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Messages - mikenash

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Original Lister Cs Engines / Re: Electric starter for 6/1
« on: July 12, 2022, 08:07:32 PM »
Hi Stef, Bob, Veg

I'm a fan of "keep it simple", Bob.  I'm not an electronics person - I like stuff that I can see the "workings".  In fact the small electronics bits of the ST clone head worry me - how will I know if a bit goes bad?  And which bit?  I'm a bit of a luddite like that.  So I'll keep it manual I guess.  Because you tend to stand "behind" the engine to operate the starter/fuel lever/decompression - I think I'll just mount a push-button there somewhere in the middle of a wire from 12VDC to the solenoid.  it'll be easy to make sure the decompression is engaged & the excess fuel is set, push the button, and drop the decompression once it fires.  i don't need anything more complex than that; and it's my habit to engage the decompression on it's last, dying revolution as it stops.

I have a couple of heads - a Markon and a Chinese St clone (with which Bruce has been very helpful, thanks).  Currently the Markon is mounted.  I also have 2 X 105A Leece-Neville truck alternators - beautiful bits of kit - and will mount one of them shortly as a battery charger

I don't live up there - I'll be retiring there in a year or two, at which point I'll upgrade my solar.  I figure a decent LiFePo4 unit, three or four of the 375W units we use for solar pumps here, plus a Victron "Easy-Solar" charger/controller is pretty much what I need.  At the moment I have 2 X 120W panels, a bunch of lead-acids & a cheap MPPT charge controller - the whole lot probably owes me $400 - but, more importantly, I'm learning how to manage the solar without destroying expensive batteries while the "learning curve" flattens out.  Like you, Stef, I'm a little way away from being there with everything running - but I'm getting there.  The solar runs lights & either one of two fridges (one DC, one off the inverter) plus charges the phone etc - that's 90% of what I need right there.

There's an older pic here of a previous CS - turned out to have a bad barrel, so put aside - sitting where the current unit is mounted.  What's not obvious - as it's overgrown - is that it's bolted to a big pad.  I need to pour some more concrete and build it a shed . . . that's somewhere down the list

At the moment it's out in the weather and I have a persistent issue with water getting "inside" - so there's a head-gasket leak or similar I need to dismantle & find before it can earn its living properly.  Plus I need to build a decent fuel tank-and-filter system etc.  No real $$ just time.  This weekend just gone I drained the cooling tank & left the drain valve open - if there's water in there next time I run it - then it's from the weather.  I don't see how rain can get "in" but maybe it is?  I'll find out.  Either way the head needs to come off.  I bought some head-gaskets from the helpful man - John? - in Thailand

Stef, I have a CS with a Listeroid head up there too - it has a COV plug in the hole, but I don't know what the compression is.  Starts & runs fine.  I have a glow-plug heater I thought I might get round to fitting into it one day - or maybe not.  Time & priorities again . . .

I have several Chinese Honda-clone generators from 2.2kW to 6.6kW, and I use them as required - but it'd be nice to have the Lister puttering away quietly for longer runs - I figure the Markon head will be good for that


Original Lister Cs Engines / Electric starter for 6/1
« on: July 11, 2022, 10:27:27 PM »
Hey guys there has been a conversation here on-and-off about various starters for CSs Ė some elegant air motors, some starter-motor conversions with rubber cush drives, various units employing a belt . . .

Realising that, sooner or later, Iím going to get too old to crank the Listers, Iíve been keen to build a starter and have been working away with some components

I tack-welded some of the bits together yesterday and attached it to the CS with some G-clamps and gave it a trial run just using a battery off my car, some heavy jumper leads and a bit of wire with a spade clip to liven-up the starter motor.

See pics?  Itís pretty self-explanatory.  What the parts are is:

A starter motor and flex-plate off an old Nissan car from the wreckers.

A 2Ē keyed taper-lock unit with a weld boss outer assembly, plus a hand cut/filed stepped key and a couple of grub-screw holes cut and threaded into the boss.

A bit of 10mm plate roughly cut round, bolted to the flex plate, then put in a chuck and bored to suit the weld boss of the taper-lock.

The starter-motor bolted onto a mount to suit; and that mount welded onto the chassis that supports the CS

It was raining cats-and-dogs yesterday so all I did was tack it in place and use it to start the Lister three or four times with the de-compression at the exhaust valve engaged, then dropped once the revs were up after about three or four rotations.

Works like a charm.  I got sick of getting wet before I gave it a try with full compression Ė I donít know if Iíd normally do that, anyway, as it seems unnecessarily hard on the gear; and itíll be easy to mount a starter button somewhere near the pushrod side of the motor.

I reckon costs were something like:

Starter motor & ring-gear/flex-plate - $50
Taper-lock insert and weld boss - $80
Machine boss-sized hole in plate - $50
Bits of steel, welding & bolts scrounged at zero cost

This week, hopefully, Iíll weld stuff together properly and give it a better run on the next weekend Iím up there.  Cheers

Listeroid Engines / Re: Valve stem oil usage?
« on: July 03, 2022, 07:24:11 PM »
The oil cleaner is the Lister oil bath with wire mesh inside.
That was my first port of call as I was thinking it may have been inhaling oil, alas that was not the case, (that would have made me happy as it would be a quick fix).

Today I noticed that the black oil coming from the exhaust is engine oil as it is quite thick, (I put a pail under to catch the drips, but the spray droplets have covered the grass, and are evident within 15 ft of the exhaust).

Yesterday I put just enough oil to fill to the bottom of the valve springs, so there was less oil out the exhaust,

Looks like there is no other way but to drain down the coolant tank and whip the head off for a closer look, (in my enthusiasm to get it all working, I forgot to iinstall a tank drain so that's enough of a reason to pull the head anyhow and install the drain at the same time).

Live and learn I suppose hahaaha.

Says all that, the engine charges my battery bank in two hours with the Delco 32 SI (170a alternator), and used less than a litre of deisel. My gas generator used about 6 litres of petrol in the same time, so saving about $8 a day in fuel so far.

Just a comment - to prevent a possible mis-diagnosis . . . One of my old CS 6/1s has a head-gasket leak, so a bit of water gets into the cylinder.  When it fires up after sitting for a while, it sprays small black droplets everywhere - not a lot of volume, but quite a mess.  Fwiw, I reckon this is water and soot/carbon

Could be wrong.  Won't know until I get around to getting the head off . . .


That may be OK, it looks like a modern one.  A picture from the other side would help.
I'd order a new one to have on hand, in case it's crap.  When your output voltage suddenly goes way low, that's the usual culpret (with Chinesium bridge diode).

Here's an example of what you want:

A bridge rectifier is just four diodes potted in a metal or plastic box.  Two AC inputs, usually opposite corners, and two DC outputs, usually marked + (plus)  and - (minus).  It turns AC (from the harmonic winding on the stator, which is very spikey and non-sine, and turns it into pulsed (spikey) DC for the rotor.  The rotor windings have a huge inductance, so they smooth the input current to create a more constant magnetic field at the 4 rotor poles. 

For this application, the metal body is better for heat sinking to some aluminum. A die cast aluminum case to replace the doghouse comes to mind. Use some thermal paste or a dab of silicone caulk It should be as thin as it can be, to just increase the surface contact area.

Hey Bruce - thanks again.  Just what I needed

See pics?

The very thing you left the email link to on EBay is available here on our TradeMe so cheap I bought two (one for a spare) and some heatsink compound.  I have some finned alloy sections off of VSDs that'll make good heat-sinks

These little fellows just have a " + " for DC positive I guess - and guess also as you say that DC neg is diagonally opposite.

They also have " AC" and I guess, again, that the other AC is diagonally opposite.  Do you think it matters which AC terminal is neutral and which is phase - or if it matters?  And how to tell which is which - if it does matter?


Everything else / Re: Greetings from Tasmania
« on: June 01, 2022, 07:49:42 PM »
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.

Good on you, Bob

I had a forced down-size recently - having to very sudddenly leave the Valley where I had lived for over 40 years

Man, did I throw out some stuff.  Got the biggest skip-bin they would deliver parked in the drive, and took a ruthless approach . . .

The more stuff I lost - the free-er I felt tbh

I need to spend a couple of years living where I am now - a very small place, but an ideal situation - before retiring and moving to my country block

To be honest, it has been good for me to get rid of a lot of stuff i think i was just keeping because it "might come in handy one day"

Good luck for the next phase of your life - a new adventure!

Other Slow Speed Diesels / Re: Hatz E79 - Shop manual
« on: May 22, 2022, 06:33:40 AM »
A couple of thoughts - and others more knowledgeable here will correct me if I'm wrong:

I had an old Lister CS that came like that - long story short it had sat for a while and the rings had become stuck in the grooves, If you can get it running they may well come right by themselves

So - maybe a teaspoon or two of oil down the intake before cranking it over?  That'll just raise the compression temporarily - and smoke like a bugger if it fires

Second option is ether - "AeroStart" or "engine start" or whatever.  Just a puff into the intake as it is cranked.  A little is a lot with that stuff as it raises the compression enough to break rings if you over-use it

You could google the use of that

Good luck

Hi Ade

Good work, thanks

I like to visit the site every day - and contribute occasionally.  But some of the boards I just never look at?  I suspect others may be the same?

The stats will tell you.  Perhaps you could winnow out 30-40%-ish of the content - those that are little-used?

Folks who like to post in those subject areas might be Ok about using the "everything else" board - possibly you could change the name of that/modify it a bit to be more all-encompassing; and then ditch some of the lesser-used ones

Lots of us are getting older.  There will be younger folk out there with different, but related, interests?


Lister Based Generators / Re: 6/1 driving ST clone 260 VAC
« on: May 18, 2022, 06:55:53 AM »

If you want to run the lister at 650 rpm (and the ST at 1800 rpm), you need a 2.77:1 ratio belt drive.
That would give you the correct voltage.
So if you have 23" flywheels, your generator should have an 8.3" pulley.
(Assuming you are driving the generator using a belt around the flywheel)

Hey, yes, thanks

We have 50Hz power down here - so 1500 RPM.  The flywheel is around 605mm diameter and my driven flat pulley is around 205mm (I'm working with what I have lying around here) from memory so a nominal 510-ish RPMs is probably about right

If it'll be happy making 4Hp at 500 RPM - say 2500 watts - that'd be (allowing for losses) a theoretical 150-ish amps I could get out of a battery charger attached to the gen-head.  In practise that's probably twice what I'd need or want . . . so if the Lister's happy to putter along doing that - well, there's potential there

I have to take the head off the old girl one weekend as there had been cooling water getting into the combustion chamber.  I had also thought that the COV was faulty and had taken it apart and swapped another one in - with no change; it still didn't like running on the low-compression setting.  But I'm leaning towards thinking the head gasket is causing me a loss of compression somewhere - and it's simply not getting enough compression to be happy with the COV "out"

We'll see what it has to say for itself once the head is off

Next up is a temp fit of my Markon head anyway to see how that works.  I have a 115mm nominal pulley there; so for 3150 RPM no-load it'll need a happy 600 RPMs - we;ll see what happens there


Lister Based Generators / 6/1 driving ST clone 260 VAC
« on: May 17, 2022, 11:04:28 PM »
Hi guys

Thanks for your advice recently re the Chinese ST head

I temp-fitted it to the CS last weekend with a flat-belt drive

At 650-ish RPMs it was making something like a scary 380 VAC.  I lowered the engine speed in stages until at 528 RPM on the Lister it was producing a no-load 260 VAC.  No idea what the waveform will be like - that's a question for another day

See link attached for a short video of it running?


The Youtube guys have done a better-than-normal job of reducing the video quality to "awful" - but what the hell

I'm calling it the beginnings of a "win" and have taken that head off and put it aside for the moment to have a play with my Markon head which is a much nicer unit, to see what that will do

Whatever the relationship with these Chinese STs is between RPMs and VAC - it doesn't seem to be linear.

Once I have had a play with the Markon I can re-mount the ST-clone and find something with an oscilloscope and a Hz meter to give me some more to work with if I like

Thanks for all the various advice on this

I will have some stupid questions to ask re the Markon head, I'm sure; as it has just four identical unmarked black wires coming out of it lol.  I have it on the bench atm checking to see where there's continuity and what the resistance is between the various wires for some clues


Everything else / Re: What engine?
« on: May 17, 2022, 06:52:30 AM »
Whereabouts in NZ?

Hey guys - thanks for the excellent advice - much appreciated

I have few chunks of finned, heat-sink alloy here out of 150kW-sized VSD/VFDs - a piece of one of them will work well.  The lads here try to throw them in the scrap every time we do a clean-up but I keep saying "I'll use these one day . . ." so there we go

I will mull over all this good advice & google a few bits so I understand - especially good explanation-to-lay-idiot of the bridge rectifier, Bruce, thanks

Ha, thanks Butch, my experience with the ST's is just one of practical necessity.   It was an educational "opportunity". 

MikeNash, good point on the need for removing the doghouse, I forgot to mention that abomination.  Adequate heat sinking of a modern, metal cased bridge rectifier is also essential. 

It really is a shame that the ST's aren't made in a more reliable and consistent manner with decent QC.  The best ones have acceptable waveform and voltage regulation by the stock harmonic system, though I expect THD is still about 15%.
For a smooth sine, you really need skewed rotor windings, it seems.

Hi Bruce.  Appreciate the input, thanks.  I know less about electronics than the Queen of England does about the poor . . . so I figure - see pic - the bridge rectifier is the alloy-bodied gizmo in the pic?  I might have a google and see what they do.  But I should replace it with a "good one"?  Cheers

Engines / Re: SR2 starter replacement
« on: May 10, 2022, 07:43:58 PM »
To be honest, I think that nut is still good enough to go again. Once torqued up using the C spanner you only need to fold a tab over to lock it in place. If you do not have a C spanner they are so easy to make by tracing the outline of the nut onto paper and thi gives you the pattern. Then enough 3/16" piece of sheet steel and a cutter and a file and then a length of pipe on the end of a short handle.

I had to use 2 24" pipe wrenches to get it off.. and was hard to turn until it came off ...
I need to find out what size/threat it was to get it to a point that i can finger thread it on .. and use the lock washer to keep it from coming off.

Pardon me for sticking my oar in . . .

But, unless I have mis-interpreted the photos, I'd say you have a threaded taper-sleeve-and-nut assembly on that shaft?  Perhaps I have that wrong?  If that is what it is, the sleeve and bearing will come off the shaft, and the sleeve, nut and locking-ring would be sold as a unit by any bearing supplier

Good luck either way

Interesting, Bruce

I have an ST-clone Chinese head I bought for a few hundred $$ years ago - basically thinking "copper windings + solid cast-iron construction = good bones"

I guess time will tell - but it's awfully rough:

Both bearings growled and grumbled from new so I replaced them with Timken/SKF ones.  One of the shafts was only about 70% machined as it was made uneven, out-of-round & partly undersized.

The brushes are "crumbly" and one just broke in half.  The springs behind them are the nastiest folded-tin I have seen anywhere.  They might work?

The fasteners right across the unit are just rusty muck-metal with heads so thin a spanner slips off them - so I have replaced them all

Normal stuff, really, I guess; and probably analogous to Indian Listeroid export units

But the electrics.  My god . . .

There was an isolator/on-off switch on the side.  The positive wire attached to it had no clearance at the bottom and a half-inch or so of bare wire was jammed against the tin base of the dog-box.  I don't know if the unit will generate power - but if it did, the casing would have been livened-up nicely.  I took it out, joined some good wire onto its terminals and ran the wire out through the outside of the box, using a gland and some insulated sleeves.  I guess I'll find a better isolator & mount it somewhere else.  Maybe something with some fuses  . . .

There's an output-box thingie with a couple of screw-on-knob terminals - but the phase & neutral wire terminations inside it were just made of folded thin copper plate.  I took them off, took the rusty steel terminal bolts out of the terminal holes and extended the wires, adding some shrink & insulation and running them out - I guess they'll end up on the terminal block for initial trials

Inside, everything was just floating around loose - I guess the big alloy thing does some sort of regulating job?  I'd be interested in suggestions as to what to do with it?

Once it's spinning - if it makes power, I guess I'll mount a tidy enclosure somewhere and block off the hole in the top where the dog-box sat

Apart from the fact the body was "live", I don't think you would have got ten hours out of either of those bearings?

I guess we'll see.  I have a nice Markon unit as Plan "B"; but I figure this unit has to be a good one for someone who knows nothing at all about gen heads to make mistakes on

Engines / Re: SR2 starter replacement
« on: May 07, 2022, 03:49:07 AM »
To be honest, I think that nut is still good enough to go again. Once torqued up using the C spanner you only need to fold a tab over to lock it in place. If you do not have a C spanner they are so easy to make by tracing the outline of the nut onto paper and thi gives you the pattern. Then enough 3/16" piece of sheet steel and a cutter and a file and then a length of pipe on the end of a short handle.

Also traditionally tightened with a cold-chisel and hammer - although perhaps I shouldn't admit . . .

However a new sleeve and nut will cost almost nothing and, being free of rust & having smooth surfaces, will take up an even, gradual tension to tighten up 'just nice" - just imho

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