Lister Engine Forum

Lister Engines => Listeroid Engines => Topic started by: cylinderheadnut on March 18, 2011, 08:34:48 PM

Title: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: cylinderheadnut on March 18, 2011, 08:34:48 PM
The CS must be one of the most basic engines going, mostly consists of castings, how much would it cost to make them properly on a small scale by modern methods in the west ?
 seeing the pictures on this site of the Indians casting dubious mixed scrap iron straight into a dirty sand floor, in their sandals, has kind of put me off !
Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: dieselgman on March 19, 2011, 12:38:13 AM
Some folks are experimenting with that concept right now! If all the parts can be reproduced in sufficient quality without breaking the bank, then made in America may be a possibility.

dieslegman
Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: injin man on March 19, 2011, 01:27:47 AM
What he said. ;D
Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: Thob on March 19, 2011, 02:26:00 PM
It's nice to know others have been thinking about this!

I've been thinking about it as well, but I really don't know where to start.  I think I need to get an original lister, and one of each clone.  Then decide what features I like, such as tapered roller bearings and counter-weighted crankshaft.  Then design an engine based on "the best" of everything.  Of course, everyone's idea of what is "the best" will vary.  Make patterns, get them cast, and start machining.

Of course, if I had that many engines to look over, I might not be so interested in making them!

Then there is the EPA.  It might be best to start out producing water cooled air compressors, that happen to look a lot like a lister.  But to appeal to a broader market, we need to build a complete, certified system.  Complete with guards around moving parts, proper labels, instruction manual, etc.

And then - there's the lawyers, liability insurance, etc.

In the mean time, I'm thinking about buying the spare parts kit from Central Main Diesel, welding up a junk iron crankcase, crankshaft, etc.  Anybody got a spare connecting rod I can have?  Probably go to the junk yard and pick up a couple of flywheels from a pickup diesel.  They should be big enough and come with a ring gear for electric start.  While I'm at it, get the timing belt, crank and cam gears, etc from a 4 cylinder gas engine.  Put the cam overhead with roller cam followers and the timing belt on the outside.  Junkaloid, anybody?

I need to retire so I'll have time to work on important stuff like this!
Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: cylinderheadnut on March 19, 2011, 05:36:32 PM
I don't think we have any EPA rules in the UK, we have alot of old listers, that nobody wants, however big old marine engines are still scarce, and have made a comeback, and a CS 30/2 would be very nice. With lost foam/ wax casting, and cnc machining i can't see it costing that much, after all you guys in the USA are having to totally rebuild the Indian crap anyway. And  how many units do you need to produce for such a small market ?

1: indirect ignition head
2: balanced crank
3: hydraulic tappets
4: self bleeding fuel lines
5: solid small diameter flywheel
6: oil cooled

anything else ?

These don't make it more complex, but are big improvements for no effort.


Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: trowel on March 19, 2011, 06:11:10 PM
im looking forward to a american listers, i would buy that for shure  ;D if any one casts everything for a lister in 1/2 scale along with the needed parts, i would go nuts for it too!, 1/2 scale lister would put it at about the size of a 10hp briggs, a true portable lister!!
Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: Thob on March 19, 2011, 07:55:40 PM
I almost forg0t -  QD bushings (or similar) on the flywheels.  No tapered gib keys!
Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: deeiche on March 19, 2011, 11:22:21 PM
If you are going to go down the casting route I am going to be the good American and say what about Witte horizontal diesel models?
Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: Thob on March 20, 2011, 01:25:20 PM
I saw pictures of a Witte on ebay; it wasn't too far from me so I bid on it but was outbid 2x.  Things I liked about it:

1) completely enclosed, the pushrods are inside tubes and the top of the head is sealed. (no dust problems)

2) pressure oil lube to the head (valves, rockers)

Are there any advantages/disadvantages of horizontal vs vertical?

I did some reading about the Witte engine, that's not a radiator on top but a condenser.  The engine runs hot enough to create steam from the water, which rises into the condenser, condenses, and drips back into the engine.  Temperature is regulated by the boiling point of the water.  Nice and simple, except that it uses a fan on the condenser (belt driven) and operating temp varies with the amount of anti-freeze.  Too much anti-freeze raises the boiling point and it overheats.  I think I like the thermo-siphon better.
Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: cujet on March 21, 2011, 12:16:50 PM
Consider that the EPA is a federal agency. They have zero authority if an engine is manufactured and used within a state. The state's EPA is however, a different story. The EPA gets it's authority from the interstate commerce clause. If no interstate commerce is involved, they have no authority.

Remember that engines don't need to be cast. They can also be welded or machined from solid. There are a number of small engine designs that use steel plate as the foundation for a prototype. Today, I'm certain we could laser cut various steel parts into shapes that "snap" into an engine block, some welding required :)

It would not be cost effective, but it could be worthwhile. Especially if the design used many existing parts.
Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: deeiche on March 21, 2011, 12:31:43 PM
Consider that the EPA is a federal agency. They have zero authority if an engine is manufactured and used within a state. The state's EPA is however, a different story. The EPA gets it's authority from the interstate commerce clause. If no interstate commerce is involved, they have no authority.

Remember that engines don't need to be cast. They can also be welded or machined from solid. There are a number of small engine designs that use steel plate as the foundation for a prototype. Today, I'm certain we could laser cut various steel parts into shapes that "snap" into an engine block, some welding required :)

It would not be cost effective, but it could be worthwhile. Especially if the design used many existing parts.
Unfortunately a federal agency, if they wanted to, "could" also invoke the ICC down to parts and raw materials.  Take a look at how the base chemicals for controlled substances has been regulated.  The invocation of ICC in this manner has been affirmed by the SCOTUS.

This will go on as long as the US people allow a bankrupt central government to control things.
Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: cujet on March 21, 2011, 05:43:49 PM
Consider that the EPA is a federal agency. They have zero authority if an engine is manufactured and used within a state. The state's EPA is however, a different story. The EPA gets it's authority from the interstate commerce clause. If no interstate commerce is involved, they have no authority.

Remember that engines don't need to be cast. They can also be welded or machined from solid. There are a number of small engine designs that use steel plate as the foundation for a prototype. Today, I'm certain we could laser cut various steel parts into shapes that "snap" into an engine block, some welding required :)

It would not be cost effective, but it could be worthwhile. Especially if the design used many existing parts.
Unfortunately a federal agency, if they wanted to, "could" also invoke the ICC down to parts and raw materials.  Take a look at how the base chemicals for controlled substances has been regulated.  The invocation of ICC in this manner has been affirmed by the SCOTUS.

This will go on as long as the US people allow a bankrupt central government to control things.

Actually, I believe that's only somewhat true. There are a few rulings that address this, and in every case, actual interstate commerce had to be affected. A private shipment of one piston across state lines is not enough. It would seem to have to be a large shipment. Or locally grown wheat, that affects where out of state wheat goes. Remember too, parts can be imported from overseas and/or sourced locally.

It's quite easy, to import con rods direct from India or China.
Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: oldgit on March 21, 2011, 10:39:15 PM
I can tell you this inside my uncles shop are patterns for cylinders and heads for a lister that he was trying to build. Unfortunately he passed away last November and his wife refuses to let anyone in the shop. There is also my labtop with cad models of these parts in the shop. I am trying to get the stuff and would happily share the cad stuff and the wood patterns. However my uncle was approaching the engine a bit different, he was trying to use a piston and rod from an old American diesel engine instead if the lister parts.  The designs I had drawn also has enclosed pushrods and rocker gear. This topic has been brought up before and thats where some of the ideas for using different parts came from. I would love to own a engine that I had partially designed other that the one in my car.
Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: Thob on March 23, 2011, 01:23:00 AM
oldgit -

If you can share the CAD models I would be interested, if nothing else just to study and learn.  What format are they in?  Are they locked up as well?
Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: injin man on March 23, 2011, 02:49:53 AM
...
Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: 38ac on March 23, 2011, 02:53:04 AM
My gut tells me that by the time all is in  the Lister hungry will wish they had some some of those junky, sandy Indian engines to tear apart and make well :-\.  Ya'll aint goen to like the price of an American cast and machined engine sold in parts and pieces, take it to the bank.
 
 My opinion and Im stick'en to it. ;D
Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: injin man on March 23, 2011, 03:29:11 AM
My gut tells me that by the time all is in  the Lister hungry will wish they had some some of those junky, sandy Indian engines to tear apart and make well :-\.  Ya'll aint goen to like the price of an American cast and machined engine sold in parts and pieces, take it to the bank.
 
 My opinion and Im stick'en to it. ;D

So your suggestion would be to...............................
Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: 38ac on March 23, 2011, 01:03:45 PM
My gut tells me that by the time all is in  the Lister hungry will wish they had some some of those junky, sandy Indian engines to tear apart and make well :-\.  Ya'll aint goen to like the price of an American cast and machined engine sold in parts and pieces, take it to the bank.
 
 My opinion and Im stick'en to it. ;D

So your suggestion would be to...............................

Shoot EPA  inspectors upon site. >:( 
The answer is there is no answer to the good/cheap/ legal engine of this type.
It is my opinion that it is pure fallicy to think that some western world person or group is going invest the time and money to design, cast, machine, and properly assemble and engine to western world standards, all the while dodging the EPA  AND do it for the sport of it financially,,, it just aint going to happen. Put some money into the equation for the people doing the work and some kind of return on the investment and you will quickly find out why they quit building them a Dursey. I think a person would be looking at $8000.00 engines minimum,  Put a living wage and insurance and EPA regulation into the equation and they could cost $15K or more given the limited market.  How short is the waiting line going to be for 15K 6/1 Listers? Going back to my post #1 it sure makes an Indian clone parts set, 2K and a couple weeks of my time an attractive option to an American built engine. Those that have not the skills, time or equipment to rebuild and Indian engine are SOL,,again,, in my opinionated (slightly) opinion
Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: injin man on March 23, 2011, 02:57:55 PM
My gut tells me that by the time all is in  the Lister hungry will wish they had some some of those junky, sandy Indian engines to tear apart and make well :-\.  Ya'll aint goen to like the price of an American cast and machined engine sold in parts and pieces, take it to the bank.
 
 My opinion and Im stick'en to it. ;D

So your suggestion would be to...............................

Shoot EPA  inspectors upon site. >:(  
The answer is there is no answer to the good/cheap/ legal engine of this type.
It is my opinion that it is pure fallicy to think that some western world person or group is going invest the time and money to design, cast, machine, and properly assemble and engine to western world standards, all the while dodging the EPA  AND do it for the sport of it financially,,, it just aint going to happen. Put some money into the equation for the people doing the work and some kind of return on the investment and you will quickly find out why they quit building them a Dursey. I think a person would be looking at $8000.00 engines minimum,  Put a living wage and insurance and EPA regulation into the equation and they could cost $15K or more given the limited market.  How short is the waiting line going to be for 15K 6/1 Listers? Going back to my post #1 it sure makes an Indian clone parts set, 2K and a couple weeks of my time an attractive option to an American built engine. Those that have not the skills, time or equipment to rebuild and Indian engine are SOL,,again,, in my opinionated (slightly) opinion
Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: 38ac on March 23, 2011, 04:44:23 PM
He asked why not an American, or more properly Non-Indian built engine and took all the Indian made parts out of the equasion, "no Indian junk castings" That to me means making all parts in the western world to our standards or maybe using some NOS Lister parts to assemble and supply a ready to operate engine.  And to that question I offered my opinion.

 As to why you are taking my answer to his question as an attack upon your reply and intent to cast up a crankcase and weld up some flywheels and let people build their own finishing up with indian parts I have not a clue?  ???  

Perhaps It would have been better for you If I had been poster #2 instead of a half a page down and  under your reply?

You are correct in that I have no background in Mfg on a large scale however  I do run a machine shop part time and have more than a triffle of knowledge about that side of your deal. I also have dealt with custom made castings some of which are close enough in size and scope to use as a comparison and thus am fully aware of the total cost of a similar item designed, cast, machined and out the door,,, but what I have experianced is not to be argued here, I wish you well with your project and the proof as they say, will be in the pudding.

Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: injin man on March 23, 2011, 06:03:25 PM
I guess you succeeded. I'll just keep the project to myself.
Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: oldgit on March 24, 2011, 01:41:46 AM
There was a divorce going on when he died. She has locked everything up. Even the kids cant get to the stuff. I am considering getting at least my computer out of the shop my means I can not say here. The designs are in catia V5.
Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: veggie on March 25, 2011, 02:45:29 AM

Two reasons why (IMHO) these engines can't be made in America.

1] All American engine manufacturers must now comply with EPA regulations (very expensive process to get approval, $20,000 + per model). Not enough market volume to justify the cost.

2] An engine based on the Lister CS design would have to sell for $5000 to $6000 just to cover the cost of small production runs. Again, not enough market volume.

veggie
Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: Apogee on March 25, 2011, 03:44:37 AM
Well, I for one would love to see what you come up with Injin Man!

I do hope you continue to share info as you progress.  I respect that you're taking a stab at it, and thank you for being willing to try!

Thanks in advance,

Steve
Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: injin man on March 25, 2011, 11:06:11 AM

I'm from TEXAS and I'm here to help ;D

Guys, never give up, once you internalize defeat by the Government it's
all over. Fortunately we only have 18mos of this stupidity from the Regulators.
I'm very polically active here and will do everything in my power to squash
the activists that are attempting to kill off small business.

I'm not building an engine either ::)   to be continued..................................
Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: MachineNLectricMan on January 02, 2022, 04:37:15 AM
This older topic may be more relevant now that all the Covid shortages are going, no matter whether they are artificially staged or real.

Casting iron requires a lot less technology than one would ever expect. The melting can be done in a cupola furnace, and the molds are "green sand". Many modern folks have built cupola's in their back yard from scrap yard materials. In the old days of steam engines, cupola's were also often assembled from locally scavenged materials. They can be run on coal, coke, or wood charcoal. Coal can be used directly but is internally converted into coke during the run. Lime or limestone is often used as the "flux". You can bet this is the technology most of the Indians are using on the listeroids. It is interesting to note that in the steam engine days before coal came into use, England nearly destroyed it's forests casting iron from charcoal. It takes a lot more charcoal than coal or coke to cast the same amount of iron, although charcoal is a renewable fuel. Charcoal is also easy to make for the backwoods folks.

Green sand casting is also an old art. The sand often scavenged locally and purified with simple water processing. Horse manure was once used as a binder and is believed to be the process used to cast the Liberty Bell. There are many other binders such as starches, cereals, molasses, and natural substances used. The only real requirement is that the binders and additives do not create an oxidizing atmosphere when the molten metal hits the mold. They also must decompose a "limited" amount so the mold can be easily broken away from the casting but remain solid enough to contain the molten metal before it solidifies. The used sand is recycled with limited additions of new additives.

The sand molds are made from patterns that in the old days were usually made from wood, and often hand carved. The wood is usually varnished or painted with something to make it last longer in production. The mold frames can be made from wood or metal. There is a lot of manual labor involved in making sand molds. When duplicating an existing casting, "shrinkage" must be added, so does all machining stock  allowances. This prevents direct pattern making by reverse molding processes unless the duplicated object is "built up" or coated thick enough to allow for the shrinkage and machining. Yes you can make a mold pattern with nothing more than a pocket knife and wood cut off from a tree!

The cupola's are made from metal casings lined with refractory materials. This is the most challenging part for the back woods craftsman. Ordinary concrete will not work and is dangerous. Ordinary firebrick will likely melt as most is only rated for 1800 deg. F. or so and you will be hitting 2500 deg. F. or even a little higher in the cupola. High alumina is what you use. Kaolin clays can be used to DIY make these refractories. The easiest thing to do is order some high alumina castable or rammable refractory from a foundry supply or industrial supply.

You will also need some type of blower. The size depends on the size of the cupola but they are easy to find and can be DIY built and run off any electric motor that has the right HP and RPM.

All of the material handling equipment can be DIY assembled as well. Cupola's can be run as long as you feed materials into the top of them, or in batch runs if you single load them.

There use to be a lot of books about cupola furnaces available. They essentially won the west here in the US. Simply put, if they were not reasonably easy to build and use in "backwoods" type conditions we would not be getting Listeroids from India.

Now the "formulas" for cast iron are very well developed in today's world as metallurgy is a very mature science. However, they were not in the days of the original Lister engines. Back then cast iron "recipes" were more like secret moonshine making formulas, and some of the foundry men likely did make shine on the side in the moonlight. They usually read something like "add x amount of scrap from x metal yard, x amount of pig iron from x source only, x amount of wrought iron scrap from x source" and so forth. Use the wrong materials and you will have hard brittle cast iron that is fragile and not machinable but will last forever if not broken. Use the right formula and you get ductile and machinable cast iron you can make crankcases, cylinders and rings with. Today, cast iron can be made from low carbon steel from scrap yards. Enough carbon to change it to cast iron is naturally added in the melting process. Adding old cast iron castings (broken up) helps too.

I have actually built aluminum, steel melting and heat treat furnaces. They are really not that technically difficult. Casings are welded together, and anyone who has worked cement can deal with installing the refractory linings. Also keep in mind that you need at least 2450 deg. F. to get a minimal casting quality and you can't get that with natural gas, or propane and just a blower. You can get up to about 2300 but that wont work here. You can get that temp if you use a regenerative system like the foundries use but that is more complex than most DIYer's want to deal with and requires expensive high temp aerospace metals, or a large brick chamber switching system. Fuel oil might work theoretically, but again more complex. Most modern steel melter's use arc or induction. While induction is within reach of some of the more educated DIYer's it requires a substantial power source for Lister sized casting work and is not likely well suited for backwoods settings. My goal here is to present some methods that can be used in non-modernized "bush" settings.

And Please, NO TROLLS accusing their intended "prey" as being a troll.
Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: 38ac on January 02, 2022, 06:39:19 PM
The India Listeroid problem hasn't changed in the 10 years since this topic was posted, and It is not the castings.
 While not perfect all but a very few are usable when properly cleaned and prepped.  As of now the supply of engines and parts is quite adequate almost to surplus.

While I admire the spirit and intention of this topic it is far fetched.  There is no other way to look at it from both a practical sence and an economic sence as evidenced by the fact that nobody has proceeded. 

Then as now a person can simply purchase an India engine new or used and tear it down. Then clean and correct it and in the end will have FAR less money and man hours invested than trying to reinvent the wheel with homemade pieces

,,,,, in my opinionated opinion,, does that make me a troll? :D

Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: gadget on January 09, 2022, 07:41:27 PM
Using as many off the shelf parts as possible, piston, rod, valves, etc... would be key. Then, sell only pieces for your "air compressor"
Title: Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
Post by: 32 coupe on January 11, 2022, 12:38:20 AM

"the fact that nobody has proceed "
38ac said it best.