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Author Topic: Running temperature?  (Read 409 times)

Jordan

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Running temperature?
« on: March 27, 2019, 09:30:40 PM »
My 6/1 is cooled by thermo-syphon from the attached 44 gallon drum.
I can control water flow with the gate valve on the drum's bottom opening.
A thermometer was obtained reading up to 120 degrees Centigrade.
I intend to install it on the lower pipe that brings water to the engine.
Is there a recommendation for the optimum temperature to run the Lister?

Hugh Conway

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Re: Running temperature?
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2019, 10:19:17 PM »
When using a thermostat in the upper connection, most use a 195*F 'stat.

I would read temps from the upper connection, as the outlet temp is the one you want to monitor. The temperature in the top of a thermosyphon cooling can be much different from the temp at the bottom.

I used to use a tank/thermosiphon set up for my 6/1 but changed over to a radiator because of the expense of the large amount of anti-freeze required for a tank in my climate.  My usual run time is 2 hours at load  (2800W) to recharge off-grid batteries. When I used a 30 gallon thermosiphon tank, only the top of the tank got warmed up in 2 hours.
I now use an old cast iron rad from a house heating system. Total capacity of about 5 gallons, No fan. Gets up to nice hot temp fairly fast and has not overheated with 6 hours of run time.
Read the temperature at the top connection, that tells you the temp of coolant in the head.
Cheers
Hugh
JKson 6/1  (Utterpower PMG ) Off-grid
Lister 6/1 Start-O-Matic engine......running with PMG
1978 Royal Enfield (glutton for punishment by Indian iron)
1963 BMW R-27 project

BruceM

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Re: Running temperature?
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2019, 10:27:22 PM »
A barrel in freezing weather is a very expensive cooling system.  Without a thermostat, a barrel would be hard on the engine unless engine runs times are very long.

Hugh's solution is ideal, but I couldn't find any cast iron radiators in AZ.

The smallest, cheapest radiator you can find is more than adequate with either some cheap muffin fans or induced draft, which I use.  It will pay for itself in antifreeze savings.


glort

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Re: Running temperature?
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2019, 01:26:16 AM »

I used a car radiator on mine with the OEM fans.  Run a tail light in circuit as a resistor to slow the fan ( only needed one) down.

There are so many cheap electronic thermostats on fleabay now you could use to monitor temperature to kick the fans in to keep the the temp stable which would be better than the typical car thermostat.  You could pretty much dial in the temp you wanted. Using a PWM controller you could also dial in the fan speed you wanted to help with giving a more even temperature. The fans just basically have to turn and on a car radiator there is enough capacity to cool a Lister 20X over.

You can set the cooling systems up many different ways including different passive cooling but adding a little technology gives you far better control.
Wether you need it or not is another thing but some of us like to do what we think is going to be the best even if it is not the simplest or least expensive.
I enjoy a little complication when it allows me to play and learn.  Easy to set something up you never have to touch again but where is the fun in that?
I like to be able much around and learn or have it so it will look after itself.

I set my cooling system up as  thermosyphon through the radiator with a 25L header tank way up above the engine and radiator so it had a good air bleed and ran non pressurized. 

It worked really well.

ajaffa1

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Re: Running temperature?
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2019, 07:33:11 AM »
Hi Jordan and everybody else, there is a thermostat conversion here: https://www.stationaryengineparts.com/Lister-CS-Thermostat-Kit.html

I believe this would work very well if coupled to a suitably sized radiator, perhaps something from a motorbike would be about the right size or something larger if you want to avoid using a cooling fan. The important thing to recognize is that Lister CS engines were never designed to run with a positive pressure in the cooling system. coolant will blow through the head gasket and end up in the sump or cylinder or both, causing problems. I am sure it is possible to design a set of gaskets to overcome this problem, but it would probably be prohibitively expensive. Much easier to go with a header tank open to atmosphere.  The problem with an open header tank is that over time the anti-freeze in the system will evaporate and require topping up.

I have for a while been wondering about the possibilities of oil cooling but have not had the time, money or energy to experiment with it.

Bob

glort

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Re: Running temperature?
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2019, 08:52:46 AM »

Bob is it actually the anti freeze that evaporates or just the water?

I know when I pull an engine out at Dads place and drop coolant on the workshop floor it never dries even in 35o+ heat for a week.
Bloody stuff tracks everywhere and makes a hell of a mess. We usually throw some KOH solution on it and wash it away or pour Petrol on it and move it off with a squeegee. Down the drain.  The drain just goes to an outlet on the side of the shed and rather than everything dying, we are always amazed ( and annoyed) how the damn weeds grow there.  Defies explanation!

I just had a small hole drilled in the cap of the 25L tank I used as a header.  Just enough to allow for expansion and contraction. Only had it rigged up about 5 months but can't say I saw any loss of Volume like that but not really open, just vented.

I wasn't aware you were not supposed to run a pressurized system on listers. I just did it that way because there was no need to pressurize it. That is only to increase the boiling point of the water and there was certainly no need for that with the setup I had! I reckoned it would have taken a good while just to heat up the 25L tank especially if a decent breeze was blowing past it.  Could probably fan cool a 25L tank and be OK.  Certainly a 60L drum would do it! :0)

The only thing I'd say about a motorbike radiator is although I agree it would be better suited, although still overkill for any water cooled bike I can think of,  bike parts tend to be more exy than car parts so it may be cheaper to get a car radiator.  The other thing that could be used is a car heater core and fan.

My wifes car snapped the radiator neck when I went north before Christmas.  I left the radiator cap cracked so it wouldn't pressurize and ran the heater flat out to try and reduce the coolant temp quick as possible.  When I told the mechanic, he was most impressed.  I said well it has to pull a lot of heat out the engine. He said you are right, on the majority of vehicles, the heater core  has 30% the capacity of the radiator due to the air going through it and the density of the heater core.  at cruising speed on the highway, that is probably all the cooling you need.
Didn't know it was that much but I have always used the heater as a supplementary cooling when towing especially.

I had an old diesel Merc I used to run flat out Towing especially up hills and ALWAYS had the heater on full tilt with that thing. Apparently Euro cars have more heater capacity than Japanese and US cars and their derivatives.
Funny thing with that was, as it had no air, On a hot day it was really no hotter in the car with all the windows open with the heater on than it was with it off especially if you directed the outlets to the windows anyway. In winter the kids quite liked crusing along with the windows down even though it was cool outside.

I never knew a heater like those old W123 mercs had.  I swear, You could fire the thing up on a zero morning ( although that could take some doing if you didn't know how to go about it!)  and 60 Seconds later you had useful heat coming out the vents. The irony was, You could still put your hand on the exhaust headers!  Never knew how that could be but it was a party trick I used to demonstrate often.

On the '17 GLA250 merc, had that in the country couple of years ago in -8C .  The cabin heater was OK but didn't really notice it.  Put the seat heaters on and our arses were on fire 90 sec down the road!
No such thing as being Cold in a Merc!

I cannot see any reason why oil wouldn't work in a lister. The thermal  density is a fair bit lower but I hardly see that being a problem.
The only think I could see being an issue is on cold days the oil would thicken up and the cold oil coming into the engine may flow a bit slow.
A small circ pump would fix that especially something like a Jabsco Impeller pump like is popular in marine applications.



ajaffa1

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Re: Running temperature?
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2019, 10:06:56 AM »
Hi Glort, I`m not entirely sure if the antifreeze evaporates or if it is just the water. I do know that is very toxic and is loved by pets because it tastes sweet. If you are dumping it onto the floor please keep your dog away.

If I were to try for oil cooling, I would be looking at using a thin hydraulic oil or even an automatic transmission fluid.

Mercedes have always produced first class vehicles, I have been lucky enough to drive a few of them. Their diesel offerings are probably the best on earth. When it comes to comfort and heating you have to remember that they sell a lot of vehicles to Russia where winter temperatures can drop to minus fifty degrees centigrade. A heater needs to be exceptional to cope with those temperatures. I believe the quick warm up is achieved by the heater take off pipe being before the thermostat and radiator pipes.

I remember taking the old Mitsubishi Pajero up into the French Alps to go skiing. Despite it being diesel, it was the only vehicle that would start at minus 30 centigrade because it had twin batteries. Batteries at those sorts of temperatures freeze into a sort of Jelly that won`t crank out the amps needed to turn an engine over. Made myself a few quid and a lot of friends driving around providing jump starts to the locals.

I wasn`t suggesting Jordan should pay out for a new radiator, there has to be a breakers yard near to where he lives. A second hand bike radiator should be cheap enough provided it`s not from something exotic or rare.

Bob

Jordan

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Re: Running temperature?
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2019, 10:29:21 AM »
Lots of interesting replies to my query, thanks all.
I went with the big drum system because Lister seemed to have recommended it.
However I do see that over-cooling is a possible unwanted effect.
Anti-freeze I discovered was going to be expensive, but the engine is in a shed, though not an insulated one.
We get a few sub-zero Celsius days each Winter. Is it risky to not use anti-freeze in these circumstances?
I thought to avoid a thermostat to keep it simple. That has appeal.
I regret not using a radiator, I think. I do have one that could be appropriate.
It came from a very old big air compressor, so it cooled air. It has copper tubes with spiky, porcupine-like cooling fins on them.
I think it would do for the Lister, and looks interesting.
For the time being though, I will use the existing drum that I went to some trouble to install.
I'm thinking that temperature could be controlled by throttling the flow at the tank's gate valve.
Water at the bottom of the tank might be too cool, but restricted flow should bring the temperature to a happier level within the engine.
Temp gauge at the top to monitor.
Am I correct in this, or is there something wrong - maybe difficult to maintain a steady temperature?
At this stage I am always with the Lister when it's running, but in future it might be providing back up electric power and need to run unattended for lengthy periods.

ajaffa1

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Re: Running temperature?
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2019, 12:50:31 PM »
Hi Jordan, in reply to your question about how important it is to have antifreeze in a Lister CS in a cold climate, it is absolutely vital! The cast iron cylinder block will freeze, the freezing water will expand into ice which will crack the cast iron casting and you will need to find a replacement cylinder block, or a very good welding engineer.

The cheapest solution in your situation would be to use brine rather than antifreeze but this also has drawbacks as is causes corrosion. What is your water supply like? If you have plenty, just watch the forecasts and drain the cylinder block if there is any chance of frost. Perhaps you could fit a few valves so you could drain the cylinder block without draining the entire cooling system/tank. The only other option is to try using a coolant that won`t freeze. I have considered using a radiator system filled with hydraulic oil or ATF, I haven`t tried this but there is no reason why it wouldn`t work. Perhaps you could be our crash test dummy on this and report back.   :)

Bob

Bob

Hugh Conway

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Re: Running temperature?
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2019, 05:06:53 PM »
A little more......
While the old cast iron radiator works great, I did go through a few to find one that had no cracks due to freezing before the present one came to me. They are hard to find now, though if willing to pay big money, they are available. I do use a 1 gallon expansion tank, it rarely needs topping up.
That's for my off-grid battery charging listeroid.

For the Dursley 6/1 that is used for my shop power, I do use a thermosiphon tank, albeit a small one. Would have used another cast iron radiator if i could have found one.  This particular tank is made from an old dairy milk can of about 15 gallons. The engine runs for short periods so heat build up is not excessive. That big cooling tank that Lister originally used was intended for 24/7 running.
Don't forget too that Lister did have  6/1 and 8/1 models that did have a radiator and belted fan, though it was a fairly large rad and the fan used power even when not required.
Many have successfully used a much smaller automobile or motorcycle radiator, unpressurized, with an expansion tank and electric fan. A good and relatively inexpensive solution that requires little anti-freeze.
Many options are available. we are fortunate to have forgiving powerplants and a variety of solutions at hand.
Cheers
Hugh
JKson 6/1  (Utterpower PMG ) Off-grid
Lister 6/1 Start-O-Matic engine......running with PMG
1978 Royal Enfield (glutton for punishment by Indian iron)
1963 BMW R-27 project

mike90045

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Re: Running temperature?
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2019, 06:35:34 AM »
I get freezing in my outdoor shed, and I run about a 20 gal tank, with 50% antifreeze. 

It steams off water at the rate of about a gallon for every 15 hours of run time, and it's only the water that steams off, the antifreeze stays in the tank.

Everyone of us generating power, already has a cooling fan, in the alternator.  Just duct that past your tank or radiator, and as long as the belt spins the alternator, you have cooling

ajaffa1

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Re: Running temperature?
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2019, 10:12:33 AM »
Hi Mike90045, I like your idea of redirecting the airflow from the generator head. Should be an easy modification using a bit of flexible ducting.

Bob