2 stroke generator issue. Specifically HF Tailgator.


Active member
So hurricane Nicholas is the 2nd time my Harbor Freight tailgator let me down by not starting. Took the time today to tear into it and see what was going on. By the abundance of 2 stroke oil in the air cleaner box, it was obvious that it was flooding out on startup. A quick carb & choke cleaner shot, and a few pulls of the starter later and it roared to life.

I haven't futzed with carburetors in so long that I am not sure I want to even try to properly fix this thing, even if it were possible...

Some discussion with other owners of these generators and the descision was made, keep a can of starter fluid next to the bottle of 2 stroke oil to be sure I can kick this thing off. FWIW, I DO have a Sportsman 1000 inverter generator now, and it is leaps bounds and in every way superior to the Tailgator that it isn't even worth comparing...

The Tailgator is from what it seems on the HF website, history now, so IF you are in the market for a new generator, do yourself a favor and pass. However if someone is kind enough to give you one, and you are willing to fiddle with it. Go for it!