✖ Want a dependable, long running, fuel-efficient and easy-to-repair diesel engine? How about if, as a bonus, the water-cooled engine can run on 100 percent vegetable oil or biodiesel?
Lister-type engines (called Listeroids if made in India) have all the attributes listed above and more.
"These diesels run at 1,000 rpm's or less and run forever at a low noise level," says George Breckenridge, owner of . He imports and sells Lister and Listeroid engines and also acts as an information clearinghouse. "The cast iron pistons last a lifetime, and the rest of the engine can be rebuilt for as little as $125."
Breckenridge says that anyone with the skill to tear down a lawn mower engine can easily rebuild a Lister engine. He notes that the heavy (600 lbs. or more) engines were first built in England in 1929 to power generators and water pumps. Because of their simple design, heavy flywheels and low rpms, they far outlast newer, high-rpm engines.
Breckenridge has been running one Lister engine out in the open for four years. "It always starts on the first or second compression stroke. It runs a deep well pump and uses about three gallons of fuel per 24 hours."
Breckenridge stocks and sells parts. His website remains an excellent source of information, articles, and links to more information. He was shut down for a while when the EPA restricted importation because the engines didn't meet new Tier III emission standards on straight diesel. However, the EPA backed off recently, in part because the engines burn very clean on vegetable oil fuels.
Importing from India was tricky since quality control at many Indian plants is nonexistent. He often received engines that had been tested with casting sand still in the engine, flywheels mismatched or reversed, and other problems. Luckily, the engines are so simple that most problems could be fixed.
"There is a lot of trash out there, but two companies that provided the best product were Loveson and Jkson," says Breckenridge.
Lister engines run well on vegetable oil and have been particular favorites of people who press their own oil seeds.
"I know a number of farmers who have run these engines on vegetable oil for thousands of hours," he says.
Private sales between individuals are another way to get your hands on a Lister engine, since they've been around for a long time.
Breckenridge encourages Canadian readers to contact John Ferguson, Bourget, Ontario and visit his website. Ferguson sells Listeroids and uses them himself for his off-grid operation.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, George Breckenridge (gbrecke@; or John Ferguson, Belleghuan Ltd., 669 County Road 8, Bourget, Ontario, Canada K0A 1E0 (ph 613 673-5258; fax 613 673-2725; john@woodn ; ).
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