Lister Engines > Listeroid Engines

I got my first Lister

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I have a couple of questions though. I opened it up and everything looks ok, no sand or anything. I've been reading all I can about the engine, but I still can't figure out what kind of oil to use. All that I've seen is that I should use synthetic oil, but what kind are you using?

Also is it ok to fire it up for a test run with no water, or should I wait untill I set up the water tank?



for oil i went with a straight 30w non synthetic. seeing how it runs and oil consumption and of course temperature will change that. thinner oil in cold. the theory is the thicker oil is better for an engine built with lesser tolerances. and slows oil consumption. would like to hear others thoughts as well.

Everyone I have talked to seems to like synthetic oil.  Oil consumption does not seem to be a big issue, and it has great cold and hot weather properties.


Remember, these engines were designed before multivis. oils were around, and where they're manufactured there may still not be any, so I agree with Rocket.  It's not necessary to use anything other than straight 30 weight that is recommended in the Indian Manuals.  If you're in a cold area, cranking should be easier if you use synthetic oil.  I live near the beach in southern California, where it never gets very cold, so I picked up a jug of Shell Rotella-T, which is made for diesel engines, just 'cause it was available.  Remember to drop a couple of ceramic magnets in the sump to catch ferrous metal particles.

As far as test-running it without water, go ahead.  There's a lot of metal that has to get hot before anything happens.  I limit my runs to no more than a couple of minutes, max.  For longer runs, I got some 3/4" NPT adapters that screw into the water inlet and outlet flanges and adapt to a garden hose.  Fortunately, 3/4" British Standard Pipe Taper is the same as NPT, so you can adapt to it easily.


Hi Quinn,
You know, I may be wrong but I think the only reason not to go miltigrade is the lack of filtration. The old straight mineral lubes recommmended are good because the crud settles out (in theory) and are readily available in India. I would have a terrible time finding straight 30wht engine oil without detergent in Canada. I like Rotella myself. It also depends on whether your Lister works for a living like Jack's, or is a hobby, or is a standby unit for power outages. I'll address this as me and rocketboy are in the same boat. We want an engine that sleeps when not needed, but we want to kick it awake and work it's ass off for a few days/hours and then ignore it for a while. For this I want a diesel grade detergent 15-40 wt oil and I'll rig up a filter.



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