Steele Products SP-GD650E 5000/6500W Diesel Powered Portable Generator Review

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Steel Products SP-GD650E Diesel Generator

Steel Products SP-GD650E Diesel Generator

The SP-GD650E 6,500 watt diesel powered generator with electric start from Steele Products utilizes the advantage of the parent companies economies of scale and provides the best value in its category. Steele Products is a subsidiary of JD North America which is a part of the JD Group. It has its manufacturing facilities in China and is a part of a group of companies that manufacture over one million engines annually.

This generator has a 10 hp air cooled diesel engine and can deliver 5000 watts of continuous power while being able to surge up to 6500 watts. Being a portable generator it can be used as a back up power source for your home in times of power outages, it can also be used at job sites where there is a need of electricity to run power tools. This model is not CARB compliant.

Power Output and Generation

The SP-GD650E diesel powered portable generator is capable of supplying 5000 watts of continuous power while being able to surge up to 6500 watts. It provides 42 amps @ 120V and 21 amps at 220V.

This generator is powered by an air cooled 10 hp single cycle 4 stroke diesel engine. The engine runs at the typical 3600 rpm for generation, but for a diesel this is considered by some to be on the fast side. It has a low oil sensor and light and will shut down on low oil.

Outlet Configuration:

The unit is set up with a 120/240V switch to utilize the circuit. This will limit use in the 240V position to the 21A of available power.

on the 120V side you have the 5-20R and L5-30R as well as the L14-30R to use in supplying power. Of course you are restricted by the circuit breakers for each outlet but can use them up to the full 42A capability of the generator.

The 12V DC circuit is available for charging batteries. In their manual they indicate that it is to be used for charging the generators battery. Since no wiring diagram was available we could not verify that the battery was not on it’s own charging circuit. This seems very odd that it isn’t configured to charge it’s self.

Also indicated in the manual is that you should not be using the AC circuits when using the DC circuit. Again this seems to be an odd requirement and defeats the purpose of having a generator this large which can only handle a DC circuit without using AC. One might be better off getting an battery charge that could plug to the AC circuit.

I have an inquiry to Steele Products for clarification.

Fuel Type and Noise Levels:

The SP-GD650E portable engine uses diesel as fuel and has a fuel tank capacity of 4 gallons. It can run for 9 ½ hours on one tank of fuel at 50% load capacity.


This generator is quiet for a diesel generator and produces only 70 Db of noise level when it is running. The enclosure helps to keep the noise level down to that of similar sized gas powered generators.

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Dimensions and Weight

The overall dimensions of this generator are 37.4 x 21.6 x 31.1 inches ( L x W x H ) and it weighs in at 372 lbs. and with 4 gallons of diesel (~7 lbs per gal) about 400 lbs.

Typical Uses and Needs

The SP-GD650E diesel powered portable generator is has 9.5 hrs on half load with rated power to 5kW. This makes this generator useful as a backup power source for your home in times of power outages. Being portable means that this generator can also be used to supply electrical power wherever you may need it, like a job site to power electrical tools or even to power electrical appliance in your cabin.

Because it is heavy (400lbs) portability isn’t as easy as pulling it around like the less heavy gas generators. On flat surfaces like garage concrete it can be pushed around and moved to meet needs, however, moving to job sites and the like will take effort to trailer or with ramps to get it transported.

Display & Control Panel, Start-up

The control panel of the SP-GD650E diesel generator is located on the side of the generator. When you face the control panel you will find the Electric Starter switch at the top left of the panel, next to it to the right you have two lights the one on the top turns On when the generator is running and below it you have the Low Oil indicator light.

To the right of the lights you have the Voltmeter and to the right you have the Hour meter below which you have the 120V/240 V toggle switch. To the right you have the Main Circuit breaker.

Below the Starter switch you have two 120V 20 amp receptacles and next to them on the right you have the twist lock 120V L5 30 amp receptacle. Next to this outlet to the right you have 2 circuit breakers the top one controls the 20 amp outlets and the lower one controls the twist lock outlet.

Moving on to the right you have the 120V/240V outlet and below that you have the Ground terminal. To the right of this terminal you have the 12V DC terminals and a circuit breaker above them which controls these terminals.

Start Up
The SP-GD650E Portable generator is equipped with an Electric Start. Here are the steps to be taken to start the generator.

  1. Before starting the generator check to see that it is on a level surface.
  2. Check the engine oil level and the fuel level.
  3. See that the generator is suitably grounded.
  4. See that there are no loads connected to the generator.
  5. Open the fuel valve.
  6. Set the engine starter lever to the RUN position.
  7. Turn the ignition key to the Start position and release it the moment the engine starts.
  8. Let the generator run for a few minutes without any load.

Shut Down

  1. Disconnect all electrical loads from the generator.
  2. Turn OFF the main circuit breaker.
  3. Let the generator run for a few minutes without any load.
  4. Depress the Stop lever.
  5. Turn the ignition key to the Stop position.
  6. Shut off the fuel valve.

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Additional Features

Here are some of the features of the SP-GD650E diesel powered portable generator.

  1. It is equipped with an electric start.
  2. It has a 10 hp 4 stroke air cooled diesel engine.
  3. It has a noise level of 70Db.
  4. It can run for 9 1/2 hours at 50% load capacity on 4 gallons of diesel.
  5. It has a Voltage meter and a hour meter.
  6. It comes with four wheels making it easy to move on level surfaces.

Care and Maintenance and Use

Periodic maintenance and service is very essential to ensure that your generator has a long life and performs at its best. Here is the maintenance schedule as suggested by Steele Products for the SP-GD650E generator.


  1. Check the fuel level.
  2. Check the engine oil.
  3. Check for leakages.
  4. Check and tighten fasteners.

Every month

  1. Check battery electrolyte.

First month or 20 hours

  1. Drain out the fuel.
  2. Replace the engine oil.
  3. Adjust clearances of intake and exhaust valves.

Third month or 100 hours

  1. Replace engine oil.

Sixth month or every 500 hours

  1. Tighten cylinder head bolts.
  2. Clean or replace engine oil filter.
  3. Replace air filter.
  4. Clean fuel oil filter.
  5. Check fuel injection pump.
  6. Check nozzle.
  7. Check fuel hose, replace if necessary.
  8. Adjust clearances of intake and exhaust valves.
  9. Check carbon brushes and slip ring.

Every year or 1000 hours

  1. Replace fuel oil filter.
  2. Grind intake/exhaust valves.
  3. Replace piston ring.

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Warranty and Repairs

The SP-GD650E generator is covered by a 1 year limited warranty for the residential consumer and for a period of 90 days for the commercial consumer.

The warranty covers the generator from all defects in workmanship and parts at the discretion of Steele Products. The unit must be evaluated and repaired by an Authorized Warranty Service Center. All transportation charges are to be borne by the consumer.

Consumer Comments

The SP-GD650E generator scores 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Though there are not many reviews to be found the customers who bought this unit liked it for its price which is similar to other units. They also liked the fact the it consumes very little fuel and is more economical to run than gas units.

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Pros & Cons


  • Very fuel efficient, it can run for 9 ½ hours at 50% load capacity on 4 gallons of diesel.
  • Has electric start.
  • Relatively quite for a diesel generator producing only 70Db of noise.
  • Has 4 wheels which make it easy to move around.
  • It has a voltage meter as well as a hour meter.
  • It has a low oil shut down feature.


  • It is expensive.
  • It is very heavy.
  • It does not produce clean electricity.
  • It could have bigger wheels to make it easier to move.


The SP-GD650E diesel powered portable generator is available on Amazon for about $2255.00 with about $30.00 for shipping. Check availability at Amazon and current pricing here: Steele Products SP-GD650E 6,500 Watt 4-Cycle Diesel Powered Portable Generator With Electric Start


There are not direct Generator Accessories, but you can consider transfer kits to safely transfer the power from the generator to your home. Power cables of various lengths to connect your appliances to the generator.

Reliance Controls 20216A Pro/Tran 6-Circuit 20-Amp Generator Transfer Switch for up to 5000-Watt Generators

Conntek 20571 Generator Extension Cord 25-Foot 10/3 30 Amp 3 Prong NEMA L5-30 Eextension Cord

Conntek 20601-040 40-Feet 10/4 30-Amp 125/250-volt 4-Prong L14-30 Transfer Switch Cord/Generator Extension Cord

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The SP-GD650E diesel powered portable is a very fuel efficient generator which can run at 50% load capacity for 9 ½ hours. It can deliver 5000 watts of electricity continuously while being able to surge up to 6500 watts.

This generator is ideal for use as a back up power source for your home in times of power outages. Being portable it can also be used anywhere there is a need for electrical power, like job sites or construction sites. It is a very sturdy and durable unit that can handle different needs.

Similar Generation Units:

The following Generators are similar to the above but at different wattage sizes

Pulsar PG7000D Diesel Generator, 7000-watt

Pro-Series GENSD7 7000 Peak Watt/5500 Running Watt Diesel Generator Review for GENSD7 Diesel Genie

Kipor Power Systems KDE5000E Diesel Digital Generator

Pulsar PG7000DOF Diesel Generator with Open Frame, 7000-watt

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