Old single pot stationary engines ,used on generators, pumps etc

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 05, 2020 at 17:33
ThreadID: 139512 Views:9130 Replies:5 FollowUps:7
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A world apart from the modern small engine of today, But gee those old engines are music to your ears

when you have a few of them running together. A mate of mine has rounded quite a few up over the last ten years ,built a large shed and restored all of them to peak condition.

I can just imagine a southern cross sitting in the back of a 200s cruiser driving a generator,..LOL

Cheers Axle.
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Reply By: mike39 - Sunday, Jan 05, 2020 at 18:08

Sunday, Jan 05, 2020 at 18:08
Yeah bloke, real nostalgia, just what I was brought up on in the early 1950's.

Our first genset was a 32v. Roseberry petrol/kero....chug chug chug putting around 10 amps into some glass bottle lead acid batteries.

Actually fairly quiet, it was replaced with a Lister 3kva 240v unit (required the whole house and sheds to be re wired) and that was pretty noisy. It was me who came up with the idea of burying a 44gal. drum in the ground, piping the exhaust into it with a few 1" hole to let the fumes out.

Almost silent, and from near 60 years ago that old Lister is still plugging along.

Just to keep the memories alive, our Engel 2.0eui lives and runs in the back of the LC tray back. When camped, from 4pm to 6pm is battery top up time, a purring background sound track before the night birds kick in.
AnswerID: 629352

Follow Up By: axle - Sunday, Jan 05, 2020 at 18:24

Sunday, Jan 05, 2020 at 18:24
Hi Mike 39,

Our neighbour with a lister on his genny did a similar thing with the exhaust, at least everyone for miles around got some sleep!.

FollowupID: 904191

Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Jan 05, 2020 at 20:55

Sunday, Jan 05, 2020 at 20:55
We had a McDonald horizontal single cylinder diesel pumping amps into a 32 volt glass bottle battery bank - 16 big cells.

That was replaced by a Ronaldson-Tippet vertical 5hp single cylinder with huge flywheels to minimise the pulsing of the lights and a new battery bank. As a young 12yo tyke that was a brute to start in winter. I had to stand on the crank handle to start it turning and then just about give myself a hernia speeding it up enough to get it over the first compression to start with continued cranking and clouds of blue smoke.

It originally was automatic start, using the generator as a starter motor when sufficient load came onto the batteries, but as the batteries died and couldn't deliver and we were too poor to replace them, the manual start became my morning ritual.

They were the days!

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AnswerID: 629358

Follow Up By: axle - Monday, Jan 06, 2020 at 08:48

Monday, Jan 06, 2020 at 08:48
Hi Frank,,, Had my experience standing on crank handles when I was a little tacker. trying to start the old mans farmall A tractor, the thing spun back the other way one day and near put me thru the corrugated iron roof....

Cheers Axle.
FollowupID: 904206

Follow Up By: mike39 - Monday, Jan 06, 2020 at 09:17

Monday, Jan 06, 2020 at 09:17
One thing I was taught very early was when cranking a petrol engine always have your thumb on the outside of the handle. It means a little less purchase but will save a nasty injury to the web of your thumb if it kicks back.
The number of times I forgot that little retard lever for the impulse magneto..........
FollowupID: 904208

Reply By: Hoyks - Sunday, Jan 05, 2020 at 21:34

Sunday, Jan 05, 2020 at 21:34
They certainly have a note all of their own.

I was trawling youtube for narrowboat touring and found these.

A K2 8L twin has a note all of its own.


AnswerID: 629359

Reply By: Bushranger1 - Sunday, Jan 05, 2020 at 21:43

Sunday, Jan 05, 2020 at 21:43
G'day Axle,
I reckon the Rolls Royce V12 Supercharged engine used in rhe Spitfire & Mustang are music to my ears.
Heard 2 in my life running full bore & could hardly contain my excitement.
Cheers Stu.
AnswerID: 629360

Follow Up By: mike39 - Monday, Jan 06, 2020 at 08:22

Monday, Jan 06, 2020 at 08:22
In the 1950's around Sale in Victoria were quite a few speedboats running Merlin engines. My friend had a Lewis hull with a "hotted" side valve Ford v8.
I was sometimes co pilot at events at Glenmaggie weir. Races were handicap events and Carl, with one or two laps to go could just be hoping for that very rare win.
It was usually on the last lap with a few hundred yards to go, that the Merlin powered boat, starting off scratch would come hurtling past no more that 15 feet away with that 12 cylinder supercharged scream and a rooster tail 50 feet high!
Nothing would match that 1200 odd horsepower!
Where those Merlin engines came from I would leave you to guess, but there were quite a few on active duty at the RAAF East Sale 'drome!
FollowupID: 904201

Follow Up By: axle - Monday, Jan 06, 2020 at 08:41

Monday, Jan 06, 2020 at 08:41
I never got to hear one of those Stu, ...But I can imagine.!.

FollowupID: 904203

Reply By: 9900Eagle - Monday, Jan 06, 2020 at 07:35

Monday, Jan 06, 2020 at 07:35
Hey Axle,

I don't think my wrist and thumb have ever recovered from starting our old lister 32v lighting plant. No matter how careful I was it would get me.

I have seen one of these still working in the mid 90's running a genset. Wait till he cranks up the revs.

AnswerID: 629365

Follow Up By: axle - Monday, Jan 06, 2020 at 08:37

Monday, Jan 06, 2020 at 08:37
Luv It!!….LOL...….The Kids where amused as well!.

Cheers Axle.
FollowupID: 904202

Follow Up By: mike39 - Monday, Jan 06, 2020 at 08:48

Monday, Jan 06, 2020 at 08:48
That's an interesting GM... Eagle, never heard a single cylinder one before. We had an Alice Chalmers dozer with a 3 cylinder GM 2stroke......what a nightmare. Let the revs drop too much (hand clutch) the donk would stall, kick off running backwards and blow all the oil out of the air cleaner......landing all over the careless bugger at the controls!
The gen sets that were a bugger to start were the Lister twin, usually on around a 5kVa set.
The crank handle went on an extension of the camshaft which meant it had to be wound backwards. Two compression release levers to be juggled, it was all about timing.
Always easier with two, one cranking, one to drop the drop the compression levers.
They also had a sort of off beat exhaust, never looked inside one but they may have been a "one up one down" crank throw.
FollowupID: 904207

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