Author Topic: Newly acquired Lister CS generator, have a question.  (Read 262 times)

Captain Don

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Newly acquired Lister CS generator, have a question.
« on: November 06, 2020, 05:38:54 PM »
Hello All, newbie member here, but not a newbie to old Listers.  I live in the Bahamas where there are still a goodly number of Lister CS units around.  I recently acquired one I have been after for 30 years!  Its a later 8/1 generator set that has been on a private island since brand new.  It was originally owned by the President of Zenith Radio Co. Who owned the island.  After hurricane Dorian flattened this area, the island owner offered the Lister to me, as it was under water for several hours. Stripping it down I found no real issues or corrosion in the engine, so it looks quite savable.  It has a SOM type generator on it, but was not a SOM unit, using a push button starter.

 My question is about the fuel/decompress solenoid, it has a latch that is engaged that holds the decompression pin in, and when triggered it releases the latch, which allows compression and opens the fuel rack.  It appears that this must be reset before each start attempt.  Have any of you seen this arrangement before?  It is definitly not a butchered SOM as there is no similarity in the latch mechanism for the solenoid to the SOM ones.  Also a wiring diagram for the generator end would be helpful, but my box appears complete and was being used this way 20 years ago. 
« Last Edit: November 06, 2020, 09:06:56 PM by Captain Don »

Captain Don

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Re: Newly acquired Lister CS generator, have a question.
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2020, 05:40:42 PM »
Another part

Captain Don

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Re: Newly acquired Lister CS generator, have a question.
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2020, 05:42:41 PM »
The doghouse

AdeV

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Re: Newly acquired Lister CS generator, have a question.
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2020, 12:07:04 AM »
I can't comment about the generator - but it looks to me like that solenoid will push/pull the arm, which, presumably when activated, pulls the decompression latch out, allowing the engine to run. When released/returned, the spring applies pressure to the latch, attempting to push it back into place. Once the exhaust valve has "run over" it once, it'll latch in & the engine will stop.

It certainly doesn't look like the SoM setup with the conjoined rack-pusher-decompression-latch lever/bar arrangement.... but without seeing the parts as attached to the engine, I can't see how it's operating (or allowing the operation of, rather) the fuel rack.
Cheers!
Ade.
--------------
1x Lister CS Start-o-Matic (complete, runs)
0x Lister JP4 :( - Sold to go in a canal boat.

Captain Don

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Re: Newly acquired Lister CS generator, have a question.
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2020, 03:16:15 AM »
Thank you for the reply.   I can tell you for certain that it cannot push the latch back into decompress mode.  The actuator for the decompression pin goes over center and stays put very firmly.  It requires a good push on the lever to "cock"the mechanism again.  I know this unit is totally unmolested as the old mechanic of the island told me he never really did much except change the oil and set the valves over the decades.   He was the one that showed me how to "cock" the decompress mechanism for start up.  I can only guess that this unit was one that had manual electric start and could be shut down using a long string to pull the rack closed ?   Many old Listers here used a string for shutdown, so you didn't have to walk out to the genny shed in the rain at night to kill the generator.  I would be interested in knowing if this setup was common or maybe something specifically for the islands?  Technical skills are low here, so a real SOM would not be repairable in most places, but electric start would have been desirable, as women often had to operate the generators when men were off fishing.  I am actually surprised that Mr. Wright (the president of Zenith Radio) did not buy a SOM, as he was a very tech oriented fellow.  I will try and get a pic of the parts in place so you can see the setup as it sits.   

oldgoat

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Re: Newly acquired Lister CS generator, have a question.
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2020, 01:32:18 PM »
I would get rid of that selenium rectifier and replace it with a decent diode.

Captain Don

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Re: Newly acquired Lister CS generator, have a question.
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2020, 01:44:43 PM »
I plan on it, the generator head needs a full go through, as it has been wet.  It looks salvageable, but will need some new components for sure, and being a tube radio guy, I am no fan of selenium rectifiers!

Captain Don

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Re: Newly acquired Lister CS generator, have a question.
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2020, 01:49:29 PM »
Oh in case anyone is interested, here is a shot of the Lister in its home since it was new.

Captain Don

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Re: Newly acquired Lister CS generator, have a question.
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2020, 01:55:25 PM »
Another shot

broncodriver99

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Re: Newly acquired Lister CS generator, have a question.
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2020, 02:27:02 PM »
The mechanism that operates the decompressor and rack look just like all of the other startomatic sets I have seen but the solenoid mounting plate and pivot setup definitely looks different.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2020, 02:30:16 PM by broncodriver99 »

broncodriver99

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Re: Newly acquired Lister CS generator, have a question.
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2020, 02:47:32 PM »
The more I look at this the more it looks like the solenoid arrangement is intended for shut down. It looks like you push down on the end of the pivot which opens the de-compressor and allows the fuel rack to open. The end of the pivot then engages with the lever attached to the bottom of the solenoid holding the pivot in the run position. It looks like when the solenoid is energized it travels downward kicking the lever out of the notch on the pivot which would then shut down the engine. Maybe it was set up for manual start in the AM and then a remote switch allowed shut down from the house in the evening or there was a engine safety system of some sort that could shut the engine down in the event of trouble.

Captain Don

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Re: Newly acquired Lister CS generator, have a question.
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2020, 06:15:44 PM »
Bronco,you could be correct about that,  it has been many years since I actually ran that particular engine, so it may be that the mechanism is cocked to allow compression after cranking over and then the solenoid trips for shutdown.  When I get back to the island on Monday, I will look at that solenoid setup and see. 

Captain Don

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Re: Newly acquired Lister CS generator, have a question.
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2020, 10:58:48 PM »
I had another look at the solenoid mechanism today and Bronco is correct, it is a shutdown only solenoid.  One would crank the engine with compression released (the tripped mode of the solenoid) then mash the curved handle down to cock the solenoid and allow the compression release pin to retract.    When its time for shutdown, a push of a button, mounted remotely, would fire the solenoid which trips the latch and the springs force the compression release pin back under the collar on the lifter.   It makes sense as one would check the oil and such when starting the engine in the generator house, but could shut it down before bed, without a trip back to the generator shed.  So it is the same thing as the old shutdown string system used throughout the Bahamas in the old days.                                                               

The mechanism is spring loaded so when you push down to get compression after cranking it over, it automatically latches itself in the "run" position.  A very simple and sturdy system.  It could easily be adapted to work as a safety shutdown for low oil pressure or high temps.    Regardless, it is the only one of this type I have ever seen here, and there were a lot of Listers around here years ago!