Listeroid Diesel

Diesel generator set made from a Winco 5KW head and a new Indian 'FuKing' Lister clone

Lister Clone Generator Set

This page is a brief one about my new Fuking diesel engine and the generator set I made up with it. I've been hearing, reading about, and drooling over these engines now for a couple years... finally I gave in and ordered one up from George at George is a heck of a nice fellow and his site is chuck full of excellent advice and information.

Lister Clone Generator Set

Pictured above is one shot of the generator I made up. These engines are pretty much exact knockoffs of the Lister CS design, which was manufactured in England from 1930 - 1987. These are available brand new (checkout, they are made in India. The weigh about 750 pounds, they are rated 6hp @ 650 rpm. The lister SC design was (I believe) the first ever "cold start" diesel engine, which would startup from compression alone, without the aid of a glowplug, hot bulb, or other heating system. It's a very simple thing.. no ignition system. This brand 'Fuking' features a sleeved cylender, huge tapered rollers on the main bearings - it's generally hugely overbuilt and *very* robust. I read before buying this and was pretty well prepared for what I was getting into. I have a small collection of antique American gas engines, which are similar in style, size and weight. By comparison... this "Listeroid" is quite badly finished. The castings are very primitive - lots of "filler" is used throughout. The paint job is almost laughable... Basicly, they bolted it down to the crate in which it's to ship, and sprayed the heck out of it. The injector pump.. tappets etc.. are all covered in green paint. The parts of the flywheels that were facing down got no paint at all! No paint on the gas tank under the straps that hold it on... You'd never be able to make, and sell a product like this within the US.

On careful inspection I found a couple pockets of casting sand in the sump. This would probably destroy the bearings and the bore in pretty short order.. so careful cleaning was required and hopefully I did a good enough job! Of course the valves were badly adjusted... and I've yet to check the timing of the injection pump, but it does seem to run well. With all that said.. I'm thrilled about it - its a magnificent machine and it runs like a charm. It always starts on the first crank. At 650 rpm, it's quite slow and peaceful to listen to... almost like music.

In my opinion this is the way to go if you want a non-portable generator that you can live with. Time will tell how difficult she is to start in the cold.. but Im sure it wont be too bad.

Lister Clone Generator Set

I built a very heavy base for it from I beam and U channel. This thing likes to hop around... a heavy base is absolutely necessary. A concrete pad is probably in the future, although for now - with the water tank and the alternator on the same base, it keeps pretty still and doesnt move around. For a water tank I used a 25 gallon air compressor tank - this cools it allright I think. So far I've run it about 10 hours straight running my shop... probably consuming about an average of 1.5 KW from the alternator. It never got to boiling.... so I think it'll be fine. Im looking for an old cast iron floor radiator, so that I can heat my shop to some degree with it.

The alternator is an old WinCo 3600 rpm 5KW head I've had around for a couple years. sells what I believe are probably a very superior 5KW (And larger) generator heads HERE. And the cost is very reasonable... I only used this WinCo because I allready had it. I used a microgroove V belt, 91" long from Gates rubber. It's an "L" section with 8 grooves. The pully for it was from Browning. I believe its probably overkill for the power Im running through it.

Lister Clone Generator Set

Pictured above are the exposed tappets and pushrods. On the left is the compression release lever, which basicly just holds the exhaust valve open while you get it spinning.. and then you move it to the left for it to start, and the inertia of the flywheels will carry the engine past top dead center and it will start. The compression on these engines is such, that you cannot turn it past compression by hand without the aid of this lever. The lever has a screw on it so you can tighten it into the run position... I worry about that coming loose and rattling around, I find a small magnet holds it in place nicely while its running. (Speaking of magnets, I also put one in the crank case - they have no oil filter)

I've got a few hours on it now. I find this 6hp engine, with the 5KW generator head, will do about anything my 5.5KW ($2200) noisy Honda will do. And this comes in at a bit over half the price. It is incredibly efficient. In running my shop for about 8 hours straight - which is probably about a 1500 watt draw - perhaps a bit less) it appears to have used about half a tank of fuel! (a bit over 1 gallon) My honda would've probably used 3-4 gallons of gasoline. This machine will be incredibly inexpensive (And quiet) to run.

One more plug for George at He's written a wonderful artical (About 80 pages long) called Lister Longevity. He suggests that folks buy it before they get into one of these engines, and I'd have to agree. Some manufactures do a better job than others, I think mine falls somewhere inbetween. (George knows which ones are good, which are bad.. and which are a good gamble!) "Lister Longevity" goes into a lot more depth than his pages at, and it not only tells the reader what they may be getting into, but it also details lots of assembly/disassembly proceedures - lots of tips on improving them.... the document in my opinion makes the engine a much more valuable thing.

Here is a list of interesting links!

Listeroid Page at

History of Lister Diesel Engines.

Listeroid 12/2 generator project (its a 2 cyl 12hp version)

Steves Old Engine Shed has a wonderful little page about the origional Listers.

Lister Clone Generator Set