Monday, April 14, 2008

Upgrading the poor mans Hybrid system...

I hate to say it but all good things have an end and in this case I'm sad to say that our much loved Honda EU2000i generator expired a couple of weeks ago. Well not exactly as the motor still works like a champ but the electric side is no longer with us. Now considering that the sucker has been pumping out electricity for about six years without a fault while we did everything we could think of to abuse it. In the six years it more than paid for itself many many times over.

So we'd like to welcome the new poor man's hybrid system to the boat and it is... A Honda EU2000i as looking at what else is out there it is still the best thing going. Not perfect as I still find the changing oil problematic (has no one in Japan ever heard of a drain?) both in pouring out the old oil and the filling with new... But hey I never do it very often, so no big deal. The other thing is that due to the geometry of the gas tank interior I found it quite easy to overfill the tank from time to time. Another hassle which has nothing to do with Honda is that it would seem that whenever I filled the tank some big power boat with a humongous wake would come by just as I was starting to pour and I always wished there was a better way.

As it happens there is a better way. Unlike a lot of small generators the Honda EU2000i has a fuel pump which I realized just might be strong enough to pump gas from an external tank. With a brand new Honda what better way to begin its life on So It Goes than taking a bit apart and drilling holes!

The modification needed is really very simple...

First you find a 5/16" brass hose barb ($1.80) with a thread in one end then remove the vent (simply take out the retaining pin on the inside of the cap) drill out the vent hole and tap for whatever thread size your 5/16" hose barb requires.

Screw the barb into the tapped hole.

Add some 5/16" ID gas hose ($1.20 a foot) with a outboard tank connector of your choice (I used OMC as it was the cheapest at Island Water World in St Martin at $6.95) that will connect to whatever outboard fuel tank you have laying around.

That's it. Real simple and real cheap! It even works!

Now I can run the motor for 25 hours without having to refill (I used a three gallon gas tank) and no more pouring gas over my toes when some idiot with a big wake drives by.