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A few new engines

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A few new engines

Post by mowbar on Tue Sep 10 2013, 16:06

I am new to all of this, and I have accuired a Lister D which is running well, and I got 2 Lister A's one complete and on a trolley and the other complete but striped down, the information I got with the lister d says it was sold new to a Simplex dairies on 9/6/1951 nice to know a bit about them. I know nothing about the A's and the complete good looking one on the trolley I will try get going soon. What do I need to do before I put fuel in and give it a go, any advice is appreciated please as I am a complete novice!!

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Re: A few new engines

Post by matt86 on Tue Sep 10 2013, 17:39

simplex was and still is a milk equipment manufacture , i had a few simplex bits untill sold them so looks like would of been installed with a milking plant .

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Re: A few new engines

Post by A Lister on Wed Sep 11 2013, 11:29

Snip edit:  
mowbar wrote: I know nothing about the A's and the complete good looking one on the trolley I will try get going soon. What do I need to do before I put fuel in and give it a go, any advice is appreciated please as I am a complete novice!!
Well, I think you have done the right thing so far in asking for advice.  I think probably the best thing to do would be for you to buy a copy of the reprint Lister A instruction book, which is available from Internal Fire Museum's ebay shop: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lister-A-B-Instructions-Spare-Parts-Book-/200950740913?pt=UK_BOI_FarmingEquipment_RL&hash=item2ec998f7b1   This provides instructions on the pre-start oiling and greasing procedures, as well as how to start (and stop!) the engine.  

Before attempting to run the engine, I would change the oil and thoroughly clean out the crankcase and oil trough.  There is a bit of a knack to doing this; I'll be changing the oil on my Lister A this weekend, so I can post a few 'step-by-step' photos on this forum thread (which should hopefully help explain things) if you like?  

Now for a few questions:  

1)  What spec number is your Lister A (should be on a brass plate on the crankcase door)?  

2)  Most of the nuts and bolts on you A and D engines will be Whitworth size, do you have a set of Whitworth size spanners?  

3)  How 'mechanically minded' are you... do you have experience of working on engines, machines, etc.?  (Hopefully this should help us pitch any replies to your questions at the right level).  

Hope the above is useful, and welcome to the Forum.  Smile

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Re: A few new engines

Post by StewartH on Wed Sep 11 2013, 12:11

Jules - I'd be interested in your step by step photos on cleaning out the trough and c'case if you're up for it - I'm a potential Lister A owner (I have my eyes on a couple of projects - one a Lister A the other a Petter M) - so all tips gratefully taken!

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Re: A few new engines

Post by mowbar on Thu Sep 12 2013, 10:08

A Lister wrote:Snip edit:  
mowbar wrote: I know nothing about the A's and the complete good looking one on the trolley I will try get going soon. What do I need to do before I put fuel in and give it a go, any advice is appreciated please as I am a complete novice!!
Well, I think you have done the right thing so far in asking for advice.  I think probably the best thing to do would be for you to buy a copy of the reprint Lister A instruction book, which is available from Internal Fire Museum's ebay shop: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lister-A-B-Instructions-Spare-Parts-Book-/200950740913?pt=UK_BOI_FarmingEquipment_RL&hash=item2ec998f7b1   This provides instructions on the pre-start oiling and greasing procedures, as well as how to start (and stop!) the engine.  

Before attempting to run the engine, I would change the oil and thoroughly clean out the crankcase and oil trough.  There is a bit of a knack to doing this; I'll be changing the oil on my Lister A this weekend, so I can post a few 'step-by-step' photos on this forum thread (which should hopefully help explain things) if you like?  

Now for a few questions:  

1)  What spec number is your Lister A (should be on a brass plate on the crankcase door)?  

2)  Most of the nuts and bolts on you A and D engines will be Whitworth size, do you have a set of Whitworth size spanners?  

3)  How 'mechanically minded' are you... do you have experience of working on engines, machines, etc.?  (Hopefully this should help us pitch any replies to your questions at the right level).  

Hope the above is useful, and welcome to the Forum.  Smile
I am a fitter turner so i have all the spanners and tools i need i will accuire the book and take a look, i would love the step by step photos of the oil change. When i bought the engines the man told me that the plates on the good looking lister A dont match im not sure what exactly he meant by this but the plates on the one that is partially stripped do match. Another thing i would like to know is how do you know if the magneto is working??

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Re: A few new engines

Post by A Lister on Thu Sep 12 2013, 13:46

mowbar wrote:
I am a fitter turner so i have all the spanners and tools i need i will accuire the book and take a look, i would love the step by step photos of the oil change. When i bought the engines the man told me that the plates on the good looking lister A dont match im not sure what exactly he meant by this but the plates on the one that is partially stripped do match. Another thing i would like to know is how do you know if the magneto is working??
Sounds like you have a good start there Mowbar.   I'll put some photos up on Sunday evening for you (and Stewart).  The previous owner could have meant that the serial number on the spec plate doesn't match the one on the flywheels.  The spec plate is riveted to the crankcase door, which is just bolted onto the engine.  This means that it can get swapped between engines, either accidentally during servicing, or if a replacement door is needed and a second-hand spare is used.      

If you have a careful look on the face of the flywheels there should be a serial number stamped on each one (a bit of work with some sandpaper might help you find it).  The flywheels are also usually numbered 1 & 2, and there is usually an ignition timing mark (looks a bit like a lightning bolt) on one of the flywheel faces too.  I'll take a photo this weekend so you'll know what you are looking for.  

The reason I asked about the spec number was so I could tell the rough age and type of engine you are dealing with.  Various different parts were fitted to them over the years (including different types of magneto).  Could you take a couple of photos of your engine (one showing the magneto) and post them here?  If so, hopefully then I'll be able to give you some tips on what to do the check the magneto out.    

If you manage to read the engine serial number from the flywheels you could send this to a chap called David Edginton who holds the factory records for old Lister stationary engines.  He can usually tell you the date the engine was made and who it was originally supplied to.  He should also be able to provide the spec number too... but this wasn't always entered correctly in the factory record books!   Hope this is useful, I'll look forward to seeing the photos.


Last edited by A Lister on Thu Sep 12 2013, 13:51; edited 1 time in total

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Re: A few new engines

Post by mowbar on Thu Sep 12 2013, 20:23

I will try and post a few pics at the weekend and have a look at the numbers on the flywheels then, the spec number on the plate says it is P18C does this make sense? I have purchased the book from ebay today like you suggested. I have dave's name and address so I will definitely do that for both of them, be great to know where it came from originally! Thanks for all the help it is much appreciated.

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Re: A few new engines

Post by A Lister on Mon Sep 16 2013, 09:09

Due to the rainy weather yesterday afternoon it was too dark to take photos in the garage.  I will try to take some one night this week after work, hopefully the light will be better then.

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Re: A few new engines

Post by mowbar on Mon Sep 16 2013, 15:18

are the serial numbers on the outside of the flywheels or on the inside? Thanks

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Re: A few new engines

Post by A Lister on Mon Sep 16 2013, 23:54

mowbar wrote:are the serial numbers on the outside of the flywheels or on the inside? Thanks
The serial number on my 1940 Lister A is stamped on the face of the flywheel (where the tread would be if the flywheel was a tyre), and towards the outer rim.  Here are a couple of photos that should hopefully help explain things.  The single number '2' beneath the serial number is just the flywheel number (they are numbered 1 & 2):  



The ignition timing mark is stamped on the flywheel face on flywheel number 1 (on my engine anyway!) and looks like a lightning bolt (However, I think earlier engines might have been stamped with a slightly different [smaller?] symbol):  



As I said, this is where the serial numbers are on my engine, but I can't be certain that they will be in the same place on your engine.  The Lister A engine was made for around 40 years and, as you'd expect, they made quite a few changes to it during that period!  

If the flywheel faces on your engine are rusty then don't go too mad with the sandpaper, as you don't want to destroy the last remains of any markings, so take your time and go gently!  It took me several years to find the serial number on my Lister D as the flywheel was quite badly rust pitted, but I got there in the end.  Unfortunately, sometimes a flywheel is just too badly rusted and the serial number can't be found... or a previous owner has had the flywheel faces skimmed and the serial number has been removed in the process.  Anyway, best of luck and I hope the above info is useful.

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Re: A few new engines

Post by mowbar on Tue Sep 17 2013, 08:21

Ah thank you for that, it was no wonder i couldnt see it on either side i will look again this evening when i get home:D 

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Re: A few new engines

Post by mowbar on Wed Sep 18 2013, 08:41

I found the numbers on one of my flywheels it is 264324, it is on the older looking one that is in bits at the moment, any ideas what year etc guys???

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Re: A few new engines

Post by A Lister on Wed Sep 18 2013, 11:14

As far as I can tell, 264324 seems to date from some time in 1948.   Any luck finding the number on your restored engine yet?

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Re: A few new engines

Post by mowbar on Wed Sep 18 2013, 13:48

thanks for that no i havent located those ones yet as i was in a rush but i will get them soon!

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Re: A few new engines

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