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Is a Lister Diesel worth having?

Discussion in 'Generators/Gensets' started by old-iron-habit, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. old-iron-habit

    old-iron-habit Senior Member

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    I stumbled across a light plant that may be able to be purchased very reasonable. It has a Lister Diesel in it that is not running. I remember having light plants in ND in the late 70s with Lister Diesels in them. They started and ran well in winter conditions back then. Are they reasonable to work on and are parts available? Often think a light plant would have some handy uses if I can get I cheap if its worth fixing but don't want to get into one that no parts are available.
     
  2. Delmer

    Delmer Senior Member

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    Ever hear of a "listeroid"? Lister was one of the early engines to have a good enough reputation worldwide to be copied. You could probably buy a rebuild kit for $10 in south Asia.

    Between knockoff parts, ebay, and cobbling, I doubt there's anything you couldn't replace. I don't know anything about specific models besides having seen a few around. There is an Amish engine shop not too far away that works on them also, among virtually every other diesel make.
     
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  3. check

    check Senior Member

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    The question needs clarification. There are the ancient low RPM Listers than run forever on the worst of fuel, then there are the air cooled Listers of the 1970's and 1980's which were designed to run 40,000 hours before needing the first overhaul and there are the post-merger water-cooled Lister-Petters.
     
  4. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    The ancient one-lungers that look like the hit-and-miss engines at the fair are for the birds.

    But I can't help but like the air cooled ones from around the 70s. They are so massively simple and reliable it makes you wish somebody made them today.

    The more modern ones are pretty much like any other tractor diesel, nothing special about them, parts a little hard to find but generally reliable if a bit leaky.
     
  5. Queenslander

    Queenslander Senior Member

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    Anyone who has been around the old CS single cylinder watercooled Listers would recognise this sound.

    Parts "shouldn't" be a problem, they still sell new engines, here at least.
    We didn't get mains power until 1983 and still have our twin cyl SR2 with 6kva lighting plant, hard wired into the household circuit for emergency use.
    It was originally set up so that any light switch in the house would start it and last light off would shut it down.
     
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  6. thepumpguysc

    thepumpguysc Senior Member

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    They are "throw away" engines in Marine Generator use here.. So inexpensive that if anything Major is needed its just as cheap to get a new "drop in"..
     
  7. Welder Dave

    Welder Dave Senior Member

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    They were used a lot in oilfield applications if I recall and were known for being long life reliable engines.
     
  8. old-iron-habit

    old-iron-habit Senior Member

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    Thanks. I am going to go check it out. I'll let you know what I find out when I see it.
     
  9. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    If it's something like an LR1 or an SR1 it should be eminently repairable. Takes me back years, I was at college with a guy who was sponsored as an engineer apprentice at Listers.
    Check out these links.........

     
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  10. RayF

    RayF Senior Member

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    There's not to many Lister's that aren't repairable. I have 2 diesels,one air cooled and one water cooled. I restored a 1926 petrol Model L. I was able to buy new valves for it. They were built to work hard and long.
     
  11. check

    check Senior Member

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    Mine is an ST2. I bought it as a basket case. One thing I like is the weight of the flywheel. Mine runs a generator and a heavy flywheel sure helps the governor keep the speed steady.
     

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  12. old-iron-habit

    old-iron-habit Senior Member

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    I ended up not getting it. After not getting a bite on his Craigslist add in two weeks, he sold it to a guy he knew for $5.00. He was also giving him a bunch of new parts with it. The guy took the light plant, never paid him the five dollars, so he kept the parts and told me the guy can go pound sand and find parts elsewhere. There I go again, 4 days and 5 dollars short. I did score 2 brand new 14:00-24 12 ply Goodyear grader tires though. I don't need them but I couldn't pass them up. They would work on my 922A but my tires are good yet.
     
  13. petepilot

    petepilot Senior Member

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    guess i better see if what i found will run 33 hp air cooled 3 cyln. salvaged from a draw bridge project a couple years ago