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Author Topic: Lister versus Detroit 2-71  (Read 13973 times)

Procrustes

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Lister versus Detroit 2-71
« on: January 09, 2006, 10:09:33 PM »
I'm looking for an engine to power a genset.  My requirements are water cooled, slow speed, reliable, and not too smelly or loud.  I plan to build a shed, or  if I can get something under 1,000 pounds or so I could use my existing 8x16 toolshed, which is on piers but it's settled pretty well and anyway I can use shims as it settles more.  Cost is always a factor.

Anyone have thoughts about the Detroit 2-71 units such as at http://affordablepower.com?  They are 1250rpm, indirect injection, rock solid reliability, two cycle.  They're bigger than the Listers at around 38hp.  They come with 12.5kW or 20kW brushless heads, though I'm told the 12.5kW peaks closer to 16kW.

Are these noisy and smelly compared to the Listeroids?  Any other considerations?

Doug

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Re: Lister versus Detroit 2-71
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2006, 11:04:03 PM »
71s are no worse than most for smoke and smelliness.....
They do scream, and there is blower noise.
Parts are easy to come by.

The fuel bill might suprise you, this is after all a big genset. Kind of like crushing ants with a sledge hammer.

Doug

SHIPCHIEF

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Re: Lister versus Detroit 2-71
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2006, 06:08:47 AM »
I have some experience with them.
They are an excellent standby generator. They can stand long periods of neglect, then start right up and go to full power. They are very loud They are very reliable. They haven't made any in 20 years+. They dont leak oil, they sweat oil ;). But they are also easy to work on, and parts are easy to get.
And they use more fuel than a 4 stroke.
They are sometimes found with a 12 wire alternator (by arranging the connections you can have a single phase 240 V or 3 phase 208 V or 230V) so if you need 3 phase ?? If one falls in your lap, be sure to take it.
After I got my Listeroid running I got two Onans for free in a matter of months. It's probably generator Karma.
I fell for Listeroids and I'm having a Hoot, even though I had several problems. If you go with a reputable local importer that has been around for about 10 years, you can get a good Listeroid. Get a small one and plan to schedule your load, you know; don't use the clothes drier, the stove and the hot water heater at the same time. Go for the 650 RPM unit, they are so sweet.
Ashwamegh 25/2 & ST12
Lister SR2 10Kw 'Long Edurance' genset on a 10 gallon sump/skid,
Onan 6.5NH in an old Jeager Compressor trailer and a few CCK's

Procrustes

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Re: Lister versus Detroit 2-71
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2006, 07:24:47 AM »
Thanks Doug and Shipchief.  Maybe I'll have to pass on the Detroit.  I don't need the racket and poor economy.  Too bad, I was looking forward to restoring it.

Believe me, I'd love to justify a 6/1.  However unlike the Detroit it's just not big enough to start my two 240V pumps.

I've been reading that my utility, Puget Sound Energy, is required by the state of Washington to buy renewable energy from the customer at $0.15 (veggie isn't mentioned in the statute so this may not fly).  Also I'd have to buy two inverters to make 240V AC and a battery bank.  If it works this would be a nice setup though.  After all a 6/1 produces plenty of power for me on a daily basis, it's just these dang induction motors that trip me up.  A nice side effect is that I think I'd effectively have UPS, which is nice in an age where every electronics manufacturer is sure you lack a clock in your home.

swedgemon

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Re: Lister versus Detroit 2-71
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2006, 11:34:17 AM »
For reference, when I started working in the on & off-road diesel industry about 35 years ago, a Detroit Diesel was referred to as a device for turning diesel fuel into noise...a Mack was (is) a device for turning diesel fuel into soot.  Another characteristic of a Detroit is that it slobbers sooted-up engine oil all over the place.
Swedgemon
Somewhere in Kentucky

Procrustes

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Re: Lister versus Detroit 2-71
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2006, 03:50:10 PM »
Thanks for your thoughts, swedgemon.  You've made up my mind for sure.  The genset weighs over a ton, so it's not easy to move around either.

ronsmith

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Re: Lister versus Detroit 2-71
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2006, 09:08:33 PM »
Could a detroit 2-71 be made to run on waste motor oil? What would have to be modified on the engine to do this/

Procrustes

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Re: Lister versus Detroit 2-71
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2006, 12:44:13 AM »
The short answer is, likely.  There are a number of people running waste vegetable oil.  The more complete answer is that heavier oils introduces more wear, so it's really a tradeoff.  Note that the extra wear is a disputed point.

DirtbikePilot

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Re: Lister versus Detroit 2-71
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2006, 04:37:33 AM »
Has anyone here actually heard one of THESE particular genarators running? They only run at 1200 rpm. The only experience I have with a detroit 2 stroke is with a 6/71. It was noisy at higher rpms, but it seems like I remember it not making too much noise at that rpm. It had 3 times as many cylinders too.
Currently no listeroids, sad........ very sad.....
Just some other antique engines ranging from 40 pounds to 33,000 pounds each.

SHIPCHIEF

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Re: Lister versus Detroit 2-71
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2006, 04:59:46 AM »
I seem to recall that most 'other' engine manufacturers claim that Detroits use 8% more fuel than their particular 4 stroke. Maybe they do. I know from work experience that modestly loaded 4-71's last over 20,000 hours between overhaul, in regular daily service. (That's 'pretty good') They still need periodic valve adjusts, injector changes, thermostats, oil, filters, anodes, control checks, governor parts, water pump, sometimes oil cooler gaskets etc. etc. They don't go the whole way without help.
Scott E
Ashwamegh 25/2 & ST12
Lister SR2 10Kw 'Long Edurance' genset on a 10 gallon sump/skid,
Onan 6.5NH in an old Jeager Compressor trailer and a few CCK's

rpg52

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Re: Lister versus Detroit 2-71
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2006, 01:19:55 AM »
As usual, I don't claim to be an expert, but I have a Detroit 3-71.  Part of the reason they are so noisy is that they move so much air.  I've seen an estimate that indicates the exhaust volume is twice what an equivalent 4 stroke would be.  I put a muffler on mine and then ran the exhaust into an old galvanized pressure tank I had sitting around.  It seemed like a good idea, but the tank was only about 18" in diameter and the exhaust volume blasted all the water out of the top of the tank.  If one could run it in a larger tank, I think it could be quieted a lot.  I plan to build insulated walls around it to decrease and direct the noise from the blower and the fan.   As Dirtbikepilot said, at lower rpms, they aren't too noisy, mine really starts getting loud when I get it up around 1800 rpm, which is what I need to run the generator head and sawmill I'm building.

Detroit engines and parts are cheap and readily available, which was the main reason I bought it.  As loud as they are, a lot of diesel nuts (truckers, bus drivers, farmers, etc.) really love the sound of a Detroit winding up, the noise is unique and sort of attractive if you like loud diesels.

The main reason I bought a listeroid though was to quietly generate power when I don't need the Detroit.  Quite a contrast, because it is a two stroke, the Detroit sounds like it is running twice as fast as it actually is.
Ray
PS Listeroid 6/1, 5 kW ST, Detroit Diesel 3-71, Belsaw sawmill, 12 kW ST head, '71 GMC 3/4 T, '79 GMC 1T, '59 IH T-340