The Lister type genset

What's a Lister? The Lister engines were originally made in the UK. A very simple solid design. They were used mostly to power pumps and generators and many are still on the job today powering lighthouses, temporary traffic lighting, and even small villages. Listers are known to outlive their owners. The originals are no longer being made but the clones are being made in India. The clones need lots of attention before you ever start it since Indian QC isn't the greatest. (I hear this has gotten better but I still wouldn't start one without inspecting the crankcase at the very least)

So what I have is a clone that has been gone through. 25hp spinning a 15KW generator head.

New video!:

On the road to it's new home.

At the shop, it's new home. The military filter was added to the deal along with an assortment of gaskets and other small spares.

And a trip to Mendelsons netted flex tubes for the exhaust system and a Gast 4AM type air motor for the starting system.

Here is a link to a video demonstrating the Gast starting a Lister type: VIDEO 

For water circulation I am using a good ol' Chevy small block water pump. Just have to make a flange/bracket from some 1/4" plate and some hose fittings. Those curved cuts are from other projects, it will be trimmed as I dial in on the design.

And of course we need the dark hunter green. That pulley came from the Craftsman tractor that now goes 20mph with it's new 3" pulley. :)

Here the concrete base. It's about 24" thick on the sides and 10" in the middle with lots of rebar. The previous tenant was in the concrete business and there is rebar all over the place at my disposal.

The wire you see is feeder originally meant to go from the house to the garage. It has never been hooked up but will be used to bring power to the house instead.

There will be insulated "floating" walls to help control sound. You can see a partially finished one at the far end of the base. They float by being attached only at the ceiling to absorb/reduce sound being transmitted outside.

We separated the 3 main parts for the move. The engine itself weighs 1975lbs.

In goes the base.

The engine makes baby steps through the door. Looks scary as hell but really it was not bad at all. Adapt, overcome, and conquer! (isn't that how it goes?)

Thanks to Dave for helping me out.

We had to get pretty creative with cribbing and jackstands.

And finally the generator head gets put in place.

Now I need to check any issues these typically have. Lets just say things aren't always right with these engines out of the crate, but in the long run they can be very reliable.

    Here's the crankcase vent system. As you can see the reed valve was installed upside down leaving part of one of the ports uncovered. A little flattening and flip it over and all is good.

I noticed the pump tappets were not hitting square so I used this setup to true them up with a slight crown so it won't try to cock the pump cup.

Here she sits after the first run. That's 2 gauge welding wire coming off the generator head to feed the panel. If you look closely you can see the frame ground and the panel ground leading outside to an 8' ground rod. I still have some details to take care of  but I'll get some video soon.

Here is the Nissan radiator mounted out in the main shop for heat. (thanks to Greg for the freebie)

Building my "muffler" using an old boiler tank cut in half. It will be buried face down underground with the bricks for baffles.

The fuel supply tank with the finished exhaust system behind it. The stak is sticking up on the upper left.

I'm giving up on the air start for a good old Chevy starting system. That's a bushing type pulley drilled and tapped for the Chevy flex plate, the 2" SK bushing, a centering ring, the starter, and flywheel bolts. The Chevy parts are for big block 168 tooth flywheel. Once I test fit the centering ring it will be tack welded to the flex plate.

More slow progress. While rechecking the timing I noticed the front flywheel was coming loose. So I've pulled the gib keys and the flywheels for refitting. You can see an original key up top, the 2 new ones are cut down from standard 5/8" gib keys. Not only does the original have a crack but it looks like it was hand ground.

I need to make a new gib key puller. My other one machined from a cast iron dumbell weight broke. A chunk of steel is on the way.

The new air cleaner, 1954 Ford Y-block. The original on the left was getting the oil sucked out of it. 10hrs on the new one shows no missing oil. It is also remotely mounted on the slab with it's own little stand.