Watch out Mike, a Lister A type was my first engine 36 years ago &
I almost broke my wrist on the first swing by having the timing wrong.
If there is an engineman nearby he would probably be delighted to check
out the first run with you. What town do you live in?
British Map http://pub32.bravenet.com/guestmap/view.php?usernum &92147218
Hi Mike, Welcome aboard. I'll have a go. I've tried to remember
everything, but I'm sitting at a keyboard, not standing by an engine.
These directions are based on the engine being in good running condition. If
you're not sure whether it is or not - the holy trinity of fuel, compression
and a good spark need to be present in the cylinder. If it hasn't been
restored there will probably be some problems to fix. No spark is the
commonest problem I find.
It is a good idea to extract and clean your sparkplug before you start and
clamp it to a bare metal part of the engine (don't hold it, the spark will
bite you!). Now turn your engine over and see if it sparks nice and blue.
If you can see the timing mark on the flywheel face (either a lightning
stroke or the word spark), the spark should happen when this is at the top.
If its a normal rotation model then the handle needs to be placed on the
shaft in the centre of the flywheel ,turning clockwise on the side where you
can see the valve springs. Reverse rotation models are unusual, so its
unlikely to be turnig the other way.
The fuel (petrol) is pumped by a small brass plunger pump in the fuel line.
Operate this manually (pressing the plunger up and down) until you have the
carburettor bowl full to overflowing (you'll see an overflow in the bowl
which takes excess fuel back to the tank). Make sure you use nice fresh
petrol, not grotty old stuff in the tank for years.
Now screw the fuel control right home (on top of the carb), then open it up
about 2/3 of a turn. Set the choke wheel to leave about half of each of
the air inlet holes showing.
Now for the fun bit. Turn your handle. If it fires but dies, screw in the
fuel control a shade and try again. You will have to experiment a bit to
get the right setting of this and the choke. If the engine runs well,
gradually screw in the fuel control valve until the exhaust is nice and
clear but doesn't misfire.
You probably won't suceed at first, it takes a little while to get the hang
of it. Persevere. Think of the benefit of exercise. I remember the messing
about to get my A type running for the first time.
If you're still struggling, get back and report what happened. Usual
disclaimers, I won't be held responsible for any mischief you do yourself
Dave and Kim have a point. Check that timing if you can find the mark.
Its on the 'face' of the flywheel The top surface as you look down at it.
I'm in North East Wales by the way, if you need any help.
May I add a comment? Keep your thumb tucked in beside your fingers, do not
have it wrapped separately round the handle. If you do and it kicks back you
might be lucky enough to get away with only a dislocated thumb!
Bob's advice is very wise, and worth heeding.
A Bamford once had a go at injuring me, It took the skin on the palm of my
hand a while to grow back.
With a little care, though, engines are not too dangerous, provided you
don't get your clothes caught up in the rotating parts.
Paul Evans has an online handbook available on the Internal Fire site.
This should be of help in explaining the engine and its workings.
If its easier, a reprint handbook is available from David Edgington who has
an advert inside the cover of Stationary Engine Magazine.
It's correct for a standard rotation A type Mike. It won't run if you crank
ia standard rotation clockwise from the valve side, I speak from bitter
experience having spent two hours on the rally field trying to start mine
before noticing what way the arrow was pointing!
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