Lister 5/1 Diesel

Lister Restoration & Rebuild

Obtaining & Restoring Your First Engine. Chapter 8 - Appendices


These figures were supplied by David Harris from a Lister data sheet that was written to cover a number of engines in addition to the 'Cold Start' series.
Sheet reference: Inf. No 190 dated 16th September 1955. The metric conversion is mine.
Use only in the absence of recommended figures from the manufacturer if used for other engines.

Engine Bolt RefWhitworth ThreadTorque lbs-ftTorque kp/m
A1/4" X 20 BSW6 - 70.83 - 0.97
B5/16" X 18 BSW13 - 151.79 - 2.07
C3/8" X 16 BSW23 - 25 3.17 - 3.45
D7/16" X 14 BSW45 - 486.21 - 6.62
E1/2" X 12 BSW75 - 7810.35 - 10.76
F9/16" X 12 BSW90 - 10012.42 - 13.80
G5/8" X 11 BSW104 - 11414.35 - 15.73
H3/4" X 10 BSW120 - 14016.56 - 19.32
- - - -
Engine Bolt RefB.S. Fine (BSF)Torque lbs-ftTorque kp/m
J1/4" X 26 BSF5 - 60.83 - 0.97
K5/16" X 22 BSF11 - 131.52 - 1.79
L3/8" X 20 BSF20 - 222.76 - 3.04
M7/16" X 18 BSF40 - 445.52 - 6.07
N1/2" X 16 BSF65 - 688.97 - 9.38
O9/16" X 16 BSF75 - 8510.35 - 11.73
P5/8" X 14 BSF90 - 10011.73 - 12.42
- - - -
Engine Bolt RefB.S. Pipe (BSP)Torque lbs-ftTorque kp/m
Q3/8" BSP85 - 9011.73 - 12.42
R614-875 3/4" Tubular18024.84
S8/1 E63 1/2"22030.36
- - - -
Engine TypeBig End NutsCylinder head NutsTorque Kp/m
3-1, 3-1/2/1Table Ref E65 lbs-ft 9/16" Nuts8.97 kp/m
5-1, 6-1Table Ref E100 lbs-ft 3/4" Nuts13.80 kp/m
10-2, 12-2Table Ref E100lbs-ft 3/4" Nuts13.80 kp/m
9-1, 18-2 (JP1, JP2)Table Ref N150 lbs-ft Tubular Nuts20.71 kp/m
9-1, 18-2 (JP1, JP2)Table Ref N100 lbs-ft Standard Nuts13.80 kp/m
27-3, 38-4 (JP3, JP4)Table Ref N150 lbs-ft Tubular Nuts20.71 kp/m
27-3, 38-4 (JP3, JP4)Table Ref N100 lbs-ft Standard Nuts13.80 kp/m
616 (JP6 , JK6)Table Ref N150 lbs-ft Tubular Nuts20.71 kp/m
61-6 (JP6, JK6)Table Ref N100 lbs-ft Standard Nuts13.80 kp/m


The following list shows all the gaskets and sealing rings on the 10/2 engine.
The thickness of the gaskets and the dimensions of the rings are also shown to aid with finding replacements.
David Harris has spare gaskets for the Cold Start engines, and should be contacted before looking elsewhere.
Cylinder heads 2Copper-asbestosN/A
Cylinder bases 8Paper 0.004" **
Main Brg Housings 4Paper 0.004" **
Oil pump to C/case 1Oil resistant card 0.0625"
C/case inspection 1 Compressed cork0.0625"
Breather housing 1Paper 0.010"
Water pipes/block 4Heavy paper0.053"
Block insp. covers 4Heavy paper0.053"
Exhaust/Inlet ports 4Asbestos/Aluminium0.050"
Rocker Covers 0No gaskets fitted -
Main bearing seals 2Felt rings2.875" OD X 2.312" ID X 0.260"
Governor/camshaft 2Paper0.004"
** Note these are used in variable quantities to set clearances. See text.


Dimensions are as measured and may be affected by shrinkage on the paper & fibre types.
Copper washer sizes are usually nominal imperial sizes i.e.: 0.565" = 9/16", but always check before using 'foreign' washers.
Position QuantityTypeSize
Injector Nozzle 2Copper Washer0.565" id X 0.838" od X 0.037" Thk
Fuel Bleed Valve 2Copper Washer0.312" id X 0.496" od X 0.065" Thk
Fuel Banjo 2Red Fibre0.715" id X 0.860" od X 0.057" Thk
Oil Drain Plugs 2Red Fibre0.820" id X 1.125" od X 0.066" Thk
Oil Suction Housing1Copper Washer1.055" id X 1.330" od X 0.0625" Thk
Oil Pump Unions3Red Fibre1.050" id X 1.512" od X 0.064" Thk
Compression C/O Valve 2Copper Washer1.030" od X 1.325" id X 0.0625" Thk
Oil gauge & tap 2Red Fibre0.400" id X 0.700" od X 0.0625" Thk
Tappet Housings 4Paper shims1.375" id X 1.938" od X 0.002" Thk
Compression C/O Valve2Copper washer1.600" id X 1.900" od X 0.028" Thk
Fuel pump banjo 4Copper washer 0.520" id X 0.745" od X 0.050" Thk
Oil pump lower11Red Fibre0.820" id X 1.130" od X 0.065" Thk


Experienced engine buffs can skip this section, as you will know all or most of the terms herein. For newcomers, it is just a small collection of terms which appear in the book, with an explanation of their meaning. Apologies if I missed anything obscure, and I hope that my explanations are understandable.

A generator driven by an engine or other motive force which produces Direct Current (DC) power. Identification is usually possible by looking at the brushes and commutator: a segmented commutator usually means the device is DC. Will require a means of output regulation (field control resistor) and a switchboard. Popular in the late 19th to early 20th century for house supply, together with a battery set. In theory, a DC motor can be driven and successfully used as a dynamo, but its output depends on the field connections (Shunt or series) and other factors.

As for DYNAMO but the power produced is Alternating Current (AC) The alternator does not have a segmented commutator but has continuous slip rings instead. Later (1960's onwards and most larger machines) alternators have brushless rotors where the power comes from the stator (fixed) windings while the rotor (moving part) is used as a field magnet, with power to energise the magnet being induced by a separate set of poles and windings at one end of the rotor. Regulation on early units is by resistive/magnetic means, later units have semiconductor regulation. Replaced dynamos for all but specialised power supplies.

As with the dynamo, an AC (slipring) motor can be driven by an engine and used as an alternator. Excitation of the rotor is normally by external means, and some kind of control is required to prevent over-excitation.

Usually describing the adjustment screws on the valve rocker arms that set the valve clearances. Originated from the name given to the adjuster, when the adjustment for side valve engines was on the cam follower. The face of the tappet (cam follower) which contacts the cam is usually of large area and offset from the centre of the cam to induce rotation. ,This spreads the wear over a larger area of the tappet base. See cam follower below.

Name given to the valve rocker arm which transmits the travel of the cam lobe , through the cam follower and pushrod, to the valve. In operation, the arm 'rocks' as the valves are pushed open and are shut by the valve springs. Normally transmitting motion on a 1:1 basis, the rockers are obviously only used on overhead valve engines.

Reciprocating oil pump where the oil is pumped by means of a single cylinder, the piston of which is driven by an eccentric on the camshaft. Popular on early engines as it was easier to manufacture than gear or concentric type pumps, and most oil supplies were low pressure so did not need any great volume of oil delivery. A number of check or non-return valves are usually included in the body, to prevent oil leaking back to the sump while the engine is idle, which would cause the pump to suck air instead of oil.

Plunger (was called tappet) that sits over the cam and transmits the cam travel to the push rods. The follower housing contains the plunger and keeps it in position. Most are made of chilled cast iron, even today, as the rate of wear is very low with this material, and its lubrication requirements are very low.

Steel rod, usually tubular with hardened ball and socket ends. Transmits the motion of the cam follower and cam to the rocker arm. On the 'cold start' diesels the push rods are external requiring periodical lubrication. (Lister 'D' pushrods are solid) and are also of different lengths due to the extended cam follower on the exhaust.

Single outlet injection pump that provides fuel to the injector at a precise point in the engine running sequence. Unit injectors are also extensively used on very large engines such as locomotives and ships. Usually driven by a separate cam or cams on the engine camshaft, or by auxiliary shaft on larger engines.

Used widely on Lister, Petter and other singles/twins etc., up to the present day. Had the big advantage of ease of mounting and driving compared with a multi-cylinder pump. Available in twin-cylinder versions (i.e. Lister CE) but most are single. A typical locomotive pump stands 16" tall and about 5" square at the base, but is still a scaled-up version of the earlier small types.

Device to inject and atomise fuel provided from the unit injection pump at very high pressure. The injector only allows fuel to pass into the engine after the fuel pressure has built up sufficiently to force open the injector delivery valve against a strong spring, which closes the nozzles quickly once the fuel pressure in the inlet pipe drops off at the end of injection. The actual volume of fuel delivered is very small. The fuel is sprayed out at such a high pressure that it immediately atomises into small droplets which burn cleanly. Poor atomisation is caused by 'hosing' where the fuel comes out of the nozzle in a solid stream, usually caused by incorrect nozzle delivery valve spring setting or worn nozzle.

Device to filter out any small particles in the engine fuel which would damage the very finely finished components in the unit injection pump and injector. Particle sizes as small as 0.00005" are common in the air around us, so the filter has to be able to pass enough fuel to keep the engine running at full load, while filtering out these small particles. The Lister engines used a cast-iron bodied filter with a wick type filter element, replaced later by an AC cartridge type filter. Foreign body damage causes more injection equipment failure than anything else (except maybe the ham-fisted fitter !)

Mechanical device driven at half engine speed (occasionally at full engine speed from the crankshaft on some engines) usually from the camshaft. Provides a mechanical signal to the unit injection pumps, that moves the fuel control rod in response to engine speed changes. The device consists of a pair of bob-weights which fly out against a pair of springs as the engine speed increases, this movement is passed to the governor arm on the housing and thence to the fuel control (throttle) linkage. Modern diesels have governors built into the injection pumps on multi-cylinder engines, or have external electronic (Barber Colman, Ambac) governors powered by the engine electrical system. Very large engines use engine oil pressure as the motive force (Woodward servo-governors in particular, on locomotives etc.) where a number of unit injection pumps have to be controlled by single (in-line engines) or dual (V or dual bank engines) control mechanisms. The amount of force required to control twelve large injection pumps is more than can be provided by a simple governor, hence the servo-governors.

Cylinder head mounted mechanical valve which allows the compression ratio of the engine to be raised for easier starting. Most early diesels were difficult to start due to both poor fuel atomisation and low compression ratios. Lister provided a way around the problem which did not require an external heat source, hence the name of 'Cold Start Diesel' given to the 5/1, 10/2 etc.

The valve allows a sub-chamber in the cylinder head to be connected to, or blanked off from, the main combustion space.

Later discontinued, as improved injection and combustion, together with higher compression ratios did away with the need for the device. The device is simple and reliable, although the control knob quick-start thread (nothing to do with the engine starting) thread wears fairly quickly if it used regularly.

The two ends of the connecting rod, the big end is the larger of the two, and locates over the crankshaft big end bearing journal. The actual bearing material is a split-shell, steel backed white metal bearing.

The small end is the opposite end of the connecting rod to the big end and provides the mounting for the gudgeon pin. The gudgeon pin connects the connecting rod to the piston. The bearing material is usually phosphor bronze in the form of a bush. Lubrication of the big end is usually by pressure feed, although the Lister diesels relied on splash until they were discontinued. Small ends rely on oil mist and the occasional bit of splash.

Steel rings which fit over the crankshaft, outboard of each main bearing, and throw off any surplus oil that gets past the bearing itself. The outer end of the thrower has a face which contacts a felt ring in the bearing housing thus providing a positive oil seal. Excess oil drains back to the sump through a connecting hole. Two thrower types were fitted to the cold-start engines, identified by their axial thickness.

Early engines (not just Lister) had bearings made from white metal, an alloy consisting of 86% Tin, 8.5% Antimony, 5.5% Copper, (to the Admiralty specification) or Sir Isaac Babbit s' formulation: 83.3% Tin, 8.3% Antimony, 8.4% Copper. Babbit metal, as it became known, was used almost universally in cars and trucks for some years, before more modern alloys using Copper, Lead, Indium and other rare metals became available. This was cast into the early bearing housings and machined in situ, or later on, layered onto steel shells which formed the modern split bearing as we know it today. Copper-lead bearings are used with modern diesels, and has good wear resistance.

To ensure that bolts and nuts are tensioned correctly, a 'tightening torque' figure is used to tighten the fastener. The torque figure is the amount of turning force required at the bolt head which will put the bolt or stud in tension so that it will not come loose in service.

Figures are quoted in Foot-pounds (lbs ft) Kilogramme-metres (kpm) or Newton-Metres (Nm) Thus a 10lb weight hung on a 3 feet long arm will impart 10 X 3 = 30 lbs ft. Note that it is the bolt or stud that is tensioned, the nut is just the device used to do the tightening. Washers became more common on engines etc., as they contributed to the achievement of consistency when tightening bolts and nuts.

These are peculiar to injection systems, and are still used on modern diesel engine injection systems. The leak-off pipes collect excess fuel from the injectors which has leaked back past the injector nozzle needle, and passes it back to the fuel tank.

New injectors leak very little, but worn out nozzles and needles will allow considerable amounts of fuel to leak back, with loss of injection pressure as well. It is usual for worn injectors to be indicated by smoky exhausts and bad starting, but the volume of leak-off fuel can also be a useful indication of the injector condition.

Another peculiarity of diesels; any air in the fuel system will instantly compress, and prevent any fuel flow (remembering that the actual volume of fuel can be less than a pin head on each injection) from being pumped up to the injectors. The injection system relies on the incompressibility of fluids to operate.

Any air, even in foam or froth will instantly stop the engine if it gets into the pump or injector. For this reason, leak-off returns are always taken back to the fuel tank, where any bubbles will be allowed to escape into the air, not back into the injection pump where any gases in the fuel will cause a stoppage.

Bleeding the system is achieved by progressively forcing a solid column of fuel through the system and up to the injectors. Bleed nipples are provided on the injection pumps, while the injector inlet union has to be slackened to bleed the last bit up to the injectors. Fuel filters on most old Listers are gravity fed, and can be simply bled by slackening the feed and outlet pipe unions in turn.

Most modern trucks and cars have self-bleeding systems, where the fuel is continuously pumped at medium pressure through the system and back to the tank. This achieves the added advantage of less fuel freezing in winter (where waxes are precipitated out of the diesel at low temperatures) as the heat from the engine keeps the fuel warmer than the ambient temperature.

Series of threads that became popular in the late 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. BSW (British Standard Whitworth) and BSF (British Standard Fine) were the dominant threads used in all industries up to the 1950's. The Unified system of threads that were adopted in the 1950's to the early 1980's were in part a measure of the impact the USA made on our industry after the Second World War.

The two thread forms are similar at 55 degrees thread angle, but the pitches are very different, a 1/2" BSW thread having 12 threads per inch (TPI) while the BSF thread of the same size will have 16 TPI.

BSP or British Standard Pipe threads are, as you would expect, used on pipes. There are two main versions of the thread, namely TAPER, which is used on male threads, and PARALLEL. Taper threads are more common, and are used on pipe joints into castings or engine blocks, where the taper male thread seals into the female thread, usually with a bit of jointing compound. Compressed air piping is one of the largest users of such taper joints.

Parallel threads are used where a male flanged union screws into a female thread, but the seal is by a facing joint on the flange, usually with a washer, not the thread itself. While the taper joint can be tightened into a required position by a little judicious tightening, the parallel thread joint relies on the washer for sealing and cannot be repositioned once the joint has squeezed the washer tight.

Device used for holding items such as flywheels onto shafts, before tapered fixings became more commonplace. Also used on long shafts where other fittings such as drive pulleys had to be used as well, and were usually fitted outboard of the flywheel. Very common in the steam and engine field.

Keys were made from mild steel, with parallel sides and base. The top face had a taper of about 1 in 100, which allowed insertion into a keyway, followed by a quick take up of the slack in the hole by the taper. The head of the key was shaped to allow a removal wedge to be used to pull it out from the keyway.

Modern parallel keys and Woodruff keys were more for locating items than holding them, and they usually relied on another device, usually a bolt or nut, to actually hold the two items together.

The early cold start diesels were developed from the 'L' type petrol engine, and many of the parts except the head and barrels were used. This resulted in changes from early engines to the bulk of later production. A short list of common parts differences etc. is given earlier in the book, starting on page 38.

3/1 engines are the same as 5/1 from the crankcase top flange downwards, and the external governor linkage is the same. The pump is different to the other CS types.

There are two sizes of 3/1 big ends.

3/1 heads, barrels and pistons are different to the other engines.

© Peter & Rita Forbes 2000 - 2008

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Appendices Index Main