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Messages - Quinnf

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Oil changes?  Before he went silent, he was recommending using grease instead of oil in his engines.  He had some great entertaining videos on his site for a while.  Surprisingly transparent with his ideas, and he clearly wanted to help advance the state of the art.  Needle bearings on the camshaft.  Silicone coolant, mild steel bus bars tieing batteries together in the crawlspace beneath a daycare center.  "These things sure get hot!" . . .    I miss him.

General Discussion / Re: Grid Outages
« on: March 17, 2018, 12:07:55 AM »
We had a power outage on Fox Island last month.  Whole island was out and part of the mainland.  Wind was howling out of the South and a tree dropped over the lines somewhere.  Power was out for 5 hours and it was around freezing outside.  It doesn't get very cold in Puget Sound, but it's damp, so it feels cold.  I went out to the shop and fired up the Lister ST-2 generator and came back to the house and we were warm, well-lighted and comfy.  As the evening progressed neighbors started showing up, and I drove and picked up an elderly lady friend of my wife's.  We sat around and played cards 'cause the cable was out.  A few people had generators, but said they hadn't run for years and/or didn't know how to make them work, etc. 

It's nice to have (Diesel) standby power. 

Original Lister Cs Engines / Interesting Lister Variant
« on: January 15, 2018, 03:08:38 AM »
I ran across this youtube vid and saw something I've never seen before.  At around 3m 40s in the video the videographer walks around to the far side of the engine and . . . well, as the virgin bride said to her new husband on the wedding night, "Well . . . it's DIFFERENT!"

Anybody know this particular configuration? 



Listeroid Engines / Re: New to listers, is a knock normal?
« on: September 24, 2017, 06:02:49 AM »
What you describe sounds exactly like what I ultimately found was a loose fitting gib key.  I can't hear it in your video, but the sound in mine sounded like it was coming from the crankcase.  I found on my PowerSolutions 6/1 that the gib keys were narrower than the slot milled in both the crankshaft and the flywheel.  Total clearance was about 0.019" if I recall correctly.  No matter how tight I pounded the gib keys in, on power strokes, there was enough torque to twist the crankshaft against the flywheel, and when it came up tight, it made a "clunk" sound that went away immediately when the decompressor lever was engaged.  Do yourself a favor and before you go tearing the big end off the rod, pull a gib key and measure the width, then measure the corresponding width of the slot in the crankshaft.  They should be within a thousandth or so.

I fixed the clearance by taking some pieces of 0.005 and 0.010" brass shim stock, cut with scissors to slide between the side of the gib key and the crankshaft groove, and also the flywheel groove.  Once I tapped the gib keys in, the noise went away. 

Now, it's also possible some of the noise is from backlash in the idler to cam drive gear.  That one is more difficult to fix and involves machining an offset idler pin to allow you to adjust the mesh of the idler gear.  Once you get these engines dialed in, they run fine.  But the way they come from India, all bets are off.  Every engine is an individual.


P.S. Here's the link to the thread from 2009 when I described what I did:


Engines / Re: Model L ID and ifo
« on: August 21, 2017, 03:59:58 PM »
G'day, Lee!  (I think that's how you say it)

Someone here might be able to answer your question, but you'll have a lot more success at the Smokstak.org forum.

Below is a link to the Vintage Diesel Engines section.  I'm sure someone there will be able to direct you to a parts layout diagram somewhere on the web.



in Southern California

Isn't it funny how governments are so inept at providing services? 

We had a governor in KaliFornia several years ago that made some stupid decisions and the whole state had brownouts and blackouts for several weeks.  My employer had signed a contract with the power utility that stipulated they would reduce consumption in the event of certain electrical emergencies.  So for about a month 10 locomotive-size Caterpillars were running full blast during the day around the campus.  It was GLORIOUS!  That was enough to keep about half the lights on, but no heating and cooling.  One of the maintenance people told me they were paying $10,000/day for diesel to be trucked in. 

Keep your Lister close!

Hi Tys,

That IS a 6/1, not an 8/1, right?  Are you running it at 650 rpm?  If you are, then it should hold lots steadier than that.  Both my machines lost maybe a Hz or 1.5 Hz at near full load.  Flywheel type won't make any difference.

What you're seeing is a governor that won't.  The springs and possibly the governor weights are going to be different on a 6/1, 8/1 and 10/1 engine.  And unless you are running the engine at its design speed, the combination of weights and springs won't be optimal for maintaining speed, and you'll see exactly what you're seeing.

So, again I ask, are you running that engine at its intended speed?

Some folks bump up their idle RPMs a little so that when the usual load is applied, the alternator will be running about 60 Hz.  The governors aren't perfect on these engines, because they weren't really intended to be running generators.  But it should regulate lots better than what your video shows.


Another thought comes to mind.  If you have any undue friction in the throttle linkage, or extra sloppy connections, that could also cause what you're seeing. 

Listeroid Engines / Re: Are my flywheels typical?
« on: March 15, 2017, 05:15:33 AM »
No, I never got around to Part III.  I wanted to clean up the flywheels and document balancing them, and then go through the oil pump and make it work like it should.  And maybe do some work on the camshaft.  But by that time, interest on the board seemed to be beginning to lag, and importing the engines was becoming problematic, so I crated up the Beta Test engine and it's still there sitting in a corner of my workshop.  I'm thinking I'd sort of rather have the space than the engine now, since I have another 6/1 all set up and running.  That Beta Test engine was about as good as I could make it.  The last thing I planned to do was to clean up the flywheels and balance them permanently.  But during a move to the new house (and bigger shop!), I was rassling with a flywheel in the bed of my pickup and managed to pull my left biceps off the radius bone and had to have surgery to repair it.  That kept me away from work for a month, and when I got back I had to play catch-up big-time! 

I told the Ortho-Doc that when it happened I was surprised, since I still had plenty of strength in that arm, but the insertion just tore off.  I'd have thought our Designer would have made sure that a muscle isn't strong enough to rip itself off the bone, but I guess I just had a bad angle on it.  Ortho-Doc smiled when I said that and then reminded me that I'm not 20 anymore. 

Listeroid Engines / Re: Are my flywheels typical?
« on: March 05, 2017, 04:59:27 AM »
Aw, shucks, Bruce.  Thank you.  I've been a pharmaceutical R&D chemist for 35 years, and always have felt I never embraced my true love.  I sure do love nuts and bolts! 

Listeroid Engines / Re: Are my flywheels typical?
« on: March 04, 2017, 09:55:01 PM »
A lot of us got our engines about 10-12 years ago, and there was a flurry of posts about how best to balance these beasts on this forum around 2005-2006.  Lots of great discussions. 

After completely stripping two engines down to nuts and bolts, removing paint to bare metal and grinding, filling and painting, it was clear to me that it would be very unlikely if both the 140 lb. 6-spoke flywheels weighed the same.  I wanted to know how much difference there was between the counterweights in the two wheels.  I figured it was best to start out with two flywheels with equal counterweights.  That gets rid of the tendency of the engine to torque around the axis of the cylinder with each power and compression pulse.  Then begin balancing in earnest. 

I decided I'd build a bubble balancer.  I turned a 3" round of aluminum into the shape of a tall top hat with a deep recess drilled into it.  The hat fit inside the bore of the flywheel, and the assembly balanced on the point of a 1/4" steel rod I welded to a plate of steel.    I set a bullseye-type bubble leveler on top of the end of the top hat, and slowly added weight to the high side of the flywheel rim until the bubble was centered in the bullseye.  Then I weighed the lead.

The amount of lead needed to balance the flywheels was 35 oz. on one, and 48 oz. on the other.  So there was more than a pound of difference in the counterweights of the two flywheels.

There's been a LOT of discussion over the years about what the weight of the counterweight SHOULD BE on a 6/1.  But I don't think anyone ever reported the weight. 


Original Lister Cs Engines / Re: Introduction/ New project/ Questions
« on: January 18, 2017, 02:25:11 AM »
Ahhh!  Finally, a good pic of a crank pin on a real Lister.  Over the years, a few cranks on Inj'n Listeroids have failed, each one at the pin.  Pics appeared to show that there was no fillet on each side of the pin, leading to concentration of stress.  That one is as it should be.


Listeroid Engines / Re: 1000 hour decoke
« on: June 15, 2016, 07:21:25 AM »
Hugh, glad to hear your 'roid is still chugging along.  The cylinder liner protrusion on my 6/1 needed attention, too.  I have an ST2 generator in a shed next to my shop.  We're on Fox Island in south Puget Sound.  The genny only gets used when power goes out.  It's a nice engine, but when running it makes the place sound and smell like a large truck stop.  That's a hard engine to silence! 


General Discussion / Re: Charging a 6 volt off grid?
« on: April 22, 2016, 05:15:30 AM »
Back in my ham radio days, we used to charge 12V Ni-Cd battery packs for our portable radios using a #53 light bulb run off a 12V car electrical system as a mobile charger.  Worked great.  Current tapered off to zero as the battery pack came up to charge, and the light would go out. 

Listeroid Engines / Re: Mounting my Roid.
« on: April 22, 2016, 05:09:31 AM »
I once started my 'roid when working on it.  The gib key was loose and I was trying to figure out how much to shim it.  I started the engine for just a few seconds and a gib key came loose, dropped off the crankshaft, then was batted by one of the spokes and hit me in the chest.  It cut a hole in my T-shirt and left a big triangle-shaped purple-blue divot that hurt like the devil.  Could have been worse.  Had it hit me in an eye . . .



Everything else / Re: Utterpower?
« on: September 04, 2015, 12:30:22 AM »
I talked with him about two weeks ago.  He's doing OK, but has had some family issues that have been sapping his time and energy.  Send him an email through his website.  I know he'd appreciate any kind words.


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