*US General Thunderbolt Model 3708 Generator*
(5.2/5.7KW)
By: GreyLocke
05 August 2005

A month after I ordered it my new generator finally arrived.

First things first check for damage. I found none, so I proceeded to open her up.

 

These pics show the front and side of the genny, with itís plugs. 2 120v and 1 240v twistlock.

I put in oil as it calls for .92 qt of 10W30 oil, added 1 gallon of gas and went to start her up.

TWO hours later after sweating through my clothes and running through every swear word I know in other languages, and starting in on English ones, I had an Epiphany. Fuel, Air and Spark. DOH! Here I am a half decent mechanic and I forgot the basics. First cool down, go in the house to eat with the kids and call the distributor and ye__ err discuss with them the problem. I was told that the genny was tested at the factory out of the frame and was running then. Hmmm, out of frame. Meaning without this gas tank. I went outside and traced the fuel lines, hey the inline filter is bone dry...

If the filter is dry no matter which way I turn the shut off Iím not getting fuel from the tank. SOOO.....

I removed the fuel line from the tank and removed the gas cap and tried to blow into the tank to see if I could force some fuel out. No luck. So I took a 3' deck screw and slowly screwed it into the hole for the gas tank.

Immediately fuel started to come out and I put the fuel line on and tightened the clamp. The filter filled with fuel right away and the genny started on the second pull. I plugged several of my tools up to it while it was running and tried to see how many I could get going at once. Well 2 8 outlet surge strips and all my portable hand-tools and the genny powered them all easily.

Now for the technical stuff.

This is a 60 hz 5200w/5700w surge Gasoline Generator with an 11hp OHV engine.

Oil capacity .92 qt 10W30 or SAE 30 oil

Cleanable oil washed foam air filter

fuel capacity 5 US gallons allowing 10 hours use at 50% load

2 120 v 15 amp and 1 240v 30 amp twist-lock receptacles single phase

Weight 147.00 lbs.

Cost 449.99 + s&h 28.50

Distributed by Harbor Freight Tools (www.harborfreight.com)

It took almost a month to get it in, and right out of the box it caused headaches. Iíll be giving it a full work out at the job site and will update as needed.
GreyLocke

Update: 29 March 2006
Penwu Posted:
Don't buy US General generators!

They're being sold pretty cheaply by Harbor Freight, and since most people out there buy by price alone, we're starting to see them in the engine shop here. We have two at the moment (both Thunderbolt 3708s), and they're crap.

One is just waiting for a new blower housing - and has been for two months now. How's that for service?

The other fried its rotor and stator, and the more I pull it apart the crappier it looks. Poor winding in the coils, lots of cut corners, etc. Heck, the "bolts" holding the stator in place aren't even bolts, they're pieces of all-thread with a couple nuts jammed together at one end!

On top of this, the governor of this machine likes to wander around while its running.



www.alpharubicon.com
All materials at this site not otherwise credited are Copyright © 1996 - 2005 Trip Williams. All rights reserved. May be reproduced for personal use only. Use of any material contained herein is subject to stated terms or written permission.