Saturday, 27 April 2013


No not a night of passion on Percy more a description of what happens a few hundred times a minute when we are moving along the canals.

When I am aboard (not enough) I am drawn to a smallish space on Percy where the suck-squeeze-bang-blow happens. The fact it does this only a few hundred times a minute and in doing so makes some fantastic noises is a joy. 

Percy's engine is a Lister... or Listeroid as it was not built in Dursley but in India using the tooling and maybe some documentation used to make the same engine from about 1929. 

I am going to give the Lister an oil change before we go out in a couple of weeks so have been trawling the internet for process to do this. I am sure it is as straightforward as on the Beta1505 we had before on Waterlily that I serviced I just need to be certain I am not leaving any part devoid of oil... (does the pump need priming etc) 

One thing I am trying to find out about is the need for oil on the cylinder head to all the external moving parts. The joy of this engine is what normally goes on under covers and under deck boards is all external for which understanding what does what is easier.

Anyhow that was written a couple of days ago. Today I have been over to Percy and done an oil change and general lubrication of the engine. I had covered most of the moving bits but I have discovered the valve stems need oiling, achieved by filling the recess around them on the cylinder head. I concerned myself over checking if the simple cam driven oil pump was working, Tony had put in a sight glass linked to a valve above the pump, I had assumed this but was not 100% sure. So I took it apart and despite not the best type of spring to keep the ball bearing in its seat all seems to work, after I primed the pump by back filling with some new oil. These old (new) engines were very simple but effective. I suppose the only real difference to new engines is the fit and forget nature where everything is automatically lubricated, on my engine there is a man involved. Says it all really, technology replaced people, and we have ever more people on the planet, who are living longer.... what's to give ?

Anyhow as I have been doings man's work I have been having a mans drink or two.. beer, it seems to go so well with Percy !!

I digress, the old oil looked well ready for a change, not too thick and very black. So 6 and a half litres of amber oil was added after pumping the equivalent out via the very useful sump pump. I ran the engine to disperse the oil and check the pump and all seemed ok, so another piece of Percy is better understood, it really is the best way of learning about your boat, to do it yourself.

Now to plan the pending cruise !

Edited to note it was 30 hours on the clock when the oil was changed and a new air filter put on

1 comment:

Graham and Jill Findlay said...

When even a diesel engine had a soul.