Fix that Lazy 6/1 Governor

For the sake of safety, Utterpower shares the Kiss Governor Mod we developed here. Simple? You bet! That’s what KISS is all about.

Above: Modification as typically installed.


There are lots of people who have noted the lazy response of the stock Indian Lister Type governor. I have discussed this with a few mechanical engineers, and I have received different recommendations. Some suggested the spring was too short, others the fly weights didn’t have the required mass, etc. At this point, I have lost track of all who helped me come to the conclusion that at least a significant part of the problem was in the linkage between the bell crank and spring. The stock design sucks in my opinion, and may be the only thing that looks poorly designed on this Legendary machine. Will India make this simple change on their machines in the future? Will they even try it?

After studying some of the Dursely built machines, I am not convinced that they didn’t have a similar problem. India only copied the governor linkage.

This governor problem got to be a ‘real’ personal issue at out Easton off grid location, as we have a deep well pump there. When I set the governor to work at the proper frequency with the pump running plus other loads, the engine would go into over speed when the pump shut down, a pain to deal with, and potentially dangerous.

The danger? Depends on just how bad the governor works on your engine, Balance issues, crank fatigue factors, and how well your flywheels are made. You will need to note that India is sometimes NOT careful with paint, (I think they use a broom in some assembly lines). You will need common sense to remove it off linkage, clean it, lube it, adjust it! Back off the adjustment you found it the crate! Run it with no load, run it with load, study the rpm drop in stock form, know what you have BEFORE the mods..

Now add this simple part, and rerun your test.

I will not bore you with a long list of folks that have installed this MOD, and have found similar improvements to mine, I will share a few reports, and leave the rest to you.. Should you have an accidentand it was noted or proved that your engine was running well above it’s rated speed, it could add to your liability, but that’s yet another topic.

what’s the problem with the stock setup you ask?

In the stock setup above, the adjuster can bind as the bell crank moves. when this happens, the adjuster can become part of the bell crank and the Geometry and length of the fulcrum changes, I hope this makes sense to you ??



I made this change last week, and it makes all the difference in the world!! Tuning in specific load is SO much easier and faster. Also, it seems that there is more “flexibility” for different loads – the engine speed doesn’t dramatically change when I make small changes to the load…I no longer have to constantly dial in different governor fulcrum lengths only to result in non-linear responses; instead my adjustments yield much more predictable results. Your fix was simple and effective!

Thanks so much!




Thanks for the instructions. The governor fixer went on easily, and we tested it. First we used the original setup and adjusted the frequency to 60hz. Then we plugged in an electric heater for the load. Immediately we dropped down to 57.5hz and lost 24 rpm. Then we installed the part. Doing the same test with the same load we only dropped to 58.9hz and lost 9 rpm. That is significant. We will continue to monitor things as we break this baby in.

Bill Dempsey

Jerry B

Using the Kill-A-Watt Meter the Stock Governor WAS: 61HZ(no load)—> 54HZ (heavy load AC and DC generators simultaneously)! After the kit you sent, I am now at 60HZ (no load)—> 58HZ drop (heavy load AC and DC generators simultaneously)! As soon as the batteries come up to about 14 volts, the HZ hovers at about 58.9-60! **If using only the AC generator, I get 61HZ no load and 60-60.2HZ heavy load! In either case, there is no more “subtle light pulsing” from the compact fluorescents. And Finally, Looking strictly at voltage readings, I’m now seeing 125 volts no load, and about 120-121 loaded! (heavy load AC and DC generators simultaneously)! Versus: the old setup at 135 volts no-load and 114 volts loaded! (heavy load AC and DC generators simultaneously)!

What a difference! I will find some little do-dad in my travels to send you and I won’t take no for an answer! This is more than an improvement – it’s a Revelation! I can’t say enough. When I update my webpages I’ll post this data as well (along with utterpower’s Gov Kit page as a link.)Great job George and I look forward to chatting with you again! Thanks Jerry

From Murray K, 8/2008
Murray’s implementation of the same mod.


Installed and did preliminary tests on my modified governor spring and mount. Previous droop was 3-4hz with 1-2hz overshoot on load removal. With the mod, slightly less than 1hz droop with a 3kw load and nearly no overshoot on unloading. Seems to work much better than before and it looks nice. This was just a quick test after install, engine was not fully warmed up, and this engine only has about 3 hrs on it. Thought you’d like to know.


If you are are 60hz, I suggest you use the ‘Kill A Watt’ (google search), and set the engine for 61HZ no load, 51HZ no load in 50HZ countries.

Following is a cut and paste of my instruction sheet, this is indeed an easy part for the DIYer to make…


Utterpower Lister Type Governor Kit

For educational purposes only! Never run heavy machinery, as you could hurt yourself or others.

Copyrighted 11-1-05 all rights reserved

I first received a Report from Hugh Frater in Southern England regarding the lazy governor in the Family Estate’s off grid ‘Start-O-Matic’. Since then, I have noted that Indian ‘Lister Types’ don’t perform well enough for generator use, and when any other load is removed, they can go into over speed. I would imagine that all the combined efforts of India to figure out the cause of this problem would total less than three minutes effort. It is the way things seem to be there.

You will note that the adjustment has been switched around and the adjustment nut is now on the engine block. You will note that a cotter pin has been inserted into the end of the stock bell crank arm at right, and this becomes the new attachment point for the spring. Clip off the wings of the cotter pin after it is spread.

The machined piece provided is attached using a common bolt, 5/16×18 thread, common flat washers are used to ‘shim out’ from the block for good alignment and a non binding adjustment. Once alignment is correct, tighten the bolt to assure it remains in alignment.

One of the main problems with the stock governor linkage is that adjustment linkage on the spring side binds, and effectively becomes part of the Fulcrum at some point in its travel; this produces a serious non linear governor response!

Why does India not fix this problem? The answer might be that 95% of their loads are fixed, Example is irrigation pump where most of these engines are put to work. What happens when the pump loses it’s prime? You might ask India…..

Part= upgovkit

5 minute fix!

This kit is the result of three years of studying the Lister Type governors. What I was after is the KISS solution, I had no desire to make the fix any more complex than necessary, sometimes the simple solution takes a bit more time to discover and prove. It is never enough to prove it in one engine or even 5 engines. My personal experiments have found that this simple kit will double or triple the accuracy of the common governor found in the Lister CS, and Lister Type Variants. I have personally observed this improvement in 5 different generator sets. In every case, the accuracy was significantly improved. BUT, the proof comes from the field and our DIyer community, we now have many engines in the field with the mod reporting similar results.


Why is this important? Typically we set up a generator to run at 61hz or at the high end of the voltage range, then we allow the governor to hold the generator near 60hz. When you have a ‘lazy’ governor (as most Lister types are) the governor will not hold speed, more load on the generator will result in loss of RPM. If you then adjust the RPM up, the engine will go into over speed when the load is removed This can be dangerous, and appliances can be damaged.

The kit provides a key machined part, pictures and instructions. You will need to provide flat washers, common bolt, and a cotter pin. This is all at your hardware store or in your junk bin. This is a 5 minute job, and all work is done on the outside of the engine.

Added note.

You will always look for binding in the stock linkage, and as documented on the utterpower CD and elsewhere, poorly machined governors may add to the governor response problem, this is more rare, but the kit will not fix a broken governor.

To all those DIYers who contribute to the knowledge bank here, thank you! you are the most valuable resource utterpower will ever have. This page dedicated to Quinn Farnes, one of MANY who contribute here.

Always Learning, always having more questions than answers….

Added note, I have been selling the well machined part for $10 USD, I no longer make it make your own part it’s easy..This is a safety issue and that is all too important. Make the change!

In closing, my thanks to the students at Columbia University, Matt Basinger, and Prof Modi, for proving the dramatic increase in governor performance with this mod in their lab.

In closing, this page is for educational purposes only, and I suggest you never run an open flywheel of any kind.

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