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1929 Lister D
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A type engines were manufactured by R A Lister & Co Ltd of Dursley in
Gloucestershire for nearly forty years.
The first engine was built on 29th
August 1923 and the last on 8th December 1962. They were available in 2.5
or 3.0 horsepower.
The first engines had only one flywheel but from 1925
twin flywheel engines were produced.
engine was supplied to Southern Counties of Salisbury on 15th September
I have owned it since 1997, when it was in fully working
order. It only required a service, a repaint
and some cosmetic work for it
to be in rally condition. As you can see from the photos I usually rally
engine driving a 110volt DC generator which produces 400 watts. I
made a lighting box which takes six 60w lamps.
This gives the engine a load and makes an interesting
This photo shows the A running at the old
This is before I had a dynamo for it to run and so it is just idling
They prefer to run on load and so it was much happier after the dynamo
and lights were fitted.
This is the same venue, but with the dynamo
and lights. I had the large silencer "pot" connected
here which makes the engine run very quietly. This was before a proper tensioner
designed for the dynamo and so it tended to rattle a bit in the
Here we are at Twyford water works fiddling
around with something or other.
Note Bessie in the background and the silencer "pot" is still
in use at this stage.
This is another view of the A at the brick
You can just make out the "proper" exhaust here. Note
the steam issuing from the hopper.
Here the A is in full display mode and
I was presented with a rally plaque by no other than
Fred Dibnah when at Twyford Waterworks in May 2000. See 'The Engines' page
Lister A Video Clip 01
Click on the picture to see a
short video clip of the "A" running at Twyford Waterworks.
Player should open and the file be downloaded and played.
Alternatively, right click and "save target as" to a temporary
folder on your computer and run it from there.
The file is less than 300KB and will only take a few seconds on broadband.
Two things to note about the above video clip...
1. There is a stroboscopic effect on the flywheel which makes it appear to run
very slowly. This is due to the low number of frames per second of the
2. See how the DC generator would shake before the new tensioning system
Lister A Video Clip 02
This clip of the "A" was taken outside my
You can clearly see the 12volt and 110volt dynamos. The black
box on top of the 110volt dynamo contains the socket for
plugging in the lighting board.
Lister A Video Clip 03
Here's another one outside the garage.
In this one you
can see the fuel pump working through the flywheel, and also the inlet and
exhaust valves operating.
The Technical Section...
|3 HP at 600RPM
900cc (although not usually quoted for stationary engines,
only horse power used)
Specification - A69
Spark plug gap - 20thou
Points gap - 10-12thou
Inlet valve clearance (cold) - 10thou
Exhaust valve clearance (cold) - 12thou
Ignition timing - 18deg BTDC
I spent some time pondering over how to make a simple
but effective drive belt tensioner.
I decided that the easiest way was to pivot the generator at the rear, and
allow the front to
move up and down on a thread. The tensioning is
achieved by moving the lock nut and adjusting
the wing nut from under the
base plate. This arrangement seems to work very well.
Having completed the tensioner for the 110v generator,
the same principal was applied to the 12v one. This generator,
being physically smaller, creates a smaller arc when moved up and down
pivot, and so a slight modification was made to allow for this
The end result also works well.
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