I always enjoy questions from our Cousins down under.
Ever meet a Yankee or Canook that didn’t enjoy themselves when they visited down below?
From: Kerin Whitxxx <email@example.com>
G,Day mate, wonder if you can help me out with a problem I have with a twin cyl Listeroid. Starts & runs like a clock, however it seems to be getting hot. Have the water supply set up to a 44 Gallon drum. The water has nearly boiled! On inspection of the water inlet & outlet the inlet is 80% covered over by the casting, the outlet is probably 60-70% the same way. Is this normal ? I thought it maybe to slow the amount of water through the engine. If not how can I rectify the problem if it is one ? Thanks for any help you may be able to offer me.
I do open up these water ports a bit, and some are blocked a little too much.. I use a quarter inch die grinder and a carbide tool to do it. A round file does it too, just takes a bit longer. Don’t get carried away, don’t cut into the area where the stud passes through the water jacket, as you don’t need that large of hole. One Kiwi I know thought bigger was better, he cut the stud nearly in half with his port improvement grinding! I’d guess that about half the area of the typical flange found on these engines is all you need in a proper thermal siphon set up.
We can learn a bunch about cooling a Lister when we cool it with water from the garden hose, with a 3000 watt resistive load per cylinder, it doesn’t take much water flow to cool the engine, of course cooling tanks are different, as we circulate water that grow far warmer.
For continuous duty in warm weather, 44 gallons is NOT enough cooling capacity, for thermal siphon systems. Fact is, a single cylinder 6/1 might need more than double that on a very hot day with a continuous full load. We need remember, diesels make little heat under no load or light load conditions, so an engine powering intermittent work could get by with a far smaller tank.
Painting the outside of the tank jet black can help, and near boiling isn’t all that bad, allowing the top of the thermal siphon loop to become uncovered is where the bad news starts, making sure there’s a good reserve above that top connection is key.. Some of the old set ups had a valve in the lower hose.. the operator could choose whether he operated in hopper cooling mode (boiling off water and removing excess heat via the steam) or thermal siphon mode that removes the task of checking water often, and engine damage if you lose too much cooling water.
There are lots of ideas in our DIYer community, in so many ideas, we add failure additional failure points to simple and reliable power plants. People look to Autos for ideas, some add cooling water pumps driven by a belt, and some even use belt tensioners off an auto.
How many hours of over the road travel does it take to equate to 100,000 miles traveled? 6000 or 7000 hours? Some of the older Listers in off grid locations might have 40,000 hours or more on them, a cooling water pump might be the weak point, and it might cause an unattended engine to run till an overheat brings it to a stop. Unattended power plants that run long hours might be designed different than those run for back up use.
So many choices, and an overheat alarm is smart when your cooling system grows more complicated than the tank cooled system..
Hope this helps, and remember, boiling means a lot of heat is carried off in steam, with a properly designed system with a water reserve, that can be a good thing, it’s like backup protection.
All the best…