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Chris Wood

Lister diesel seized

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Hello, 

I have a Lister diesel coupled up to a Lister gearbox, it partially flooded with brackish water up to the starter motor some months ago and now won't turn at all.

Having removed the starter, heads and cylinders, I found that one piston was very seized in the bore, but even having removed it, the engine will still not turn.

Both con rods are free on their big end bearings.

I am wondering if anyone has had a similar problem and might have any suggestions. The engine remains in the boat, and removal is a difficult job which I would like to avoid if possible.

Could the further problem be the gear train at the front of the engine, or even the gearbox which looks ok as viewed through the inspection cover?

 

Many thanks for reading

 

Chris Wood  tel 01798 867768   mob 07710 000214

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Your engine will have seized due to the corrosion caused by being immersed in the water. Even if you manage to free it up you can pretty much guarantee that it will sustain a lot of damage if you don't dismantle and clean all the parts thoroughly. I've seen some horrendous damage caused by rust and water when an engine has been freed up but not stripped and cleaned. I would strongly recommend that you cut your losses and remove the engine and gearbox for inspection and repair. It is not possible to eliminate water damage and corrosion without properly stripping your engine.

Tears before bedtime if you don't🤢

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44 minutes ago, steamraiser2 said:

Your engine will have seized due to the corrosion caused by being immersed in the water. Even if you manage to free it up you can pretty much guarantee that it will sustain a lot of damage if you don't dismantle and clean all the parts thoroughly. I've seen some horrendous damage caused by rust and water when an engine has been freed up but not stripped and cleaned. I would strongly recommend that you cut your losses and remove the engine and gearbox for inspection and repair. It is not possible to eliminate water damage and corrosion without properly stripping your engine.

Tears before bedtime if you don't🤢

Odd that it has managed to seize up though. Most stuck small Listers I've dismantled have been due to the rings corroding into the bores

 

There's going to be something pretty horrible going on somewhere

 

Richard

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Just a thought - are you saying it is seized because it is more difficult to turn that you think it should be?

 

If so and if its an LH150 gearbox are you aware that it stays in ahead until it builds up oil pressure which it can not do with manual turning over so you will be turning the gearbox, reduction box 9if it has one) and the prop shaft & prop.

Edited by Tony Brooks

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I think you need to be a bit more honest ……...

* What type of Lister?

* How long was it flooded?

* How long after pumping it out did you leave it until attending to the engine?

* When had it last run previous to its dunking?

 

Welcome to the forum by the way

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Richard,

 

Many thanks for your thoughts, yes, I agree that it's of course the water ingress thats done the damage. There was evidence of that around the seized piston / cylinder which with the aid of steel wedges & a hydraulic puller I removed, together with the other piston / cylinder which was perfectly fine. It will be very difficult to remove the whole engine & gearbox so I want to try to do the work in place.

To this end, I now have good access to the lower casing of the block, and can easily clean the sump out properly.

The big ends are fine & move easily on the crankshaft, so I am simply trying to locate the next problem which is preventing the engine from turning. 

I thought that there must be a good chance that someone else had experience water damage on a Lister (SR2 I think), and wondered if they might know where next to investigate - gearbox or the gear train at the front of the engine.

 

Thanks again

 

Chris

 

 

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1 hour ago, Tony Brooks said:

 

Next thing I would check is if the gearbox is in gear. Either kind of Lister box is designed to fail into forwards. The manual box can be pulled into neutral (if you have the gear lever, and if the forward cone isn't stuck). As Tony said, the hydraulic needs oil pressure to operate

 

However, on the back of the hydraulic box is a three-sided round cover (!?!). Unscrew the bolt from the middle, take out one of the top cover screws and screw that into the middle of the cover. That will push the operating piston forwards and (hopefully) disengage the forward clutch

 

But... If left in water, the forward cone clutches can corrode in place and not disengage

 

Richard

Edited by RLWP

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It might be possible that gravel or stones have entered the flywheel-fan-ring gear through the air intake vents and jamming it. After first draining and then filling the engine and gearbox right up with vinegar and leaving to pickle for a day or two can clean and free off things. Paraffin is also good.

Edited by bizzard
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Many thank to you all for your help, I'll respond in the same order, please tell me if I'm doing anything wrong as I'm not very computer / forum savvy!

Tony Brooks - No, it isn't just stiff to turn, it is locked solid - I've had big Stilsons with a scaffold pole lever on the pulley drive at the front of the engine & also tried the prop shaft drive outside the gearbox. The gearbox I think is manual, and in neutral it will turn, in gear it wont.

Zenataomm - I believe it is an SR2, but haven't seen an identification mark. It was flooded for about 2 weeks before I realised. At that time I believed that only the starter motor was damaged, so removed & rebuilt it, only then, when it still didn't turn did I realise it was seized, and that was probably 2 months after it flooded.

Prior to this the engine last ran about a year ago.

Richard - I can get the gearbox into neutral, will look to see if I can find the cone clutch you mention, do you think this could be causing the problem?

Bizzard - Hadn't thought about gravel etc around the flywheel / ring gear. Are you suggesting vinegar followed by paraffin, or as an alternative? I have loads of Kerrosene heating oil, might that be good?

 

Again, many thanks

 

Chris

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If the propshaft will turn when the gearbox is in neutral, it sounds like something horrible is going on in the engine, not the gearbox

 

unless it's Bizzards stones, although I would expect them to lock in one direction but not the other

 

you don't have a lot more things to try. Taking the front cover off means removing the front engine mount. Taking the gearbox off might be possible, you'll have to support the back of the engine. After that, maybe you can take the crankshaft out, I would rather do that on th bench

 

Richard

Edited by RLWP

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What could have floated into the fan housing? The fan is a close fit in the housing. Will it turn in either direction?

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You might have better luck turning the engine through the starter hole, with, say, a 2ft long lever,like a pry bar on the ring gear, direct on the crank shaft rather than the stilsons on the camshaft where half the leverage power is lost.

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16 minutes ago, bizzard said:

You might have better luck turning the engine through the starter hole, with, say, a 2ft long lever,like a pry bar on the ring gear, direct on the crank shaft rather than the stilsons on the camshaft where half the leverage power is lost.

I'm struggling to think what could have seized an engine up like that, apart from the Pistons. Could be the cam followers rusted into the block I suppose

 

Richard

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1 hour ago, bizzard said:

You might have better luck turning the engine through the starter hole, with, say, a 2ft long lever,like a pry bar on the ring gear, direct on the crank shaft rather than the stilsons on the camshaft where half the leverage power is lost.

 

Given the camshaft turns at half the speed of the engine, surely the gearing means the turning moment on the crank applied with Stilsons to the cam, is doubled. 

 

But I agree the turning moment from a lever inserted into a ring gear tooth using the starter hole in the bell housing as a fulcrum will be massive in comparison to stilsons on the cam.

 

 

Edited by Mike the Boilerman
Missing worms

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1 minute ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Given the camshaft turns at half the speed of the engine, surely the gearing means the turning moment on the crank applied with Stilsons to the cam, is doubled. 

 

 

Halved. You are trying to turn the engine twice as fast as the camshaft. This is why the hand start is on the camshaft

 

Richard

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15 minutes ago, RLWP said:

Halved. You are trying to turn the engine twice as fast as the camshaft. This is why the hand start is on the camshaft

 

Richard

 

Oh yeh, of course. You are right!

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If there is absolutely no rock or backlash in the crank rather than the cam  then I reckon the flywheel/fan is jammed.

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9 hours ago, Boater Sam said:

If there is absolutely no rock or backlash in the crank rather than the cam  then I reckon the flywheel/fan is jammed.

This is what I was thinking.  Can the OP confirm that the engine ran normally and was stopped normally before being flooded? (As opposed to it stopped itself)

The only one I can recall having, like this, was a truck whose engine stopped dead while being driven.  When I got to the truck, there were actually short skid marks on the road, where the back wheels had locked (low speed on a side street).  Tried everything on scene, starter removed and barring the flywheel, wheelbrace on the rear wheel nuts to try to turn the wheels, nothing worked.  

Turned out to be a bolt from a dealer fitted clutch had come loose and jammed between the flywheel and bell housing.  Hard to believe it didn't punch a hole through the housing.

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Again, many thanks for all the brainpower going in to this!!!

A few points arising -

Yes, the engine seemed to run normally a year or so ago when it was last started and was stopped normally. Having said that, when I removed the heads to expose the pistons, the one that was seized was at the top of it's stroke surprisingly & when I eventually managed to remove the cylinder the piston showed obvious water caused corrosion. Surprisingly the other piston at the bottom stroke & therefore nearer to any water ingress is in perfect condition. Incidentally, I will replace the water damaged piston because it shows  other damage & is very pitted.

I like the idea of a pinch bar on the teeth of the flywheel, in fact I tried that before but with a bad fitting crow bar, so will try to find something more suitable.

I also agree that something might be jamming the flywheel / fan, perhaps something floating in, or just rust? Maybe I can remove the grill casing to get a better view.

Will try to get someone to photo and upload the pictures to this forum which might make it all clearer.

 

Chris

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That rust in one cylinder sounds like 12 months of rain down an exhaust rather than an immersion. When you sink an engine, the oil floats up into the bores, the pistons don't seize. If an exhaust valve is open, the water goes into that bore only from the silencer.

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12 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Given the camshaft turns at half the speed of the engine, surely the gearing means the turning moment on the crank applied with Stilsons to the cam, is doubled. 

 

But I agree the turning moment from a lever inserted into a ring gear tooth using the starter hole in the bell housing as a fulcrum will be massive in comparison to stilsons on the cam.

 

 

As an aside, is Stilsons on the Cam a village in the Fens?

Back to the topic now, my apologies.

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Is the under over cam? Or over under cam. I can never remember in by old age . I believe it was twinned with that italian  fishing village  quatra porto overheada cam.

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9 hours ago, Stilllearning said:

As an aside, is Stilsons on the Cam a village in the Fens?

 

Cam is in Gloucestershire. 

Quite close to where Listers were made.

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