Lister Engine Forum

Lister Engines => Listeroid Engines => Topic started by: 2Ton46 on December 05, 2017, 03:20:36 AM

Title: Project Roid
Post by: 2Ton46 on December 05, 2017, 03:20:36 AM
Hello everyone.  I am a new member, and must have been suffering from iron deficiency, as I ended up with a twin.  I'll be sharing some of my work here, I'm setting up the twin on a small cart to provide a mobile stationary power source for the farm.  Mainly because it seems like a fun way to spend some free time and maybe learn something along the way. This forum has been a valuable resource, and thanks to everyone for their contributions.

Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: 38ac on December 05, 2017, 12:57:47 PM
Looks like you have a PTO set up on there?  How does it behave on the cart? I had a 25-2 and at an RPM over real slow it shook the cart pretty bad.
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: dieselgman on December 05, 2017, 02:48:31 PM
Welcome 2Ton! Glad to see that 12/2 Century up and running so fast! You are the first to post up a finished (or nearly finished) project with one of these from our Kansas warehouse. Your PTO drive is creative and fascinating for me. Please show us the fans and various drive-shafts you have devised.

Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: 2Ton46 on December 06, 2017, 02:33:14 AM
It was certainly a kit.  It had or has many of the issues commonly described, like sand/slag/iron in the case, and in my instance a big chunk of that stuff that was partially blocking the sump. Looked like a paper wasp nest but was mostly iron and sand. I ended up melting most of it out with a torch as it was not responsive to pounding or prying. Most of the bearings looked pretty good, I did pull a shim from a rod big end.  I'm not certain that all of the alignment is absolutely correct as far as the main and cam bearings, but everything feels good by my poking. I've felt far worse in running equipment. I didn't strip it and hot tank it, rather spent a day poking, brushing, washing along with some disassembly of the already assembled base. I probably missed something someplace but I feel that I got most of it. It's on its 3rd oil change with less than 3 hours of run time as well...Had a few minor bent or missing parts with the kit, one of the water manifolds had a hole drilled out of alignment, I simply enlarged the hole and it fit. Dieselgman was super helpful in hunting down a missing 9" stud from the kit and mailing it down. Also had a bottom oil ring and spring that was just loose in the cylinder instead of on the pistons like all the other rings, it probably was popped off when they packed it.  I used it, it didn't quite sit flat on the table the whole ring was a slight spiral, but looked ok otherwise and when put into the ring groove it looked ok, so we took a chance on it. On the bright side the cylinders both had a nice cross hatch and felt consistent when pulling the pistons through by hand so that part at least looked fairly well done. The idler gears felt pretty good by my hand as well, time will tell if they settle in properly or start to self destruct.

The cart is built purposely over heavy and wide to help with stability. Probably 500lbs of steel in it. Running it on the cart is ok after almost 3 lbs of lead weights. without them it was a jumper and a wiggler.  Interestingly, most of the hopping seemed to be on only one side. with the weights the cart remains in place with out any movement of the wheels on concrete. This is at rated engine speed, as well as most speeds down to off. I would not call it vibration free, but at least I can read the thermometer now lol.

The PTO shaft was designed to match up with some equipment we have as well as a couple of fans that we use around the shop or in the case of the larger one, the yard.  It also makes a convenient way to power the radiator fan. I also will have a 12" flat belt pulley on the crankshaft as well for power take off. PTO runs at 325 rpm.

The shop fan is a 60" propeller fan that has been adapted to accept either electric power or shaft drive power. Here it is on shaft drive:

The yard fan is an airfoil blower that has been mounted to a cart and accepts power via flat belt drive or shaft drive from either end. this also can function as a pass through, as seen above. This fan also has oscillating louvres I fabricated to sweep the airflow. This allows the fan to cover a much larger area. With the fan running by PTO it delivers enough wind to cover several thousand square feet of yard on a calm day, sweeping cycle is three times per minute.  Uses about 4hp at that speed, and isn't noisy. The fan is well under rated speed at this figure and if turned at rated speed (3625 rpm) it would sap nearly 70 BHP not counting driveline loss.  I think at that speed it would thrust itself halfway to the moon if all it was tied to was the little cart.
We use it while working on something out in the open or have set it up on one end of the yard for an event and cooled 100 people. (don't worry it gets fenced to help keep 'em out of the works)
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: glort on December 06, 2017, 02:54:43 AM

That's a new one!
I have seen and read of listers driving a lot of different things but never a big fan and with a drive shaft.

Nice engine and great setup.
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: 38ac on December 06, 2017, 12:30:11 PM
Now that is interesting,  thanks for the update.  Funny you would mention that glob of slag and cold metal in the crankcase. My 12/2 of same nameplate  has yet to be uncrated so I dont know what awaits me there but an unfinished 16/2 kit engine that I have had in my procession for several years has that same glob right above the oil intake screen.  I would guess from the same run of castings?? I now know how to get rid of it if it resists my normal methods.

The twins are really hard to get settled down on a cart due to the balancing weights being on opposite sides of the crankshaft axis and a long ways apart. The engine wants to pivot around the center of mass (middle main bearing) in every possible direction. You have done well to get it settled down on a cart!

 The best twin I have in that respect is a TL which is (basically) the same bottom end as a CS twin only gasoline fueled and spark ignition. The TL has no balance weight in the flywheels at all. It is much better behaved on a cart when running at an  RPM it likes,,, but much worse at the RPMs its doesnt like, LOL.  It is strictly a show engine so we just run it at speeds where it will sit decently still.
Here is the TL at an RPM it likes (
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: Willw on December 09, 2017, 03:29:22 PM
Welcome aboard 2Ton!
That's a really interesting project you have there ;D
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: BruceM on December 09, 2017, 06:02:20 PM
My friend Mark found that his biggest conical with round end carbide burr (about 2" diameter at base) in a die grinder worked very well in smoothing and shaping the openings and casting flash fins and such in my neighbors new Rajkot CS crankcase casting.  I gave it try and also found it worked a treat- controlled smooth cutting and shaping instead of the painfully slow grinding with stones.  I was going to buy one for myself until I found out it was about $160. 

Love your new portable twin CS PTO emulator setup, 2Ton.  Your portable monster fan is most impressive, too! 

Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: gusbratz on December 09, 2017, 11:29:19 PM
I really liked my harbor freight needle scaler for needle gunning out the inside of my engine. I also liked how once it chipped out the slag it seemed to peen the surface and tighten it all up.
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: vdubnut62 on December 10, 2017, 03:34:54 PM
Now that is the coolest setup I have seen in a long time! The only thing that would be cooler would be a maze of flat belts, but that would be liable to "eat" bystander that got a little too curious. Welcome and keep it up.
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: glort on December 11, 2017, 01:15:13 AM
The only thing that would be cooler would be a maze of flat belts, but that would be liable to "eat" bystander that got a little too curious.

You seem to say this like it would be some sort of a problem?   ;D
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: 2Ton46 on December 16, 2017, 04:51:11 AM
I think someone said it would be cooler via flat belt:
I've done a few more additions and adjustments.  Pretty soon it will be ready for final paint.
I have added a belt drive oil pump and spin on filter to pull a little oil from the sump, filter it, and return it to the sump via a fitting on the crankcase door. I chose the door as the location as it was easy to drill and tap, and easy to fix should something have gone wrong. I was going to put it in over the offside end of the cam, but I would have had to disassemble everything to get it there and I didn't think it would be worth the effort. Planning on securing the hoses a bit better, but the clamps I have on hand weren't right for the job. I have also added pressure gauges before and after the filter, and a sight glass to monitor the level (works well when shut down, pump draws level down in glass when operating - especially with cold oil). Also found a sight flow indicator to plumb in, not necessary but makes for a conversation piece or educational tool for younger folks. Also put in a pressure gauge on the plunger oil pump discharge. Used a 0.008" orifice as a snubber to dampen the pulses. I gave up trying to find a tubing fitting to fit the hole in the pump discharge that was plugged with a bolt and copper washer, I ended up tapping it for 1/8" NPT.  Works pretty well. Also fitted a toolbox to hold the crank and any other items that might be needed.


I messed around with the balance some more, and found that I'm about as good as I can get unless I want the whole cart to rotate clockwise looking down from the top. That would not be convenient for hooking up and powering anything. Amazing how 3 ounces can make a big difference. I've also slowed the speed down to around 550 rpm from 650, I don't need the full 12 hp, and looking at the literature I've found that at least the English built ones were rated down to 8hp/500 rpm, so I should be in a reasonable range. 550 rpm didn't change the balance much but did help some with the magnitude of the vibrations as well as making them proportionally lower in frequency. It runs pretty smooth out on the grass, but a little hoppy on concrete but not enough to be an issue and the cart stays in one spot. The cart as a whole is very rigid, but it is setting on laminated rubber tires that do have some spring to them. I will say that the decrease in speed has made the governor less sensitive, the engine is much less aggressive in getting up to its speed set point. Anyone have suggestions for making the stick on wheel weights a more permanent installation?

The belt drive with the 12" pulley that came with the kit runs the fan a little faster than the PTO shaft does due to a slightly different ratio.  With the RPM on the engine lowered it is about the right fan speed to balance noise with airflow coverage when on the belt. I haven't tried it on the PTO shaft yet with the slower engine speed, it should still be in a usable range though as well.  If for some reason it isn't I might add another PTO output that is driven up to get back to 325 rpm.
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: 2Ton46 on December 16, 2017, 05:25:27 AM
I'm working on getting a short video of it up on my youtube channel, but its taking ages to upload.  Here is a link to the channel. (

To pass the time while we wait for the upload to complete, have a ride with me in my 1946 Chevrolet 2-ton delivering some Hay last year: (
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: dax021 on December 16, 2017, 07:45:13 AM
Hi 2Ton, that's a fantastic job that you've done, but please, lose that terrible plastic toolbox.  Maybe you can find an old metal ammo box and spray to match the Roid, would look way cooler. (Unless I've got it wrong and the plastic is just your working toolbox)
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: glort on December 16, 2017, 09:19:17 AM

Nice setup.
I missed this is a Century brand. I have the same Clone in a 6/1.
Found myself a 12/2 for sale with a gen head at a reasonable price so If I can get that, Might sell off the little one.
Hopefully the twin will be better balanced than the single.

I like the mods with the pump and the oiling. Many people want to keep things as simple as possible but I think a little added " Complication" of the right kind goes a long way.
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: 2Ton46 on December 16, 2017, 03:24:16 PM
Unfortunately the plastic is the box that is mounted, it was free.  I don't have a metal one handy that will hold the crank, but I'll keep a lookout for one.  I don't really like the plastic either, but it is better than nothing, and might look a lot better with some paint. (

This should be the link to the short video of the project.

I certainly understand the keep it simple aspect. I'd probably do things a little different if it was my only and primary power source.
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: 38ac on December 16, 2017, 04:22:23 PM
Yup, that's what happens on a twin, they move around  the center looking from the side with a horizontal axis or an up and down hop. If you keep adding wieght in an effort to fix that movement  thet begin to move around the same axis point in a vertical line (move sideways)
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: vdubnut62 on December 17, 2017, 01:23:34 AM
Love the 46! Had a 47 KB7 International with the roll out windshield, pretty sweet except for the bugs it scooped up! Currently have a 68 C-50 with a dump, last year for the 327 engine.  Like the roid, keep it up.

Ron in TN.
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: glort on December 17, 2017, 06:14:11 AM

Looks like my 12/2 acquisition is going ahead.
The 6/1 is a jackhammer and I really want an engine that will sit nicely on a trolley and just putt away.  Don't tell me if I get a twin I'm going to have to chain that down as well!

I am kicking myself so hard for not buying that little Kubota the other week. Just caught me at a bad time when I wasn't feeling well or happy.  Even the Mrs told me to get it! Never make that mistake again although not likely to with the infrequency those things come up.

Thing that concerns me with the twin is the weight! My 5 Cyl Mercedes motor and 6 Cyl 4.2 in my truck doesn't weight as much as these things which I see specced at 495 Kg! Then there is the gen head which is probably another 100 plus the frame, cooling system....

Going to have to reinforce the shed floor!!
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: 38ac on December 22, 2017, 12:16:24 PM
Glort,  the twins are much harder to get settled down on a cart than a single!! There is nothing inherently smooth about them unless you keep them below about 500 RPM.  Primary reason is the balancing weight is on opposite sides of each flywheel and they are  a Looong ways apart.  An internally balanced 650 RPM twin with no balance weights on the flywheels would be a real nice engine!!  Problem is the dont make one,, that I am aware of. :(
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: 2Ton46 on December 22, 2017, 01:40:35 PM
I agree getting it settled down is a challenge.  I think the primary reason mine is reasonably stable is that it is sitting on a welded cart made of a little over 30 feet of W4 beam and some 1/2" plate, plus some various other structural steel. It probably weighs half as much as the engine or more. Not to mention the almost 3 lbs of lead weights placed on the flywheels to tame it further.  It still vibrates, but reasonably, as in its not self-driving away and its not resonating the radiator supports. Somehow in that video clip it looks way smoother than it really is, part of it is that it is actually running a little slow in that clip, I had failed to get the governor adjustment correctly tight and it crept down a little on me. The other part is the soil is soft under it as we had had a little rain. As far as mobility, I can move it just fine by hand on the concrete shop floor.  Once outside on soft soil or on any sort of grade, its more than I can do alone, so it gets hitched onto something for a tow.
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: tdupriest on December 22, 2017, 01:50:07 PM
Just watched the video.  Nice set-up.
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: glort on December 22, 2017, 02:39:48 PM

I'll be bloody Dissapointed if I get another Jackhammer of an engine.
 The 6/1 defied my attempts to balance the thing and also tore the concrete bolts out the cement when I bolted it down. 1/2" coach bolts in 6" hardwood were no match either.
If the 12 is the same I think I'll be done with these things.  Take off the gen head and put it on a Kubota whatever it costs.  Might keep the merc till I see how the 12 goes.  The merc is a bloody heavy thing but the scary part is it should be lighter than the 12.  They are listed at 495 Kg. Merc is 300 on a good day.

I moved the roid today. haven't run it in maybe 3 years. Fuel line looks like it's gone to goo into the filter but I turned it over and could hear the injector  squirting.  I oiled the ship out of everything before I put it under cover and turning it over oil was running out the thing which I was happy with. Certainly isn't anything stuck.

I also did a bit of shed organising. Hmm, I think I might have gone a bit over board on the engine collecting.  Was saying to a mate I had 15 not including the Roid and the merc. He said are they all diesels? I said I was only counting the Diesels! there is another 3 'loose" petrol's not to mention the ones on equipment and then there are the 2 strokes.  :embarassed:
Sure take up a lot of shed space even when I stacked some 3 high.

I fired up 2 of the China horozontals, the lombardini, and the ruggerini today.  Havent touched the italians in at least a year and the china's for 6 months and they all started first pull. Got to love diesels.

There are 5 engines I could part with that could pay for a Kubota or yanmar inline water-cooled plus the 12 if it turns out a hopper.
Not as cool looking but ease of use and practicality would win out.
 Other option would be to bring in a larger water-cooled  china horizontal. 15 hp or better would be nice.
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: 2Ton46 on December 25, 2017, 04:38:09 AM
Have to love the sleeping diesel, seems if everything is right it seems they can sit nearly forever before a call to service. Funny how engines can flock together and take up all the shed space. They seem to do that in a lot of places.

Had some time yesterday and some good weather, so we setup the 'Roid, belted up the yard fan, and hooked up the shaft to the shop fan.  Filled the tank and prepped everything for a good test run.  Let her run from about 10am til just after dark, a touch over 8 hours. Looks like the next event will have at least 8 hours of run time on a tank of fuel, and could stretch probably to 10 hours with careful observation over the last couple of hours. Engine ran without any smoke all day. Everything looks good, although I have a little evidence of slobbering oil on one cylinder. it wasn't much as it never dripped off of the exhaust elbow where it is appearing. Hopefully its still breaking in, and its not that questionable oil ring not doing its job. I'll pull the cover and inspect everything before the next run. Still have a little work to do on the cart setup, and then it will be time for paint.  I can do many things, but painting seems to always drive me crazy. hopefully i can get everything prepped sometime next week if the weather cooperates.
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: BruceM on December 25, 2017, 05:35:11 AM
There's no such thing as a jackhammer CS 6/1, Glort, just a CS that needs some attention.  Quit fiddling and use 38AC's method...if you had trouble adding counterbalance weight equally to both flywheels there's now doubt you have wildly mismatched flywheels and/or offset counterbalance so get them lined up and match'ed up first. 

A "jackhammer" (lots of vertical movement) is clearly grossly underbalanced, so once your wheels match you can start with perhaps 8oz to each wheel added to the counterbalance.  4oz is a modest change, 2 oz for fine tuning.  Back off if you start to see too much fore-aft movement.  When the wheels are matched first, it really is simple.

Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: glort on December 25, 2017, 11:19:44 AM

Your suggestion Bruce adds to what I suspected in hindsight with my last balancing attempts.... I may have added too much weight.
I'll start at your midway suggestion next time and work from there.

I'd really lie to have the 6 Going for my Daughters 21st . It's about a month away an she wants a bush/ country theme. I suggested a lister putting away driving some lights and to my great surprise she loved the idea.
I'm thinking of getting a large metal post, putting a couple of those coachlight fittings on it with some o those old style yellowish glowing oversized bulbs and
 Putting that near the engine so it powers the light post.

Can't see noise being a problem with the music.  Might be the only sounds during  the night I can stand!

I'll run the 12 as well and might put some bigger lights on that.

I'm a bit time limited now but I'll give the 6 a day of effort and see how I go.  Might leave it on the wooden base and sit it on the grass or loose garden bed and see how it goes from there.  Shouldn't walk or bounce around as much on that as on concrete.
I hope.
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: 2Ton46 on December 28, 2017, 01:40:57 AM
Glort, Hopefully your balance attempt is successful this time.  Without seeing your engine in operation, it's possible that you might have added the weights opposite of where they needed to be, easy to miss and makes a skinny jackrabbit into one that has had a lot of carrots. Sounds like an awesome party either way!

I received my long awaited package today, so was able to install an intake pre-cleaner on the intake and I put a couple of flappy rain-caps up on the exhaust. I'm still tweaking the intake, as it doesn't seem to want to sit level, not that anything else is that perfect on the beast either, but it would look a bit neater. Probably will have to re-bend the support arm to get it to hold everything a bit farther from the side. It has cut down a little on the intake noise and will look classy once leveled up proper. The filter housing is a used one that I had sitting around on the shelf for almost 10 years from an old machine that is no longer around.


I haven't tested the rain-caps under load, but I think I have them balanced properly for the relatively light exhaust flow considering they are 5.5" diameter caps. I'm also not looking for them to be the solution for stormy weather, rather something to keep out a passing shower if I get caught with the thing out of the shed that I don't have to remember to install after shutdown. I can never remember the buckets that I was using.  I have them balanced to just float about 3/4" open with the engine running with no load.  Slowing the engine and then opening the rack will have them stay nearly all the way open, so they should stay somewhere around half open under moderate load. Also, the caps are of the silent type, so that if they start bouncing about they don't make a loud clang noise, just a soft thud as there is a bit of a hard rubber insert that they impact before going metal on metal. Hopefully, I can do a test under load sometime tomorrow and see if they will be as expected. During the brief no-load test run they weren't bouncing, just floating, and were not making any noise that could be heard over the normal engine noise. I also think they will be a nice visual load indicator.

Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: glort on December 28, 2017, 09:27:18 AM

I went for the theory that the counterbalance in the flywheel was light as that is what everyone else seems to have encountered.
Everyone keeps saying take the flywheels off and I have no doubt they are right but pulling the flywheels and putting them back on just seems like pushing my luck and patience with things way too far.

I played with the rack on mine yesterday and freed it right up with some degreaser.  It was very sticky  and I though I may have to take it off and clean it out but some degreaser and running it back and forward did the job.

I remember someone saying about the governor linkages binding and to sort them out.  I started fiddling with them and found they were binding one way. Had to fiddle with the angle of the arm but got it totally free both ways.  Also got to thinking and figuring about the spring and decided it would be best to lock it up  both sides. Much to my utter amazement I found the right size Nut almost straight away in the first tun of old nuts and Bolts I looked in.

Couldn't find the wheel weights I know I picked up and put away in the most dangerous place of all, Somewhere safe, where they will turn up a week after the job is done.
I'll get some more next couple of days.

With listers on my mind, I went through some YT Vids and found 38AC's vid on setting up a governor!
Amazed myself by getting 90% of it right.  I did adjust the clevis but not sure if I got it right. I did set it then found I couldn't hold the shut off lever right so re adjusted it again till I could. Must be close anyway.

Pretty Chuffed I got so much of it right just looking at it and working it out on my own.  Then again, it is pretty damn simple and straightforward.  I did have to slightly overbore the slip fitting on the rack clevis to allow enough clearance with that.
I was also wondering about the slop in the various pins and though about tightening that all up But then thought the thing will likely get oil on it which will attract grit which will cause it to bind up.

Decided I go with the Kalashnikov style of engineering being loose with lots of freeplay that won't bind up rather than the stoner way of doing it with tight tolerances that bind easily with a bit of dirt.

I was most pleased I figured out the lock nut on the spring hook.  Just seemed better to take the slop out there and keep the angles constant and the tension even.

I'll get the wheel weights ( a lot of them by the sound of it!) and start at 100G and go from there.
There is an old trolley frame I found that I'd like to mount the engine on so I can move it around.  Found some steel bars that can be welded on the frame and the engine locked down and see how it goes.  Also need a bit of 2" pipe to make up a starting handle and see if I can get the thing to run and stay in one place without propelling itself all over the yard.

I like the rain caps on the exhaust. Off to ebay to find some of those for my engines.  Hopefully be able to fetch the  12/2 in the next week.  Found a tractor with a back hoe not far away so might have a look at that and make it a real worthwhile and expensive trip.  :0)
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: dieselspanner on December 28, 2017, 10:41:25 AM
Hi Glort

I think the Kalashnikov principle is the way to go with the linkage. somewhere on here is a photo of a tension device, it's just a piece of 2.5mm welding rod bent into a curve, allowing a light spring to put tension between the first connection and the last. I used the split pin holes to hook the rod and the end of the spring (one from a twin SU carb set up)

It makes a real difference, I get a flutter of just 3/4 rpm under 3/4 load.

After I posted the photo someone else said they'd done the same thing, with good result, nothing new under the sun!

I think it was Ed Dee, amongst others, who put a light spring on the free end of the rack to achieve the same effect, with the bonus that if the linkage failed the rack would be pulled to the stop postition

I did consider knocking up a whole new linkage with rose joints, but went down the 'if it's not broke' road and saved a few bob.

Happy new year.
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: 2Ton46 on December 28, 2017, 02:14:14 PM
If you happen to have a fancy phone, I've found it very useful to use the slow-motion video feature. Have not seen that mentioned on the board yet. Can see lots of things that you wouldn't otherwise. Maybe useful for your balance attempt, as you'll be able to see it hop in relation to where the flywheels are, and if you keep the same camera angle should be able to see how your weights are changing the hop. It is also useful for troubleshooting other issues, especially things that don't seem to move right in operation, but are not obvious when shut down.
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: 2Ton46 on December 30, 2017, 02:31:08 AM
Spent some time on the project again today.  Decided that I'd better listen to 38ac and get my flywheel keys in proper.  It took removal of a little more material than I thought it would from the keys but in the end I've got them in much better. One of my flywheels does not quite run true, but with the key in proper it seems to be slightly better than it was. The key on that one was not in but maybe an inch, and was probably tilting the wheel on the shaft.  That wheel also has evidence that someone with a big hammer was hammering the edge of the hub, mostly above and around the keyway. Not sure why, but probably where hammering in the key and missed a bunch. The taper on mine seemed to be fairly well matched to the keyway, once they tightened up they were making contact nearly everywhere at once. Most of the material I removed from the flat bottom of the key, as the whole thing needed to sit lower to get all the way in. Only needed some light filing on the tapered section to knock down a few rough spots and a few dings from the hammer man. Both wheels looked fine upon inspection of the bores so in theory they weren't damaged by my test runs. Hopefully I've gotten the keys correctly shaped and they stay tight.  Accidentally got one in just slightly farther than my puller can get behind so that maybe interesting at some point, too. Still plenty of room for a wedge type puller though.

Also spent some time with the governor spring and linkages.  With the rpm adjusted down to 550, there were a couple of problems. The first was that with the spring tied to the factory hook, there weren't enough threads to get down to 550.  So i added a small washer hooked between the spring and the hook to get the threads back in a reasonable spot, but this created a problem for starting.  The spring would cease pulling open the rack a little before the rack reached full open.  Sometimes on startup, the governor would close the rack up until the spring started acting again, but it was not always enough fuel on a cold start to keep things accelerating while getting both decompression levers moved into the run position. Without that little bit of spring to open the rack back up as the engine started to stall it was annoying. Once both cylinders were firing it would be a little sluggish to get to speed set point, but would maintain fine with the constant fan load I have for it right now.  Probably would not be the best with a large variable load. The other issue I've had is the slop in the linkages, sometimes there would be considerable movement on one side with none on the other, as well as everything moving back and forth with vibrations, probably contributing to some minor hunting.


So I found a couple of springs that were the best I could do at the half sold out spring display at the hardware store.  After much looking around, I decided to place them as you see in the photo, one on each pump.  The springs aren't very strong and are barely stretched with the rack closed. They are hooked into the pin hole from both sides to even out the twist on the yoke and prevent binding. They provide enough tension to keep the linkages tight against the main governor spring. This tension also allowed the elimination of the washer and further adjustment so the governor spring is always in tension even with the rack open fully. I suppose they would close the racks upon some failure with the rest of the system as well. It seems to be better responding than it was, but probably still a little less responsive than it was with just the original spring with the rpm set for 650. I think it would be better if the springs added at the pumps were just a little lighter pull. But it is a little more consistent on startup now. This has also eliminated the slop in the linkage, as all pins are under tension at all times, and movement of the rack on one side is instantly mirrored by the other side.
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: 2Ton46 on February 05, 2018, 05:03:52 AM
It was a warm day today, and the dogs really liked the wind from the yard fan. They figured it was a nice place to nap in front of. Also did some test running of the air compressor with the 'roid.  Seems to work well.  Set the compressor up to clutch itself when it reaches pressure, and then restart when pumping up is needed. I might need a longer spring on the governor, seems that there is quite a bit of drop with the addition of the 5HP load of the compressor in addition to the fan load before it catches up to speed. A gentle bump of the rack by hand when the load is added gets it right back up to speed so it isn't over loaded, just slow to react. It does get back up to speed on its own, just takes it the better part of a minute to do so. The system can also be adjusted so that the pump runs continuously and cycles just by the unloader if one is doing something with a large compressed air demand to reduce the clutch cycles. In the video it is just dumping some air back to the atmosphere to provide a false load for the compressor to cycle on.  Continuous operation reduces the speed fluctuations some what, as the compressor remains turning throughout and is somewhat less of a power fluctuation to the unit when it cycles. The clutch saves a noticeable amount of power during the unload cycle though so it appears to be worth the effort. The video shows a couple of cycles while in clutch operation. (
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: dieselgman on February 05, 2018, 09:37:35 AM
Very clever... Rube Goldberg would be proud!

I love your gadgets and gizmos. This made me smile and laugh. Tons of fun there.

Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: BruceM on February 05, 2018, 04:23:37 PM
Loved the compressor video, and admire your designs!

I've been thinking about adding a clutch to my 6/1 air compressor;  I have been using just the pneumatic unloaders but it still loads the engine more than I'd like.  For your clutch-  how are you avoiding belt wear during unloading (slack belt)? 

Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: 38ac on February 05, 2018, 07:30:08 PM
Excellent! Like it.
 I see you added pump cam oiling also. That governor is purdy lazy acting  you should be able to get it a bit better than that.
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: 2Ton46 on February 06, 2018, 03:39:15 AM
Glad its fun to watch. Thats part of the reason I made it. Also, the video doesn't do it justice, its really the most pleasant air compressor I've ever been around partly to the nice pump, but a lot to do with the engine noise as well.

As far as belt wear, most of the belt is guided away from the moving pulley when its slack.  There are guide pegs around to help the belt maintain a favorable shape when it is loose. There is sometimes some contact on the top edge of the pulley, but the belts are kind of floating there being held up by their natural shape, so any contact is minimal. If I notice that it is a problem, I could probably help it stay off the top of the pulley with a hook on the idler arm placed so that it guides up the belts just a hair more when the arm is fully raised. There are also some adjustments in the guide pegs that could get the belts moved into a little better position with some tinkering with the adjustments. I don't have enough run time on it to tell if wear is going to be a problem. I have not noticed any heating or signs of damage to the belts as of yet.

Yes, the cam oiling seemed like an excellent idea, and was pretty straightforward to implement with your instructions. I suspect the governor does not like my linkage tightening springs, they are probably too stiff. I'm chasing down some alternatives that should get the job done with less force. A longer spring down on the adjustment arm would also help, the short one it came with rapidly decreases its force as the rack nears full open, and thus it isn't as able to overcome the slight spring pressure from the linkage slop springs anymore.  Its too bad that the hardware store here seems to have a large rack of all types of empty slots for springs and never seems to have any of the smaller ones in stock. I could size up something close by feel, but a list of specs to order one might be a shot in the dark. I'll see about venturing to a few other stores sometime this week.

I also found and corrected an intermittent binding on the far side arm under the pump. It was allowing the lever under the pump to get too far to the side and that would cause binding if everything was in the right spot, but not all the time so it was hard to find and I had missed it when I initially went through the linkages. I suspect it was able to bind more often when the engine was in operation than it did when it was shut down. A further de-burr of the pivot and the addition of a thin washer as a spacer cured it. Although this helped the laziness, it was not a cure.
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: glort on February 06, 2018, 03:47:50 AM

I felt like a kid watching that arm tighten the compressor belt. Seems to do it as if by magic!  :)

I can't see belt wear being a problem. They are a lot tougher than people give them credit for and the setup and operation of the tensioner seems to cause very efficient take up and release.  In any case belts like that would not be very expensive so if you had to replace them every year, who cares?

I have a mate that does air con that gets big blowers like that often with burnt out motors. I'm thinking I might get one of him and pput a coupling or pulley on it so I could drive it off an engine the same way.
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: BruceM on February 08, 2018, 04:27:30 PM
Thanks for your insights, 2Ton46.  I've been thinking about a pneumatic powered tension device for my 6/1 driven compressor much like your hydraulic arm, vs a jack shaft driven by a flat belt which can be shifted to an idler of same diameter.  Just a matter of comparing which is easier to implement now.

Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: 2Ton46 on February 09, 2018, 01:36:37 AM
No hydraulics here, all pneumatic. That cylinder does look a lot like a hydraulic cylinder though. The system operates by two air sources. The first source is direct from the tank and is plumbed into the filter / regulator / lubricator then through a control valve and ultimately to the cylinder. The control valve is an air operated spring return affair that simply switches one side of the cylinder to the air source and the other to exhaust, and flips the sides when activated. The weight of the arm is such that it will provide enough tension on the belts to allow starting the compressor with no air in the system. As air builds in the tank the cylinder is defaulted to pull down on the arm. It only takes about 5 to 10 psi in the cylinder to move the arm to is lowest position. The idler is spring loaded to provide even tension and a small range of over travel for the arm. This side of the system is set at 30 psi, partly to control noise and to ensure enough force is available. Once the tank pressure rises above 30 psi the regulator keeps the cylinder pressure at 30 regardless of the tank pressure. Cylinder speed is controlled by a combination of exhaust flow control - mufflers, and this particular cylinder also has an end cushion on the downward stroke that further slows the last inch or so of the downstroke. Without these the arm movement is pretty much instant - pretty scary in my opinion.

The 2nd air source is the control. It is piped from the pilot unloader valve through a small regulator and into the control port on the air/spring control valve. If this compressor had an engine mounted on it, this is the same signal line that usually works the engine throttle to idle the engine when the pump unloads. The regulator in this line is dual purpose, as it can be used to disable the arm function to provide continuous pump run operation by turning the output pressure down to 0, and knocks the tank pressure signal down from 170 to something in the valves control port rated operating range of 45-150 psi when in clutch mode. I usually use 60 psi.

Clutch operation is as follows: when the tank pressure reaches 170 psi, the pilot unloader valve trips, supplying tank pressure air to the compressor unloaders and also to the control pipe. The control valve is flipped by the presence of air pressure on its port, and reverses the supply and exhaust to the opposite sides of the cylinder causing it to extend, and the belts get loose and the pump stops. Once the tank pressure drops down below 140 psi the pilot unloader valve resets, the control air pressure drops to 0, and the compressor unloaders are set to load (except on this compressor they won't load without lube oil pressure present in the pump as well), and the spring returns the control valve to its normal state, retracting the cylinder and tightening the belts and starting the pump.

The clutch can be manually actuated by the flip tab on the pilot unloader valve for starting with air already in the tank or to prevent the compressor from starting automatically while leaving the engine running. When starting with little or no air in the tank, the clutch remains engaged, even with the flip tab set on the pilot unloader. This is because the control valve will not overcome the spring pressure in the control valve until the tank reaches about 20 psi. This hasn't been an issue for starting as the compressor isn't pumping against any tank pressure, and the unloaders will start to work when air begins building.
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: glort on February 09, 2018, 03:40:37 AM

Sounds like a well thought out and executed system!
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: BruceM on February 09, 2018, 10:15:16 PM
Thanks for the good details on your pneumatics, 2ton46.  Using the pilot valve for controlling the cylinder is a nice straightforward all pneumatic design.   Sometimes I need a break from electronics and making a version of your clutch would be a good mechanical & pneumatic project.

I didin't recognize that big cylinder as pneumatic, since all my actuators are little round stainless Bimba types.

Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: 2Ton46 on February 22, 2018, 02:57:24 AM
Glort, I've tried to not be a total goon in getting it setup, but I'm probably there anyhow.  At least in the case of the compressor, remounting an engine would only be 4 bolts and two air lines...

BruceM, No problem, hopefully they prove useful for someone's project. Semi-functional yard art anyhow.

I found a few different springs to use up on the pumps to take the slack from the linkage but are about half as strong as the ones I had on there before.  This has helped the sluggish governor quite a bit.  Its not yet perfect, but it is what I would consider reasonable now.  Might not yet be great if I was operating a generator though, I have got about a 75 rpm drop that recovers to about a 45 rpm drop at the engine within a few seconds when the compressor cycles. I do believe there would be a better combination of springs than what I have, might even be able to stretch out the ones I have to reduce their force a bit but still accomplish the goal of taking out the linkage slop. Never figured finding springs would be as difficult as it has turned out to be (at least ones I can handle before purchase).

Weather and other business hasn't been ideal for messing with the projects lately, but I'll include a photo of a short test run with the compressor, the yard fan and the shop fan for your amusement.

Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: 2Ton46 on March 11, 2018, 10:45:57 PM
Finally had some decent weather over a few days when I had time, so I did some painting.  Everything is looking much better. Went with a low gloss black for the frame and some accents, and then decided to use some paint I had around. Settled on metallic blue for the belt pulley and driveshaft, and '40's chevrolet engine gray for the v belt pulleys, and the exposed areas of the engine shaft that aren't used for the crank handle. No paint on the area for the crank handle so it continues to function.  Then added some yellow to some fan blades (the metallic blue on the others, kinda tricks the eyes to make a green to match the engine when in operation lol) and put a spiral around the driveshaft with it. Looking pretty sharp.  Also painted the Compressor frame and clutch assembly, mostly low gloss black. Also in keeping with the theme, put some red and silver together for a spiral on the unpainted driveline I had.

The lighting wasn't that great today, but it looks good in action.

Yesterday with driveline drying for the red coat.  Forgot to get one after the red went on but the lighting is a bit better for the rest. Just a few touchups and I'll consider it successfully painted.

Here is a closeup of the compressor nearly done with the painting after re assembly.
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: dieselgman on March 12, 2018, 12:49:52 AM
That is one purdy machine!  ;)

Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: 2Ton46 on April 03, 2018, 03:49:12 AM
Had a small event at the Farm here over the weekend, and figured it would be an ideal time to get out the 'Roid and put it to some use, even if it was solely entertainment. Ended up with it powering quite a Rube Goldberg setup, but it was a hit. Had it connected to a small fan for a wacky wavy inflatable tube man near the gate, and then the yard and shop fans for a breeze near the tables, and the air compressor to power a small pneumatic engine. The little Hatz power unit was used as an idler for the belting. It could also double as a starter for the 'Roid, but it complains about the mass that it has to accelerate to accomplish the task mainly due to the light construction of the unit not the engine itself. It also could be used to power part of the display, but not all of it, as it makes about half of the power of the 'Roid. As a side note, that little Hatz seems like it could be made into a neat little generator set, especially if setup to operate around its peak efficiency rpm ~2300. It would probably still be able to handle about a 3KW load at that speed.

I'm thinking that pneumatic engine will be great for an ice cream / frozen adult beverage maker. It doesn't turn too fast but makes a lot of torque. I made it out of some spare parts and scrap metal along with a cylinder. Somehow I managed to get the cam pretty close only with an angle grinder and a hacksaw. Here is a short video and a photo for your enjoyment. (

Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: BruceM on April 03, 2018, 04:20:57 AM
A marvelous display setup.  Loved the pnematic cylinder driven wheel.  Thanks for sharing your video!
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: 2Ton46 on April 07, 2018, 03:56:43 AM
You're welcome. That little pneumatic engine has provided way more fun than the 3 hours it took to make. In fact, I think I'm going to paint it so it looks pretty. I might even consider making another one. The C-channel steel used to make it is so rusty you can see through it in places, hopefully it doesn't fall apart too soon.  It garnered a lot of comments last weekend at the party. It might not be a very efficient use of power, but its quite interesting to watch and will chuff happily along at about 65 rpm with a very pleasing rhythm. The wacky wavy arm-flailing inflatable tube man and his fan was a gift from a friend and is very much appreciated and is also pretty fun to watch.
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: 2Ton46 on May 05, 2018, 02:11:39 PM
Made the whole mess a little easier to get in and out of the barn. It now doubles as a train!? This way I only have to make one trip to get it all in. Also built a rack on the back of the engine cart for the driveshafts. Takes about 5 minutes to setup for operation.


My brother hosted a party at his place just down the road last weekend with a bunch of folks he works with, and it was a warm and wind still day. Perfect for the yard fan I said. Pulled the train down the road, set everything up and fenced it off to keep em out of the moving bits. The setup was a hit, everyone loved the fan and the noise level still allows for conversations.
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: 2Ton46 on July 04, 2018, 09:11:02 PM
Figured I'd share a clip of the setup I had in the yard this past weekend for our annual barbecue. Finally remembered to grab a clip just before I took it all down and headed for the barn after the event was over and cleanup was nearly complete. We have a string of 105 lights around most of the yard that it was powering during the event, as well as working the yard fan in front of a mister and animating the tube man and the air engine. On the day of the event she cranked up at 4:55 am, ran the whole works until noon when we stopped it to address the crowd for a minute and top up the fuel tank. She then ran until a little after 10:00 pm when the last of us decided to move indoors. ( 
Title: Re: Project Roid
Post by: 2Ton46 on August 13, 2018, 04:24:49 AM
With all the recent governor spring activity on the forum, I thought I would give a sneak peek at my latest part of the project that is now in the needs to be cleaned up and painted phase. Since I have found a spring solution that gave me a much better speed regulation I decided to tackle something I had planned from the initial start of the project, but never did implement because with the original spring the regulation was all over the place. I have found over the past 6 months that depending on the loads I have connected and even the ground I have the unit parked on (sometimes it still likes to vibrate excessively at certain speeds/loads/ground hardness) I need to tweak the speed set point to suit the conditions for the day. So I decided to fab up a variable speed control for the engine.  This way I can fine tune the speed set point without needing to get out some tools to move the spring hook.  I have also returned to one spring, instead of the two in series as I had been experimenting with.  The response is just slightly less aggressive, but its still a huge improvement over what I had with the old spring and perfectly acceptable for the uses I have. I used some parts I had around and so its a little over built in some areas, but its functional.  The mechanism is calibrated to give a speed range of about 475-675 rpm on the engine, over about 30 turns of the crank handle to give a fine tuning control, but keep it from being able to be carelessly taken far out of the safe operating range.