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  1. #1
    Silver Member
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    Nov 2004
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    Arkansas
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    Massey-Ferguson 220-4

    Default Lister Type diesel engine

    New one on me. What is a Lister Type diesel engine. I may be familiar with it under another name.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member atgreene's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
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    Sebago, Maine
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    2005 TB135 Excavator with Thumb, Quick Attach System, Ripper tooth, 3' Hydrauic Tilt Clean-up Bucket, Skeleton Bucket, 1986 Kubota 4150 with Loader and Quick Attach with Woods Forks, JD B, 1963 IH 504

    Default Re: Lister Type diesel engine

    Lister diesels were built in England as a marine heavy duty long running power plant. centralmainediesel.com has them hooked to generator heads.

    Listers are infamous for their longjevity and unique sound. Usual hp was 12-24. Chinese and Indian manufactures have now taken the specs from the old Listers and made new ones from the old blueprints. They are referred to as Listeroids.

    Neat engine, my grandfather had a 2 cyclinder with a 5k generator. It had a decompression valve on top of each cylinder. Hit the starter with decompress and crank until it got up to speed, then let go of the decopressor and it would pound to life.
    1986 Kubota 4150 w QA
    2005 Takeuchi 135 excavator
    2005 GMC 5500 10' Boss V
    1963 Oshkosh 1967 IH 504
    JD B (Basket case), 2nd JD B, Ford 2n, Gehl 1475 Baler, IH 990 Moco, JD 640 rake, Vermeer 2500 Bale Wrapper
    2009 GMC 3500 6.0
    Local 740 Portland ME

    15 Scottish Highland Beef Cattle, 2 Herefords, 3 Goats, 2 Alpacas, 2 Llama, 72 chickens, 1 Lineback beef critter and lots of maple trees.

    Facebook: Phillip View Farm

  3. #3
    Elite Member RonMar's Avatar
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    Port Angeles WA
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    Jinma 284 delivered 06/28/05

    Default Re: Lister Type diesel engine

    Yep, built in Dursley england from the 1920's to the 1980's. Not just marine, but light/rural industrial. Typically heavy cast iron, low speed/low horsepower. They have large heavy flywheels, so store a tremendous ammount of energy. As a prime mover for a generator, this large spinning mass is ideal for starting large induction motors. The listeroid I use is a 6/1, 6HP/single cylinder. It is good for 3KW of continous electrical load. But it's large mass will start heavy inductive loads like a generator with a much higher rateing. That is how I can get away with 3KW and still power my well pump.

    The engine alone weighs around 750# with 300# of that being in the flywheels. My all-up genset weight is around 1000#. It is started with a hand crank and runs at around 630RPM in my case to get me 60HZ out of the generator. That low RPM Thump, Thump, Thump makes them very pleasant to be around. Way more pleasant than an 1800 or 3600 RPM genset screaming away. With mine running, you can hold a conversation over the top of the engine without yelling. The valve train is almost as noisy as the exhaust is... They are reasonably efficient, and I use just less than .125 gallons per KW/HR of electric load. This slow speed was the main reason for their long service life. They are also extremely easy to work on. With only basic hand tools, I can have the engine striped down to nearly a bare block inside 30 minutes.

    Go to Youtube.com and search "listeroid" and you will find a bunch of interesting running videos.
    Ron

  4. #4
    Super Member JB4310's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
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    5,645
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    Central CT
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    J.D. 4310 E-hydro

    Default Re: Lister Type diesel engine

    I was looking into them recently, some refer to them as third world engines for there use in far off villages, reports of some running everyday for 30 years without a rebuild?
    Seen one in craigslist right in the next town over, guy bought it for a project and lost interest, can't remember what he wanted but it was reasonable, kicked myself for not calling him. Even for a hobby I think it would be cool.
    JD 4310; E hydro, 300CX, 48 BH, 60" box, 72" rake, 72" rear blade, cast pallet forks, 48", 61"HD & 73" high volume bucket.
    FORD 1700; 2 WD, 2600 hrs.
    JD 320; Hydra lift, 48" deck and 48" snow blade.
    2007 Dodge Ram 3500, Cummins 6.7L, Aisin 6 speed, 9ft utility body.

  5. #5
    Elite Member schmism's Avatar
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    Peoria IL
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    New holland TC(33)

    Default Re: Lister Type diesel engine

    google listeroid

    there are a tone of sites setup detailing the aftermarket listeroid hooked to a ST gen head (belt drive)

    they run on waste veggie oil (WVO) also will little to no modifications for the ultra in cheep bio fuel
    Steve - TC33D 4x4 FEL, dual rear remotes with toys

  6. #6
    Gold Member Lasgambler's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    West Coast of Arizona
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    YANMAR FX42d

    Default Re: Lister Type diesel engine

    I did not know they still made engines like that. Reminds me of those old style "poppers" I've seen at the county fair.

    Now for the question that shows I know nothing about these engines. Is it possible to put some kind of Propane conversion kit on this engine?
    YANMAR FX42d, Koyker 155 FEL, ROPS w/Canapy, Top & Tilt Gearmore BS w/ Hydraulic Scarfiers. Loaded R4 Industrial Tires, Princess Auto BH w/ Subframe. Boom pole. Pallet Forks.

  7. #7
    Elite Member SnowRidge's Avatar
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    East Tennessee
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    Power Trac PT-425 / Branson 3520

    Default Re: Lister Type diesel engine

    Quote Originally Posted by Lasgambler View Post
    I did not know they still made engines like that. Reminds me of those old style "poppers" I've seen at the county fair.

    Now for the question that shows I know nothing about these engines. Is it possible to put some kind of Propane conversion kit on this engine?
    I am curious. Why would you want to convert one to propane? The beauty of a diesel genset is that it runs on the same fuel that your tractor uses. In most places, it is no big deal to set up your own tank and get fuel delivered to you.

    In a real nasty turn of events lasting months or longer, you can run most diesels on scrounged fuel of almost any type. It's even easier with a bone simple engine like a Lister. You can't do that with a propane powered genset, and in a real emergency, you will probably not be able to get any propane. Propane is highly dependent on a sophisticated production and distribution infrastructure. The only thing more so is natural gas.

    If you are going to use a diesel engine, do so to its advantage. Don't waste it on propane, even if the conversion is feasible.

  8. #8
    Gold Member Lasgambler's Avatar
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    West Coast of Arizona
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    YANMAR FX42d

    Default Re: Lister Type diesel engine

    I love that low RPM engine. Living in the middle of nowhere, I have a hard enough time hauling gas for construction generators, and diesel for the tractor.
    Some of the homes I build off grid we install a 1000 gal. U.G. propane tank. That's the way I would like to go. My home is all electric and 800 gal. of propane would last for years. (800 gal) Based on 80% fill. which is what they do here. If the weather is bad enough for backup power, I probably do not want to be driving over an hour to get fuel. Terry
    YANMAR FX42d, Koyker 155 FEL, ROPS w/Canapy, Top & Tilt Gearmore BS w/ Hydraulic Scarfiers. Loaded R4 Industrial Tires, Princess Auto BH w/ Subframe. Boom pole. Pallet Forks.

  9. #9
    Elite Member RonMar's Avatar
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    Port Angeles WA
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    Jinma 284 delivered 06/28/05

    Default Re: Lister Type diesel engine

    Yes they will run on propane, as will any engine. I have read of some experimenting with it as a means of self cleaning. These engines need to be occasionally taken down(500-1000 hours) and the carbon removed from piston top, head and IDI chamber/injector tip. this is dependent on the fuel used operating temp and loads applied. these engines like it hot with a high load. that is where they run their cleanest and most efficient. If the cleaning is not done, the compression ratio increases and some nasty knocking and added wear and tear on the engine will result. This is only about a half hour job to do this on the simple Lister design. By shifting to propane occasionally, or at least a portion of the fuel to propane(injector still firing small quantity of diesel), this breakes down and burns the carbon out, forstalling the required cleaning. To run on pure propane, you would have to work out some type of fuel cntrol that could be driven off the governor like the original design controlls the injector pump fuel rack(throttle).
    Ron

  10. #10
    Gold Member Lasgambler's Avatar
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    West Coast of Arizona
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    YANMAR FX42d

    Default Re: Lister Type diesel engine

    Thanks Ron, I was hoping you would respond. 'Just saw the weather, looks like you have another storm coming in. Terry
    YANMAR FX42d, Koyker 155 FEL, ROPS w/Canapy, Top & Tilt Gearmore BS w/ Hydraulic Scarfiers. Loaded R4 Industrial Tires, Princess Auto BH w/ Subframe. Boom pole. Pallet Forks.

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