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Topics - ajaffa1

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Lister Based Generators / Time for generators
« on: April 07, 2024, 10:42:57 PM »
G`Day from down under. As many of you will remember we lost our home to a bush fire in 2019. We purchased a property on the East coast of Tasmania and I moved here in 2021 once the covid travel restrictions allowed. I have spent the last couple of years putting up a new shed, landscaping the property, decorating and fireproofing our new home. The most recent project was to have a 7.5 Kw grid tied solar system installed, cost us A$9,000. Our quarterly electric bill has fallen from A$600 to A$13, should pay for itself pretty quickly. We are also going to change our electricity provider to get a better feed in tariff, we should end up with a credit balance during the summer months, with a small deficit in the winter.
So now it`s time to think about generator backup. I already had a restored Lister CS 6/1 and a modified ST5 generator head with an AVR, this should be adequate to keep the house lights burning and the fridges/freezers cold in an emergency. I also bought this trailer mounted generator 18 months back.

This is a 12.5 KVA three phase generator with a Petter PJ2 diesel motor. The generator head has four slip rings so it is in a Y configuration giving three 240 volt single phase outlets and one 415 volt 3 phase outlet. This unit will be dismounted from the trailer and used to provide backup power to the shed/workshop.
I don`t know how you guys spent your Easter but I spent mine pouring two concrete slabs.

The square slab at the back will have the Lister CS bolted to it. the slab is 200mm of reinforced concrete sat on a 1m deep 600mm reinforced concrete pile. The blockwork shelf will have a cooling tank sat on it.
The narrower slab will have the demounted Petter generator sat on it.
After inspecting the PJ2 engine the only apparent problem is that the push rod tubes have rubber sleeves covering the joins. These sleeves have become brittle and split. The bottom tube is 22mm and the upper tube is 19mm they are spring loaded so they can expand and contract as the engine cylinder heats up and cools down. I have not been able to find replacements for the rubber sleeves, I am wondering if heavy duty electrical heat shrink might work, what do you guys think?

I will be posting details of the Petter rebuild as I go


Everything else / Greetings from Tasmania
« on: June 01, 2022, 11:20:40 AM »
Hi Guys, it`s been a while. I`ve been a bit busy since we got burned out in the 2019 bush fires. I spent 12 months fixing chainsaws, water pumps, generators and any other piece of equipment needed by the local community to help with the recovery, all for free. I got an award from the New South Wales government for my efforts, shame they didn`t invite me to the awards ceremony. I guess they thought I was a loose canon after I got in the Governor Generals face twelve months earlier. I got my award several months later after they mailed it to a place I was no longer living in. Shameless b*stards the lot of them! Pleased to say that most of them lost their jobs in the recent elections. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
Two years ago we bought a 3 bedroom property in Tasmania, if I climb on the roof I can see the sea. Sadly, having got ourselves somewhere to live, Covid struck. My Wife eventually (6 months later) got permission to travel to our new home. I had to wait a further 18 months before I was allowed to travel. Two years living in a caravan changes ones perspective enormously, I now realise how lucky I am to have lost all the sh1t that I had accumulated over the previous 60+ years. Most of it I didn`t need or want, I was just storing it because I couldn`t part with it.

So, what does the future hold? Our new home is beautiful and has a double garage but no man space! I have put in an application, to the local council, to build an 13m x 12m shed. We recently got approval for the shed and are now progressing the final designs and hope to start construction in the next few months. I would like to share the shed design/construction and fit out with the LEF. I will do my best to share photos of the build along with costs and pitfalls. I hope this will be helpful to others planning to do something similar

Thank you all for the support you have given my Wife and me over the last few years.

Engines / ST1 cylinder head gasket
« on: August 27, 2020, 11:12:37 AM »
Hi Guys, some of you will have seen that I purchased a small dumper truck. It has a Lister ST1 diesel engine, it is an absolute prick of a thing to hand start (no electric start).

My first thoughts on this was that the injector was dirty. Stripped it and cleaned it, I get a good spray pattern from it. Still a prick to start.

My second thought was lack of compression, so I took the head off it, followed by the cylinder and piston. The cylinder bore is OK, it has a couple of water marks in it where it has been sat idle for a time. The piston and rings look to be almost new, they are original Lister parts but have the numbers 040 stamped into the bottom of the piston. I believe that this indicates a +.040" oversize piston indicating that this unit has had a re-bore. There are also a lot of other indications that someone has been into this engine before me, silicon sealer rather than proper gaskets and etc.

Cylinder head looks to be OK, slight pitting in the valve/seats, I will lap them in the morning.

The cylinder and piston are now cleaned and reinstalled.

My question is a simple one: tomorrow I would like to fit the cylinder head and set the bump clearance. The problem I have is that these generally have a set of shims and a gasket between the cylinder and cylinder head. I have only one steel shim and no gasket. I am happy to make my own shims but I do not remember what the gasket should be made from. Is it paper, or some other material? How thick should it be? could I use a gasket sealer as an alternative? I could order a set of gaskets from the UK but delivery from the UK could take weeks.

Help/advice please,


Original Lister Cs Engines / Lister CS 6/1 running to slow
« on: August 22, 2020, 09:57:14 AM »
Hi Guys, a couple of very cold windy days have allowed me to have a bit of a play with my CS. It had a few problems with oil and fuel leaks. These issues have now all been resolved and she runs very well. The heat exchanger also works very well cooling the engine and heating the domestic hot water supply.

Having done all that I fitted the belts that connect it to the Chinese ST5 generator head. Not too surprisingly there was no output from the head, it has been standing idle for years. A quick flash of the windings and hey presto we have an output.

I did the calculations for the driven pulley wheel size based on the diameter of the CS flywheel rotating at around 650 RPM. The problem I have is that regardless of how tight I tension the governor spring the CS does not want to rev past about 400 RPM. It will rev higher if I manually apply additional pressure to the governor linkage. I have taken it up to 650 RPM using this method and the generator will put out 50 Hz, however the force required to overcome the governor weights is considerable and far higher than I would expect the governor spring to be able to overcome.

Thoughts please.


General Discussion / Absence from the forum
« on: October 22, 2019, 12:22:19 PM »
Hi Guys, sorry to have been away. My Father in Law passed away while my Wife was in New Zealand. Had to go to Sydney to make funeral arrangements and deal with the lawyers and etc until she got back. Funeral was on Friday and we got home yesterday.

Engines are a bit of a low priority this week, I will try to get back with the program and forum next week.


Engines / Replacing expensive old imperial bearings
« on: September 11, 2019, 09:49:39 AM »
Hi Guys, a while back I posted about an issue I was having with finding vintage Timken tapper bearings for an early 1950`s Cooper petrol engine. The bearings were available if I was prepared to cough up $350 each plus delivery and taxes. Rather than dump this nice vintage engine I decided to modify the crank shaft and housings to accept modern metric size tapper bearings. A lot of searching on bearing manufacturers web sites and a lot of phone calls to my local bearing supplier and I found NTN 32210 bearings would be an adequate replacement.

The outer diameter of these bearings is about 1.5 mm larger than the original, while the internal diameter is about 10 mm larger than the crankshaft, the width of the bearing is about 2 mm less than the original, a big issue with adjusting the end float! The load rating and life expectancy of the 32210 is a little lower than the originals but since one of the originals was still serviceable after 60 plus years I will have to live another fifty years to wear them out, not very likely but I live in hope!

The two housings have been in the lathe and bored out to take the 90 mm cup,  I have turned up two bushes to to enlarge the crank shaft from 1 9/16" to 50 mm, these have a 2 mm flange to allow for the difference in bearing width. This allowed me to cut gaskets to bring the end float back within tolerance.

I have posted some pictures, hope this will help someone in the same situation.


Everything else / Upcoming deceased estate sale
« on: September 10, 2019, 01:03:47 PM »
Hi Guys, found this deceased estate sale while searching for information on my Cooper XD lighting plant: https://petermilling.com.au/clearing-sale-2/24/

Hope there are a couple of cashed up Australian engine collectors who might be interested.


Everything else / Macksville rusty iron festival
« on: September 01, 2019, 09:23:00 AM »
Hi Guys, sorry for not posting much recently, been busy. I have been at the Macksville rusty engine rally. The call went out, last year, to beat the world record for the number of old stationary engines running simultaneously. The previous record was held by South Africa with 207 running for 10 minutes. Today Australia managed 333 old stationary engines running at the same time for 10 minutes! We could probably have got close to 400 but we had a few non starters. I will probably be coughing up the fumes and smoke for weeks to come.  :laugh:

So I guess that throws out the challenge to those of you in the rest of world, can you do better?


A few pics of some of my favorites:

Everything else / Antique generator control unit
« on: August 24, 2019, 10:34:29 AM »
Any one know what this is? (see photos) It appears to be some sort of a generator control unit, It has start and stop buttons and a large variable rheostat to adjust field winding voltage and thus output voltage. Found it in a pile of scrap in an old guys shed, gave him $30 for it. Any info much appreciated.


General Discussion / Brexit
« on: March 31, 2019, 09:20:40 AM »
As a Brit living in Australia I have watched the total paralysis of the UK government with a mixture of shock, horror, despair and disbelief. I am damned glad I live where I do, I would hate to be ruled by these idiots. I think the attached photo of the UK Prime Minister sums it up.


Things I want to Buy / Cooper engine circa 1925
« on: March 18, 2019, 10:44:32 AM »
Hi Guys, I had a very interesting outing with a mate of mine who took me to a shed in the middle of nowhere. The owner of this shed collects antique diesel tractors, he has dozens, all of which he has painstakingly restored to as new condition!

He also has a few old stationary engines which I would be interested in buying, so does anyone have any idea what a Cooper/Stover petrol engine made in the 1920`s is worth? See photos.


Other Slow Speed Diesels / Armstrong Siddeley 10 HP diesel engine
« on: February 24, 2019, 06:40:04 AM »
Hi Guys, I had a mate turn up today with an engine I have never seen before. It is a single cylinder Armstrong Siddeley 10 HP air cooled diesel. It is in remarkably good condition for it`s age, it turns over but has low compression (probably valve seats judging by the air hiss). I have been invited to help with the restoration of this beauty so if anyone has any information please get in touch. In return I will post pictures showing the internals of this beast, on the forum. I have posted a couple of pics to get your attention.


Other Slow Speed Diesels / Southern Cross ETB diesel engine
« on: February 13, 2019, 12:28:10 AM »
Hi Guys, I am awaiting the delivery of a Southern Cross ETB 2.5 HP diesel engine. Manufactured in Australia circa 1950, they were also manufactured briefly in South Africa. This engine has sat in a mate`s shed for the last 20 years. I have finally persuaded him to part with it for free!  :) 

Sadly it is incomplete, missing the fuel injector, pump and fuel lines. The originals would have been made by an Australian company called Pyrox, who manufactured injectors and pumps under license from Bosch.

I have been unable to find much out about the missing items but believe they are very similar to the units used on a Lister CS 3/1. I suspect that I might have to change the injector nozzles and fiddle with the pop pressures a bit to get them to work properly. Any thoughts please?

I have attached a photo of a complete ETB I found on the internet, probably a breach of someone`s copyright, for which I apologize in advance. I will post photos of my unit once it arrives.


General Discussion / Madness
« on: January 30, 2019, 02:14:18 AM »
I`ve got to get me one of these: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzVBpddpK2k


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