Lister DieselThis page is a brief one about my new Fuking diesel engine and the generator set I made up with it. I've been hearing, reading about, and drooling over these engines now for listeroid cs diesel for sale couple years George is a heck of a nice fellow and his site is chuck listeorid of excellent advice and information. Pictured above is one shot of the generator I made up. These engines are pretty much exact knockoffs of the Lister CS design, which was manufactured in England from -
Army Radio Sales Co. :: My Antique Lister CS Diesel Engine Project
Maybe the best we can do in London is to put up a small wind generator in the garden, which will not always be turning to run a small light bulb for a few hours a day if you are lucky! One needs to buy a Generator or make one, The blades, a tower, batteries, inverter and so on. This got me thinking, there must be a better way to generate electricity at the lowest possible costs, both initial start-up costs and in running costs.
Sun power was not even considered at this point as it is a complete waste of time in England "It rains or is cloudy almost all the time".
We are lucky to have 2 weeks of continuous sun light without rain in the summer. The next best option is to have a mechanical motor connected to a AC generator, running on some sort of fuel, be it Petrol "too expensive", Gas "too Expensive" or Diesel "better but still too expensive". But if one was to choose a diesel engine then as it is diesel it can run on Vegetable Oil, and if vegetable oil then it can run on used vegetable oil from restaurants for free!
This is a much better option than wind generation especially on my pocket. Burning used vegetable oil makes sense, plants while growing absorb gases from the atmosphere these gases we release back in the atmosphere when we burn the oil in an engine, so technically we are not adding anything back in the atmosphere that was not there in the first place.
I remembered many years ago I saw a very old slow running engine with two big flywheels on a farm which was used as a water pump and ran on diesel, one of these engines would be perfect for generating electricity.
A quick search on Google about "Stationary Engines" produced a lot of results and I soon found the engine that I had seen so many years ago. RPM , Serial no. Should still be in working order. Has been kept under cover. I told my wife about my plans and showed her the eBay auction for the Lister CS engine that I was planning to bid on.
She was totally unimpressed about the whole idea! To win her over I promised her that we will save money on fuel bills "not sure at this stage" and that I will keep it in the shed at the bottom of the garden and not in the garage next to the house "The engine should really be next to the house for short hot water pipe runs".
She was also worried about the noise it will make while running and I promised that it will be so quiet that we will be able to sleep next to it and no one will be able to hear it running.
So far so good and she is coming around to the idea, while waiting a few days for the eBay auction to end, I do more research on the Lister CS engines instead of answering customers emails about radios. As it turns out I am not the first person who has thought of using a Lister CS engine to generate power with used vegetable oil.
I get the manuals on the engine and read about other peoples experiences. All looks very interesting and doable. Did you know you can buy these engines new from India. They are locally made copies of the original Lister engines. Indian prices are not bad at all for a new engine, but I rather have a original British engine and not a copy. As it turns out the Lister on eBay I was looking at was made some time in the "War Time Dated" so even more reason to get this particular engine.
Lister CS engines were originally designed in the 's and made from 's to 's in England. I won the eBay auction, the good wife was very disappointment but I was happy, I got it for a good price and I was looking forward to restoring something mechanical for a change instead of the usual radios. The engine was in Shropshire and I arranged collection for the following weekend.
I borrowed my friends small van, "the one who asked about wind generation" and went up in the morning to collect the engine. Found the farm with some difficulty as it was in a mobile phone dead spot. The seller was very helpful in loading the engine in to the van, but we had to lye down the engine as it was too tall to fit in the van standing up. On the way back I had to stop and tie the engine down to the floor of the van as the flywheels were acting like wheels and the heavy engine was moving every time I was accelerating or braking.
Not a good idea to have a loose engine in the van, but it proved that the engine was not seized. The next morning we made a ramp and wheeled the engine off the van to the floor. This is some heavy engine, but it was very easy to wheel it off on its own flywheels, good thing I tied the engine down on the way back or it could have been disaster waiting to happen. This is huge, you didn't say it was going to be so big! I am sure I told you it is going to be big and heavy, and the smell, well you have cows on the farm and they go to the toilet where they feel like it It is not coming in to the house she said "ordered" and she was gone.
With that out of way, it was time to check the engine over and to start cleaning it. I took out the Jet Washer and washed down the engine. This got rid of most of the dirt and in some places the old green paint was now showing through years of accumulated dirt. While washing the engine I some how managed to get some water in to the cylinder and I could hear it gargling inside the cylinder when the flywheels were turned, so off comes the head followed by the cylinder block.
There was so much rubbish inside the water jacket that cleaning it the normal way would have taken a long time. The very hard deposits was chipped away using a small hammer and a flat screwdriver as a chisel on the work bench. The cylinder and piston looked to be in good shape, but the oil scraper ring on the piston is missing!
There was no way it could have come off, so it probably was not fitted from new "very unlikely" or it was not fitted some time in the past when the engine was last serviced, maybe it has fallen in the sump, who knows.
Now I have 2 problems on my hand, the cracked water jacket and the missing piston ring. The valves had to be removed next. I looked in the workshop to find my valve press, but could not find it. Then I just tried pressing hard the top of the valve with my fingers and realised that the valve springs were not that strong and I managed to remove the valves that way! In my experience working on modern engines removing the valves with-out a valve press is impossible, so maybe my valve springs are weak.
I have to look into this later. The exhaust port was almost completely blocked with carbon. No wonder they stopped using the engine. The carbon was chipped away until I had a clean exhaust port. It was not until the early 's, that Lister started marketing their first engines which were actually American built Stover vertical engines. By Lister started to developed and build engines to their own design.
The early engines were 3 and 5 HP Paraffin burning water cooled. Until then due to lower running compression all diesel design engines had to have their combustion chambers preheated by the user with some type of torch before starting the engine from cold. Lister came up with a clever but simple solution of having a small chamber built in to the cylinder head. The access to this chamber was with a hand operated valve, mounted on the side of the head.
To increase compression for cold starting, the valve was closed restricting access to the chamber. When the engine was running the valve would be opened to allow the extra space in the chamber to lower the compression to normal operating parameters.
Lister built variations of this diesel engine and the "Cold Start" or CS models where available as singles, twins and 4 cylinder models. These new CS engines were very reliable requiring minimum maintenance, simple to service using a few tools and became very successful. Thousands were manufactured for home use and exported throughout the British Commonwealth performing a variety of tasks.
During the 's the , , and engines were slightly up-rated in speed from to RPM producing slightly more power. The , engines were discontinued in The continued to be manufactured until and the until The was manufactured until when Lister stopped production of these engines. A lot of these engines were exported to British India until the British rule ended in The new Indian government banned the importation of British products including Lister engines and spare parts.
People started to bring in their own parts to keep the engines running. Some enterprising individuals started to assemble their own engines from parts brought over from England at high cost. They soon realised that they can reproduce casting parts locally and started to manufacture spare parts at low cost. The demand was very good for locally produced spare parts and soon they were able to manufacture complete engines to the original Lister designs.
Today there are several Indian companies that are still producing copies of these engines known as "Listeroid Engines". Here are a few pictures of the Brush Alternator until I find manual before I attempt to restore it. Please Help With The Manual! It was some time near the end of end of Jan. I was searching for a suitable alternator for my Lister CS Diesel Engine project for almost a year and I accepted the offer in exchange for a very nice HF radio set! Here are a few pictures of the alternator until I find manual before I attempt to restore it.
I helped him as much as I could and pointed him to the right places on the internet to look at. Now there is nothing wrong with generating electricity from wind, but only if you are located somewhere which is windy most of the time and have plenty of land to put up big blades to generate decent power without any one objecting, but not in the middle of London!
Picture from eBay Auction Listing. The wife then came back from work and was shocked by the physical size of the engine and said, it smells! On closer inspection of the engine I found two hairline cracks on the water jacket around the cylinder. I was a bit disappointment at this stage as I wanted to get the engine running as soon as possible, now I have to send away the cylinder block so it can be welded professionally.