Author Topic: My various shop problems  (Read 5537 times)

Carpenter84

My various shop problems
« on: March 09, 2021, 10:48:10 PM »
I'll dedicate this thread to the problems I encounter while developing a machine job shop on the tattered pieces of shoestring budget...

A few of my machines are 600v 3ph. I run an old Lister ST2 diesel generator for power. It runs really quite well... However, for the past I've had issues with it leaking out from the valve covers. Enough that it drips down off the motor frame. It's Jonathan's engine, so I asked him to have a look at it. He did, applied some liquid gasket, problem didn't really go away, but it also wasn't that bad, I just keep an eye on the oil pressure and level.

So, tonight I had it running to run the new lathe. I knew the fuel level was getting a bit low and was being a bit cautious about run time, figured I'd get some diesel this week. Well, tonight I heard it stop. Tanks not empty, so, inlet tube obviously stops shy of the bottom of the tank, perfect, actually. However, when I shone my flashlight towards the engine, there's more oil than usual... It's evvvveryywhere... great... its leaking more.
So, I pull off the fill cap to see the level, and oil starts POURING out..

There's diesel in the oil... Lots of it...

I haven't used the generator much lately, since I haven't had much work. So, I haven't really kept an eye on it when I periodically did run it.

So now what? I've been very motivated in my customer search lately and in active discussions with one that would require the bigger machines, and now I'm afraid to run my power plant.

What causes fuel in the oil on an old Lister ST2 2 cylinder diesel engine?
I assume I now have yet another machine on my hands to rebuild...


We have another generator in the other shop, a Ford 2711e diesel marine engine on a 22kw generator. But, the engine is in unknown condition, and there's quite a few parts missing (rad, alternator, air filter, and who knows for hoses and sensors). I'm not an engine guy... Jonathan said he's never seen his dad run the Ford. We've both been talking about getting an RPC, but, now's not the time...
eek!
« Last Edit: March 10, 2021, 07:25:56 AM by Carpenter84 »
Shawn

Jake Parker

Re: My shop
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2021, 05:11:58 AM »
There can be 3 problems.
If it has a mechanical lift pump that supplies fuel to the high pressure injector pump, it may have a leak in the pump diaphragm. Pull that pump (located on the side of the block) and check the inside of it.
Problem 2, the driveshaft seals in the injector pump have failed. If the lift pumps innards are dry, the injector pump will need to be pulled and rebuilt. Be prepared for "sticker shock" they can run past the $1000 mark sometime for rebuilds.
Problem 3, an injector has failed in the open position, filling a cilinder. If the machine will still crank over this is not the problem.

Jake Parker

Re: My shop
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2021, 05:13:19 AM »
Drain the diesel from the crankcase ASAP. It can act as a solvent and cause more problems.

Carpenter84

Re: My shop
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2021, 05:58:31 AM »
SORRY, totally forgot to mention it’s an external electric fuel pump. The gear pump failed ages ago.
And yes, I plan to drain it as soon as I can get up there in daylight.
Shawn

4GSR

Re: My various shop problems
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2021, 08:21:15 AM »
Just a WAG, can you get your hydro company drop a 575-600 volt single phase line that you could run a home made RPC on?  Only problem is getting capacitors that can handle the higher voltage.  Wait a minute.  On single phase 600 volt systems, do they split that to two separate 300 volt to ground lines, L1 and L2, which would equal 600 volts?  IDK. 
Ken

Carpenter84

Re: My various shop problems
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2021, 10:00:40 AM »
Never heard of a single phase 600v to be honest. In that case I'd just find a single phase transformer and up to 600v on my 240v. But then I'd still need to add a leg.

I CAN get 600v 3 phase to my shop, it is permitted, but it's gonna cost quite a bit. I've had two estimates from hydro. First field survey guy went the route of pole mount barrels, but that involved changing an end of life pole, adding another pole across the street (to move the neighbours switch off my pole) and all that to the tune of approx $12,000 minus a percentage for end of lifing a pole.

Second guy went the route of a pad mount to avoid changing the poles, but was still 5-6000. And then there's hiring the electrician to run the service into my shop, and then having to remove all my single phase electrical out because code doesn't allow two different services in the same area. If things get crossed, they tend to blow up.

So, an RPC is the most likely route. Basically plug and play to how I'm already wired. And I will get one... Just need it to not be right now. I still need to run this generator for a while.

I have been doing some reading and it seems this fuel leaking problem is so well known on the Lister ST2, it was declared by the manufacturer almost from the date of inception. So, there should be tons of info online about it. And from what I'm reading the fix doesn't involve digging any further than the valve covers. So, I shouldn't have to pull the heads or cylinders.
My issue is, all the info I've found all involved the integrated gear pump, not an external electric pump.
I guess I just need the confidence to dig in and figure it out, like I do for everything...

Anyone selling head holes? I could use a few more. The two holes in my head at the moment apparently weren't enough.

chips and more

Re: My various shop problems
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2021, 12:00:15 PM »
I think I would take a look at changing the motor in the lathe. But maybe first look at the motor name plate and see if takes more than one line voltage. Or transformer it and then RPC. You can connect capacitors in series to increase the voltage rating. It will not increase the capacitance. What about getting the motor re-wound?
« Last Edit: March 10, 2021, 12:06:24 PM by chips and more »

4GSR

Re: My various shop problems
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2021, 12:34:08 PM »
Like chips and more said, change out the motor to a voltage you can use.  I'm guessing that lathe has a 3 HP or 4.5KW motor?  You buy everything else, spend money for a new motor.  Even a good used motor would work.  While you are at it, Run it on a VFD with single phase current.  That's how I do things here in my shop!
Ken

Carpenter84

Re: My various shop problems
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2021, 01:02:01 PM »
All very good options.
I wasn't sure if I was going to swap the motor yet. I want to use the lathe more........... But I have a problematic generator to deal with first. Need ideas on that bad boy. Gotta make money to spend money.
Shawn

jpigg55

Re: My various shop problems
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2021, 03:26:17 PM »
Shawn, what's the Lister diesel generator RPM rating at the required frequency ???
If it were me, I'd look for a motor that would run on the currently available AC source and make/buy a coupler to be able to connect it to the generator and forego the diesel engine. Basically make your own little motor-generator set.

Probably be easier and cheaper to find a 3-5 HP motor in single phase 240v than 600v. In theory, it would only need to be slightly bigger HP than your machine motor, although I doubt you run your machines such that they would require the full HP output.
I'm guessing the Lister is running at 3650 rpm unless it's using some type of gearing between the engine and generator. Just get a single phase motor with the same HP rating as your biggest machine and use it to drive the generator. Then all you'd have to do is close a switch or breaker to start-up your little M/G and you're up and running.

To be safe, I'd purchase one of these little voltage/frequency meters (cheap) so you can monitor if you're pushing it too hard: https://www.amazon.com/LM-YN-Voltmeter-AC80-300V-45-0-65-0HZ/dp/B01M1J97QM/ref=sr_1_8?dchild=1&keywords=Frequency+Meter&qid=1615411165&sr=8-8
Logan 6560H, SB 9A, Clausing 8520, Sanford MG 612

chips and more

Re: My various shop problems
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2021, 04:03:57 PM »
If I had a special power/service run to my shop. There would be the first big charge $ for installing. THEN, I would be getting the monthly/cyclical billing with the “special service rate”. That $ would never go away! Whaaaat, me pay extra for something I can do with a plan B, C or D…never happen. I HATE cyclical billing, they bleed you to dead. I don’t need a special service when I can get transformers, vfds, motors and especially a hammock and all I can drink margaritas!

Carpenter84

Re: My various shop problems
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2021, 04:09:22 PM »
It's a 15kw genset, motor is 1800 rpm @ 14 hp...
Shawn

Terrywerm

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Re: My various shop problems
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2021, 06:40:34 PM »
I am not intimately familiar with Lister engines at all. But, there may be a slim chance that the problem simple and inexpensive to fix. I am only offering this as a possibility, not a definite. Some diesel engines use a low pressure pump to supply fuel to the injector, which then generates the high pressure injection of fuel with a cam operated plunger. Depending on the engine, it may be that the low pressure line feeding fuel to the injector has cracked, leaking fuel into the oil IF the injector is under the valve cover.


Some engines have a banjo fitting on the injector that allows excess fuel to be returned to the tank or filter housing. If the injector is under the valve cover, it is possible that an o-ring under the banjo fitting has cracked, leaking fuel into the oil also.


Some engines use a fuel rail that runs through the head, but this is usually only done on multi-cylinder engines of more than two cylinders. In engines that utilize this system, there are o-rings on the injector that can start to leak if they get old and brittle, with the leaking fuel ending up in the oil as well.


Once again, I am only offering some possibilities. If it was a Cat, Cummins, or Detroit I could tell you a lot more, but that is not the case, so I can only guess and offer some possibilities that are sometimes overlooked.


Best of luck to you, Shawn!
Terry

Making chips with old machines!

Carpenter84

Re: My various shop problems
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2021, 06:45:38 PM »
Thanks for the ideas of where to look. I am the furthest from familiar with any type of engine. So having ideas of where to look and what to look for is incredibly helpful. I'm going to pull the valve covers and likely not know what I'm looking at.
So thanks.
Shawn

Terrywerm

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Re: My various shop problems
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2021, 07:00:27 PM »
I just got done reviewing a number of photos of Lister ST2 engines, and it appears that those engines use a low pressure feed line from the pump to the injectors which ARE located under the valve covers.


If you pull a valve cover and find things to be much cleaner under one compared to the other, the leak is most likely in that clean area as the fuel has washed everything down. I would proceed by doing the following:


1. Change the oil and filter.  Regardless of anything you might think, OIL IS CHEAP. When you consider the job it does and the conditions under which it works, it is dirt cheap!


2. Remove one valve cover and try to start the engine, watching for fuel leaks. If you find none under one, put that cover on and try the other.


3. If you don't find a visible leak anywhere, you've got a problem with one of the injectors, and if you have one rebuilt, you may as well just do both at the same time.


Use extreme care looking for leaks while the engine is running. Fuel is injected at extremely high pressures, and if you encounter a high pressure leak by getting in the path of fuel being ejected under such pressures, it can be pushed right through your skin and into your blood stream. If that happens you WILL need immediate medical attention. High pressure fuel or hydraulic leaks are nothing to fiddle with, they can kill you, and I am not kidding or over dramatizing.


If you have a friend that is a qualified diesel mechanic, it would be well worth a little money tossed his way to have him come and diagnose the problem and give you some first hand advice. I don't want you to spend money needlessly, but sometimes professional help is worth every penny. If I were close by I would gladly come and give you a hand, but that is not the case.


Once again, best of luck to you, keep us posted. I will keep an eye on this thread just in case I can be of any assistance.
Terry

Making chips with old machines!