Power Up Your Homestead with
a Lister Diesel Engine
by Staff Writer
If you live off-grid and require
large amounts of power, it's difficult to escape the necessity of a generator.
This doesn’t mean that you need to run out and buy an inexpensive but loud and
gas-guzzling generator that may not last for more than a few years. Consider
teaming up modern attachments with the power, reliability, and efficiency of a
Lister or Listeroid clone diesel engine.
The first Lister diesel engine entered production in 1929 and produced 5 horse
power at 600 rpm. This was quickly replaced by the more commonly available 6 hp
650 rpm standard. Various models of this cold-start engine followed, until
production gradually ended in the 70s and 80s. Surprisingly, these tough old
engines are still running strong today and are available along with a new
generation of "Listeroids".
The Listeroids are Indian reproductions of the original English Lister diesel
engines and are available in varying levels of quality and price. The casting of
the primary parts is typically reported to be of high quality, but engines
should be stripped and cleaned to remove any remaining casting sand that will
quickly destroy your new engine. While the quality of the components is
acceptable, purchasers commonly have complaints about the final assembly and
finishing. Once your engine is up and running, you can bring a new level of
power and efficiency to your homestead.
Attaching an alternator or generator is a quick way to produce great quantities
of electricity to run demanding equipment or charge your battery bank, but the
benefits a Listeroid can offer don’t end there. Any older equipment with a belt
drive can be powered, and modern equipment like water pumps can also be used.
Despite their power, Listeroids are efficient to operate and maintain.
The Lister’s indirect fuel injection and slower rpm aid its ability to burn
alternative fuels and reduce wear. Biodiesel, waste vegetable oil, and other
waste oils are potential alternatives to pump diesel for your new workhorse.
Reports of Lister diesels running for decades with little or no maintenance are
no exaggeration. If maintenance is required, there's no need to be concerned.
The engine’s simple design and limited number of parts enable those with little
experience to perform most maintenance tasks. Despite the engine’s weight, which
can be up to 1,000 lbs, the engine can be completely rebuilt in place -- again,
thanks to the ingenious and lasting design.
Whether you are rebuilding an original Lister diesel or purchasing a Listeroid,
the benefits of multiple fuel choices, simple construction, and long lasting
performance make these engines an attractive option for any homestead.