The Redstone Project: Now a relic of the past

Note: As you might understand, the EPA has made illegal just about every engine we ever liked. This includes the engine on this page, now illegal here in the great ole USA. I leave the following here for reference, there are about 30 of these engines in North America, they were not cheap to import, and I haven’t come across anyone who has plans to import any into North America. Many of the images that went along with this article I did not include, since this engine is no longer available to us.

The Redstone Drive

Redstone EngineRedstone Engine

Pictures to Illustrate:

The massive 11.25 inch pulley is machined further by Randy Allmand so it mates up to a drive ring that allows the pulley to be off set to clear the massive flywheel rim, (far thicker than other big singles I’ve seen. The 8.4 inch pulley shown on the generator side allows the mighty Redstone to operate at 1350 RPMs where it still make a lot of power, but under runs the rated 1500 RPMs in an effort to provide longer life and better fuel economy.

The utterpower 4.2″ Pulley can be used for the 2 pole generators like the PMG Combinations of other pulley sizes can allow you to find the sweet spot for the work you do, we have one Redstone currently running at about 970 RPMs that is meeting the expectations of the owner operator charging batteries and doing other duty.

Note: with the 11.25″ on the engine and the 8.4″ pulley on the generator head, I found the NAPA Micro V belt # 080702 a good fit, this is an 8 rib belt made by gates.

 Redstone RS115 Specifications:

  •  Horizontal, single cylinder, double flywheel, electric start,
  • Water-cooled slow-speed diesel engine
  •  Approximately 5.3″ Bore, 5.10″ stroke
  •  115 C.I.D.
  •  15.5 to 1 compression ratio
  •  22 HP@1500 RPM
  •  250 grams/KW/HR fuel consumption
  •  80 foot pounds of torque
  •  2800 PSI injection pressure
  •  Dry weight 660 pounds
  •  38″X23″X28″H

After 10 or more years devoted to the study of Indian slow speed designs and how they can be applied to off grid and emergency power, I have decided it’s time to devote some time to the Blackstone and similar designs.

Mamad (Mohammad Matbouei) may have as much experience with the Blackstone JPs as anyone in the field today, certainly, there are others in UK who are the top most authorities, but Mohammed was recently servicing some of the JPs that are STILL earning their keep!

You might spend a moment reading about the old JP in Jask, still plugging away. Reality is, these engines are no longer made, the only alternative I know of is to find one as similar as possible and attempt to save it from being tossed on the bone pile. We might do this by marketing same and optimizing it to meet our needs of small off grid power, the less power we need, the slower we turn the prime mover until we reach the speed of diminishing returns, certainly, we’ll need optimize the governor for lower speed, etc.

It is a rather sad note, but the clone engines from India are for DIYers only (my opinion of course). Certainly there are others who will tell you different, but the fact is, and for a number of reasons India has not been able to develop any sort of Quality Control to assure what you receive is ready for service. It’s a fact that some are useful right out of the crate, but a good number of them need attention no matter how minor before they are run, or you will experience troubles. It doesn’t make sense to me to run any of the Indian engines without a good inspection, but the real DIYer might say that about any engine. The accuracy of shaft centers, idler gear shaft location, improper heat treat or poor materials are all things that can frustrate even experienced mechanics and engineers.

What to do? Well, for one, I’ve been comparing notes with many people from around the world who need reliable power, and they are also frustrated after their many efforts to purchase higher quality from India. Many have visited there, they’ve been reassured all will be perfect, and then received a container load of troubles.

My goal is to study the JP, the bore the stroke, the fuel efficiency, and the Redstone, it’s all about longevity and fuel economy, fuel/kwh figures. Collectively, we may have enough influence to make the Redstone exactly what we want it to be.

As you might already understand, there are many of us who feel we have failed in our endeavors to help India establish QC in slow speed engines. QC happens in India but it is usually found in high volume high demand items, we all understand that some of the best piston rings made in the world come out of India, same for cylinder liners, and many other things, all of which are high volume items with well developed QC processes. Slow Speed Engines? Most who know them best have all but given up on India, and are looking at other countries for reliable long life solutions. There are many reasons for the failure, environmental issues, demand for the product is not steady, emissions laws in India, high costs of commodities, transportation costs and more.

Redstone Engine PartsRedstone Engine Parts

Here’s a DI piston design that has been used by a number of diesel engine builders for many years with good results. Notice the size of that Piston Pin!

This looks to be a very nicely made piston.

Redstone Parts The flywheels fit on tapers, they can be removed in about 5 minutes with tools in the kit.

Update: On Jan 27, 2009, thanks to Diyer Phil P out In Streator, IL we’ve received more information. Phil has done a complete tear down and eye ball of this engine, one of his comments to me:  “It’s built like a tank.”

 Breakdown of the Redstone Engine

Here’s a break down of weights of components, and some useful measurements:

Redstone: Weights of main components. Having completely disassembled the RS 115 I took the time to weigh the major components

  •  BARE BLOCK WITH GEAR CASE COVER, NO LINER, 161 POUNDS
  • LARGE FLYWHEEL 120 POUNDS
  • SMALLER DRIVE FLYWHEEL 120 POUNDS
  • CRANKSHAFT WITH MAIN BALL BEARING AND COVER 65 POUNDS
  • PISTON W/ROD 12 POUNDS
  • SUMP/OIL PAN, 76 POUNDS <<< this is NOT a miss print!
  • SUMP CAPACITY, 12 QUARTS, FULL TO GASKET SURFACE
  • SUMP BASE PLATE, 13 5/8″ X 21 5/8″
  • BASE PLATE MOUNTING HOLES 18 MM
  • BASE PLATE MOUNTING HOLES MEASURED DIAGONALLY, 22 5/8″
  • OIL DIPSTICK AS SUPPLIED, 8 5/8″ FROM O RING TO END OF DIPSTICK
  • NOT INCLUDED IN WEIGHTS ARE MANY ITEMS SUCH AS CYL HEAD, LINER, END COVER, STARTER, INTERNAL GEARS, ETC.

The Studs are Nicely made and HUGE at about 13/16″ and notice that two of them have locating shoulders So the head goes on right every time. Unlike the Lister Clones.

Redstone Engine Notice the governor assembly, nicely done, all gears marked, you can’t put this one together wrong without effort!

Notice the Governer System, notice that KISS linkage! It doesn’t get simpler than this, and there’s no external linkage to bind!

The picture doesn’t show off the quality of the finishes nor the accuracy of the gears, but it’s nice, some of the following pictures shoe the gears better. Note there’s not any plastic in here as found in smaller Chinese engines, there are a number of things different in the Redstone.

Machine work on the overhead is very nice, end of the rockers are shaped and finished VERY nicely, and look, they wipe across the end of the valve properly right from the factory!

Redstone Lower Water Ports

Here, notice unlike other horizontals, the Redstone has this neat lower cooling port, I was able to run an NPT 3/4 inch Tap with zero prep work. I think there’s plenty of room to bore a little larger and fit with a full one inch NPT thread. but 3/4 with do all you need even in thermal mode.

Redstone Generator: A DIY Frame

There are advantages to using belt drives on slow speed engines used for generators, the obvious is you need to make synchronous speed at the generator head, but beyond that; you can underrun the rated Prime Mover RPM if you don’t need all the power, and may be able to find a higher fuel/KwH conversion while providing all the power you need. You are able to experiment, and optimize the drive ratio.

Many of us are aware that when we drop the RPM some, we also give up some of that wonderful stored energy in the flywheel, and we won’t be starting the larger induction motors with the same authority.

Following is a basic frame design, I like steel, others use wood, and use large angle iron on the face where the engine actually mounts, there are many ways to make a frame right.

The Beginning Frame Mounting the Engine on the FrameWe start with two I beams 50 inches long, and three rectangular tube cross ties. This frame is 24 inches wide.

Then we used two heavy angles across the end and center cross ties for the engine support. The ST Generator is mounted on a typical sub assembly I use on Listers and more. Simply place angles on the inside of the eye beam tops to build a frame that ‘tracks’ inside the I beams. The Pulleys are 8.4″ and 5 inch, I will trial same, but I will most likely use an 11.25 on the prime mover, and about a 7.0 on the generator head, we’ll see how this combo works.

Mounting the Redstone Engine on the FrameThe Redstone Engine Frame

 

 

 

 

Here you see a view of the business side or “Operators Side.” We always want to fit pulleys as far away from the operator as possible.

If you look at the picture above, the Utterpower intake is two inch NPT, the governor spring and adjustment is modified form stock to include a softer and longer spring for a reduced running speed.

The intake will be connected via a hose to a filter box, Note the cooling manifold, this is an utterpower part. WE can see the base for mounting pulleys, the lower side cooling port, the two inch NPT exhaust port.

All the Best,
George B

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15 Responses to The Redstone Project: Now a relic of the past

  1. kbonk says:

    rub it in………..captain o captain

  2. George B. says:

    This was moved here by Elves, it’s just part of history now.. Just a minor kill compared to other things the EPA will kill if they have their way..

  3. Bill Knighton says:

    I don’t understand about who gets grandfathered and for how long. There are conflicting stories on forums and the EPA does not seem to want to push the concept on their page and even if they did I doubt I could find it. This has me scared. I’ve been looking at what I will need to have if they shut me down and small hp engines that have tier 4 final compliance are rare. So far all I have found was EA330-E3-NB1 from kubota. I’ve looked at listers offerings and none of their small engines have even tier 4 interim. It’s kind of hard to get too excited about a 5 hp engine that weighs 120 lbs and costs almost $3000. But maybe the EA330-E3-NB1 would be a nice engine. Fuel consumption at 1500 rpm is about 270g/kwh. I think that’s around what ashwamega says for my 6/1. I think I could live with 1500 rpm.

    • George B. says:

      Bill, when you build a kit engine, what piece of forensic evidence carries the date of manufacture? Perhaps the EPA will try and carbon date the cast iron block??

  4. Frank says:

    What about parts? Their use to be talk on the forum about getting a parts order together. I’m not in need of any parts now but just wondering for the future. Also, does the forum still exist? I gave up a long time ago trying to log-in and just figured there was a loss of interest and it was shut down.

    When you say the EPA has made it illegal do you mean to import, sale, own or all 3?

  5. Frank says:

    My Redstone is for sale. Let me know if you’re interested. It is clean and running.

    • George B. says:

      Frank.. I think Lee and David can get parts for the redstone, see the lee and david page. Also, the Microgen Forum could eb a good place to post this si for sale..

  6. Duane Nitta says:

    Hey Frank, I’m very interested in your Redstone.

    Can you email me?

    dnitta (at) hawaii.rr.com

    Thanks!!!!

  7. Bill Knighton says:

    What are these called in china? Searching alibaba for redstone and rs115 failed. Someone on YouTube said there were clones of andoria diesels. That also failed. Searching alibaba for 115 diesel failed too. I understand I can’t order one here but I wanted to look anyway.

  8. Duane N says:

    Bill, Can you email me at the address above. I got a few questions for you.

  9. Bill Knighton says:

    What about the high price of high oil capacity? I have read both 12 and 14 quarts. How many hours on a sump of oil is wise? Would running it at low power settings actually decrease the oil life if there were extra carbon buildup? Especially if burning vegetable oil?

  10. George B. says:

    This IS one big sump! If you are running veggie based fuels, you will change oils at intervals, if you are running something like #2 diesel, I’d consider liek a high quality by pass filter, and I’d pull a quart of lube every 100 hours and add a new quart. Of course the old quart would be added to the fuel as long as I was out of reach of the EPA..

    Don’t like my plan? Replace two quarts at a time.. or what ever make you happy.. All lube oil must pass by a strong magnet.. so easy to do!

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