Diesel Engines

1919 Fairbanks-Morse "Y" Oil Engine

25 Horse Power Diesel Engine manufactured by
Fairbanks, Morse & Co., Beloit, Wisconsin

10″ Bore X 13″ Stroke – Rated H.P. at 325 R.P.M.
Serial #419495
For obvious reasons, this is the grand daddy of all the engines in the shed! It’s shear size is enough to scare most people! The engine is of the 2 cycle family, but uses a solid injection system to bring the fuel into play. Ignition is the same compression ignition used in all diesels, requiring a (moderately) high pressure mechanical pump and an injector nozzle placed in the combustion chamber. Engine speed is governed by a large cast iron weight hinged near the hub of the left flywheel. Movement of the weight changes the center point of the eccentric that operates the injector pump, thereby varying the amount of injected fuel according to flywheel speed. The engine weighs approximately 7500 pounds (3402 kg), stands 63″ (160 cm) tall, and has 60″ (152 cm) flywheels. With the 10″ x 13″ bore & stroke, the displacement works out to a whopping 1021 cubic inches in one cylinder! Engines of this type were mainly used in the oil industry and large manufacturing plants. This particular engine was used in a Nevada mine from the time it was new until World War II. Starting this engine requires both the normal preparation and also the use of a blow torch for preheating of a “hot tube” in the head. With everything ready to go, the hot tube to temperature, and a couple of manual squirts of fuel via the injector, the engine is ready to start. Usually, all one has to do is roll the flywheels backwards against compression enough to force the air/fuel mixture into the hot tube where it will ignite. This sets off the charge in the cylinder and thereby spins the flywheels in the opposite direction with enough force to carry it through the next charge cycle. With some finesse, the engine will begin to run on the first try. Currently, the governor is set so the engine runs at about 110 RPM.

This one will require ALL your strength to start!

1941 Lister Single Cylinder 'Cold Start' Diesel Engine

3 Horse Power Diesel Engine manufactured by
R. A. Lister & Co., Ltd., Dursley, Gloucestershire, England

3 3/4” Bore X 5 1/2” Stroke – Rated H.P. at 600 R.P.M.
Serial #CS41961
R. A. Lister and Co., like many of our own early American engine firms, started as a simple machine shop with a handful of employees producing a variety of farm and agricultural equipment. The company itself came into being in 1867 by Ashton Lister, though it was not until the early 1900’s, that Lister started marketing their first engines. These engines were, in fact, American built Stover verticals, but by 1909, Lister had developed and was building their own design. After several other engine models had been produced and proven over the years, Lister, in 1929, introduced the first of their “Cold Start” diesels. Most all diesel designs had required the user to ‘preheat’ a portion of the combustion chamber, usually with some type of torch, before actually starting the engine. This was due to their lower running compression. Lister engines used an ingenious valve device in the head which allowed the user to literally change the compression of the engine by a small hand wheel on the side of the head. With the valve closed ( high compression), starting the engine is as easy as a gasoline engine, hence the name “Cold Start”. Once running, the valve is opened to lower the compression to a normal value. This 3 HP engine weighs a mere 735 lbs. (333 kgs)! That’s about 245 lbs. (111 kgs) per horse!

This is the easy one to crank start!

1961 Lister Single Cylinder Air Cooled Diesel Engine

4 Horse Power Diesel Engine manufactured by
R. A. Lister & Co., Ltd., Dursley, Gloucestershire, England

3 3/16” Bore X 3 1/2” Stroke – Rated H.P. at 1650 R.P.M.
Serial #72SL111
This engine was originally intended for marine auxillary use such as electrical generation. It’s smaller size and higher RPM rating was ideal for this purpose. The engine has two power take-offs, one off of the crankshaft and the other off of the camshaft. It incorporates a compression release and is started by a handcrank applied to the camshaft. Unlike it’s larger counterparts, it has only one flywheel with an intergal blower for cooling purposes. This particular engine has what is apparently optional fuel and oil filters, and at one time, used a remote fuel tank and crankcase breather. The only work this engine should require, will be an overhaul of the fuel system and the replacement of the original fuel tank. This engine is noisier than most diesels, since it is air cooled and does not have the water jacket around the cylinder to muffle the typical diesel knock. It weighs approximately 260 lbs. (118 kgs).

Start this one by cranking the cam shaft! Don't forget the compression release!

1950 Lister Twin Cylinder 'Cold Start' Diesel Engine

10 Horse Power Diesel Engine manufactured by
R. A. Lister & Co., Ltd., Dursley, Gloucestershire, England

4 1/2” Bore X 5 1/2” Stroke – Rated H.P. at 600 R.P.M.

Serial #CS79375
Lister built a number of sizes and model variations of their diesel line up. The “Cold Start” or CS models where available as singles, twins and 4 cylinder models. The twin CS model shown here has a characteristic sound similar to the older John Deere twin cylinder tractors due to the same inline cylinder arrangement and the opposed ‘throws’ of the crankshaft. This engine, dry, weighs in at 1132 lbs. (513 kgs).

If you think your back is in good shape, go ahead and crank this one over!

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