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1300 hour report on Briggs EXL 8000

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Posted by philkryder on April 29, 2007, 7:06 am

Last January (2006), we obtained a Briggs EXL 8000 from central Maine

We now have over 1300 hours on it.

I thought some folk might be interested in an update on our anecdotal
I was not able to find much info in the group at the time- so I hope
this is of help.

We have run the unit primarily on propane.
But it also runs on gasoline.
It still runs and starts like new.

We had a couple of issues.
One was that the valve train "tightened."
At about 1000 hours we started noticing missing at start and general
poor starting.
We had been negligent in valve checking and adjustments.
We had only done a single adjustment at about 50 hours.

The fact that the valve train tightened surprised some of our
experienced automotive associates.  Most had experience with other
solid rocker arm systems that had become LOOSER over time.
I attribute the tightness to synthetic oil and clean-burning propane
minimizing wear on the Cam, tappets, rocker and push rods - while the
valve seat and valve wore a bit. The valve tolerances are very tight -
about 4 thousanths of an inch.
 We've instituted a more pro-active schedule for valve checking and
adjustment. We feel lucky that we didn't get burned valves or valve
seats due to our inattention.

The other issue we had was damage to the propane regulator.
It appeared that one of our associates had run it into a wall and
damaged the priming stem.
We returned it to Aardvark and it was repaired for free.
We only paid for shipping one direction.
We felt that the service from Aardvark was very good.
We were able to run on gasoline in the interim.

We modded the regulator adjustment by switching to a long (2 inch)
threaded bolt rather than a flat headed screw.
This bolt an lock-nut makes adjustment much easier.
This is important because the propane is very sensitive.
We also glued a protective shield around the primer button to help
avoid future damage.

We added a combination Tach and Hour meter From allied.
I prefer setting the RPMs using the HZ reading on my KillaWatt.
I just adjust for about 63 hz no load (3780 rpm).

We also add the DRAINZIT oil drain kit to make it easier to cleanly
change oil.

We had one other problem due to an old 240volt cord that caused arcing
and we replaced the recepticle and cord.

So far, we like this unit very well.
We were treated fairly by Central Maine Diesel.
We like the service from Aardvark.
We like propane.
We like the gasoline backup.
We like the 5-50 syntec oil.
We like the Bosch platinum replacement plugs.
We have gotten good service on replacement parts from Briggs and Perr
It is still LOUD - but, that is acceptable in our location.

This unit has NO oil filter, but it does have Ball Bearing main
The lack of a filter doesn't seem to have been a big issue based on
apparent valve train wear. So far, so good.

Not much else to report.
We Change the oil.
We Change the air filters.
And now, we Adjust the valves.
And, Run the engine.

We also bought a backup unit (also 8000/13500 watt) from Home Depot.
It is branded as a Briggs but it has the GENERAC engine with oil
It has about 250 hours and also runs well. It has a pressure lube
sysem. We added the same Aardvark regulator to it and a similar hour
meter tach from Allied. It too was getting some valve tightening. We
replaced oil pressure switch on it due to stalling. It works fine now.
We also changed the thermal breakers to a single double pole breaker
that was the same as the 240 volt breaker on the unit with the Briggs
This unit is also working well, but we only run it as a backup.

Recently, the Home Depot unit has been re-designed.
We actually like the new yellow Home Depot model better.
We bought one when we were having the hard start problems noted above.
The new Home Depot model comes with an Hour meter and the better 240
volt breaker already installed. The Generac engine seems unchanged. We
have not installed the propane conversion unit on it.

I've included my original post below with some comments for

First impressions Briggs an Stratton exl8000
Newsgroups: alt.energy.homepower
Date: 10 Jan 2006 22:23:47 -0800
Local: Tues, Jan 10 2006 11:23 pm
Subject: First impressions Briggs an Stratton exl8000
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Earlier I had asked for empirical info regarding the 410 cc Generac
engine and 7500 watt generators with the 13500 watt advertised surge
I didn't get much info, so I'm posting this to help anyone else who
might be curious.

We received our tri-fuel unit this last week and have run it about 10

I thought I'd write my first impressions before they become tainted by
future experiences.

I would appreciate any suggestion of what to watch out for and or do
make the unit last better.

The first thing we noticed was that the 7500 had morphed into an 8000
I'm not sure if this is a material change or just a "decal" upgrade.
I have found the Briggs/Generac buyout and web sites a bit obscure...

The "tri-fuel" mixer is an add-on from US Carbs.

The unit went together fine.

Actually, the wheel kit and battery cable and topping off oil and
adding fuel was all we needed to do.

It started and ran well but had (and has) a slight miss at high
governed speed.
We're wondering if we should attempt to "lean" the engine a bit since
we run at about 3300 feet...
I'm not sure if the carb is adjustable due to epa/CARB regs.


We ran it on gasoline since we didn't have the half-inch connectors
our propane supply.
We had been expecting 3/8th fittings.
Some of our group wanted to run Gasoline for a bit anyway to prove the
multi-fuel capability.

Following are Some comparisons with the Honda ES6500 (the  water
twin-cylinder overhead cam units that we have been running).
Some of the observations are less subjective than others.

1) it >>> the briggs <<<is much less expensive - about $800 verus
And Home Depot has a comparable gasoline-only unit for $199 >> now
1249<< plus tax.
2) it is lighter to move around.
3) it has a larger fuel tank.
4) it "seems" just as noisy. Neither unit "hurts" to be close to, but
both are too loud for my taste and I would recommend hearing
protection. I have the Peltor electronics Tac7s. Fortunately, we are
able to run them "below" the level of our main operation to attenuate
the noise.
5) the 30 amp cable that we had used with the Honda worked perfectly.
6) The Briggs "seemed" to handle the load a bit better than the
based on our use of the Kill-a-watt - which is the only
I had. The voltage seemed to stabilize at about 114 versus the 109 to
110 with the Honda.
RPMs stayed around 3600 (I had added on a little combination hour
and tach).

Our weather was cool - ?warm? - mid 60s F - I guess it depends on
you are as to whether that is cool or warm...
Point is - it wasn't HOT - we sometimes run 8-10 hours at load in 110
degree F.
It will be interesting to see this run in August.


We ran for about 40 minutes with no load.

Then, split our load with the Honda for another 2 hours.
Then, switched the entire load to the new Briggs, ran for 3 more hours
and changed the oil to the 5-50 syntec castrol..

So far, not much to report -
a) slight miss
b) handled our load

of Note:
The unit did NOT have the "premium quality" pressure lube, oil filter
It was a "VANGUARD" which purports to be the better quality Briggs -
but it doesn't have an oil filter and doesn't have a low oil pressure
shut down...
Sigh...We are disappointed -
Perhaps I could take the tack of the "Listeroid" afficionados that "it
can't break if it doesn't have it"... But, somehow I think oil filters
and pressure lube evolved for a reason.
We'll try to keep the 5-50 oil clean and well-filled.
Maybe the Propane will help...

We are looking already at the Home depot models to buy as our next
unit. I've mentioned that our current plan is to use these as
"consumables" rather than capital investments.

Any suggestions or questions welcome.


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Posted by Vaughn Simon on April 29, 2007, 2:23 pm

     I really value your posts Phil.  You are gathering high-hour experience
with current generator models that is priceless to the group and I am sure that
many of us appreciate you taking the time to share it.  Your experience
particularly shows the value of proper maintenance.

  I suppose that this ground has been covered before, but I wonder if you would
not be better off paying a bit more for a "disposable" portable diesel on the
expectation of saving money overall on better fuel consumption.  I see some
names out there that are new to me such as Baldor.  On the other hand, most of
those units are 3600 RPM which will sacrifice efficiency, be just as loud as,
and wear just as fast as, any 3600 RPM engine.


Posted by philkryder on April 30, 2007, 2:04 am


we certainly considered and perhaps would have preferred to go with
diesel - our fuel costs dominate our expenses for electricity.
However, in our location and circumstances, we feel propane is highly
desirable. any type of fuel spill from diesel would be very damaging
to us.

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