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OT sort of, surprising how good the predator 6.5 hp harbor freight engine is...

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  • OT sort of, surprising how good the predator 6.5 hp harbor freight engine is...

    I have a small troy-built tiller. It came with a tecumseh engine that was always hard to start, and noisy and wouldn't idle well at all. But it worked...

    After 6 years, it wouldn't start. It had also been smoking a lot and getting hot, so I didn't want to even try to fix it.

    Harbor freight periodically puts their 6.5 hp engine on sale for a crazy price, and it looked like the bolt pattern was the same, so I took a chance.

    I have to say, it has impressed the socks off me.

    Starts on the first or second pull every time. Idles beautifully. Noticeably more guts than the "same" hp tecumpseh. The muffler is FAR FAR more effective than the one it replaced. I don't even need muffs unless I'm running it wide open. It bolted right up with no fiddly adjustments.

    Runs between a hundred and a hundred twenty bucks on sale.

    I was willing to take the chance because my dad must have 3 or 4 by now and he just gushes about how much he likes them.


    I think they have a vertical shaft engine as well, but I have no experience with that one.


    doug

  • #2
    That's good to know! I was considering getting one a while back, but wasn't to sure about them.

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    • #3
      That 5.5 HP vertical shaft engine is the EXACT SAME engine that came on my Cub Cadet self propelled walk-behind mower, and I mean the same thing not just one that looks to be nearly the same! The only differences are the name and the color of the plastic cover! Yes they are decent motors and I now have several of them, the Cub was supposed to be a good mower and while that Chinese engine does seem to be a good one the mower itself unfortunately was a roaring piece of JUNK!

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      • #4
        I replaced a motor on my leaf vac with one 3 years ago and I haven't had a single problem with it. It always starts right up, is quiet and vibration free.

        Stu

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        • #5
          When they went to the Predator I bought all the blue 6.5 Honda clones at 2 stores for $40/ea. The parts interchange with a Honda & I have them on several things. I asked the manager why the change & his reply was they didn't want people confusing there engines with Honda Didn't make sense to me either?
          Rumor has it Honda supplies some of the parts as their patent ran out but who knows?
          Last edited by flylo; 05-13-2015, 10:24 AM.
          "Let me recommend the best medicine in the
          world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant
          country, in easy stages."
          ~ James Madison

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          • #6
            I've got a 6.5 horizontal and 6hp vertical,both are good engines.I had prior to these two a no name Honda knock off that was also a good engine,it ran well had much more power than the 5hp Briggs it replaced.It lasted about three years until the rings suddenly collapsed and it lost compression.On a chance I got a head gasket and ring set for a Honda and both fit.I ran it another six months and gave that mower away.
            I just need one more tool,just one!

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            • #7
              I will only buy Honda engines.
              It is not fair for Honda to do all the engineering work
              and then have the Chinese copy it.
              I am not poor and I will pay for a real Honda.

              -Doozer
              DZER

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              • #8
                When the Briggs vertical shaft engine finally gave up on the Snapper mower at my mom's house, she didn't want to spend the $350 they wanted for a replacement engine. I had a $99 coupon from HF for their vertical shaft Predator, so I took a chance. It's on the 3rd season now and runs great. The priming bulb is a little weak, but the engine starts fine every time. The pulley for the self-propelled belt drive and the blade adapter were different sizes, but a local small engine mechanic traded my old parts for the right sizes off of a junker he had.

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                • #9
                  Hi,

                  Those Predator engines are very popular with the local go-kart racers here. They are cheap, easy to modify, and tough. Really surprises me. I need to buy a couple for a project I have in mind.

                  Dalee
                  If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dalee100 View Post
                    Hi,

                    Those Predator engines are very popular with the local go-kart racers here. They are cheap, easy to modify, and tough. Really surprises me. I need to buy a couple for a project I have in mind.

                    Dalee
                    Years ago, I was looking at one of these [Champion brand] 6.5 HP units at a Costco. Guy strolls up to look and I said "looks like a Honda knockoff to me."

                    Guy says "it's not a knockoff, it's a Honda, built in Honda's Chinese factory." Seems he was a long time karter and used both Hondas and knockoffs and there was no difference in the quality of the parts. I bought one later and put it on a hydraulic power pack I built to run my Toyota winch. I bet I have pulled 50 or more 12" plus stumps out of the ground with it, not to mention lots of yarding. Still starts on the second pull, original plug, couple of oil changes. I run it about /3 throttle. Good torque rise, so the governor handles all load changes, right up to stall on the winch.
                    I bought a similar, but 13HP knockoff at Princess for $200 and adapted it to run a Case 224, and modified it to be able to rum the winch etc. Never bothered hooking up the 12v starter, because it always starts on the second pull, too. It's pulled about 50 stumps too, and I can tow the winch with it and sit on my ass while operating the winch ;-)

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