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Author Topic: HELP WITH LISTER ST2A 14 H.P.  (Read 800 times)

ChrisW

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HELP WITH LISTER ST2A 14 H.P.
« on: April 04, 2020, 12:17:07 AM »
Hello Lister fans!

This is my first post and thank you for taking a look.

I recently purchased a cabin in the Sierras of California that has the generator listed in the subject. Apparently it had sat without operation for some 20 years. It started up instantly when I jumped it with my truck since it did not have a battery and has run the last couple years, albeit infrequently, without problem! I've only had to replace the fuel control solenoid and fuel filter.

I am not very mechanical or electrical when it comes to engines. I do, however, appreciate well built machines and this seems to be one that I would love to keep. I would like to make sure I know as much as possible about it and maintain it properly. I do have the original manual from the owner, but it has very little information and , of course, not very up to date.

My questions are:

1. What battery is recommended? I occassionally have problems starting it in the morning if it gets below freezing and I end up draining the battery. I will
be installing a solar trickle charger that will stay on the battery permanently so that when it is not in use, which can be a month or more, it will stay charged.
That said, maybe there is a better battery for this generator.

2. What type of oil is recommended? I did top it up with Delo 400 SD SAE 15W-30, but I need to drain it and put new. The manual does not give instructions on
how to replace oil, can someone give me some pointers?

3. How to crank start? When the battery has died, I have tried crank starting, but it is extremely difficult to rotate the handle....does something need to be disengaged to bypass the electrical starter?

4. How to operate the decompressor levers? According to the manual, when starting the levers should point towards the flywheel, is this correct? Do the levers
need to be backed off after it starts? I generally start the generator remotely from the cabin so I am not at the generator to fuss with the levers and have
always just had them at 12' o'clock. Appreciate any advise here....

5. Does anyone recommend an additive to the diesel fuel considering I often leave the generator for a few weeks to a month without operation and thought a dry gas might help...

Thanks for any advise you can contribute!!

Chris
20200327_115809_resized.jpg
« Last Edit: April 04, 2020, 12:46:23 AM by ChrisW »

dkmc

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Re: HELP WITH LISTER ST2A 14 H.P.
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2020, 12:49:22 AM »

2. Without knowing what oil was in it, it's not a good idea to add in detergent oil. If it had non-D oil in it, all the dirt will settle to the bottom of the sump. When you add in detergent, it loosens up the dirt and sends it thru the engine......NOT good. Change it, clean out the sump WELL.

5. No alcohol based dry gas in diesel fuel.

ChrisW

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Re: HELP WITH LISTER ST2A 14 H.P.
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2020, 02:23:57 AM »
Thank you for that.

Do you have a recommendation for oil type.
Where might I look for clean out procedure?

dkmc

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Re: HELP WITH LISTER ST2A 14 H.P.
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2020, 02:38:12 AM »
I'm not familiar with that series engine at all.
However I did just find this via google.....

http://www.winget.co.uk/document/LISTER%20ST%20WORKSHOP%20MANUAL.pdf
If this does indeed cover your unit, be sure and download it, as it is complete and a nice find.

If there's a side cover on the engine crankcase, you would remove that, and scoop out the goo. Wash with diesel fuel, rinse, repeat. It looks like a 15-40 diesel oil like Shell Rotella would be a fair choice.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2020, 02:46:13 AM by dkmc »

AdeV

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Re: HELP WITH LISTER ST2A 14 H.P.
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2020, 12:16:08 PM »

1. What battery is recommended? I occassionally have problems starting it in the morning if it gets below freezing and I end up draining the battery. I will
be installing a solar trickle charger that will stay on the battery permanently so that when it is not in use, which can be a month or more, it will stay charged.
That said, maybe there is a better battery for this generator.


Any decent sized car or truck battery should be fine. If it's a 24v starter, then two in series. The bigger the better, if you're draining it occasionally. Batteries do have a finite life, and if it's been left flat for any length of time, it's probably wrecked it's charge capacity (don't ask me how I know this...) A solar trickle charger is an excellent idea to keep it topped off; a 100W panel and a charge controller should only cost around $100 these days, I'd have thought, and will give plenty of capacity.


3. How to crank start? When the battery has died, I have tried crank starting, but it is extremely difficult to rotate the handle....does something need to be disengaged to bypass the electrical starter?

4. How to operate the decompressor levers? According to the manual, when starting the levers should point towards the flywheel, is this correct? Do the levers
need to be backed off after it starts? I generally start the generator remotely from the cabin so I am not at the generator to fuss with the levers and have
always just had them at 12' o'clock. Appreciate any advise here....


Not being familiar with your set up.... does it have an automotive style starter, with cogs cut into the flywheel? If so - the starter will be automatically disengaged when not in use, just like a car one. If it's an original Start-o-Matic unit, then the generator is also the starter. Although it's permanently connected (via the belts), it shouldn't add too much resistance at hand cranking speeds. Getting it turning initially will be harder because of the extra drag (and quite possibly a flywheel mounted on the generator too).

To crank start, you need to engage the decompressors. I don't know which way they move; so just push them all the way over one way or another, and try to slowly turn the engine. If it comes to a dead halt, then back it up a bit, and turn the levers the other way. One way or another it should rotate freely (you might also hear a hiss from the exhaust valve on what should be the compression stroke).

Once you've established which way the levers go - now you really need to put your back into it! Start cranking it as fast as you possibly can. At the last moment, using your third hand, flip one of the decompression levers over. WIth a fair wind, and a bit of luck, the engine should fire on one. As soon as it's picked up a few revs, flip the second compression lever. Which one you do first is up to you - you might find the engine starts a bit easier on one cylinder compared to the other... so you'd favour that one.

Good luck!
Cheers!
Ade.
--------------
1x Lister CS Start-o-Matic (complete, runs)
0x Lister JP4 :( - Sold to go in a canal boat.

oldgoat

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Re: HELP WITH LISTER ST2A 14 H.P.
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2020, 02:15:02 PM »
I think the ST series has the cold starting cups try putting some oil in them.

sirpedrosa

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Re: HELP WITH LISTER ST2A 14 H.P.
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2020, 02:30:15 PM »
Hi Gentles

Hoping everyone is safe, ST has a decompress lever. Just turn it and crank smartly.

Cheers
VP
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dax021

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Re: HELP WITH LISTER ST2A 14 H.P.
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2020, 03:50:44 PM »
My SR2 has a linkage between the two decompression levers, so they both move in parallel

dieselspanner

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Re: HELP WITH LISTER ST2A 14 H.P.
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2020, 04:48:02 PM »
Hi Chris.

Ref the fuel contamination.

This is a constant problem in the marine world.

As the ambient temperature changes, the air in the fuel tank expands and contracts (obvious, i know, but wait for it.....) the cool moist air sucked in the the evening will have a tiny amount of moisture in it that will condense on the exposed interior of the tank and then trickle to the bottom, beneath the fuel, where it can't evaporate.

Over time it will happily rust the bottom of the tank out and if you're very lucky a biological 'diesel bug' will take up residence on the interface between the fuel and the water.

Once the bug and / or the water gets into the fuel pick up pipe the fuel filter starts to block and nothing but a really good clean out and a hot pressure wash will kill the bug.

The bug getting into the injector pump is a right pain, trust me, I know!

Fuel additives are available, I've never found a really good one which will clean the system out without pulling it all to bits.

The easy answer is next time you visit drain the fuel, clean the tank as best you can, then refill with clean fuel.

Keep filling fuel tank on a regular basis and when you leave the genny, top the tank right up, no air gap, no problem.

If the old fuel is clean you can re use it, I'd put it in my truck, you'll burn it up in a week or so, before it does anything nasty.

Cheers
Stef

Tighten 'til it strips, weld nut to chassis, peen stud, adjust with angle grinder.

mikenash

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Re: HELP WITH LISTER ST2A 14 H.P.
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2020, 08:20:05 PM »


1. What battery is recommended? I occassionally have problems starting it in the morning if it gets below freezing and I end up draining the battery. I will be installing a solar trickle charger that will stay on the battery permanently so that when it is not in use, which can be a month or more, it will stay charged.
That said, maybe there is a better battery for this generator.


Just a couple of thought further to what Ade has said

In my work we have remote sites with 6-cylinder John Deere engine which may sit unattended for long periods

Three things we have done:

First is fit a cheap-as-chips Jaycar 5W panel trickle charger to each battery.  They have no controller or anything because the don't make enough power to hurt themselves.  They're about $30.  If you have sunshine and a suitable mounting point you could try one of these, it might be a cheap solution?

Second thing is to look closely at the battery & charging system's wiring - are the battery terminal clamps clean and tight.  Are the cables that take the 24V load to the starting gear thick and strong and with good, clean solid fasteners at each end, and with the insulation in good shape, and not rubbing anywhere? Are the batteries mounted solidly - with maybe a rubber section underneath to isolate then from the cold floor and possibly from engine vibration? Are they clamped down firmly.  Is the whole battery and wiring area dry and free from insulation damage?

If the answer to any of that is "no" - then probably you will be getting a small "leak" of current through any one or a combination of the above.  Batteries love to be clean, dry, solid, and wired-in heavy & strong a solid

Third thing is to fit an isolating switch - or possibly two, depending on how things are wired - in the main cable between the battery positive and anywhere else.  So that it's "first" in the big cable going out of the battery.  Have a google - you'll see heaps on EBay or whatever.  When you leave the site, turn the isolating switch or switches "off" and then there's no way for current to leak out of the battery - or not easily anyway.  See pic attached?

If you're going to spend good money on new batteries it will be wasted if the wiring isn't up to spec as they'll have a very short, expensive life

Excuse my long-windedness.  Cheers

ChrisW

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Re: HELP WITH LISTER ST2A 14 H.P.
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2020, 09:11:37 PM »
I'm not familiar with that series engine at all.
However I did just find this via google.....

http://www.winget.co.uk/document/LISTER%20ST%20WORKSHOP%20MANUAL.pdf
If this does indeed cover your unit, be sure and download it, as it is complete and a nice find.

If there's a side cover on the engine crankcase, you would remove that, and scoop out the goo. Wash with diesel fuel, rinse, repeat. It looks like a 15-40 diesel oil like Shell Rotella would be a fair choice.

Thank you  DKMC! That is my unit and there's a lot of great info in there....fantastic!


ChrisW

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Re: HELP WITH LISTER ST2A 14 H.P.
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2020, 09:37:40 PM »

Not being familiar with your set up.... does it have an automotive style starter, with cogs cut into the flywheel? If so - the starter will be automatically disengaged when not in use, just like a car one. If it's an original Start-o-Matic unit, then the generator is also the starter. Although it's permanently connected (via the belts), it shouldn't add too much resistance at hand cranking speeds. Getting it turning initially will be harder because of the extra drag (and quite possibly a flywheel mounted on the generator too).

Looking at the parts manual, there are a few different designs: a direct drive clutch, a 2:1 or 3:1 reduction gear and a geared up starting. I believe mine is the reduction gear design. I'm wondering if the Dynamo driving belt that is on the electric starting unit is what is giving me the problem....I mean I can barely rotate the crank by hand, need to use my foot, and then it just makes one rotation so something is giving resistance.

ChrisW

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Re: HELP WITH LISTER ST2A 14 H.P.
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2020, 09:43:26 PM »


Third thing is to fit an isolating switch - or possibly two, depending on how things are wired - in the main cable between the battery positive and anywhere else.  So that it's "first" in the big cable going out of the battery.  Have a google - you'll see heaps on EBay or whatever.  When you leave the site, turn the isolating switch or switches "off" and then there's no way for current to leak out of the battery - or not easily anyway.  See pic attached?

If you're going to spend good money on new batteries it will be wasted if the wiring isn't up to spec as they'll have a very short, expensive life

Excuse my long-windedness.  Cheers
[/quote]

Great tips, thank you mikenash. I think the answer is mostly Yes, to all those points, but I will definitely look into the isolating switch, seems like a good idea no matter what.
I just purchased a solar charger which should solve the battery problem:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Y5TKMZ4/ref=crt_ewc_title_dp_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A9FP6X594WAFM


ChrisW

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Re: HELP WITH LISTER ST2A 14 H.P.
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2020, 09:47:35 PM »
Hi Chris.

Ref the fuel contamination.

This is a constant problem in the marine world.

As the ambient temperature changes, the air in the fuel tank expands and contracts (obvious, i know, but wait for it.....) the cool moist air sucked in the the evening will have a tiny amount of moisture in it that will condense on the exposed interior of the tank and then trickle to the bottom, beneath the fuel, where it can't evaporate.

Over time it will happily rust the bottom of the tank out and if you're very lucky a biological 'diesel bug' will take up residence on the interface between the fuel and the water.

Once the bug and / or the water gets into the fuel pick up pipe the fuel filter starts to block and nothing but a really good clean out and a hot pressure wash will kill the bug.

The bug getting into the injector pump is a right pain, trust me, I know!

Fuel additives are available, I've never found a really good one which will clean the system out without pulling it all to bits.

The easy answer is next time you visit drain the fuel, clean the tank as best you can, then refill with clean fuel.

Keep filling fuel tank on a regular basis and when you leave the genny, top the tank right up, no air gap, no problem.

If the old fuel is clean you can re use it, I'd put it in my truck, you'll burn it up in a week or so, before it does anything nasty.

Cheers
Stef

Thanks Stef. Great info. I actually have been topping up the tank when I leave, just so I know when I return that it is full and ready, so I am guessing that
water in the fuel may not be an issue, but I will drain the fuel tank and give it an inspection....

mike90045

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Re: HELP WITH LISTER ST2A 14 H.P.
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2020, 11:30:29 PM »
How cold is it when you are trying to start ?  Does it have/use heaters ? Diesel should start on the 1st or 2nd compression, if not, too cold or wrong timing or something  ???   Just my wild guesses