Lister Engine Forum

Slow Speed Diesel Engines => Changfa Engines => Topic started by: glort on June 17, 2019, 01:18:48 PM

Title: New Watercooled Diesel Toys and energy efficent homes.
Post by: glort on June 17, 2019, 01:18:48 PM
After a couple of weeks wheeling and dealing, managed to pick myself up a couple of New ( to me) engines today.

They are genuine Kubotas rather than knockoffs which should be a good thing. One is complete and looks in excellent condition, the other looks like it has been through 3 world wars and is missing the fuel tank but -said- to run.  For $300 for the pair ( That's $1.96 US) I was happy with the price just for the good one.

They are 12 Hp and have electric and Crank start. I have wanted a watercooled engine of this type for a long time so finally got my wish.

I intend to hook this up ti my induction motor Generator. Been playing with that for a while but wasn't really satisfied with the fit of the one I intended to use.
If the older engine does run it will be good for testing cooling setups etc.

Will try to post some pics of the actual units tomorrow.

Also managed to pick up a 5 Kw Solar inverter, 20 250W Solar a panels and 27 180W Panels.
A very Fruitful but Kind of expensive day all up. Did a job on the weekend that went better than expected so made the most of it.

Got to have a good day now and then right? Might give me something to think about to get though July.
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: veggie on June 17, 2019, 04:56:17 PM
Man ! those are beauties !
I am GREEN with envy.

Those engines are of superior quality and should outlive you if cared for.
Nice acquisition.!
Keep us posted of your project.


PS: AU law prohibits the possession of more that one Kubota RT series engine.
I would be happy to take one off your hands in order to help keep you within the law
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: BruceM on June 17, 2019, 10:00:53 PM
Great bargain finds, Glort.  If you have enough room for all those panels, you'll have to start a business that needs lots of power during the day!  Generating and compressing hydrogen???
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: old seagull man on June 18, 2019, 07:11:46 AM
Well done mate, we need pictures. By the way did you ever collect that other engine i put you on to, out west?
Good news on the panels, i have a whole lot if you want.
Our energy company just changed hands, and today they just installed our two new smart meters. Don't that suck.
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: glort on June 18, 2019, 10:27:07 AM


No, unfortunately that never came off. I have an idea the guy got a better offer so pulled out of our deal. He didn't sell it to me and he didn't re list them so....

Been bit of a thing lately. few things I have gone to buy that suddenly buyers stop communicating or start playing games. One last week I made a deal with suddenly wanted to meet me in a car park, wouldn't give me his number and just started acting real Dodgy.  Yeah, I may not be able to find you after the deal but I had an idea the cops may find me with the thing.  PASS.

Another one for a similar engine I mailed about 6 times and didn't get any answer.  Guess this makes up for them.
I wasn't convinced this one would come thorough either till I had the things in the back of the ute.  Was a long way from home so I was sending the guy 30 Min ETA's of when I would be there as he said he was coming home from work to meet me.

I asked plenty of questions before I loaded them anyway.

I don't have any plans for coming north atm . Been trying to all year basically but things keep coming up. Want to come up and annoy Bob and my Aunt and uncle.  I -may- be up in October but not sure If I'll be flying or Driving.  They will probably want me in NZ the week after so Might be easier to spend a few days up there then go straight to Auckland.  Then again, spose If I drove up I could leave the car there and fly back to Brisvegas and drive down.

There seem to be a lot of panels available in Bris.  What size and brand are they? 250W Trina's?

I dread getting a smart arse meter. After reading up on them and Bruce's warning here, I'll be wanting to lead line the fusebox If I get the things.  I have my own pole out the front so I'll see if it can be mounted out there well away from the house.

Bruce, I have pondered a power consuming Business before. The thing is, I make so much power in Summer already but so little in winter.  This is one reason I want to set up the genny. I'm of the opinion more panels isn't the answer.  On all these rainless overcast days, the 20 KW of panels I have can be lucky to develop 3/4 of that or even less.  In summer, I can make that  in 2 hours or less.
I don't think adding more panels is going to be the solution.

Earlier in my learning curve, I was of the opinion one had to setup for the worst weather. I have had second thoughts that this could be a limited value idea. OK if one has good sunshine and limited power consumption but for a larger place that is all electric trying to heat in winter..... It's a real big ask where I am.

What I intend to do is remove all my sub 250W panels and replace them with 250's.  Off the top of my head, that's about 30 panels. I have with the latest lot about 45 so I'll be able to do the back of the house and the shed.

All up that should give me 21KW all. up. I think I'll remove some from my garage south roof as I won't need them in summer, get covered in leaves in winter and do little when they are clear anyway.  Will also get all the panels up on the roof and out the yard.

As for Hydrogen, I'll admit to being a bit Gun shy of that.  My electrolysis experiment last year with lighting off a sandwich bag of the stuff and realising how little air it needs to go bang makes me very wary.  One would need a very professional no shortcuts setup to be doing that... least a Chicken like me would! :0)
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: BruceM on June 18, 2019, 05:33:14 PM
Winter overcast/clouds is an issue for PV planning  In my sunny climate, and home designed for minimal power use, it's easy to add enough panels to fully charge the batteries every day, even on cloudy days.  With 2350 watts I never run the generator to charge batteries anymore, I don't even have the charger hooked up. I just avoid electric cooking on dark winter days, and only do laundry and water pumping when it's sunny.  Our winters are darker now, but still, 4 days of heavy clouds happens only once or twice a winter.

I read an article on a Budist retreat center in nothern Canada that was off grid; they added LOTS of near vertical PV for winter, so that even when overcast, they could make their daily power nut for the batteries, saving a bundle in genny fuel (and noise).  You do get power when it's anything but dark, but you may need 5x or more the area in panels. 

Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: glort on June 19, 2019, 08:02:37 AM

The Toys in question unloaded.
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: glort on June 19, 2019, 08:31:02 AM

The complete engine looks pretty good. Bit of Dirt under the cowlings, I'll look at pulling them off and give it a lick with the steam cleaner with the other one and see how that comes up.  There was a frame with them both but due to poor construction the thing nearly tore itself and the frame apart when the previous owner fired it up. Scars are on the frame.

I'll see if I can slab a Log to mount it and give it or run or I'll have to wait till I have it back home where I have some big steel beams to mount it on.  Between the engine, the motor, the frame and ancillary, I can see this going 500Kg.  Might have a look here at how many of the smaller space saver tires are around and get some hubs to put on the frame so it's moveable.

Was looking at brake disks and Flywheels today to make a stub shaft to mount on the flywheel. If I can find something close I can have the pattern drilled to mount and weld on a plate and attach the shaft to that. Bit of a pain and expense with these things. Might also look at a belt  to go round the flywheel which would be good for some car alternators, probably about a 6-8:1 ratio.

Be interesting to see how quiet these things are. Easy to put a car muffler on the things but the real racket from the aircooleds seems to be mechanical clatter.
Unloaded the things around lunchtime today and they have caused quite an interest with people coming in the yard. Mechanic had never seen them before and was very interested.  Pretty funny when he helped my to slip the chain over the forks and the ute went up about 4" each when I lifted the things.
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: glort on June 19, 2019, 08:49:40 AM
I read an article on a Budist retreat center in nothern Canada that was off grid; they added LOTS of near vertical PV for winter, so that even when overcast, they could make their daily power nut for the batteries, saving a bundle in genny fuel (and noise).  You do get power when it's anything but dark, but you may need 5x or more the area in panels.

My own tests and experience has indicated that tilt is pretty insignifican't over all.  At my latitude at least, Tilt unless flat or vertical is about 10%.  Flat definitely works better in overcast conditions where I am and in summer too.
Atm I have Panels at 5o, 13o, 34o and 50o on my different arrays.   The direction the panels face is a much bigger  influence on generation where I am.  While North is the ideal Direction for me, If I go ahead with another garage I'm thinking I would do an easy west roof to maximise the ramp up and down generation rather than add more to the already overly high peak.  I have North and west  panels now so having some east ( morning) facing would be ideal.

I might look at setting up a panel or an array at 90o to test the output and leave it there 6 months to see what it does in summer.  I'll guarantee in summer I could turn the panels south with their backs to the sun and make more power than I get in winter.

Even a decent generator is working to make the sort of power one can get with a decent solar array in summer.
Nothing like quiet, passive generation.
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: ajaffa1 on June 19, 2019, 09:39:24 AM
Hi Glort, it is very difficult for me to politely express how much I hate you right now. I have been looking for one of those for over two years with a budget of $1,000 and you score two for that price! Shame on you.  :laugh:

It will be very interesting to see how many alternators it takes to bog down these beauties. When are you planning to start your own power company so you can export all this power to the local community?

Grrrrrrrrrrrrr Bob
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: glort on June 19, 2019, 11:10:47 AM

It's OK Bob, I hate myself every day so I won't hold anything against you.
I have been looking for these for a LOOOONG time as well.  I have 2 aircooleds in this type but really wanted a water cooled.  I actually passed up two other aircooleds in the last few weeks as I thought I can't keep buying engines that aren't really what I want.
I am hoping they turn out to be what I want.

As for the alternators, Surprisingly the engines have 30 A alts built in which I found surprising.
 My CS 6 Hp won't drag much if anything over 2x100A car alts.  This falls a fair bit short of the 3 Kw they are professed to do so I wouldn't expect one of these to do more than about 5 car alts. The regs are not too efficent on car alts.

That said.....
My little 3.5 Horizontal will out pull every 5 and 6Hp engine I have without heavy smoking or showing signs of stress like over heating.  If these engines are nearly as grunty, then they should pull pretty hard. I wonder what other people with these horizontal engines have found?

Just have to keep looking Bob. These things pop up when you least expect them.
Have you had an Opportunity to work anymore on your engine of late?  How is Narelle recovering?
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: ajaffa1 on June 19, 2019, 11:34:01 AM
Hi Glort, I have recovered very well from my surgery and should be starting some physio therapy next week. Narelle is just coming up to six weeks after her hysterectomy, she has been through hell but is just starting to come good, she still can`t drive or lift anything but we have been walking the dog together and things are looking good.

I`m planning to get back to the ETB rebuild next week, will make a big change from being nurse Bob!  :laugh:

Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: BruceM on June 19, 2019, 04:32:45 PM
"My own tests and experience has indicated that tilt is pretty insignifican't over all.  At my latitude at least, Tilt unless flat or vertical is about 10%.  Flat definitely works better in overcast conditions where I am and in summer too.
Atm I have Panels at 5o, 13o, 34o and 50o on my different arrays.   The direction the panels face is a much bigger  influence on generation where I am.  While North is the ideal Direction for me, If I go ahead with another garage I'm thinking I would do an easy west roof to maximise the ramp up and down generation rather than add more to the already overly high peak.  I have North and west  panels now so having some east ( morning) facing would be ideal."

With PV so cheap and batteries still quite expensive,  panel arrays just to grab AM and especially late afternoon sun do make sense.  My neighbor wants to add a west facing set; they would like to cook their evening meal on electric.  It's a pity that trackers are so expensive and maintenance prone.  For our style of off grid living in our sunny location, minimizing battery use, a large tracked array would be marvelous. But it is cheaper to just add fixed or one axis adjustable arrays.
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: glort on June 20, 2019, 07:48:30 AM

I looked at trackers when I started on the solar proclivity Bruce and here and I imagine other places, my Axiom of inefficient is always most efficient for solar held true.

Everything I found showed more panels were cheaper than trying to maximize power with trackers even with new panels.
I know solar is much more exy in the US than here ( which is a huge surprise) so maybe that does not hold true but I would be reasonably confident the difference would still make more panels the better investment than a tracking system.

I Made a ground mount frame last year that was like a triangular frame with the panels on the diagonal axis that I could adjust Tilt but raising or lowering the intersection with the vertical upright.  I did play with it a bit measuring the output from the angle then adjusting it the equivalent of about 4 Months difference and the result was within the margin of daily/ weekly weather.

The East/ weather orientation of another shed roof would be also with batteries in mind if I ever went that way and I would have at least 16mm2 cable wired  to it with the same in mind.  I was reading a while back tat an east west array tilted at 60O gave the most CONSTANT charge rate for batteries all year round.  Wasn't the most power or KWH, But rather the most even and wide spread charge rate.

The one thing with having a lot of west facing panels for me is when they are really working in summer, the PM day time temps are the hottest so I can run the AC to keep the place cool when the heat is greatest which here is about 3-4 Pm.
I am doing an outdoor bathroom atm and when that is finished I am going to look at putting at leas a small verandah across the west exposed face of the house to reduce sun exposure.  I'm not real worried about shading in winter, there isn't enough radiation to be of any use.

In summer my crappy south array of leftover mismatched orphan panels can easily make more power than the 9KW array on the north roof in winter. North is definitely best for getting that elusive winter generation though. 

Didn't get to play with my engines today. Got roped into doing a quick clutch job for a young guy who was stuck.  Felt about as much like doing that as growing a 3rd leg but the young guy came to try and help because he knew I was helping him out and talking to him over the day, seems like a real nice you fella with his head screwed on the right way. When I asked why he didn't get a newer car instead of patching up the old one he told me his money was going into the house he was building.

23 years old, year younger than my son.  He got me onside. Any young guy with that sort of foresight and good sense I'm glad to help out. Far too few like this these days in my book.
If Only I could have convinced him to put a quieter exhaust on the thing. Fk it, only young once, let him enjoy himself.

I'll move the engines tomorrow anyway after day knocked one over and then nearly dropped a car on them.
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: veggie on June 20, 2019, 02:29:48 PM

The Kubota engines have much better quality control during the manufacturing process compared to the Chinese versions.
The gears driving the cam and counterbalance shafts are better machined and run at closer mesh tolerances.
Hence there tends to be much less backlash and clatter from the gear train.
Your RT125 should run a lot quieter than the Chinese counterparts.

Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: BruceM on June 20, 2019, 04:40:43 PM
Here also, a vertical west facing array for summer 3-7pm would be a plus for electric cooking. 
Both my neighbor and I find that appealing. 
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: glort on June 21, 2019, 02:44:49 AM

I was hoping that would be the case with having original engines. Quality over price...for once.
I am also hoping if i need any parts, particularly if i need to rebuild or repair the older looking engine,they are interchangeable with the chinese made parts. Ill have to look into it as im not sure if the chinese engines are kubota or Yanmar copies.

I was thinking of running a belt over the flywheel to drive alternators but the clearance around the cowl looks thin.
Have to look closer after a workout with a chainsaw and a log splitter.
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: glort on June 21, 2019, 02:51:01 AM
Here also, a vertical west facing array for summer 3-7pm would be a plus for electric cooking. 

I do have some shading from a neighbours tree behind me which is west but fortunately it is very late in the day and the loss is minimal. There is a tree in my own yard which i need to lop which is getting too tall and starting to shade the house.
Trees and houses dont mix well especially with solar.
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: glort on June 27, 2019, 08:46:20 AM

Finally had a chance to play with the new toys at home today.  Left Dad's at 6:30 last night after dinner and was back home by 11 so back to the world.

Took me a while to unload the engines as I had to dig the crane out behind all the other engines and motors and move them by hand. I sure would like a little forklift!

I put some legs on the good engine utilising some double Unistrut pieces I piked up a while back which were precisely the right length.
Took a bit to fire the thing up though. The electrics are not working, there is a very corroded and Dry 12 Pin plug which I suspect is stopping the push button party.  I got some battery leads, ( luck I stocked up last trip and bolted them to the starter and a ground.

First attempt at starting was by Cranking. This will also be the last attempt at starting by Cranking.  Anyone that thinks a lister takes some effort ought to try one of these things! I have no problem with the roid but I put plenty of back into spinning this thing up and it just stopped when it hit compression.

Wound it up on my little jump starter pack which had trouble winding it through compression so went and got  a decent N70 battery and put it on that.
Wound it up quite a bit and could see Diesel Vapour out the exhaust but no signs of life.  This thing has compression for days! I know diesels are high but this thing is solid.  After some cranking and Fiddling with no joy, I got the can of mower petrol, put some in the cap and threw it down the intake of the oil bath aircleaner.  Wound it over a Bit On the decompression lever, Dropped it and it went straight into life.

Nice sounding engine but the Noise all coes as usual from the air cleaner.
I run it a bit and throttling the thing up, it runs very clean with no black smoke and just a very light haze under acceleration. The fan on the radiator blows a gale. I couldn't ever imagine really getting one of these things hot even on a 40 o day under full grunt. The thing is quite smooth but you can see the effects of the compression when it slows down and rocks back and forth.  With a better air cleaner, I thik the engine would be pretty quiet over all.  I put my hand over the air intake and the noise dropped about 80%.

after running the thing a while and getting it warm, I re checked the oil and water and went to start it up again. Didn't want to know which was disappointing.  Drop of petrol down the intake and lit off first compression. Hmmmm.
Nothing wrong with the compression, nothing wrong with the way it runs.....
Returning to the learned knowledge of the ancient Diesel sages and years of experience, I went and got a water bottle and started Dribbling it into the intake. These things will digest so much water without dropping a rev it even surprised me.  I fed in about a litre over all and when I finished I noticed the thing had changed sound a LOT and the desirable Diesel Clack was back loud and clear.  First I thoughr, geez it's warmed up and got a bearing knock but that was just a mistaken thought after spending to much time with the dreaded petrol engines...... And a fellow that came in yesterday complaining the engine we sold him a few months ago was making funny noises...... Which we quickly determined was because the Dipstick came out as clean as it went in....

Ran it up some more noting there was also a significan't bark in the exhaust note now and the thing was running totally clean.  The engine was quite warm so I shut it down and went for a relight. Still doesn't want to know which is a bit Baffling.
Compression is Deadly, I would assume the injector is OK given the complete lack of smoke when running or accelerating, and the guy said the fuel was fresh and looks and smells like it.  Starts instantly with some petrol in the intake so I'm  a bit lost as to what may be the problem.  The battery was a wee bit tired after all the cranking so I put it on charge and I'll top off the fuel with the secret sauce additive Veg oil tomorrow and see what happens.
The thing doesn't wind over very fast but shouldn't have any trouble starting especially when hot.

I might set up a little peristaltic pump tomorrow and leave the thing run for a while with a steady water feed and put a few litres through the thing over an hour or 2 and see how that goes. really at a loss as to why it won't start without some help. Thing rocks back and forth under compression when it is slowing down to stop so I can't see lack of squeeze being the problem and it runs so clean and grunty as soon as it does fire.

Next thing will be to see if I can find a stub shaft for the thing without having to sell a Kidney to get it or work out a way to fabricate one up.
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: BruceM on June 27, 2019, 03:18:17 PM
Odd starting problem.  Valve lash, inj. spray pattern, injection timing all come to mind. My MB 300D is notorious for having cold start issues if valves aren't right on the mark.

Pity it's so hard to get some loaded run time on a bare engine.

Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: ajaffa1 on June 28, 2019, 01:05:59 AM
Hi Glort, sounds like you had a very productive trip. I`m not sure how the bump clearance is set on these engines but it does sound like it might be a bit too tight. A dribbling fuel injector might also have the same effect.

Can you let me know the details of the stub shaft you need, I might be able to turn one up on my mates lathe, next week.

Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: glort on June 28, 2019, 05:19:45 AM

Went out early this morning inspired by the opportunity to play with the new toy.

I put some new fuel in it with a good bit of new oil. Big battery was well charged and I hooked it up and couldn't get the engine to start. Few drops, and only a few drops of Petrol down the intake and she barked right up.... then proceeded to die as I had put the throttle position back in shutoff. Opened it up as she was barley turning and again she barked nicely.

I let it warm up a bit while I sat listening to the music and Contemplating life and checked the output from the alternator which is producing although the electrics are otherwise dead. I stopped the thing having smelt the aroma of the veg going through but she would not start on her own without some ULP but again with a few drops fired first compression stroke. Let it run a bit more and shut uit down.

I pulled a gaurd off the fan which has shallow clearance to the flywheel and saw a LOT of built up dirt and grime. This one has definitely logged up some hours! Will need to give it a going over with some degreaser ( although it's very dry in that department) and a pressure washer.

Thinking of Bruces wise suggestion of the valves, I pulled the " Rocket" cover as I have seen them called and without measuring, deemed the vale lash to be OK.  Definitely not tight and have what I would eyeball as being the right sort of clearance of around 10 thou. I didn't think it would be that given how hard it is to turn through compression by hand but having made incorrect assumptions before, I can now check that one off as being not the cause.
  Next thing while I was there with half the covers removed was pull the injector.  Given how tight it was and the rust around the body and other adhesive grime, I reckon that has been the first daylight it had seen since it's birth.

The tip looked pretty good, no over the top buildup and polished easy with a rag.  I wondered what it would have looked like before the WI treatment yesterday.  Speaking of which.... I noticed the oil was a tad milky when I checked it this morning. Lead me to wonder about the ring sealing even though the thing has impossible compression. I didn't even really slow the thing yesterday so I'm a bit surprised some water has go into the oil. Was clear yesterday when I checked.

I cracked the injector to find it's internals like every other small engine injector and gave the pintle a clean and a blow out and it looked OK as well.  Put it back together with a cat sitting on my knee the whole time and not being happy with the lack of attention it was getting being taken by this other thing with the 10 Tiny fiddly bits of which I managed to loose none.
Hooked it to the injector line and spun the engine up and saw what looked like an acceptable spray pattern.

Put it back in the engine, moved the puss and ran it up where it slowly fired into life.  Winner! I didn't think I had done enough to make a difference but, was starting now where it hadn't before.  I thought the slow start might have been a bit of air still in the line or injector although I have found these things bleed pretty well so I ran for a bit then shut down again.  Refire was the same as the first. Took a few turns then gathered speed and we are off and running.

I ran the thing for about 45 min while I did some other things so it would heat up and clear out the water in the oil and I never heard it misfire once.  the crankcase gets hot but the coolant is never more than warm thanks to the very powerful fan and cooling. I put a rag over the radiator screen to get the thing hotter but it seems to diminish the output very little even though it was thick cloth and after 10 min the output temps seemed no different. Still cold.
Of course by now there is a bit of oil round the head thanks to breaking the rocker gasket. The will be a clean and careful silicone bead job.
For some things I put them on the scanner and do a copy on gasket paper or single ply cardboard then cut them out. This is a bit intricate  so see how I go with some silicone.

After shutting the thing down, I couldn't refire it without the Smelling salts.
I found another injector nozzle on Alli so I can refresh the one in the machine. Priced to kill at all of $11 delivered.  I'll put that in and see how I go. Hopefully it's the injector not the pump. the fact i can't make the thing blow any black smoke seems odd. Every other engine I have will  Smoke but this one won't which makes me wonder if it is getting enough fuel? thing has a new filter and bowl and the tank is very clean so I don't think it is the supply and in any case I would think it would blacken the exhaust when the throttle is cracked.

The intake is for sure the noisyiest part of this engine.  When it was running I wrapped some cloth around the base of the air filter which it sucked in a bit and the noise dropped Significantly. I'll have to look at either fitting a car air box and runners or getting a new muffler and putting that on the intake .  the Muffler on both engines look new but maube putting another car Muffler wouldn't hurt there either.

I thought I had another Voltage rectifier/ tregulator but can't find it to test the electrics. I'll see if I can find one of those cheap and order one of those as well. For now I'll wait till the new injector arrives and see how that goes. In teh mean time I might try and bark up the other incomplete engine. All it needs is a fuel tank so shouldn't be hard to get some juice into is and see what happens with that.

Might be annoying if it does start on it's own. Spose I'll have the parts for a transplant though on the pump and injector to the other one.
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: BruceM on June 28, 2019, 05:44:12 AM
Noise at the intake is from early intake opening while still having exhaust pressure left.  The overlap period where intake and exhaust valves are both open.  You might try increasing intake lash to retard it somewhat though that may affect maximum power. There may be a range where noise can be reduced without much affect on power do to restricted intake opening.  Worth a try, costs nothing.

My 1988 3 cylinder Kubota tractor engine has a hell of a clatter and bark, and not from the exhaust. 

Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: glort on June 28, 2019, 08:10:56 AM

Hi Bob,

Thank you very much for the kind offer of the lathe work.  I wouldn't know what to give you dimensions wise. The flywheel has 2 sets of 3 holes, a smaller and larger diameter but I can't find what the pitch circle is anywhere.  Millions of these engines around but I'm not even sure the correct term for what to search for.

I may have come up with a short cut though.
I was looking through the piles of jun.... Treasure, round the side of the shed and found a pair of Brake disks. Pretty sure ironically they were for my W123 Mercs same as Bruces but they never got put on. Unfortunately the many holes drilled in the hub don't line up although appear to be the right diameter.
What looks like a go is to turn the back of the disk to the flywheel as it would be on the car and have the disk drilled to suit the flywheel. It just fits in the rim with about an inch to spare all the way round. That way I should be able to bolt it straight on and the hub will clear the crank nut which is raised proud of the flywheel.  The hub area is about 6" Diameter so I think I have 2 options with it.

1, I can drive a serpentine belt directly off the hub but I will have to get a serpentine Pulley for the motor I want to drive.
 The engine is 12Hp so I'm not sure if a serpentine will drive that reliably so I'll have to wade through the online calcs.

2, The other option is to put a shaft on the end of the hub.  I was looking at the CV shaft I brought back to put on the Mrs car and it looks like the end is big enough to split it off and weld it to the face of the hub. The shaft which is splined is 32mm from memory so could be turned down to 1.5" or 1.25 For a V belt pulley. 

I meant to look at some disks while I was up north. Looked at flywheels but they are no good  but a read disk that has the larger hub for the parking brake shoes May be close.  I think I'd be happy to go with the merc disks for now but I may have to try and get off a flywheel  which will be a job and a half to get the measurements if I can't find them online.

It seems my options are complexity or cost. If I have the disk drilled to mount it on the flywheel I'll have to get the serpentine pulley which are an arm and a leg and far more than the V belts.  If I stick with the V on the motor then I'll have to have the CV shaft turned down, centred and welded.
mate has a lathe so I may be able to do that or kill myself in the process trying. Might be better just to use it to centre the hubs up and weld them although a machine place probablyu would add a lot to the cost for that either.  I could ask BIL but I don't want to wait 12 months to get it back like the last one he did for me.

I was also Looking at my twin cyl 30 Hp Ruggerini today and I think the brake disk may work for that. I'm pretty sure that is drilled to SAE pitch so I'll look into that as well. This would be a real nice engine but not much I can do with it till I get a way to drive something off it.  That is flat flywheel but a brake disk may be an easy and best of all cheap workaround with a the end of a CV shaft welded on to mount a Pulley.
I have grandiose ideas to make myself a tractor with that engine and hook it up to a gearbox and diff.

Thanks again for the kind offer. It's much appreciated.
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: ajaffa1 on June 28, 2019, 11:12:12 AM
Hi Glort, try your local Kubota dealer, they should have the original specs for hole spacing, three holes is a bugger (four is much easier to measure). There are ways of calculating the circumference based on the distance between hole centers but I`ve forgotten them, I`m sure they are available on the internet. Failing all else a piece of paper and a ball pein hammer will produce a very good template.

I don`t recommend trying to weld anything to a brake disk, depending what they are made of, you are unlikely to achieve a strong/lasting weld.

If the BIL is too flakey to do the job in a reasonable time my offer stands. Please be very careful about doing lathe work yourself, not that I doubt your talents or determination. I spent years working heavy industrial machinery and still have all my fingers and both eyes. Some of this was skill and some down to luck, I have had awkward shaped pieces fly out of lathes, fortunately they all missed me and my fellow workers. My advice to anyone using machine tools has always been: if you are not sure about it don`t do it!

Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: mikenash on June 28, 2019, 11:28:46 AM
I think a brake disc may crack if you ask it to accept flex loads . . .
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: glort on June 28, 2019, 12:48:04 PM
Hi Glort, try your local Kubota dealer, they should have the original specs for hole spacing, three holes is a bugger (four is much easier to measure).

Yes, I remembered too late today there is a Kubota stealer right in town. They may be able to look it up but they mainly sell lawnmowers and compact tractors out here.  Beautiful, gorgeous compact tractors with beautiful sleek orange lines and 4 way buckets with auto levelling and smooth cutting mower decks and hard digging backhoes...... But I digress......

There are ways of calculating the circumference based on the distance between hole centers but I`ve forgotten them, I`m sure they are available on the internet. Failing all else a piece of paper and a ball pein hammer will produce a very good template.

I thought of measuring with a pair of calipers as there is a nice centre mark in the midle of the crankshaft but the  shaft is raised so even if my measuring were accurate, it wouldn't be. Same with rubbing a crayon on paper. that would probably be worse.  Maybe measuring and expanding the holes a size or 3 would line it up.  That's what washers are for right?

I don`t recommend trying to weld anything to a brake disk, depending what they are made of, you are unlikely to achieve a strong/lasting weld.
  These are Non ventilated and new/ unused but I see your point as they are basicaly cast iron.  Fluckit! I thought I had found a cunning work around.  I'll ask at the Kubota stealers about the shafts as I have seen they are supposed to come with the engines. I have only found one out of date price online and that suggested a price tag of $300. 

I bought a couple of filters from the stealer in town for Dads RTV Tipper on Tuesday and they were only $15 ea. Of course got them back and take one look, go into the work shop and yep, as I thought, They are Subaru filters.... which are $15 ea as well.  That filter suits a LOT of different things including my twin Cyl Honda mower and a bunch of other cars.

If the BIL is too flakey to do the job in a reasonable time my offer stands.
Thanks Bob. I appreciate the offer.
Given up on BIL. Everything he wants I get told straight out that he dosen't want it in 6 Months, he'd like it in a timely order.  I asked when was the last time I ever dragged the chain and even his wife said she thought  he should practice what he preached because I always did things for him quickly but he didn't return the favour any time she had seen. I think beggars should not choosers But, nice if the job gets done before the beggar dies of old age.

Please be very careful about doing lathe work yourself, not that I doubt your talents or determination.

You should Doubt them. I have done little with metal Lathes. Not even sure what tools my mate has .  Come to think of it, I have no clue why he bought it. He knows nothing about them either  It's a big thing though and has an expensive CNC type controller

I spent years working heavy industrial machinery and still have all my fingers and both eyes. Some of this was skill and some down to luck, I have had awkward shaped pieces fly out of lathes, fortunately they all missed me and my fellow workers. My advice to anyone using machine tools has always been: if you are not sure about it don`t do it!

Thing with me is Bob, I'd do everything wrong, the thing could blow up and I wouldn't get a scratch.  i'd walk out the workshop, A tree would drop a branch and I'd be in hospital having my head stitched back on my shoulders. It's NEVER the dangerous things I shouldn't do, it's always the unforseen noone warns you about or would consider dangerous that buggers me up.

Many years ago, my very beloved father in law was going to teach me how to use lathes and mills and all the gear he had. having just retired I think he was looking forward to it as much as I was.  unfortunately he got sick with cancer and was never in a position to do that. Something I think of often and deeply regret. We lost him a long time ago but I still get teary when I think of him. Another of so many precious people I have lost.

 I had another play with the engine late this afternoon. Was looking at the electrics but still no joy.  I tried winding it up and it wouldn't go.  I had a can of degreaser beside me so I gave it a shot where the aircleaner intake is.  Wound it up and the thing barked up into life straight away. Could not have got anything than the fumes with the cover still on but that was enough.  Why ever it's not starting on it's own it's only just missing out. I reckon I could throw 100Ml of petrol in the tank and it would light up OK.

Gives me hope the injector nozzle and pintle will do the trick.
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: ajaffa1 on June 28, 2019, 01:07:05 PM
In your earlier post you said that you had it running well on veg oil, perhaps you need a blend of veg with a touch of RUG at this time of year when it is cold.

I`m looking to buy a decent lathe and milling machine in the near future, maybe I can teach you what you missed out on with the FIL. I`m thinking Colchester for the lathe and either Bridgeport or Cincinnati for the mill. I`d love a surface grinder as well but the Wife will only stand for so much!  :laugh:

You will always be welcome,

Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: mikenash on June 28, 2019, 08:40:13 PM
PCD of three holes:

PCD = Pitch Centre Diameter so it's the diameter of a circle that you could draw that would pass through the centre of your three holes (excuse me if you already know this)

(1) clean the shaft with emery & measure the diameter with verniers - that's dimension one

(2) Use the stem of the vernier to measure from the shaft out to the inner edge of each hole.  Average these three to minimise measuring inaccuracy - that's dimension two

(3) Do the same with the vernier to the outside edge of each hole and average as above - dimension three

(4) (dimension two + dimension three) divided by two, plus dimension one, is PCD - or as close as you'll get by measuring

FWIW it's effectively impossible to measure anything to the centre of a hole but usually OK to measure to each edge, add and then halve . . .
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: mikenash on June 28, 2019, 09:41:51 PM
Sorry, I have that wrong

one + two + three = PCD
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: glort on June 28, 2019, 10:55:56 PM
In your earlier post you said that you had it running well on veg oil, perhaps you need a blend of veg with a touch of RUG at this time of year when it is cold.

I may have said the wrong thing.  It was on the diesel that came with it initially then yesterday I put some fresh Diesel in it with a bit of veg oil.  It was on this mix after I pulled and cleaned the injector it did manage to start.  Then after a run it went back to not starting again.  I did wonder if it were somehow down on compression if the oil helped seal it up but I don't thank that is the case.

I might try a Little petrol in the fuel But I'm kind of reluctant because I would like to trace the problem. It should start on Diesel when the engine is hot as well as the mix in it which I'd guess is about 25% veg atm. I only wanted to put some lube into the Diesel but of course got carried away!

I also took the exhaust off the thing and saw no buildup in the port which is a sign the engine isn't stuffed..... or the WI did a good job as usual but I don't think the 1200 ml I put through it would work that fast.

Spose I could pull the injector out of the other engine and see how that goes. Might be better to try and start that engine first. 

My back is really sore and the rest of me aches from moving these 120+ Kg lumps around the shed so might even have a break today.
Going this morning to buy my new and long awaited welder.
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: BruceM on June 29, 2019, 12:23:16 AM
Good luck on the new welder.   I just got an oxy-acetylene rig for myself. Tanks filled yesterday, just waiting on a B tank to regulator adapter. Got it for cutting and heating (bending), but looking forward to brazing and trying some gas welding too.  Brazing and steel filler rods came to the PO today.
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: glort on June 29, 2019, 06:01:38 AM

Just bought the welder home but too buggered to even unpack it this afternoon.
The price of stick rods sure has gone up.  Wasn't my imagination either. The neighbour saw me getting the box out the car and was excited to hear it did stick , MIG and TIG.  He said to me the price of rods has gone up about 400% in the last 10 years.  I said I thought they were expensive when I looked at them in the place. 
Many years ago when I had a stick they were so cheap they were a not a concern. Now a small packet of about 8 or 12 rods is about $19.  A box is closer to $100 or more depending on which ones you want.

Wonder if that is just here or the same all over?

Makes MIG look real Cheap as the price of wire seems to have gone down over the years.
I also mentioned to Neighbour I was using the no name MIG wire and found it better than the branded stuff. He said he had found the exact same thing!.

This machine will take the full size spools but not sure if they would be the way to go or not. Might go rusty before I get to use it all. OTOH, might have so much fun with this I may burn through the wire in no time.

I was also going to look at getting a new gun for the old welder to see if I can make that decent again.  BIL or mate want to borrow my MIG and that's the one they can use. Thing was never the same when I got it back off either of them before. The new one will be a one user only..... least till I turn my toes up and then I won't be concerned.
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: ajaffa1 on June 29, 2019, 10:55:35 AM
Hi Glort, there is a way of seasoning timber very quickly. You need to soak it in a bath of ethylene glycol (anti freeze). This is an old trick wood turners used to use. The only problem with this is that you will never ever be able to get a varnish to adhere to wood treated in this fashion.

Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: Willw on June 29, 2019, 07:09:51 PM
Hi Glort, I've been running into a few cases of bad fuel recently and I was thinking that was the cause of your starting problem, but you've already investigated that, so like you I'm leaning towards the nozzle.

Sometimes after bleeding the fuel system thoroughly I like to turn the flywheel by hand very slowly and observe the injector spray pattern that way; it might tell something about the condition of the pump as well.

Good luck with it and keep us posted.
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: glort on June 30, 2019, 01:16:58 AM

Will, I looked at the pump output when disconnected from the injector and that looked as I expected as did the spray pattern from the injector seem as I thought it should... for what that i worth.   I could see 3 mist sprays where I thought there maybe 4 but also I was at a bad angle to observe the injector having to manually connect the starter at the other end of the machine.  3 might be the correct output or it may be 4 but what I did see was misting not squirting so it wasn't all bad if at all.

Injectors are Cheap ( surprisingly) so well worth changing the thing out as a precaution. I'll order 2 of them because as a mechanic mate is quick to say and proven correct regularly,  " Just because it's new don't mean it's good!"  I think that would hole well for China products although I have to say in my experience and that of friends, Chinese made Machinery has proven pretty damn reliable.  In any case, 90% of brand name goods are made there anyway now so you are really buying the same thing no matter what the brand. I'll look and see if I can find a pump for it as well.

I gave the machine a wind up yesterday late and it didn't want to light even with the spray of degreaser on the outside of the air filter so maybe that only worked when it was warm.
I remembered a tin of Fuel still sitting in the middle of the shed the Neighbour gave me just before I went away. He said he got it a couple of years back when working on a customers car that had misfueled.  They put a small amount of Petrol in the tank of their Diesel Vehicle.  He had it sitting around and gave it to me for my engines or to put through a burner.  I can't smell any petrol in it so whatever is in there is a small amount but I might put some in the engine as I didn't fill the tank the other day and see if that has any effect.

I only bought the Diesel I put in it a couple of weeks ago and it's been in a sealed Jerry can so it would not be off. I once got 1000L of " bad " Diesel from a marina when they pumped it out because their tank was leaking. Diesel wasn't leaking out, water was leaking in. They hadn't used the tank in a while but an inspection meant they had to repair said tank which required removing the contents first.
I got minimal water but dried and filtered the Diesel in my Veg oil processing tank then blended it with the veg oil.
Saved it all for winter and it worked real well with a Bit of ULP thrown in.

The new engines with electronic injectors I think are pretty fussy but old mechanical pumps will run on anything.  I ran my Merc Diesel on lard I heated up  to make liquid several times. Once coming back from the pump and in the heat of summer it stayed liquid and the car ran very well on it actually.

Like all my other diesels, this one will be fed Veg oil when it is set up.... and I go out and get some and process it.
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: BruceM on June 30, 2019, 02:11:13 AM
I swear, Glort, you'd be rendering fat from Mortuaries or Kangaroos if you didn't have a supply of free used vegetable oil. 

Seriously, your alt. fuel(s) and WI writing have been a boon for many of us. 
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: glort on June 30, 2019, 06:39:55 AM

I was talking to the Mechanic that works for my father the other day about cracking oil. He was quite interested in it and asked why I didn't get the plentiful supply of used oil off my father and do it. I said because veg is much easier and less work. I said if ever there was a real fuel shortage, It could be an option. Lots you can do, question is how worthwhile it is to pursue these other methods.
I might have a go at cracking again one day, see if I could get near Ed's quality and production standard.

How is you WI setup working for You Bruce?

I gave the engine a run up again today. Bit of degreasear up into the aircleaner and it started easy. I think yesterday the battery I was cranking with may have been a bit down which didn't help. It seems just that hair off starting but I still can't tell exactly what the cause is. all My diesels have always started well even when left for a year or more.

So much work to get the setup I want built. I'll get an engine that's good to go one day.
I'll have to do a pulley setup, a mounting, control panel, sort the electrics,  a better exhaust and certainly a better intake that is quieter.  I tried slipping an old car muffler and pipe over the existing muffler today and as I suspected, it made no worthwhile difference. That intake is LOUD. I think it's going to take a car muffler on that to get the racket down. I don't think there is any problem with the valve overlap, I can't detect any back pressure from the intake.

I know all this should be fun and enjoyable but right now i'm not feeling the best and it's just hard work. I am aching all over and have been since getting back and today I feel very sleepy and tired as well as my head is spinning after going some gardening.   Always ups and downs with me.
I also have so much else to do round here that's on my mind that I want to get done. Might just have to concentrate on ordering parts and making slow but constant progress.  Unfortunately procrastination on how to do things is is a problem for me, kinda like the thing a hardware company are advertising here ATM, " Fear of Mucking Up". Mine is more fear is " Fear of design I got a better idea for when I have finished and put a lot of work into it".  >:(

So many times I do things only to do them and immediately on completion think I should have done something else. Trying to be careful and think things through adds to more confusion.  I'm so useless and inept these days.   :-[
I think I'll just slap it all on some wooden beams I have, get it working in a fashion and then try and work out what I want for a final design.  At least that will allow some measurements of things like drive belts and give me some ideas for setting up exhaust/ intake etc.

I'm seriously thinking about putting another triple bay shed up the back and keeping that for all the machinery and my engines/ genny setups.  Mrs won't be hard to sell on that when there is room in the shed to put the new car she wants. Just have to win Lotto and won't have to worry about the cost of everything.
Course if I did that I'd move anyway......

Can anyone work out why I procrastinate and get myself in a tizz?   :laugh:

Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: BruceM on June 30, 2019, 07:35:28 AM
You're just caught in the better design issue.  The better is always the enemy of the good enough. 

My thinking now is that it takes about 3 builds to really get something close to right.  You just have to take your lumps and not whine when you have to it again...

Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: dieselspanner on June 30, 2019, 07:55:18 AM
Can anyone work out why I procrastinate and get myself in a tizz? 

I'll give it some thought,

Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: mikenash on June 30, 2019, 08:25:08 AM
Can anyone work out why I procrastinate and get myself in a tizz? 

I'll give it some thought,


Take your time on that, Stef.  Don't get worked up about it . . .
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: ajaffa1 on June 30, 2019, 02:14:12 PM
Hi Glort, why do you procrastinate and get in a tizz? For exactly the same reasons that effect us all: distractions and self doubt.

You have both the machinery and the skills to bring this project to a satisfactory conclusion provided you follow a couple of simple rules. Firstly, you need to sit down with pen and paper and define the purpose of the project and what you are trying to achieve. Are you trying to build a backup generator, a full CHP system, something to take to shows? Perhaps it`s something to show off to the locals or just to piss them off. Maybe it`s just something to fill up your spare time and to stop you climbing the walls.

Second is to work out how much money you are able and willing to commit to the project. As a married man you will need to discus this with She who must be obeyed.(good luck)

Third is to decide where you are going to house your project, if it is going to be a backup generator it needs to be close enough to your home so that you can easily start it in the event of a blackout but far enough from you and the neighbors that it will not cause a noise/pollution problem, you also need to consider the cost of copper cable to your distribution board. If it is a CHP then it needs to be close enough to the house to allow easy/short pipe runs for heating. The closer it is to your home the more you will have to spend on sound deadening/vibration alleviation measures. If it is for display then it will need to have wheels so it can easily be moved, it will also require dry storage facilities between shows. If it is to impress/irritate the neighbors then it is all down to how well you know them and which of their buttons you want to push. I know that most of your proclivities are an attempt at finding  positive ways of channeling past negative events into a brighter future, so the work is therapeutic and I completely understand that as I am in the same boat but it doesn`t have to result in a bad engineering outcome.

Fourth is design, once you have worked out what the goals are it`s time to get on the internet and have a look at what other people have done. Now cross reference everything you need with what is readily/cheaply available in your area, aim for the most bang for your buck!

Five is construction/assembly. Work methodically, don`t rush, allocate as much time as you can safely allow, without it effecting your other work or personal relationships, enjoy the process. Involve as many of your family and friends as you can, people always have more respect for a community project than an individual effort and they will all walk away a lot wiser from having been exposed to you and your knowledge and experience.

Six is taking credit for what you have achieved, light the fire pit, break out the wine and sit on your arse and accept the well earned praise for doing what very few people still know how to do!

Don`t ever doubt your abilities or knowledge, I don`t!  :)


Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: glort on June 30, 2019, 04:16:40 PM

Thanks Bob.  You would make a great councillor and I mean that sincerely. Some I have seen were effing hopless and yet I have found so many friends and strangers have offered very helpful and meaningful advise that really was a benefit.

I'll go though the list here to document it.

The purpose is 2 Fold, a generator to grid tie to make up for a lack of solar generation particularly at this time of year and to switch to a stand alone backup as well.
By using an induction motor I can do both these things easily and switch between functions. 

Second is not really a problem. My Mrs lets me do whatever I want really.  Sure she protests but at the end of the day, she never stands in my way of anything I want.   She is too good for me. The main thing she protests about is where I'm going to put all my Junk. She agreed to the new lister providing I got rid of the old one as there isn't space for 2.  Must do an ad for that this week. I'm a tight arse so I regulate the purse strings farm more than she does. She is usually the one getting frustrated telling me To just buy the damn thing I need and be done with it.
When it comes to anything to do with my solar / self sufficiency endeavours, I have complete free range. She knows what we have saved with veg oil over the years with vehicles, sees how much we save with my solar infatuation and anything that makes power has a permanent blessing ans seal of pre approval.

I want to put the gen setup in the shed. If I buld a new one I'll move it up there where it will be behind my and the neighbours shed and well away from anyone.  I have a spot in mind for now, just have to clear out the crap a lot of which in that part IS hers. I would love a CHP setup but the only practical place would be too close to the neighbours. They always build houses on a near side to make it easier to run utilities from the same point so the houses are more or less in pairs on their respective blocks.  It would take a lot to put the setup there and would interfere with the layout of the outdoor bathroom I'm working on anyway.
I spent a lot of time at the last place exacting therapeutic revenge on my mongrel neighbour returning the hell they had put us through with compound interest but my Neighbours here are great and I now try my hardest NOT to annoy them in any way. 

The spot in the shed for the setup is near where the power comes in and farthest side from the closest Neighbour.... whom I Get on with like a house on fire and really don't want to upset. Not that the sound of an engine  would phase him at all but the Mrs while nice enough is definitely " Particular" about things in the neighbourhood.  I'm in the good books, will be playing caretaker for them for the next 6 weeks while they are away so don't want to spoil the high esteem and fond outlook I am held in!
 I can bolt whatever mountings to the shed floor and if need be, put a cover around it made from Cool room panel or whatever for further silencing although I don't think that will be needed.  If I muffle the intake and add a bit more silencing to the exhaust, I think the rest should be OK.  Noise wise they don't seem to hear much once they are inside the house.
The Shed is a good 25M from the house, further to the neighbours house and I will and already intended to upgrade the wiring as it is struggling to carry the output from my panels a lot of the time although I intend to remove some of the panels on the shed.

Already done a lot of research, I'm the kind that always does the homework first.  Kinda why I'm in a dither, seen a few different ways I like of doing things and trying to work out whats best for my needs and gives the best functionality. I know how I want to set up the electrical side and have bought the panel meters and switches, relays, indicator lights,  control boards etc a long while back.  That stuff I really love.

The main thing now is mounting and anchoring.  I want to go wood for quiet but steel is soooo much easier. Have already scrounged everything I need there. I Set the Motor and engine on some wooden rails this afternoon for a mock up.  Damn near killed myself just positioning them even with the help of my Crane.  Very much on my own with the family and friends. I'm the crazy mad scientist in their eyes with this and apart from the BIL machining stuff and my sparky mate who is limited in a lot of this sort of thing anyway but can wire the switchboard for me and run other HD circuits.  Thats OK, and not a concern.  Mrs seemed to have fun raising and lowering stuff with the winch on the crane while I wrestled it into place this afternoon.

I will have to make a parts list and find the measurements to have a flywheel shaft made if they are expensive to buy as I am sure they will be. I have to work slow and methodical and spending too much time on it is not a risk. I tire so easily some days that I am my own limiting factor. Putting enough rather than too much time in is the problem. I often go out and do things till I get tired, Come in, look here and have a cuppa and a it of look around on the net then go back out when I feel up to it. Some days I do an hour at a time, some days I go out all afternoon.

Hahah! Light the fire pit! Now that is one thing the mrs was not happy about today, I haven't finished that. Why not? Again, seen too many ideas on the net I like and not sure which way to jump. I don't think the boss cares much atm. She just has a yearning to sit round a warm fire and enjoy being able to be out looking at the stars at night.  She wants stones/ Pebbles as a surround. I don't want the things spreading through the lawn. I'll put them on yet another project, the outdoor bathroom and pave around the fire pit.  Of course both of these things and more have to be done by Christmas which with my lethargy is not going to be long.

I regularly doubt my abilities when I struggle to do simple things I know should be easy. Often times my theoretical knowledge out does my practical and meagre self taught skills by a substantial margin. Usually its the real basic things that cause me the most anguish.

Thanks again Bob, I appreciate the support. Ironically as usual, today marks the beginning of the month of the last 4 years of hell.
No matter how much I occupy or confuse myself with other things, you can't escape your own thoughts.
I have never been drunk or taken any recreational Drugs in my life but maybe I should make up for lost time??   :embarassed:

Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: BruceM on June 30, 2019, 06:50:25 PM
Two things in the recreational drugs realm that where once being researched for medicinal use before the US "war on drugs" started are now being looked at again.  Pot is profoundly helpful for depression in some that have had no luck at all with Rx medication.  I can't tolerate enough THC for a big effect but do notice a nice boost in mood the day after if I'm vaping the 50/50 THC/CBD stuff in the evening to aid sleeping.  Psilocibin/magic mushrooms seem to have very long lasting benefits for depression for some.

My WI injection system is still working nicely.  I topped it up with 2 gallons of distilled water last week, have previously been using well water.  I also replaced my plastic antifreeze expansion tank, they die from UV in about 4 years. 
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: xyzer on June 30, 2019, 07:19:55 PM
Glort, (sp chk!) Saw your find. 1st one I've seen aside from mine. I might have a earlier version but still same basic design.
Do a search here for Kubota by me.
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: BruceM on June 30, 2019, 07:29:04 PM
Great custom portable design, XYZer.  Nice looking welds, too.
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: glort on June 30, 2019, 11:15:27 PM

That is a great setup XYZ!
Seeing how nicely that sits I think I might put mine on wheels now.  Would make it easier to move which I know I'll want to do at some point and would allow me to make the mountings in steel and still have great Vibration suppression.

I was also thinking to add a 12/ 24V alternator and now I know how to do it. I have a couple of serpentine Belts that are way too long for just the engine / motor but will be good with the alt and I have a tensioner as well. All painfully obvious when you see it but I don't have the smarts to work it out even though I did something similar with my roid.  Glad you showed me that now instead of seeing it when I was done with what I had in mind. I would not have been happy. It will save a LOT of mucking round with adjustable motor mounts by having the belt tensioner and worth the cost of the serpentines.

Looks like the new welder will come in handy.

Thanks again for the heads up. Great help and inspiration. Between you and Bob I feel much more enthused about this and does not seem like such hard work anymore.... Sitting here at least! :0)
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: Tanman on July 19, 2019, 10:34:13 PM
Maybe you could throw one of these on your new toy!
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: ajaffa1 on July 19, 2019, 11:42:45 PM
Loving that recoil starter, do they make them in different sizes for larger/smaller engines?

Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: glort on July 20, 2019, 01:23:15 AM

I have seen that before but just seeing it again now I have experience with those engines made me realise something...

He's starting that without the Decompressor.  That thing must have a HUGE amount of grunt to do that!  The electric starter on mine won't do it from a standing start, you have to let it get some momentum on the decomp and then drop it and it will wind it through once it has some inertia. When I crank it by hand I can't spin it hard enough to get it through more than one compression cycle and the thing hits TDC and stops dead. Never found any problem cranking the roid but the the Kubota is a beast and a half.

Love the look of that shop though.  Man they have some nice looking stuff there including what looks like a 4 or 6 Cyl inline engine.  And I'll bet where it is which I'm guessing Thailand, even my Aussie devalued Peso's would make stuff there wonderfully cheap.
Of course the excess baggage charges on the way home may even things up a bit though.  I could probably pay them $10 extra to break everything down to 20Kg packages and just post it home.

I believe I have found a 10 Kw Gen head.  Not celebrating just yet as I have had too many things go south buying online but I remain hopeful I'll be able to get it next week. Only a single phase but given how long I have been searching I think I'll take it. Won't power the 3 phase AC or the 2 Phase stove but other than that.
Will leave me in a Quandry though.
Do I set up with the Induction motor so I can backfeed easy and have a somewhat touchy stand alone generator, Do I have a stable stand alone generator that will be touchy and difficult to back feed with, Do I set up for both, ( that's going to be a lump and a half)  Or do I set up 2 engines with a head each? Might be a bit overkill even for me. I should look up Syncing regular generators a bit more. I know it can be done but the methods I have seen for doing it so far look somewhat Dodgy.

Going the 2 heads on one engine would cause extra wasted drag but I wonder how much? Sure would have some reactive power though the extra rotating mass. I would probably also need some sort of belt tensioning system so I can slack the belt to start the engine  and then pull it in once running.  Asking the starter to turn 2 extra substantial Loads seems a sure way to a fast end for the thing. Then again, With the engine decompressed......  :-\
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: ajaffa1 on July 20, 2019, 09:48:37 AM
Once again we find ourselves in the same boat, with too many options available. I am reasonably certain that I now have enough generating power to be completely off grid, while still being able to run my house and all the machinery in my shed. The one thing I am missing is battery storage.

I would love to be completely independent of the flakey/expensive electrical distribution system but my Wife is dead set against it. I am hoping that by installing sufficient home battery storage/solar/generating capacity that I will be able to export all of our present grid tied solar generated electricity to the grid to bring my electricity bill down to zero.

The biggest problem with my plan is the cost of deep cycle batteries. I have more than enough roof space to fit solar panels to charge them and more than enough generators to keep us going in the event of a battery storage problem. I would love to have a three phase and a single phase off grid inverter in place, giving me options on machine tooling and etc.

I am presently trying to design a floor slab and shed to accommodate all of this equipment, not an easy thing to do when you don`t know exactly what you are trying to achieve.

Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: dieselspanner on July 20, 2019, 11:47:59 AM
Yes there are other starters of a similar nature, I can't remember much about it but I worked on a Deutz engine that was designed to be air portable, without any electrics, and drive an experimental pontoon / bridging set.

It looked like a starter motor and fitted in the same location, you wound it up in the same manner. but with a 1/2" drive ratchet, as I remember, and then let in go, I think it engaged with a bendix. The bosses son over wound one and it exploded like a hand grenade.

Bob, I've spent most of my life without knowing what I was trying to achieve, good, innit!

Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: glort on July 20, 2019, 01:22:27 PM


I am yet to discover a way of making power cheaper than you can get it from the grid.  As well as batteries for going off grid you would need an inverter and charger or a unit like a PIP that will do both.
If you are on grid, I firmly believe the cheapest option is to minimise your consumption with solar. As far as I can see, the minute you go to batteries, you are behind the 8 ball.  Yes, I too have ready the reports and testimonials of people that installed batteries and said they were in front in 3 years and I do not believe them one bit. I have seen all sorts of equations to make batteries look like they repay themselves and they are all convoluted and basically flawed.

If you have an analogue Meter(s) you are laughing. You can simply plug in a regular GTI to a circuit on each phase and wind your meter back during the day  and use the " Credit" at night.  NO, it is not actually Illegal that I have seen, it's not actually covered. the worst they could do is install smart meters that won't accept feedback.

If you have to go to batteries, then the best alternative I have seen is forklift packs.  Good old fashioned lead acids  that weigh a ton, aren't particularly compact but are Cheap ( as far as batteries go) dependable, give great life with a bit of Maintenance and are a proven commodity. I have seen people whine about the maintence online.  That amounts to monthly checking and keeping the water topped up which may be weekly. There are auto watering system that can do that for you so you only have to top up the resivour as needed.

Inverters are coming down in price and the Chinese stuff is getting great reviews.
This ( Inverter does 5 Kw and is a 100A charger as well and can be grid tied.
There are a LOT of selectable options in the menus so you can Customise them to do a lot of things. Don't know anything about this inverter, just showing as an example of the many ones available now. Anything in 3 phase gets exy real fast.

People often ask me why I don't have batteries and the reason is I have it good as it will ever get with the ability to do without them and reqind my meters.  When they are replaced as will happen, My plan is to have a small legit system installed.  I will get approval for 10 KW but only install  3 or 5 or whatever  is most economical.  That will give me the feedback ability and I can run my present systems and inverters to make  a decent FIT. That will offset the power I use, hopefully to as little as possible.  I have enquired about this and been told it's not exactly Kosher but is widely done as far as the approval for the larger system goes. The reason to do it that way is so you don't raise flags when you are certified for a 3Kw system and they see you are feeding back 10.  They will never question under rating but they do over rating.

There is a lot to this and it's a very situation specific thing as to which way to go.  What some people seem to overlook is that sometimes the cheapest option is to stick with paying the power bill. Not what we want to do but looking at it objectively, it's frequently the most cost effective solution.
If you can stay grid connected and Minimise your power useage WITHOUT batteries, particularly if your consumption is low to start, then that's often the best thing. As far as I can see, at this point in time batterys are best avoided for the associated cost reasons.

If you have a low bill of say $3-400  a quarter, that's going to take a good while just to recoup if you go batterys.  If you say halve that with panels  and maybe have the Hot water sunning off solar even if that is off grid, one may be well better off.  the lower your bill the less there is to save in the first place and the longer the (fixed) battery costs are going to take to recoup.

I think it pays to crunch a lot of numbers and look at your bill as well.
On another thread I was talking about powering the water heater from solar.  there are a lot of devices to do that, the cheapest I know of is over $300. Most are around double that with a lot being over $1000.
If one looks at their bill and sees their off peak is costing say $60 a quarter which is reasonable for a Couple who don't shower long, then that investment in the diverter is going to take a fair while to pay off. You then have to look at it and say what is the expected Longevity of said unit?

This is where batterys suck the big one. I have yet to see a battery pack that realistically would last long enough to save enough power costs over it's life to offset it's cost. The general consensus is pretty much world wide, battery's would have to come down by 75%  to make them a Viable and sensible financial investment.  Panels however can pay off in anything from 2-4 years on average.

If I can help you with any of my useless knowledge I'd be more than happy to.  It's a fast changing playing field but I do have a grasp of the local situation.  If your goal is to save Money, and I mean in the big, long term real world picture, I would suggest for all but a very narrow margin of people, batterys are at this time best avoided.  If you want to use them for other reasons, then the Forklift packs are definitely the way I'd go and I have looked at all the systems I can find.

I would also strongly suggest to stay clear of the different new versions of water or flow type batteries.  Seems they come and go like japanese car models. From what I have seen so far, they have all fallen well short of promises and expectations.
I am also suspect of the lithium's in various flavours.  Some of these home batteries are made from the same battery as in your laptop computer.  I have never had batteries in a laptop last more than a few years before they seriously degrade capacity.  No laptop I ever had would cycle the batterys daily like in a home battery so i'm wondering how these same cells are going to last 10 years in a home battery? The other thing is they are changing these battery chemistys every month virtually so in reality, who really know how any one of them will hold up in practice?

The one that is known and proven in it's various flavours is the good old lead acid.
Long as you have the space and don't need to mount them on the wall, they are the best bang for the buck I can see.
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: BruceM on July 20, 2019, 05:02:50 PM
Glort's right about batteries, and for now, avoiding them.  Sad that wet lead should still (100 years!)  be the most cost effective battery for stationary power, but it is, and by a large margin.

A look at ongoing battery replacement cost should be a huge driver for super insulated off grid homes, but in my very rural area, it's not.  People just can't grok it, and don't want to deal with the 3rd rate builders in the very rural SW. Instead they get a manufactured home and then find their AC eats batteries in no time, their PV and battery system is inadequate, and their propane bills in winter are huge.  They go through the first set of batteries in 1 year, and that provides motivation.  Then they switch to a evaporative cooler and other power conservation measures.  Typically their battery bill is pretty painful, replacing 8 or 16 Trojan L16's (400ah) every 4 years, at $380 each plus tax and freight.  Battery replacement cost of $100 to 150 month is common.  They are energy independent but now battery dependent.

Building codes need to change, big time, and manufactured housing needs even bigger changes.  My work with thermal modeling showed that a very well insulated slab, thicker than usual, was hugely helpful thermal mass for my SW high desert climate, when coupled with Canadian style double framed walls (R40) and raised heel trusses (R80).  My next step is water cooling of the house though the in-floor pex system, which I keep stalling on.

My battery replacement cost is $15 a month, plus $15 a month for refrigerator propane for my larger sized propane refrigerator.  By not having an electric refrigerator, and no 24/7 inverter losses, my DOD is only 10%, and cheap marine batteries do the job nicely. Heating is solar hot water and cooling I open windows at night.  Works well except for periods of wildfires, when I can't open up, though I haven't gotten over 78F yet this year despite a lot of wildfires.

Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: glort on July 21, 2019, 03:08:07 AM

There would be a BIG problem with your ideas on properly insulated homes here Bruce.
While I fully agree with what you are saying, I can see the big obstacle. Here homes new or old are a stretch to breaking point for people to afford, Even a professional working couple earning good money.

There is huge building projects going on round here and you are right in that people get often the cheapest or most well featured luxury wise home they can afford and that's it. The building regulations specify basic insulation and things like a 500L water tank which few people ever seem to use anyway and they squeeze into their cardboard boxes and every 2nd resident has a story of how lucky they were to get what they got.

The great majority of new homes in the wider Sydney area wouldn't have a hope in hell of being off Grid.  the land size is down to sub 300M Sq which is smaller than the footprint of my home  and they tend to be double story and a LOT of duplexes. As such the roof area and design is such that they would be lucky to fit 6 Panels  on the roof and ZERO attention is given to orientation of homes and snything to do with shading for summer or warming for winter.

I have been to a LOT of home shows and Show home villages over the last couple of years and I can only remember a couple of half hatched energy saving products and NOTHING from home builders.  Here anything energy efficient is architect designed and looked at as a bit " Fringe"  or eccentric.
Building something energy efficient would absolutely be well out the range of first home buyers just for the land required alone. in anywhere near suburbia you'd have to be buying a double block which is automatically $1M + or an acerage.  The ones down the road from me which are the last in the area which is on the very edge of the city are presently going for $1.2 M  Add a minimum for a standard project home of $500 K and a house with good insulation and efficiency is going to go  closer to $2m than anything else.  A couple of Lawers, Doctors or any other decent earning professional couple is going to be stretched to breaking point to pay that off and the average earners haven't got a chance past about $700K which barely scrapes them into the shoe box with the cardboard walls as they virtually have now.

I have looked at how they build houses now. I have no doubts I could demolish one to sit it on the ground with my bare hands and a good pair of boots in 3 days. And I really think I could probably do it in one long as it wasn't brick..... which most of them are not.

The real problem comes back to the people screwing the prices up to breaking point. The gubbermint on a range of levels  from taxes  to having a level of Immigration that means there aren't enough places ( or jobs) to go round for a start, to the fees and levys they put on developers, the average $60-80K+ Stamp duty one has to pay to buy a home to the profiteering by developers and builders in the industry whom are building rubbish to start with.  Rubbish so bad that we are having multiple cases of Buildings 1-10 Yo cracking up so bad they are being evacuated.

A lot of these new homes will be lucky to make 30-40 years old I reckon. 100 yo homes will be the ones that are 50-60 Yo or more now.
Everything is about price now. The message of efficiency would be lost on 98% of new / first home buyers because they just want a roof over their heads and any new roof is a win. On the established market, I looked for 2 years and I -think- there was one place that had some better than average insulation and double glazing but that was about it. I was looking in the $1.5M range as well not the bottom of the barrel. Even at that pricepoint, you are not exactly looking at mansions here. Important things are Ceasarstone benchtops, the quality of the taps and fittings, the pool or spa, the light fittings, how many shitters in the place and and the single glazed bay windows.
Upgrading a place as I discovered is basicaly impractical and if you did spend the considerable cash, I really doubt you would get any sort of return on the investment when you sold and you'd have to be buying at 18 and selling when you were 60 to recover the investment.

I was at the plumbing supplies a while back and saw they were doing away with the metal gal pipe. I asked why when it was no more exy than the plastic crap they are well into now. I was told because it's so much faster to install, just clicks or crimps together.  Something I said and was told it should last 20 years.  Say what?? So in 25 years tops I'll have had to rip all the walls out the house to replace the probably burst plumbing? are you for real.
20 yo houses aren't the builders problem which shows the attitude.

And we think houses should be insulated better?

Not a hope in hell here my friend!
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: BruceM on July 21, 2019, 04:52:08 AM
I understand the cost, which is why the codes must change.  In truth, the cost can be near neutral, as big savings in heating and cooling plants can be had.  If your heating and cooling needs 1/6 the BTU's or less, it doesn't take much.  And you can save on windows, as large expanses of glass are a thermal disaster. 

Superinsulation via double wall is way cheaper than thick foam cladding.

No hope for affordable housing in Sydney, it's getting like San Franciso, property wise. 
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: ajaffa1 on July 21, 2019, 09:49:22 AM
Hi Guys, when I was building new houses in the UK it was almost impossible to keep up with the ever changing building regulations. It got to the point where I would demand the local council put in writing the regulations on the day I commenced construction, I would then build to that code. I had no end of run ins with building inspectors who turned up and told me that what I was doing was now against the law. I enjoyed handing them of a copy of the regs at the time of commencement of construction and telling them to Foxtrot Oscar.

I am appalled at the poor quality of Australian house construction, I suspect that Glort is right that the land values and government taxes have left the builders with no choice but to throw up the cheapest boxes they can, otherwise they would be unaffordable to any but the wealthiest Australians.

Perhaps Australian planners need to follow the UK example and specify that a certain percentage of new city houses be built to satisfy the demand from essential workers, policemen/nurses/sewage workers/taxi drivers and etc. Non of which could possibly afford to own their home otherwise. I would love to be involved in building/designing mews housing that would accommodate a lot of hard working poorly paid people at a price they could afford. Insulation against heat and cold would be the top priority.

The problem is that the government make a huge amount of money from taxation on energy for heating/cooling so they have no incentive to improve things. It`s a f*cked up world!


Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: glort on July 21, 2019, 04:28:55 PM
The problem is that the government make a huge amount of money from taxation on energy for heating/cooling so they have no incentive to improve things.

That is ( as usual) a very insightful point Bob.
They also make money, more money, the higher the price of the home in stamp duty.  The recently ended housing boom in Syd and Melbourne is known to have landed the Gubbermints a huge windfall through the astronomical amounts of stamp duty they got which has funded a great many projects.
It's the same thing as why the whole renewable energy idea is a farce. The gubbermint make billions a year from fuel excises ( the many of them) they money with GST on the price of electricity and from the power co's in tax as well. The past thing they want is people like you and I minimising or eliminating our power bills because thee is no revenue in that.

The clean green idea is all well and good up to them loosing money and then the environment can take a flying just because it's always profit and revenue above and beyond all else.

Another problem with the unavoidability of new and established homes is that it turns in to unaffordability and unobtainability of rental places.
I have been looking at investment properties in Sydney.  I'd be lucky to get anything worthwhile under $700K  and rent it out for $500 a week.  When you put in your initial stamp duty and associated fees you are well north of 780  then you have yearly rates to pay, agents fees for collecting your money and have to insure the property and meet any maintenance expenses.  You might be lucky and get 3% on your money with a lot of risk.
For that I can do term investments, blue chip shares  or just buy land and make more money. 

Of course on the other side of the coin, $500 a week is a big chunk out of a non professionals wage to be paying in rent every week and that's more on the low side than the high  for Sydney Melb and bris now.  I never had to pay rent I was fortunate enough to always live in my own home and even though wages were less, I don't think I ever even paid the equivalent of that in mortgages.
When I bought my second home I only had to mortgage half of the purchase price and I still owned my first home and that got me a better interest as well.  Kinda arse about really, the more you have and the less you need money from the bank the more easily and cheaper they will give it to you.

I went to a 21st dinner tonight for a beautiful and elegant young lady I have known since before she went to school. A highly intelligent girl that used to sit and talk to my son about real estate  when she was 16. She was talking to me tonight about how she would like to take her life to the next stage and move into a place of her own but had deep reservation if that was the smart thing.  Just having graduated Uni and with a very decent job for her age, even sharing a place would put a huge dent in her ability to save  for a deposit on a place of her own.

It's a quandary. Does she do the adult thing and move out all but guaranteeing a much longer and harder road to owning a place of her own or stay at home and get a bit more of a slingshot start when she does leave.  I reminded her how much her family loved her and how much my family love  her and that if she had to move out of home, there was a spare bedroom here that was hers anytime she cared to move in.

When I have my little daydreams of winning Lotto and what I would do with the money, one of the very first thoughts I have is setting her and her brother whom has been a part of our family like a second son, up with a home of their own and a trust fund of some sort. I think of the difference that would make to their lives and their happiness. Instead of slogging their guts out to pay a 30 year mortgage they would have so much less stress and strain in their lives and could enjoy themselves so much more. Wouldn't be a matter of spoiling them rather than just sparing a couple of very deserving kids so much pressure and sleepless nights we have all suffered and giving them a life they could enjoy instead of a life fighting to survive.

For investment's I can do better in country areas where the houses are cheaper and 10% rents can be realised,but there is also low rental demand.  The money is good, -IF- you can get it. Every chance your house may sit unrented for a long time between tenants.

Even if as Bruce suggests the cost of a better insulated home may be no more, I see an apathy in the industry that would still want to build the easiest, fastest way possible and has no motivation to do anything better. They can sell whatever shit sandwich without the bread they can knock together, no need to stand out from the crowd what so ever.

Better building regulations would force their hands but it's pretty clear  for the most part, the industry owns those supposed to Govern them in here the same as in many other industrys where the industry controls the regulators rather than the other way round.
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: ajaffa1 on July 22, 2019, 02:40:23 PM
I have thought for years that any new properties being built should be carbon neutral and be built with an expected life of at least one hundred years. I am not talking about the energy that goes into building a house, just the energy it consumes during it`s life time. There are numerous examples of houses around the world that actually export energy, while being perfectly comfortable for the occupants. If we can send people into space with temperatures approaching zero Kelvin is it too much to ask that our own homes are warm in winter, cool in summer and cheap to run?

In Australia this would be easiest achieved by building homes partially or wholly underground. this would produce a home with an ambient temperature of between 17 and 20 celcius, it would take no energy to cool these homes in summer and very little energy to keep them warm in winter. A few solar panels would be adequate to make these homes extremely comfortable.

Perhaps the easiest and cheapest ways to build these homes would be to build them on sloping ground, dig about half of the home into the ground and then use the spoil to bury the other half of the home. This approach would have one other benefit in that it would stop developers building on flood plains, leaving the fertile flood plains to farmers.

My local town, Grafton, is one such area in which the town center is built below the levies, in the event of severe flooding it will be several meters underwater, the insurance claims if it flooded would certainly be half a billion or more. We have seen exactly this played out in Townsville and Lismore in recent times. These towns/cities were built where they are because they needed river access to import/export goods. This is no longer the case, move the people out of harms way into the foot hills with a beautiful view of the productive and fertile flood plains below and let the farmers do what they do best.

Rant over for now,

Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: BruceM on July 22, 2019, 05:12:38 PM
I looked into earth sheltered for my off grid home- not so cheap insulation, as it turns out, nor easy to build without having mold and ventilation issues.  Here the stable earth temperature (63F) is down at 12 foot depth. I only have 4-5 foot of dirt on top of sandstone. Just adding insulation, and having the slab fully insulated as valuable thermal mass was the best bang for the buck, for my climate/location.  I bumped the slab thickness to 5.5 inches and used 5/8 sheetrock to boost interior mass on the cheap. 

Every region has it's own resources (such as  ground water) and earth temperature... pity we've made so little effort to use them wisely. 

Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: glort on July 22, 2019, 10:30:55 PM

Only thing that is paid any attention to here is squeezing whatever excuse for a home you can get on any bit of surface are of the earth and that's it.
Some of the places we looked at before buying this were clearly properties that should have never been built. But like everything else, it's all about the money.

I was digging into the guts of my AC unit yesterday. a relay on the board controlling one of the condenser fans has gone out requiring the replacement of the board. was tempted just to tap off the other fan and drive the non working one off a relay but Fridgy mate says that's not Kosher.
When the thing kicked in I was standing in front of the icy blash that came out of it thinking how useful that would be in summer.  Walked past it in summer and felt the fan forced overn heat that come out and thought if only there were a way to contain that for 6 Months how much power could be saved.

Least I worked out how to rotate the phases so the main one is now on a meter I can wind back in summer and will save me almost 1 Kwh which adds up the way that thing gets hammered in summer.  Also the 1+ Kwh a day the thing uses in the sump heater even just sitting there will be on a recoverable  phase.

Having a search for energy efficient home builders, I was very underwhelmed. Firstly, Didn't see any in my state, the most pupulated in the country.  I'll admit, it wasn't an exhaustive search and there has to be some but the fact none showed up on the first page of google where there were several from another state said something in itself.  Next thing was those advertising energy efficiency seemed to be doing it more as a marketing angle than anything else. Yeah, extra insulation, Double glazing and solar something but other than that.... One spoke of air Tightness one spoke of sealing the frame to the slab ( ??) and while these would help, I certainly didn't see anything inspirational.  One made note of energy efficent appliances which were all Gas which made me wonder how that would be more efficent than electric  that you could generate yourself from panels.

Nothing about ground loops, orientation with verandahs for summer shading of the house, no heat pumps for hot water ( one said they put extra insulation around the normal electric HWS tank ?) insulating the slab or anything  beyond the double glazing and extra insulation really. I have none of the knowledge Bruce does on this but even I could design a better house than what I was seeing.  I was looking for something inspirational and didn't even see anything keeping up with what I know of and would do if I were building.

All the houses were small arse little dog boxes and the only larger one I found was clearly from an average builder that was not doing anything efficient at all but probably just threw the meta tags in the website to sucker some extra traffic in.  The place with the floor to double story ceiling single glazed windows sort of raised my suspicions and prompted a further dig to prove they would know efficiency if it bit them on the arse.
The main ones I found were all in the southern cold state so I imagine would be more one way biased.

I would like to double glaze this place but it would be a Fortune. The reality is cheaper just to heat and cool it for the time I'll be here using the solar.
I am looking to get someone in about shade Blinds. I think they could make a worthwhile difference in summer keeping the direct sun off 2 walls.
The heat that pours in the multiple double doors and windows is probably more than the Big AC can handle just with that.
The thing about letting winter sun in is a misnomer here. Time there is enough warmth to be of any use at all, the days have warmed up enough and you don't need it anyway.
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: BruceM on July 22, 2019, 11:27:50 PM
Seasonal heat/cold storage would be sweet, the the amount to be stored is brutal.  You need to make an ice house of sorts in the be used in summer, and a huge superinsulated tank of molten salts in summer for winter.  Rather brutally expensive in each case.

The problem with home design is that we've left it to "the marketplace" with a few architects as hangers on.  Architecture is an ART SCHOOL, so any technical knowledge is superficial at best, and the focus is on things like esthetics and lots of glass, which are a thermal disaster.  (A greenhouse for growing food while providing a sunny space seems a lot more sane.)  Marketing types rule, and people don't have the technical savy to sort it out.  I remember a former neighbor raving about a (resistance) water heater he bought that was advertised as 99.9% efficient.  I hated to tell him all electric water heaters were, as the elements are in the tank of water.  He was pissed...and not happy with me for busting his delusional bubble.

In much of the US, there are no practical guides to higher efficiency houses..not even recommendations for your local county, etc.  Just the minimum insulation requirements in the UBC. 

The best education I found was to play "what if" with a computer thermal model to determine BTUs of heating or cooling needed.  The hard part is getting good data on soil temperatures, a foot, 2 foot and 3 feet down for the winter scenario.  Losses at the edge of an exposed concrete slab are huge, the more exposed with say fancy split face block, the worse the losses. A slab poured up to the uninsulated stem wall is the kiss of death, thermally, though fortunately in time it will usually creep away from the house and make a poor thermal break.  Perimeter insulation is the hands down best bang for your buck, since there is so little surface area.  There don't even sell affordable and easy to use products to put an insulating skirt at the stem have to make them, which explains where the builders are at. 

Almost any field I've studied in detail appears to have be largely based on misconceptions clung to like a religious zealot, with precious little real science and data.  Where humans are involved, it's a good idea to be skeptical about the prevailing wisdom and take a much closer look.  That's hell for working stiffs, and they just don't have the time and must rely on local zealots.

Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: ajaffa1 on July 23, 2019, 01:25:03 PM
What about ground source heat pumps, I have never personally installed one of these but I have dug the trenches and laid the plastic underground pipes for them.

They work rather like a reverse cycle air conditioner in that they can provide both heating and cooling. In winter they draw heat from the ground, in summer they pump heat into the ground, using it a bit like a heat battery.

The heating/cooling is generally dissipated through underfloor pipes set into an insulated concrete floor, the idea being to maintain a constant room temperature of between 20 and 30 Celsius via an adjustable thermostat in each room. They are said to be extremely efficient and can be run off solar electric during the day, at night you can turn them off and rely on the heat/cool of the concrete mass of your floor.

Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: BruceM on July 23, 2019, 03:41:04 PM
I've done quite a bit of reading on ground source heat pumps.  Very efficient, and in many areas where cooling is as important as heating, a hands down winner.  Even here, a superinsulated home could reduce the size of the ground source system (where all the bucks go) by 3/4 or more.  They are quite expensive to build but in many climates the payback is there.

In my climate and terrain, with shallow sandstone, a series of well bore holes linked by shallow trench is the preferred method, as trenching to depth isn't practical. 

If I was building over again here,  I would seriously consider two wells, one near the house and a greenhouse.  The water is about 65F as it comes out of the aquifer, about 150 ft down. That would directly (no heat pump) suffice for cooling my insulated slab floor and keeping the house at or below 76F, and be a good source of both cooling and heating for a greenhouse.  The "waste" well would receive the waste water, so that a modest circ pump could be used (pipe into aquifer on both ends), instead of a lift pump. The source well could also provide the domestic potable water. Priming the circulation system is tricky as depth is greater than a surface pump; large commercial systems using this would just have a lift pump, which would have dramatically higher flow once the return well path was primed and "pulling".  This method had been used in commercial greenhouses where geothermal heated water is available.

Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: glort on July 24, 2019, 12:21:26 AM

I would definitely have an insulated slab if I built with some form of underfloor heating. hadn't thought about cooling, I guess that would rule out electric.
I think I would prefer hydronic as there is much more heat available from a furnace than electric and I have already shown Solar is impractical here in winter to carry heating loads. 

I would also look at a heat Pump with a ground loop. Fridgy mate seems to think they work OK and has done them although the cost does not impress him.
Evap coolers can be interesting as well and might work well where I am because unlike closer to the coast, the heat here can be very Dry.

Friend sent me a TY vid a month or so back about a guy somewhere in the states that has  10" Plastic pipe Buried 8 ft down in I think it was a 200 ft long loop.  Blew air through it to get a stable temp for his home and greenhouse all year round. Used next to no power but had significant heating/ cooling power.
He was setting up greenhouses with this system and due to the virtually no running costs were repaying in no time and producing extremely well. He was growing oranges where it was snowing and being local, getting top dollar for them as well as other out of season veggies he was selling to local Restaurants.
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: BruceM on July 24, 2019, 03:37:34 AM
It's crazy to use corrogated pipe buried in the earth for air you breathe.  In time, it will become the same life threatening mold and bacteria disaster as all early solar hot air/rock storage homes.  A fellow engineer at an AF research lab did it for his home in the low desert, and had to shut it down after a year...his wife and kids were getting sick.   I think it's much safer and more energy efficient to run a ground source pex loop, in bores or deep trench, with the water to air heat exchanger.  Much less energy to move the heat/cool.

If you must use pipe for air, it would need to be smooth, with carefully sloped with drains, and a way to clean it out.

You will also see a lot of greenhouses using corrogated pipe under the floor, as they think it will be a seasonal energy store.  Baloney, look at the data for large installations and you will see it's a failure; the downward and outward conduction losses to the earth are so bad that I am not convinced that it is worthwhile.  If foamboard is used along with massive excavation, then yes, you can use earth.  An insulated water storage tank, however, can provide substantial storage, and I think at a much better price to build.  A retired engineer build a small greenhouse with insulated water heat storage, collected data that showed impressive performance.  He collected excess heat at the peak of the greenhouse during the day ajnd heated at night via small water to air heat exchanger. 

I'm very interested in hydroponic greenhouse growing for my climate, but the real stinker is summer, as it really needs cooling via evap coolers besides reduced sun (shade/diffusers).
Hydroponics as bugs and diseases are brutal here, within 3 years you are in a state of constant warfare, as your garden soil is loaded with diseases and bugs.  I quit growing outside after 3 years of being totally hailed out just before harvest.  I was doing nothing but picking bugs, spraying oil and soap sprays, and copper soap sprays for pests and diseases. The first year you think you are a genius, then aphids destroy your late cold weather crops, powdery mildew and a variety of bugs get progressively worse each year.  With hydro, you can sterilize the growing buckets/gutters/trays and/or media after each crop is harvested, so it's first year every year.

Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: veggie on July 24, 2019, 02:42:22 PM
same here BruceM,
I farmed a small plot for a few years until I realized the huge benefits of two other styles of growing...
1] Greenhouse hydroponics
2] Raised beds with framed plastic rain/hail covers.

Both are doing great. The trick with a greenhouse is to have thin lightweight reflective shade panels that can be placed over the sun-facing windows during the hot months. During summer my greenhouse is mostly shaded to the point where I use solar powered LED lighting on my microgreen crops. In spring and fall I remove the panels and get a lot of welcome solar heat. It still gets hot in summer but the auto-louvers and fans keep it manageable for plants.
An evaporative cooler at one end of the building would certainly offer great temperature control.

Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys
Post by: BruceM on July 24, 2019, 04:45:54 PM
For my own comfort and enjoyment of gardening, I'd like to try a passive evaporative cooling tower as I don't like the sound and magnetic fields of swamp coolers though the cool wet air is delightful. It's also appealing for reduced energy use since I'm off grid.  But I concede that evap cooler(s)/walls with big fans are far simpler.  I'm sticking to small projects for now, seeing how my health goes. 

A friend who grows most of her own food is also using greatly restricted overhead light in her greenhouse in summer; only 20% of the ceiling space is glazed plus indirect light from the south glazing. Transpiration of plants plus lots of natural ventilation via screen doors keep her temps to 10F below ambient most of the time.  She was very successful for about 7 years doing ebb and flow pea gravel hydroponics with Talapia in an IBC container until she could not find fish food without various additives which made her ill.  She's growing in dirt in raised beds now.  I'm convinced that hydro methods that allow replacement/sterilization of media and trays/gutters/buckets is best for keeping diseases and insects in check. 

Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys and energy efficent homes.
Post by: glort on July 25, 2019, 12:22:48 AM

Fixed the title for the " On topic" nazis so we are now " compliant".

On the engine situation, I am going to get the BIL to drill a brake rotor for me. Looking at the numbers I don't see any great risk with the speed the thing will be doing.  What I would like to know and buggered if I can find is the pitch Circle Diameter.  If I could give him the magic number he could do it for me. Without that I'll have to pull the flywheel off the second engine.  not looking forward to that exercise.
Yes, I know i can be measured but accuracy in not my forte by a long shot and the chances of me getting it wrong are on par with me NOT winning Lotto.

I had thoughts of Using panels to shade my garden up the back given the extreme heat we get here followed by a week of rain  every time the tomatoes are at Max Crop which fks  them completely.  I was going to build a frame work  over the raised beds anyway just to keep the damn birds off things as well.  I was wondering about shading with panels  to keep the direct heat and rain off and if there would be sufficent light  from the sides to keep them happy.  I figured there would be as you can do about anything with tomatoes anyway and there are a few other things I have grown well in my Aeroponic  tank  that did a LOT better when I gave it minimal sun by moving it onto the shaded back verandah.  Lettuce which is a perfect crop for the aero and did really well was one of them.

My little plastic greenhouse has been a great success this winter.
I put a plastic drum in the thing with 100L of water and a heating element now on a thermostat.  I was running the tank up to about 80C  off direct solar  and as silly as that sounds, it wasn't too much.  I did not see anything in the greeenhouse over 30C and a lot of the time it was well below that.
Due to a solar power shortage, I took the element off the panels and put it back on a GTI as that was far more efficient and put another element on a thermo which I have set to 40 and kicks in as an excess voltage dump.

I'm only watering about once a week because it is so humid in there but everything seems to be loving it. I have a bit over 200 hedge  cuttings in there which I have not lost one of yet so cheering with that. Have some lavender, lettuce, Passionfruit going nuts and climbing all over everything, tomatoes, some Bamboo, Moringa and a few other things the Mrs bought I now forget.

It does get real hot in there in the middle of the day but it seems the humidity keeps everything happy.  It can be over 40oC and nothing looks like wilting, quite the opposite unless that condensation drops and then the plants do too. I have most things in trays that I have been keeping a little water in the bottom of and rather than the things drowning, I am seeing a lot of roots spreading across the bottom of the trays in the water.

When I get that round tuit,  I'm going to put an LED and an element in the old Freezer I have as a seed raising cabinet.  Don't need a lot of light for seeds but I'm sure the warmth the freezer will provide will be appreciated.  I had a little cheap Chinese element of unknown actual rather than rated power ( did measure the resistance which I forgot but thing was around 70ohms so a low powered unit) but the thing failed after about a week. How surprising!!
Waiting now to see if i'm anywhere near as clever as I know I'm not and can put the PWM solar controller together to run this off a few panels.

If I do the garden beds covered with panels, I'll be able to turn the Freezer into an oven even in winter. 30 panels at even 190W would be over 5.5KW.
Too far up the back to be worth bringing down to the house.

Hey, wait, WTF do I need a PWM controller for to keep the panels on power point?  I'll have enough juice to run an element, a Pump, lighting...... I think I need to be building a man cave up there!
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys and energy efficent homes.
Post by: BruceM on July 25, 2019, 12:54:45 AM
I like your idea of solar panels to provide partial overhead shade for the garden, Glort. Some steel posts and thin wall rectangular steel tube (a good trial for your new MIG welder)  between them as rails to hold panels would allow you to have as much or little shade as you want according to spacing between the panels.  An interesting way to boost your PV and perhaps increase garden production.
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys and energy efficent homes.
Post by: glort on July 25, 2019, 06:01:27 AM

For the Frame work Bruce I was going to use some solar Panel mounting rail I have.
I have loads of it in fact. Many of the used panels I have bought have come with the racking and I don't use it as I have a metal Roof.
I was moving a heap of it last week and reminded myself how heavy some of it was.  I would use that for the frame work and  Probably screw the panels to it.  Might be able to use the welder for some aluminium practice.

I was thinking about my aeroponiics tank.  I could use a panel or two to shade that and run a heating element in winter to maybe stimulate growth and to run the pump as well.  Would only need a small battery to keep the timer powered mainly and maybe give the pump a stable power supply. A light sensitive switch could be put in circuit so the pump only ran during the day. Guess if I used a car size battery I could probably power an LED light at night as well.

I probably should put the aero tank in the greenhouse I could probably get 50-75L of water in that for the thermal mass, would keep everything real moist and be warmer for growing in as well. Might do that tomorrow!
I wonder if the water spray would pick up heat during the day lowering the temp and store and release an amount of it at Night?
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys and energy efficent homes.
Post by: BruceM on July 25, 2019, 06:10:38 AM
Heat capture for a water tank in a greenhouse is usually either radiator/fan from top of greenhouse, or pipes or fin tube pipe near peak, on thermostat to take excess heat.
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys and energy efficent homes.
Post by: glort on July 25, 2019, 09:48:01 AM

But why be conventional?  :0)

I don't think there will be that much heat to capture in winter and in summer, I'll need a shade house not a green house.
Title: Re: New Watercooled Diesel Toys and energy efficent homes.
Post by: BruceM on July 25, 2019, 03:09:54 PM
Even in colder winter climates, there is considerable excess greenhouse heat in the winter- all afternoon. You have to either throw it away via ventilation or capture it for night time use.