Lister Engine Forum

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: Jamesengland on May 03, 2018, 06:20:59 PM

Title: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: Jamesengland on May 03, 2018, 06:20:59 PM
Hello all. Iíve discovered the wonderful world of stationary engines recently and have a Petter A1 and a Lister D petrol engines. Iím having a hell of a time getting the Lister to run. I noticed today that the valve timing seems to be incorrect..thatís if a book I have is correct. The inlet valve opened at approx 12 degrees after TDC. The book says that the inlet valve should open at 12 degrees before TDC and the exhaust valve should open 44 degrees before BDC.

Is this correct, does anyone know please? Iíve set the crank to TDC and got the cam of the push rod assembly pointing upwards between the two feet of the cam followers....all done correctly...but the inlet valve opens at 12 degrees AFTER TDC.

Thanks for any help
Title: Re: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: dieselspanner on May 03, 2018, 08:04:15 PM
Hi James, and welcome....

The first thing that occurs to me, 'Are you rotating it the right way?'

Not so foolish a thought, ask me and several others that regularly post on here..............

At TDC on most single cylinder engines the inlet and exhaust valves should change over, as you 'rock' the crank back and forth over 15 degrees or so, you will feel this with two fingers (of the same hand!) on the rockers or, if they are exposed, the cam followers. This is the start of the four stroke cycle, suck, squeeze, bang, blow.

Cheers Stef
Title: Re: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: BruceM on May 03, 2018, 08:25:27 PM
Great diagnosis, Stef! 
Title: Re: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: Jamesengland on May 04, 2018, 06:43:07 AM
Thanks for that. Yep, rotating the correct way! The Ďsuckí stage begins when the valve starts to open at about 10 degrees AFTER TDC. Next TDC is the top of the compression stroke and both valves are closed When the piston reaches TDC

I looked at the timing gear yesterday and it seems to me as if itís not actually adjustable. I put the piston to TDC. Then put the lobe of the cam equally between the feet of the cam followers, lobe pointing up. Then engaged the forked arm with the square peg on the crankshaft. The inlet valve STILL starts to open at 10 degrees after TDC! I just donít see how the valv timing can be adjusted.....???
Title: Re: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: mikenash on May 04, 2018, 07:34:56 AM
FWIW when i bought a Lister that I was told "had been running when it was put in the shed . . . " it turned out the cam idler gear had been removed at some point and the cam was 90 degrees out.  Yours might be a tooth or two out - just a thought.  Good luck
Title: Re: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: Jamesengland on May 04, 2018, 07:48:07 AM
Yes, the book mentioned being a tooth out. But, from what I can see, there are no teeth involved...... the square peg on the crankshaft engages with the forked drive of the cam and thatís it. No teeth or gears mesh in order to drive the cams. From what Iíve read, the lobe of the cam should be facing up, between the two cam followers, the piston should be at TDC and thatís it. No teeth, no cogs and no adjustment seems to be possible???
Title: Re: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: dieselspanner on May 04, 2018, 08:15:45 AM
OK,

The only experience I have of a D type is a swift glance at a few web sites but.....

You say there are no gears and the cam is a direct drive from the crank, however in  a four stroke engine the cam runs at half the rpm of the crank, to provide the timing events over the four strokes.

Looking at this

https://www.google.fr/search?q=lister+d+type+parts+list&rlz=1CAACAH_enFR734FR735&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=US1TFAlPgBWKYM%253A%252C6IAhu6h96oKKxM%252C_&usg=__jbmRGJ50Yq_a35CeSqJURhxqFk4%3D&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjMhp78vevaAhUQKVAKHa5RC8gQ9QEIVzAD#imgrc=US1TFAlPgBWKYM:

There's an idler gear arrangement shown, I'd say further digging and checking of timing is your next move

If the misalignment of the cam was 45 or 90 degrees out I'd suspect the square drive depending on whether it'd before or after the reduction provided by the idler gear, but an error of 12 degrees before to 12 after = 25 degrees, this wouldn't tie in with a square driv,  and smacks of the set up being a couple of teeth out

At least you know you're not going backwards!

Cheers Stef







Title: Re: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: dieselspanner on May 04, 2018, 08:19:30 AM
Oops!

My mistake, the drawing shows a reduction gear and not a idler gear,

It's only 9 am here and I've not had breakfast yet!

Cheers Stef
Title: Re: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: Jamesengland on May 04, 2018, 08:36:15 AM
Yes...the toothed cog is just the cranking assembly that the cranking handle turns
Title: Re: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: mikenash on May 04, 2018, 08:49:53 AM
Y'know, looking at those pics, maybe the gear on the crank is half the size of the gear that drives the cam stuff? does that give us the two-to-one?  I thought that dog assy for the starter was at right-angles to the plane of the cam & the crank?  If there are two gears meshing for that reduction, then maybe they are meshed wrong?  Kind of hard to read those drawings.  Good luck
Title: Re: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: BruceM on May 04, 2018, 09:28:06 AM
Check the current exhaust timing- is it also out roughly 25 degrees in the same direction?

Title: Re: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: dieselspanner on May 04, 2018, 10:21:04 AM
Ok,

After waking the dog, a couple of Lidl's breakfast bars, with tea I think I've got it..........


http://craigmarshall.org.uk/sites/default/files/images/Book%2068%20-%20Plate%204.jpg

Yes the reduction gear, driven by the starting handle rotates the crank to fire the motor, look at the link above and you'll see there's a single cam with a double follower that works both the inlet and exhausts, A pound to a pinch of, there's you're problem.

Counting the teeth on the crank sprocket (and hoping the drawing is correct) I'd say you'd be one tooth out - 360 divided by 14 = 24, or 12 degrees either side of TDC

I've seen this single cam, double follower system somewhere in the past , JAP lawnmower engines maybe, and I think this arrangement has name, but like lots of things it escapes me, I'll probably remember next time I get to the top of the stairs and have the usual brain fart.....

Fancy a pint on the outcome?

Cheers Stef
Title: Re: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: Jamesengland on May 04, 2018, 05:32:22 PM
Yep...that gear turns the crank via the handle. But thatís all it does. It just turns the crankshaft. Itís the crankshaft itself that operates the cam via the square peg locating into the fork that turns the cam. To me, it looks as if the valve timing on this engine cannot actually be changed at all. It appears to be set permanently....if the cam lobe is pointing up and the piston is at TDC, thatís it.
Title: Re: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: BruceM on May 04, 2018, 06:13:22 PM
There's no way to make a mechanical only 4 cycle engine without a 2:1 reduction to the cam.  Check the exhaust timing to confirm it's shifted 24 degrees also, please.

Title: Re: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: Jamesengland on May 04, 2018, 10:40:39 PM
You are correct. There is a reduction gear. But still no way of adjusting timing
Title: Re: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: Jamesengland on May 04, 2018, 10:41:21 PM
And the exhaust is shifted too!
Title: Re: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: BruceM on May 04, 2018, 11:32:09 PM
Great, you have now solidly confirmed Stef's diagnosis of the engine having been reassembled incorrectly, with the cam gear off a tooth. Now you must remove the camshaft to move the cam gear a tooth or two in the right direction on the crank gear.

I've never heard a single mention of a Lister D here on this forum and am clueless on them myself, but maybe someone can help you with how to tackle that job.  if not just figure out how to get that camshaft lose.  Marking the teeth with marker or paint so you can check your work is a good idea.
Title: Re: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: BruceM on May 05, 2018, 12:06:19 AM
In this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kTLd8wQUuI
I see that your camshaft and reduction gear are an easy to remove assembly.  Next step is to figure out how to disassemble that assembly so you can correct the cam gear position.

Title: Re: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: dieselspanner on May 05, 2018, 09:34:02 AM
Hi James,

Here's the answer, at the bottom of the page, marked 'Timing valves'!

http://craigmarshall.org.uk/content/lister-d-dk-instructions

Cheers Stef
Title: Re: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: BruceM on May 05, 2018, 04:08:26 PM
Bravo, Stef!
Title: Re: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: Jamesengland on May 06, 2018, 09:08:24 AM
For future reference for anyone else with this type of engine, the valves in this engine CANNOT be adjusted at all, other than to be 180 degrees out (by having the cam lobe in the preceding picture pointing down instead of up). That is the only Ďadjustmentí that is possible (ie getting it 180 degrees out). After that, no further adjustment whatsoever can be made. Therefore, talk of the timing being ďone tooth outĒ as is mentioned even in the literature about this engine, is actually incorrect.

Stationary Engine Magazine on the Lister D restoration (book sold on eBay...a compilation of a serialised article in the magazine) is similarly inaccurate. There is a paragraph which says that the exhaust valve starts to open at 12 degrees before TDC. This is absolutely incorrect. Were it to open before TDC it would blast fuel out of the carb mouth. In fact, it opens approx 12 degrees AFTER TDC on the induction stroke. That is, it starts Ďsuckingí when the piston is on its way down the barrel, not still on its way up. This magazine also states that the valve timing can be ďone tooth outĒ which is complete nonsense. Even if the entire cam assembly were stripped into its component parts, it still cannot be reassembled incorrectly as the cogs and the shafts they locate on have semicircular indentations which match up and are secured with a round pin...so no adjustment possible there either

I bought another Lister D yesterday and travelled to Leicestershire in England to meet a lovely elderly man who has about 20 engines of various types, all restored by him. He used these engines on farms is an expert on the. He immediately said that the valve timing, whilst adjustable on many engines, is NOT adjustable on the Lister D (other than getting it 180 degrees out). He suggested that the magazine (a classic from years ago) had simply confused valve timing with magneto timing.

So, having bottomed that out and compared the two engines (which are identical in terms of valve timing), Iím still no further in making it work. I suspect itís the magneto which produces a spark in the bench but not in the cylinder...so Iím going to rig up an ignition coil and battery to see it that will make the engine fire...if so, Iíll then see if I can find a replacement magneto....
Title: Re: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: Jamesengland on May 06, 2018, 05:06:46 PM


I've never heard a single mention of a Lister D here on this forum and am clueless on them myself, but maybe someone can help you with how to tackle that job.  if not just figure out how to get that camshaft lose.  Marking the teeth with marker or paint so you can check your work is a good idea.
Itís very common here.they made 250,000 of them
Title: Re: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: Jamesengland on May 06, 2018, 09:06:00 PM
A little update. I worked up a good sweat cranking the non-running engine this afternoon. It would not start, or die or give any indication whatsoever of life. The magneto was producing a spark on the bench..a nice fat blue spark. And also when the magneto was on the engine and plug grounded against the cylinder head. But the engine would not fire even though the engine actually ran when I bought it. So.....I swapped the magneto from the second (working) engine which I just bought. The engine fired IMMEDIATELY on the first crank and ran thereafter without a problem.

So.....Iíve learned some good things here which might be of interest to anyone else with this type of Lister engine..the Lister D. Firstly, a working magneto can stop functioning correctly very quickly and give every indication that it is OK by producing a spark on the bench. But itís actually not working properly because it wonít spark under compression. Secondly, the canon of wisdom in the books, magazines and internet can be totally incorrect, leading to confusion and much hair-pulling. Quit honestly, Iím amazed that supposedly knowledgeable sources, actually in print, can get it so wrong!
Title: Re: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: Jamesengland on May 06, 2018, 09:08:38 PM
Ps the magneto is a Lucas RS1, by the way. Apparently, an after market replacement (the Wipac or Wico A) was produced because the Lucas was prone to failure.
Title: Re: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: Jamesengland on May 06, 2018, 09:13:09 PM
Great, you have now solidly confirmed Stef's diagnosis of the engine having been reassembled incorrectly, with the cam gear off a tooth. Now you must remove the camshaft to move the cam gear a tooth or two in the right direction on the crank gear.

I've never heard a single mention of a Lister D here on this forum and am clueless on them myself, but maybe someone can help you with how to tackle that job.  if not just figure out how to get that camshaft lose.  Marking the teeth with marker or paint so you can check your work is a good idea.
it was a good guess but not correct, Iím afraid. But every little helps, as they say and everything is worth investigating. I think maybe Iím on the wrong forum though, if youíve never heard of a Lister D. It was the ubiquitous, much-used agricultural engine of the Ďforties and Ďfifties, certainly here in the U.K. maybe not popular elsewhere?
Title: Re: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: AdeV on May 08, 2018, 11:52:17 PM
... the Lucas was prone to failure.

Lucas wasn't known as the Prince of Darkness for nothing! (similarly unreliable lightbulbs... not to mention entire electrical systems, see anything made by BL until about 1980ish)
Title: Re: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: broncodriver99 on May 08, 2018, 11:57:53 PM
... the Lucas was prone to failure.

Lucas wasn't known as the Prince of Darkness for nothing! (similarly unreliable lightbulbs... not to mention entire electrical systems, see anything made by BL until about 1980ish)

Isn't that the truth. A good read.  ;D http://www.mez.co.uk/lucas.html
Title: Re: Wondering if anyone can help
Post by: M61hops on May 09, 2018, 12:54:24 AM
My favorite Tee shirt read "The British drink warm beer because they have Lucas refrigerators."  ???  I instantly knew who had worked on British cars.