Generator foam air filter questions

Jun 8, 2022
I have a WEN "Chonda" generator I purchase a few months ago for hurricane season, etc. 212CC engine.

I wanted to get a spare air filter to have around, but I am having trouble finding the exact cut / shape. Its 7/8 inch thick foam - anyone have a suggestion on finding that thickness of foam so I can cut my own. Is there a specific foam spec I should be looking for?

Also, it says to apply a few drops of motor oil, but i see also several brands selling spray on filter oil - is that better?

I also see several replacement type bolt on filters like this one. Should I just retrofit to this type?

Factory Foam should work better with snow pack and rain ingestion. Maybe.

I have always been surprised that mice don't crawl in there and chew it up. My Generac GP6500 filter cover seems to have a mouse house welcome mat laid out. Maybe enough gas smell to keep them at bay, though I run the carb dry.
You can't just use any foam for this. It has to be a special foam specifically designed for this purpose. Gasoline spit-back from the carburetor will dissolve foam that isn't designed for this use. I suggest that you find the specific air filter for this engine from someone that sells WEN parts.
Yes, foam air filters MUST be oiled or dirt will go right through it and into your engine. Oiled foam air filters are more efficient at dirt removal than paper elements. These filters can be cleaned and reused many times. You need to use more than a few drops of oil, an ounce of motor oil will be enough (a little less if the filter is small). You need to wash it out in the sink with warm water and dish washing detergent like Dawn (NOT gasoline or any other chemical), squeeze the water out, apply the oil, work it in, and squeeze it hard to remove any excess oil. Done. Easy.
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I found air filter with the same thickness that you can cut to shape with regular scissor.
HD or Lowes have a rack full of those for lawn mower.
FWIW, I cleaned my air filter for my Wen 56380i when I did the last OCI and spark plug replacement at 500hrs. My filter sounds very similar to yours. I used some compressed air and a vacuum to clean it. Honestly the filter looked pretty darn clean. I thought about a spare when I was doing my service and then let it go until this thread. I'm still not sure I will pursue it...

just my $0.02
That retrofit should work fine, I've used it on other 212cc Chinese Honda clones. The foam filters the engines come with are usually cheap junk that fall apart quickly, so I wouldn't put too much effort in finding the exact replacement.