You Bottled Beer, maybe you will start bottling your Lube oil too?

It was Greg West in Hawaii who kept telling me how thrilled he was with his new Yamaha EF2000IS inverter Generator. I checked the price at Amazon, $1138.00 delivered to my home. That’s a bunch for a generator rated at about 1600 watts continuous with the ability to deliver 2000 Watts surge to start loads like smaller induction motors..

Home Bottled Oil

Home Bottled Oil

Why should I tell you more?  Go read the high volume of five star reviews at Amazon.

But after paying so much money, what oil to use and how best to buy it? So many things to know but a guy has to start some where.

Knowing the generator can sit for a long time before being started, I want some protection during a dry start. Many of us have heard the stories that this short period of time is where a lot of wear happens, and I believe. Since this generator has no catalytic converter, I am free to juice the oil up with anti wear agents to a nice high level, and since this little generator only requires 420ml of lube oil, perhaps buying Mobil One at Wall Mart, and a bottle of ZDDP will give me a blend I like and a price I’m willing to pay.  Yes, we buy the 5 quart bottle and save the best I know how.

Since It’s really all about the cost of a KWH of electricity, don’t we want our Generator to run as long as possible, and won’t a slippery oil help us convert fuel to more KWHs of electrical energy?

Each bottle is put up with .42 liters of oil, tilt the generator and drain old oil into a container 16 OZ or larger in size, tilt Gen back up, open  your bottled oil with an bottle opener, and pour it into an adjustable 50 cent funnel from wall mart. Having it on the shelf, and having just the amount you need is key.. no over fills! Just pour it in and put the filler cap back on.

Why not change your oil often, you have no filter, so get the metallic out of your oil at hoter intervals. BTW… I like this unit.. Thanks Greg….

PS, you know I’m not happy with the crap they call gasoline today.. Gang Greenies like, it and I think they should drink it.. But the EF2000 does have features that will help you survive gasoline with ethanol in it..

A positive vent on the gas cap you can close, a fuel shut off that allows you to run the unit out of fuel.. a manual  float bowl Drain.. this unit is very quiet too..

Don’t forget to add a fuel stablizer and close the vent when not in use, and don’t leave the generator out in the direct sun unless you must.



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17 Responses to You Bottled Beer, maybe you will start bottling your Lube oil too?

  1. David says:


    As mentioned before I had a cache of gas gens stolen. I have standardized on the big loud gas units for base load during backup scenarios at this point (well pumps, office A/C necessary when running a 12 core xeon system for building large source repos for certain open source operating systems, heck that Xeon box can come over a kilowatt — don’t want to trip a generator breaker during a source code to binary conversion (a build)). I’ll just drain the tank and the carbs to avoid the ethanol destruction that is inflicted on most small engines nowadays (I have replaced a number of carbs on small engines of mine at this point, tank & carb dumping is now a normal maintenance routine).

    I still need a quiet unit to run an electric blanket and my fridge during the deep dark of the night. Was looking at another EU3000is (one of the units stolen was this). For my fridge and a blanket, I could get away with a 2KW unit. What do you think of the quality of the Yamaha 2KW unit? I have read here and there on the internet that the Yamaha units are not as reliable as the Honda 3KW inverter unit.

    What’s your thought on the Yamaha 2KW unit?

    • George B. says:

      I like the Yamaha, BUT let’s be honest.. I have zero hands on other than taking it half apart. We need add, I know nothing of the EU3000, so perhaps others can help? I suggest you look for off gridders who have racked the hours.. Greg gave us a review on the Yamaha 2000 of 10,000 plus hours, and says there’s one out there with 17000 hours and still running.

      Off gridders make some of the best test environments on earth, who else might run 20 hours a day? even the roach coach (normally) operates at 16 hours or less a day.

  2. Bill knighton says:

    I’ve been using an eu2000i I converted to propane. If I turn a valve it would go back to gas if I ever wanted. I like that there is nothing that smells about this. I can run it on the porch without issue and bring it inside the house to store with no issues.
    It does take 2-3 more pulls instead of starting on first pull like it used to.
    The Tractor supply near me refills propane for $2.10 per gallon.
    I’d like to make use of the torrent of hot air that comes out the vent, sadly mixed with exhaust.
    this unit mixes with the outback vfx well. A while ago I added I a second vfx. For now I am only using it in the charger capacity and the other vfx is running as an inverter and can easily pick up very heavy loads with battery.
    Being able to adjust the load with the outback vfx in charger mode is useful especially at lower power because I value the ecomode when generator throttles down to run quiet and slow. 6 amps is very quiet, 8 is still ok but above that it runs at faster.
    I do not seem able to get the full 13.3 amps on propane. But my conversion may not be ideal. I tuned it for smooth running at the range I use most, which it under 1000 watts. I also have the demand regulator mounted back at the tank with 10 feet of hose. That might not be wise but I didn’t like it tied to the generator being vibrated.

    • George B. says:

      Excellent and informative post! Newbies note, we can only stuff less BTUs into the combustion chamber, as we need a proper air charge with it. Yes, if we had a turbo, we could achieve the same performance. I mention this because as we move to higher elevations, propane offers even less performance, but of course so does gasoline, but propane always less. calculate you needs before you invest. Propane so nice to store.. but cold an elevation need be considered or dealt with .. so I think..

      Quiet is appreciated by everyone…

      • David Pearce says:

        Leaf blower under triac control? Little yamaha motor could never take the full on leaf blower output, that would limit the electrical consumption of the leaf blower for the required “boost”. A leaf blower for a car engine doesn’t make a lot of sense, but for a small engine on propane, maybe so!

        Also, lowered blower speed should also reduce the noise level.

        Who knows, maybe this will work for the listers as well, do they really have enough exhaust flow from a single cylinder to turn a real-to-life exhaust turbo?

      • Bill knighton says:

        I just ran a test with a killawatt attached to the eu2000i instead of relying on the outback’s numbers which are known to be lo-res. set at 11 amps on the outback I get around 14.75 amps on the killawatt. Switched to watts it is around 1475 . Yet the voltage reads 117 on both the outback and the killawatt. The killawatt gives a power factor of a little over .8 so it looks like that is explained.
        If I attempt higher than 11 amps as measured by the outback the generator is unstable and surges as the outback takes the load off and on.
        It is supposed to do 13.3 amps, 1600 watts continuous.
        Test is at 330 feet elevation 75 f.
        Then there is the inefficiency charging in and inverting out. Plus these sweet generators like the Yamaha and honda already have inverter inefficiencies of their own. I’m glad propane is $2ish.

  3. George B. says:

    Many of the old articles on utterpower are still out there, some links broken.. Turbo Lister? Credit Andre Dancause, a Quebec DIYer..

    AS for using electrical for boost, we pay a good penalty for that energy conversion I think..

    • David Pearce says:

      Absolutely agree, but most superchargers incur a penalty (even a turbo, in terms of backpressure and the resulting pumping losses — just not as bad as a roots or screw type) — depends on how bad you want those last few amps. Lister could drive a roots blower pretty easy with belts, have it clutched to come in at high load, ie., when the rack is just into smoking territory. Reading that article you posted, not sure the turbo was doing a lot, I got the impression he was at pretty low boost. I would think he would need something more like a motorcycle turbocharger… not as prevalent in junkyards though (if at all).

      On the Yamaha, you can only depend on the generator output, unless you plan to tear it down, and even then, if it’s like the Honda eu3000 was, it has no output shaft, except where the flywheel is mounted, so mechanically driving a boost mechanism is pretty much out, unless the Yamahas are different in that regard.

      The Honda alternator was a PM type, and under the flywheel. The inverter consumed everything it could get from it, and produced the solid 60Hz 120VAC on the other side. If you were in “eco” mode, it would throttle back the engine to the point where the PM was generating only enough power to power the inverter and load. I suspect the Yamaha is very similar in design. It’s a great design, but very difficult to match the efficiency in a home brew device, I suspect. All the components were perfectly matched to their job, and shoved into a practically air tight container with lots of noise baffling. Even cooling & combustion air, in and out, were tightly controlled by the design.

      I could stall the Honda in “eco” mode. Just attach a sizeable air compressor while in that mode, and it would nearly instant lock the engine, before the inverter or the breakers could step in. Wouldn’t occur in full throttle mode though… usually the inverter would trip long before the electromechanical breakers would.

      • George B. says:

        No doubt the match between turbo and Lister was poor. and we need note the EGT at of the lister is pretty low even at full load. Then we get into a lot of other problems, Like the valves and other materials not being up snuff for turbo duty.. but if there’s little boost, then little problem. I put this up to celebrate the DIY experimenter.. Dancause would know whether his efforts were worth it, but he was likely just having fun. His English not so good at the time, but a gem of a man… Quebec is his home..

        Using turbos for efficiency… good to study the turbo compounds developed for the Super Connie…when in Seattle go to the flight museum and check out a master piece of engineering..

        • David Pearce says:

          Almost 30 years ago (putting me at 9 y.o. or less, hehe), I remember reading about how compound turbo systems were going big in my Granny’s (RIP) Funk and Wagnoll’s Encyclopedia. But I never saw one in real life.

          Somewhere I have read that a free-piston diesel gas generator driving a turbine for mechanical power can boost turbine efficiency greatly (rather than using a compressor/combustor stage). I always wondered why we didn’t see some of those. Maybe with diesel fuel injection technology rapidly advancing, that time will be sooner than later. I know there are free piston generator designs out there now, but the prices are off the charts! That would probably be better than turning a turbine anyways…

  4. Brian says:

    What % ZDDP are you using for break in period? and after break in?

  5. George B. says:

    Brian, all I want is a full doze of ZDDP, like many oils had prior to catalytic converters, etc. A lot of motorcycle oils have these higher levels of zddp, but some claim the cheapest is to go to Walmart buy mobile one and add zddp.. I’ve added one bottle of zddp to five quarts, and for break in, I’ve added just a little bit of 2 stroke oil to the gas as a top end lubricant. I’ll probably run the first two full tanks with a bit of 2 stroke oil…

  6. JackG says:

    On the fuel, my local Cenex sells the 91 octane that is ethanol free. I now run that in all my little engines like the boat, ATV, mower etc. I did just buy a Yamaha inverter-gen (thanks GB for the note). After reading GB’s post I believe I need to re-think my oil choice as I dumped some non-synthetic 10-30 in it to test it out. I have a turbo-charged diesel SUV that takes the Mobil ESP (hard to find but finally had some shipped). I read that the new Euro spec diesel oils have a lot of additives for suspending solids. I wonder if something like that would be the ticket for long life on the unit?

    • George B. says:

      Jack, I think there’s a number of lube oils that will help us get our money’s worth out of a rather expensive machine, anti-wear agents near what was once typical is my choice. Since we have no filter, I think part of the answer is to be set up to dump the oil frequently, and if one thinks this is a waste, perhaps use the 420ML of oil you remove to top off one of your vehicles with a good filter? Dump often, it’s so easy to do with pre measured bottles..

    • George B. says:


      No matter how we attempt to use ethanol based fuels, it does attract water, and it does cause problems. Few of us know mechanics that have an honest 50 plus years working on small engines.. I do! It’s similar to finding that guy who has worked in a rewind shop for forty plus years, they can tell you what comes in often, and what they seldom if ever see. If you can get ethanol free gasoline for your small engines, it’s the way to go.

      • David Pearce says:

        I ordered some Pri-G last night from amazon, based on various forum posts around the web. Seems like it has a real strong ability to protect against oxidation & it also magically keeps the ethanol in solution. I hope so! I am not storing a lot on site, due to insurance issues, but 25 gallons will get me through a few days if I am careful.

        I will still be burning my carbs out…

        I think at my next place, I plan to junkyard hunt a IronDuke 2.5L, go through it and upgrade it for natural gas (my next location will be in the city, fiance’s requirement), and drive a big induction motor for backup power.

  7. George B. says:

    I don’t know what Pri G is but…. I am skeptical of it’s ability to keep ethanol in the mix. Here’s what I think we need to think about.. open fuel systems (vented systems) breath, they inhale and exhale every day with the change in temperature and water is literally pumped in via condensate. The pliable, non-skeptical mind has no time or need to experiment, but DIYers do.

    So take 100ml of treated ethanol blended fuel, put it in a suitable glass, and add a few drops of water and shake it vigorously. Now let it set for a bit and look for the water. Are this droplets sitting in the bottom of your glass OR has the ethanol taken it in?

    There’s some simple mechanics here (I think) and I’m a mechanic not a chemist! That chemistry you add need change the nature of an alcohol, it loves water as much as man loves dogs.

    So if you don’t see those drops of water let’s keep adding water and see how much water the ethanol takes on before it drops out of solution.

    Fuel stabilizers, unless they’re magic…, I don’t know how they can protect us from a leading cause of trouble in open fuel systems.

    We need note, in States where you must have your car emissions tested, you will flunk if you don’t have a working fuel tank cap that seals well, this is because it needs to seal well to survive ethanol period. If you live in a place like Western Washington State, you should expect to pump in large quantities of water right away, if you live in arid areas with low humidity, you might survive it..

    This accounts for those posts.. “I never have trouble with ethanol gasoline blends, and all of you are liars” 🙂

    Now that Honda Inverter Generator, and the Yamaha Generator too, they know their units might be forced to survive on ethanol fuels, so they have designed in vented fuel caps you can seal when you’re done running, don’t forget to do it!

    Another note about the Coast and humid areas, these old cars and trucks left sitting in a field, it’s not just fuel tanks that are pumped full of water, it’s engine crank cases, transmissions, and ever rear ends. full of water with damaged and pitted gears.

    The sun and the atmosphere work together to make it rain, and there’s plenty of rainy days inside open fuel tanks, engine crank cases and rear differentials, don’t let things sit too long!

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