13 am 
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After much discussion in various cruising circles, I've decided to bite the bullet and hope that the admiral's PTSD subsides sufficiently for us to cruise for many more years, albeit on a much restricted geographical diet, so we'll go to Lowe's and buy one of their cheapest-I've-found Honda 2200i replacements. I won't get my 5% rebate/points from Discover card as I would if I ordered it, free shipping from Amazon, but as their price is $70 higher than Lowes, I come out ahead - AND have a generator NOW - by doing it that way...


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 Post subject: Re: Firman vs Honda??
PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:15 am 
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Maineiac wrote:
I have a Honda EU2200i that I had to wait several months for, even though it was on the showroom floor, because they did a "STOP SALE" either late last year or earlier this year until an issue with "saltwater intrusion" was dealt with. They were pretty wishy-washy about the problem, but fire was a purported issue. I never could get a straight answer.

Don't listen to someone that knows nothing about internal combustion engines that aren't air cooled V-twins. :lol:

Or diesel or nuclear(?) combustion. Sorry about that.

Maybe he does know what he's talking about. You never know. I certainly don't (know . . . what I'm talking about). Google is your friend.

Here's a link: https://www.forestriverforums.com/forum ... 0to%20leak.


Dayum Kev....you talkin bout me? I've been wrenching since about 7 always watched my dad wrench his cars, truck, lawn mowers and outboards...he taught me a thang or two. My first V-twin was when I was about 15, got me a WLA basket for 50 bucks and put that sucker back together... I did watch my big brother wrench his Triumph 650 since I was about 11 or so...he had a Cushman Eagle before that. So ya, I know a thing or 2 bout those dastardly internal combustion engines even air cooled ones! I have a Honda 3000 with about as many hours on it without a lick of trouble. The electric start is a bonus. Treat them right and they'll treat you right.
Both.. first one a WW II diesel which did 3 war patrols, it had 4 Fairbanks opposed piston engines talk about monsters! The bore seemed like 2 feet. Next was a brand spankin new Sturgeon class noook fast attack, talk about going from a Bayliner to mega-yacht! But it had one F-M as a backup propulsion.

OK???

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 Post subject: Re: Firman vs Honda??
PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:08 am 
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Posts: 375
Calm down.

When I'm avoiding the telly and the nonstop political bullshit flying from every direction, I go to Youtube and keep "reversing" away from ads until they finally let me see what I clicked on. Check out these MONSTER Packards burning avgas in a PT. If I ever got to Oregon I'd want to see this thing up close. I WANT one. 200 gph on each one? Holy shit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sx_AxoK7Cc


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 Post subject: Re: Firman vs Honda??
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:06 am 
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there was a PT in Key West that you take rides on... dunno if it's still there or not haven't in KW in years

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