Lister standing engine

Discussion in 'REME' started by TheIronDuke, May 10, 2008.

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  1. TheIronDuke

    TheIronDuke LE Book Reviewer

    Hi guys. I have always admired chaps who dont give a rats about black fingernails, you know?

    Right, heres the deal.

    Just back from a lovely wedding do in the country and having had a few too many free drinks, and the Memsahib having gone to bed... I find myself alone with my laptop.

    I should have gone for, I really should.

    Instead I went to eBay. And bid on a Lister standing engine. A Lister G1, which I think is a single cylinder standing engine. Its a runner, but I bet the big ends are fukced.

    No problem. Its a winter project and happy days in my shed. That is not why I need your expertese. I can do white bearings and at a push, rebore the frocking thing.

    The reason I come to you is this.

    I've bought it, but I aint got a scoobie what to do with it.

    I got a river. Extensive woods, a garden and a wife who is asking what the frock I am doing buying a Lister standing engine.

    You see my problem?

    Any advice welcome.
  2. Dead easy. You use it to power a pump (preferably a really old fashioned lift pump) to lift water from the river to either:

    A) A cistern near the garden.
    B) An irrigation system with canals and so on that runs through the woods to the garden.
    C) A cistern that feeds a fountain in a garden pond.
    D) some other interesting combination of "A", "B" and "C"
  3. Use the engine to power a machine that will plant saplings in the forest to off set EXACTLY the emitions generated by running the engine.
  4. Suggestion 1.) Mount it on a plinth in your front yard. Put a plaque underneath engraved with 'I could have gone to but instead I made this fine investment'.

    2.) Tie a rope round it and the other end round your neck. Drag it to a high bridge. You know the rest.

    As some bloke said in the other thread, it's human nature to find humour in other peoples misfortunes when along you could have gone to

  5. I'm going to display an embarrassing amount of spotterdom here, but they are called stationary engines, so if you start Googling under that you can no doubt soon the various things that were run off them. What form of output does it have - does it have a flat belt pulley which was the usual thing? If it does then you can run anything with an equivalent pulley and the right sized belt.
  6. Subscribe to Tractor and Machinery magazine. All the bits to go with it can be found therein.


    2 weeks ago I did the same thing whilst p1ssed and ended up with a 1958 Fordson Major tractor with a front lift and pulley wheel.
  7. Use the engine to power a welding system, allowing you to cunningly build a battle tank in your garden shed, a la A-Team...
  8. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    I like the tank bit!
  9. TheIronDuke

    TheIronDuke LE Book Reviewer

    Cheers for the advice. Last year I bought 2 old 4' circular saw blades at an agricultural show, so a bench saw looks favourite. The thing puts out 7hp at 1500rpm so it should be up to the job.

    Heh. Thats my retirement plan. I know where theres a couple of these quietly rusting...


    Seems they came over as part of the Septics lend-lease in WW2. My plan is to restore them, I get one, the farmer gets one. I havent told the wife, so the Lister will get her used to the idea. Of a huge, steel wheeled monster rumbling round the place.
  10. Hmm, extensive woods and a standing machine?
    Why not build your own little sawmill to make your fireplace wood.

    Just a tought...
  11. Lister standing engine + extensive woodlands + a belt driven circular saw bench = solved your winter heating problems if you coppice the woods in rotation.

    When I were a lad...

    ...We had a Lister (twin fly-wheels and a water pot on top of the cylinder for cooling) belt driving a FOGB brass water pump - ball and cage on a shaft, 2.5" bore pipe with a 9" throw. It pumped the household water up from a 110 foot well and took about an hour run to fill a 1,000 gallon tank.

    One of my chores was to start the engine when the tank level dropped to the last quarter. The starting handle weighed about 15lbs and you had to get the thing turning at a fair old rate before the Lister decided to give a cough and then chug into life -
    - NB: Never take a normal grip on a starting handle; always keep you thumb beside your fingers. Otherwise, if the engine backfires, it'll tear your thumb off!

    One day I failed to pull the handle off the shaft in time, as the engine fired up, and the bloody handle was threshing around like a mad thing! I scooted out of the engine shed faster than a fast thing, wondering where the handle was going to end up. 8O

    A few seconds later I had the answer- there was a loud crack and the handle went spinning through the engine shed roof- about fifty feet into the air and landed on one of my old Dad's prized standard roses! :x

    I wasn't too popular but my old man splinted and spliced the briar stock, around a sliver of remaining bark and the rose survived but it took a long while for my pocket money to regain its former level!
  12. TheIronDuke

    TheIronDuke LE Book Reviewer

    And when kick starting a BSA 500, or indeed a Norton Commando, turn the bars to the left. Otherwise, if it backfires you will spend your old age limping due to your cracked kneecap.

    Its arrived. The block, gearbox and sledge on the drive until I can make a pallet sledge and get it down 3 terraces without spazzing the wifes roses. The rest (radiator, fan, head, various bolts, casings and the cap of a wasp spray tin which covers the exhaust... aye... are in the shed).

    Its in bits, but no wear on the bore, and no play on the flywheel. I have high hopes. And I wish I had a fiver for every time I've said that. I'll post pics if I can be arrsed.

    It needs a head gasket, and although Lister didnt change the block on single cylnder motors for 30 years, I dont think it needs copper and asbestos. Its a low compression engine. Any ideas? Leather maybe?

    Also, is there a heterosexual version of Hermatite does anyone know?
  13. I doubt leather will do the job!

    I've used klingersil on a small petrol engine before. It worked but the engine died of something else shortly afterwards so no idea if it would last.

    It shouldn't be hard to find out what the original had. The thickness is the most important thing. Find the right thickness and you could probably get away with a soft copper shim gasket.

    There are loads of magazines and groups for this sort of thing so you should be able to just buy one.
  14. You can still buy all the necessary parts for a Lister
    Still used in all sorts of plant equipment