Lister Engines > Original Lister Cs Engines

Electric starter for 6/1

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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

Very nice Mike, very simple and made from readily available recycled bits. You probably should avoid starting it with full compression, these starter motors are designed for more modern engines without the inertial mass of two large flywheels. You could probably rig up some sort of a governor assembly that would automatically drop the decompressor lever once the flywheels get enough inertia.
An alternative might be to use an electric actuator to move the decompressor lever in and out, a timer relay should be adequate to to allow the flywheels to build up sufficient momentum before compression kicks in. You could do this with a remote start feature so you don`t have to go out in the rain.
Here we are trying to redesign the SOM, we both have better things to do.


Nice one, Mike

Broadly similar to one I knocked up a couple of years back, using the starter off a Land Rover 2 1/4 diesel ('cos I had one) The only difference is I added mine to the alternator shaft, the rational being that the Landy flywheel was around the same size as the pulley driven by the Lister and that meant I could keep it all as narrow as possible'

After some trials I found that if the flywheel was wound 'forward' to the start of the compression stroke the starter would engage and turn the engine over without undue signs of stress, even with the cov wound in. As I'm sure we've all noticed, the last compression stroke, as the engine runs down to a stop, 'bounces' the motor backwards and this provides a bit of a run up for the starter, next time.

Bearing in mind that driving the flywheel from the alternator, via the serpentine belt gives it almost a five to one 'disadvantage' I'd hope you'll have no need to 'fabricobble' an automatic decompression system

Another big advantage is that with the engine decompressed the starter makes bleeding a joy rather than a chore.

I've since changed the the cov for a 'blanking' plug ans added an extra  (Lidl's beer box thickness) gasket under the block to drop the compression slightly (one of the members here, I can't remember who, sorry! suggested it) and it's as happy as Larry.

By the end of the summer I should have a genny shed built and the Lister up here at the barn conversion and earning it's living......



Nice job spanner.
What will the Lister be used for?
Charging batteries? or prime 240 vac power for the building?

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



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