Build your own from Parts

12/2009 This page left here for historical reasons, our wacky and ignorant friends in the environmental movement have successfully killed the import of the best biofuel engine I know of. I have deleted the order information, but the construction articles remain.   

Update 5/2009 YES! the radical environmentalists have scored another victory! you can no longer import an Lister CS 6/1 clone and  use it for running  clean bio fuels; like straight veggie fuels, but it's even worse than that, California CARB is busy and unwittingly making plug in hybrids illegal, and making it near impossible to burn bio fuels in new diesel engines. What you find below is old information, I leave it here for reference.    

There is no one selling a complete kit, but there is a guy out west who has a few dozen short blocks left, and a guy in Kansas selling complete heads. Guy in mid west has all the pieces like intake pipes, mufflers, and everything you need to complete an engine, less the short block. Sounds like a mess, but it's really no more than two stop shopping, and both vendors have excellent reputations with their customers, if they didn't I wouldn't recommend them. Parts supplies will likely be around forever for these standard types. Remember, there is a following for the GM90s, but they are a VERY different design, and use very different parts than the >HUGE< embedded base found in many countries today. The following is parts offerings for the Standards.


>>>>Quinn's Kit Engine Build  Part 1  Part 2  Part 3<<<<<

Above Newly added part 3 of Quinn's Excellent report on building a KIT engine!

Below is more George style comment.  

If I've said it once, I've said it a dozen times, Indian engines run from JUNK to some fairly good quality. There are a >few< people too obtuse to understand this.. India after all is a big place, and part of the third world.

Some time ago, there was a post in cyberspace made by a Victim, he was complaining that he had bought junk from India, and then left the impression that utterpower was probably responsible for making it sound far easier than it actually was to make a reliable engine.... so it's not his fault, it's mine that he had the troubles :-) What I really enjoyed most was some of his wording.. "my analysis of" How can anyone  comment on Indian engines in general having only seen one brand, or only a handful of engines? It's OK to say.. "The engine I have is Junk", but to suggest the engine you have represents all work from India is not very scientific is it? Every group has their 'one percenters' they seem to have little ability for critical thinking.

I hope all people understand that these heavy flywheel engines are for people who take responsibility for their actions.  Stick your foot thru the spokes of a running Listeroid, and you'll have no foot. Victims seldom take precautions to avoid hazards, and will usually blame others for their totally careless actions, both in acquiring an engine, and maybe even building the Gen Set itself.     

There are some Indian engines that are simply not economical to convert to reliable runners, they are best used as door stops or yard ordainments. There are indeed a few in India that are little different than criminals. Understanding Rajkot takes time, a lot of time, you can get lucky, but it usually takes far more. Some travel to Rajkot and come back just as clueless. 

What is important is knowing the person you buy from will make it right if it's wrong. Now, I'd say the majority of our DIYer community are some of the best and brightest you will find anywhere, but for the few not so bright victims, and Dealers let me say...

"If you bought crap, it's a whole lot harder to make a reliable runner". If I used any big words here...words you don't understand, let me know.. most people tell me I don't know any big words.

Know your supplier and his reputation. Ask about troubles, and what happens if you find them. I do get email from folks who are buying parts for engines of various types after they experienced failures in only a few hours of running. Some who buy off EBAY know they are buying a pig in a poke, others on ebay offer a warranty, those who pass along the fact that the Company that built the engine offers a warranty are sometimes doing little more than deceiving you. Fact is, you need to ship the engine back to China or India to get credit in many cases, and then they may deny your claim.. If the seller doesn't offer a warranty personally, assume you have none. this is what separates the men from the boys. 

  On the other side of the fence, there are people posting about their efforts to machine something to .0005". You need to understand that these old designs were built when close tolerances were nearly impossible to achieve in mass. Materials, and processes were primitive, and the design allowed for some fairly wide tolerances.  You will read on forums about people 'blue printing' their engines, they do it because it is fun, and closer is always better, even if there's not a typical return on investment.  People new to our Hobby can often read this stuff and think going thru one of these engines is beyond their skill level, seldom the truth. The biggest problem found in better engines is sand, and grit, this is a time consuming process to properly remove, and even when effort is put into it, it can be missed unless you apply high pressure cleaning and more modern methods. Some of the better Mechanics will tell you about casting sand trapped in western made engines found in the oil filter! Add to this, that India does not practice QC as we think of it, and you have a need to check for sand and grit. There are Dealers that will tell you nearly anything you want to hear, many of them spend a good deal of time promoting themselves, and they always seem to leave plenty for you to 'read between the lines'.

One thing I seem to see over and over is folks who are not PEs announcing that what they have on the shelf to sell you is best, and the other guys stuff is wrong for you. Regardless of what you hear, there are always pros and cons, IDI designs have certain advantages, DI engines are more efficient, but there are folks who have taken the time to convert from DI to IDI. There are a few power plants deep in the swamps of Louisiana, (for example) this is an area where a little PH in the crank case and those more dissimilar metals could be a problem if they sit idle for a year before folks get back to the hunting camp. Another advantage is parts, the IDI standard has a VERY large base.  I have experience with both engines, and both offer pros/cons. The DI design is not likely to sit idle for years and then be brought back to life like the cast iron piston IDI design, but that might not be important in your application. It's never smart to leave an engine out in the weather like the Easton List_Gen is, but I think it is outside for the fourth winter with no protection, and sometimes there's water sitting on the piston because the intake or muffler has allowed it in. It has started each spring when the snow burns off on the first or second compression stroke after I swing decompressor lever out of the way. Best not to try this with the DI design. DIs start better cold, they make more power, but many of the DI designs use few Standard parts, and you need to consider if this "new" design will be around 5, 10, 15 years from now, for me, this is part of the magic of the original design, a rather HUGE embedded base. We have plenty of examples to learn from, need a part for a Model A, no problem! Need a part for countless other autos, and you need look a lot harder, and usually pay more money. Most who promote one or the other, probably have one or the other for sale. It is all too easy to spot the self promoters.

There's just one more thing I want to add, after seeing this posted for several years, I'm going to mention it.  There's a WEB site out there that trashes Lovson company for not disclosing all the charges this individual incurred in Importing an engine. If you import your own engine or parts, India has no way of knowing what charges the local shipper and handlers will charge you. It is India's job to get it to the port. It is >Your< job to identity the charges between the port and your door step. Go ahead, tell us that India agreed to ship it to the corner of your garage, but how about putting some proof of this up on your WEBsite. Don't blame India for you lack of planning, it makes you look like the big 'Victim' you probably are.  JB Shah at Lovson has far more integrity than yourself me thinks, No one in India works harder to get shipping right than JB and Joanna at Lovson. In some circles, this guy is already referred to as the "DIYer poster boy of victims", there's darned few DIYers that don't take responsibility for their mistakes.

Yes, I screw up all the time, but I attempt to own my many mistakes, I'm sure posting the above will be considered one of them by many who read this page, I held my tongue for a couple years hoping this person would 'mature' and take it down.                 


  All the best, George B.


Build your Own    >>Beta tester's report<<

George's Introduction, in his typical style, Can't stand it? Scroll down..

When we hear the term 'kit engine', the more seasoned DIYer will recall the many types and reasons they have been marketed. I have seen a number of marvelous scaled engines sold in a kit. Sometimes it is only the castings that are sold, and the machine plans with proper clearances, and steps of assembly. An excellent example of one of these kits is found on Steve Gray's wonderful oldengineshed.com site.

I guess we could also consider the many Chevy short block crate engines "Kit Engines"; few diehard DIYers would drop these in their project car without checking the mains, the oil pump, and a few other things before they put on the heads, intake manifold and accessories.

Kit Engines are usually the center of fun, but there are many reasons they are marketed, most of us do not have access to power hones, torque plates, boring bars, and a number of other things often deployed in the process of assembling a proper short block.

As I write this page, a friend of mine from childhood stopped by, we talked about the factory race engines delivered to his shop, and the fact that the factory would pull some key components out of the engine (like rings) to assure it was non functional. Exactly the reason for this, he never knew, but I'm sure the company's legal department did know the reason. So maybe this is another example of a kit engine? 

 As we ponder these kit engines, we might think about the EPA, and some of the insane pressures these folks are under to clean up the environment. There will be dozens of people who go to see Al Gore's new movie about global warming, and some will recognize Al as a gifted Scientist. They too, 'Viewers of the movie'; might join in on the banning of the model air plane engine. As we know, it is possible the majority of these little engines are never fired, and on average, the rest of them might not see 20 minutes of usage a year or more likely over their lifetime, many of the Model airplane builders I know have so much money in their planes, they tie them to the ceiling and leave them there. Still there is talk at the EPA about fitting emission controls to these tiny engines, and making the manufacturer responsible to fit an emissions package and to certify it to function properly for 10 years of service.

Equally insane is the banning of some of our favorite slow speed engines. Jeff Maier, one of our Seattle area Bio-fuels Advocates is responsible for 'hooking' me on biodiesel, and my shop is a far more pleasant place because of it. I have far less arguments with my wife over the petrol diesel smells that cling to my clothing.. I can test run a diesel in my shop on biodiesel, and enter the house for a sandwich without stripping off my clothes. The threat that she will buy all new carpets, and more is real! OK, this was my primary reason for buying biodiesel, but beyond that there is lower emissions, less health hazards, and even lower priced fuel, if you learn about burning straight vegetable fuels, or you make your own biodiesel.

Regardless of what you might read elsewhere, there are indeed engines that burn waste veggie, and they will return a good many hours of use before they need rebuilding, this is course depends on your skills, and your complete understanding of the fuel and the engine. This fuel is NOT for people who call the man to have a new washer installed in the kitchen sink! This is a fuel for DIYers to burn, and to get into why will draw me off the topic of this page.

As of this writing, a good many people will argue what the EPA allows and what they don't. Some will discover the age old stationary engine guidelines and think it's a newly discovered loop hole. Others will look over the forms the EPA requires that you sign to import and simply blow a fuse. Others will think nothing of signing them. you will see new people import, and some that drop out.        

  So I'll leave this for you to figure..... why do we have a Government that says we need to embrace Biofuels, and then bans engines that burn it well? Why do they not allow us to attempt to pass emissions on the fuel we design our power plants to run on? 

Lister Type Kit Engines

 A kit engine is my term for building an engine from a collection of parts. I do not know of a single source selling all parts required, but it is very easy to find folks in our community that can deliver you all major groups of parts necessary to build your own. Of course you take on all the responsibility to make the engine legal, I guess you take on the responsibility of making every small engine you modify or overhaul meet the present Tier emissions standards, and soon few will likely meet them.  

 I do believe in Biofuels, and I do believe we need to do what we can to burn them over petrol based fuels. I hope our State and Federal laws will one day clearly support this. Many of our Government leaders including the President of the United States does support Biofuels, and their use to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Some will find fault with GW for supporting Biofuels, won't be me!

As we know, there are few places to buy new Lister type engines, and we know quality from India goes from Junk to some fairly nice stuff. I always exclude the gas tank, fuel filter and low pressure fittings, as I consider 85% of all Indian made pieces in this category junk. (easy to replace). As for the rest, I am seeing some pretty good stuff from our Indian Associate, and few complaints. At this moment, I do not sell engines, and do not sell parts kits, but will recommend what I think are the better suppliers of parts. and those who have a history of supporting customers after the sale to the complete satisfaction of the customer.

The advantage of building from a parts is you do not receive a pre-ruined engine as many have. Much of the damage found in an Indian engine was caused by the test run at the Indian assemblers station! They (all too often) fail to get the sand out of the castings as this is a labor intensive job, this sand can and does destroy the engine in a few minutes of running! Here's your chance to build it right, and free of sand.

The Lister Type engine makes a Briggs and Stratton lawn mower look complicated, building one can take as little as two hours, but the clock starts AFTER you open the crates and lay the parts out! Opening the crates is some work, and I always suggest you burn the crates right away. Do not trust India to properly fumigate, do not trust our Customs to properly check for it! Support our Ag and burn the crate! Send an email, and I will forward your requests to suppliers of parts. I have no monetary interest in this endeavor, and you may need a short block, or a sub assembly instead of all the parts..

Again, we encourage you to assemble a legal engine only, and it is for you to determine what is legal.  At the time of this writing, there are two dealers selling complete Lister Type engines, so I am not so sure what is legal and what isn't at the moment.   I am sure there are groups that will be targeting the scale model engines next, and I am sure that they will be demanding that the EPA ban these little hobby engines as well. As for the Men and Woman that work for the EPA, we know your goal is to make a difference in emissions, and not to take away a Man's hobby, or ban engines that might be run a few hours a year at an Old Engine Meeting, Look out Old time engine groups, it isn't the EPA you will worry about, it is the small minded people who have no interest in your hobby that will demand that the EPA do something about you :-)       

more info on the CD

All the best,

George B.