Life at the end of the road

June 9, 2012

A starter for Cyril :-)

Filed under: Croft house for sale, daily doings, listers, shed/house, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:11 pm

Try as I might I just can’t seem to get in the house before 21:00, today I packed up early up at the new shed only to get distracted by Cyril in one of the old sheds. The entire household was up early today, me on account of me always being early, wifey with her dedication to the hens and my son because he was attacked by two ‘wee dugs’ 🙂 That’ll teach him to close his bedroom door 🙂

Anyway after the usual morning rituals I joined the sunshine outside did some road repairs, checked the hydro turbine, repaired my knapsack sprayer and put out the blue bins. Which just goes to show how much mince is inside my head because it was ‘green bin’ day 😦

After breakfast number two it was once more back up to the shed to continue with the insulation and lining.

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I was a wee bit short for the last bit and had to make do with ‘off cuts’, but hey, it’s probably better insulated than most houses. The batteries will be going in here and they definitely perform better if kept warm and the insulation will help silence the beast. The generator being air cooled does of course need to breathe and have air circulating about it but I’m working on some vents in the door that open automatically when the generator starts.

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After finishing filling the framing and boarding up I did the box profile end of the barn, this time in 50mm ‘Recticel’ a closed cell foam similar to Kingspan.

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I was a couple of sheets of OSB short for the back wall so utilized some 9mm hardboard instead, next the windows went loosely in. There’s no point fixing them fully until I get the cladding and flashings on the outside.

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Winding up early I called it a day up there and went home to devour a risotto made with fresh tuna 🙂 But it’s after 22:00 now and I’m falling asleep so I’ll finish this off tomorrow 🙂


A rather shaky Sunday morning now, feeling a little vague and aching from head to foot, a nice relaxing day ‘Cyril’s shed’ today I think. This running about cutting 8X4 sheets has taken its toll, well that and more bedding work and dealing with rushes, nettles and docks.

It’s well after 7:00am and the Tramadol hasn’t started working yet, wifey has just let the  chooks out, I’ve fed the pigs and the porridge is eaten, so where was I?


In Cyril’s shed that’s where. Cyril

will be staying here when we move and I’ll be taking Harry

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with me and putting him in that lovely insulated shed.

Life would have been far far simpler had I just left the 12Kw HR2 generator here and taken the 6Kw SR2 up to the new site but I can’t.  Harry’s current shed, where all the batteries, inverters and charge controller live is actually an old stable on the common grazing. It’s not technically mine so I can’t sell it, not only that but it will still be housing meters and wiring to the nearby chalet that I supply power too.

Consequently I need to move all the kit out of here minus Harry and hook it up to Cyril so it ‘autostarts’, not a straight forward task by a long way. For a start Cyril does not have an actual starter motor as such even though he is ‘electric start’. This type of Lister generator relies on energising the DC windings in the alternator to spin the engine over, however to do that you need to decompress the engine. A task that requires two hands and not one easily mimicked electronically, at least not by me 🙂

It is possible using several solenoids and one of these but I went for the simpler option of fitting a starter motor and ring gear.

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Fitting a starter motor to a Lister SR2

‘Simpler’ being an adjective to describe the mechanical side of things and not the ‘brain melt’ in trying to source a starter motor without having an old unit. I’d fitted the ring gear last year, a task that requires the flywheel removing but that was just fine by me because it made the whole job of moving Cyril into the shed that much easier

The problem in finding the right starter motor is that RA Lister made engines with both clockwise and anticlockwise rotation and just to complicate maters called a clockwise version anticlockwise to the logical way of thinking. In motor engineering 99.99% of engines are called ‘clockwise’ when they turn clockwise if viewed from the crankshaft pulley, not the good old Lister 😦 Then you have to work out what the starter motor manufacturer calls CW or ACW 😦 Well just to make it simple for anyone trying to Google this conundrum, the starter is referred to as ACW rotation and the Lucas number is LRS555, LMS247, 26270, 27410 and the Prestolite number is 20500555. It is not a common starter so expect to pay £200 for one with VAT and delivery.

Though I sourced mine locally through a trade outlet for the same price.

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The starter was easy enough to fit but anyone doing this conversion must ensure that they fit a distance piece between the starter and engine. I got mine from Doug at but you could easily make one up and it needs to be 11mm thick or 7/16ths inch in ‘old money’.


That was it really apart from the added complication that the Lister is 24v and the starter 12v all was peachy. I’d decided on 12v as a 24v starter would have been harder to source and even more expensive. It just means a separate battery and charger, though I could have tapped off one of the two original starting batteries. It would have just meant much longer cables so I used what I had available, a spare Exide Maxxima battery and a 12v charger.

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And that was it really, it’s now past 9:00, dull, damp and overcast and I’m off to the shed 🙂


Still there’s no rain and hardly a drop in a month 🙂



  1. Looks like another good days work and a beautiful one at that! 10.35pm and I am thinking of hitting the hay early for once, don’t think I will manage to stay up till my usual 2am after the work on the van today! Still showery and wet here!

    Comment by Thomson Caravans — June 9, 2012 @ 9:37 pm

  2. Another amazing job…I’m a lifelong d-i-y-er but I marvel at both your skills and the degree of sheer hard work…me hat’s off to you mate!

    Comment by cogidubnus — June 9, 2012 @ 11:25 pm

    • Morning CB, it looks a lot better on the blog than ‘in the flesh’ amazing what a bit of ‘poetic license’ and Photoshop can do 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 10, 2012 @ 8:31 am

  3. Gosh if I’m reading your screenshot correctly, your year-to-date rainfall figure is much lower than ours – we had that kind of year last year. Our local private w/station is showing 317mm since middle of Feb; so we seem at least 200mm up on your total to date?

    You certainly shift some DIY work Paul – shed looks neat. And you have given us a new variant on ‘cans of a six-pack’. How about “a couple of sheets of OSB short of a back wall” :-)) :-)) Love it!

    Comment by Carrie — June 10, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

    • Hi Carrie, we’ll catch up as soon as ‘summer’ arrives, though I wouldn’t trust my rain gauge for actual figures, more for just trends really as most of our rain goes sideways 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 10, 2012 @ 9:45 pm

  4. Reading about the auto-starter makes you wonder if a certain small dog could be trained to press a starter button with its nose/paw? 🙂


    Comment by Andy — June 10, 2012 @ 4:33 pm

    • Hi Andy,
      Reading about the auto-starter makes you wonder if a certain small dog could be trained to press a starter button with its nose/paw?

      I refuse to sell the dog with the house 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 10, 2012 @ 9:43 pm

      • Very true,and I suppose the auto-reward biscuit dispenser would be as tricky to develop 🙂

        Comment by Andy — June 11, 2012 @ 10:23 am

  5. Thanks for this, I have been pulling my hair out attempting to confirm which starter my Lister will accept. It has the ring gear and the starter spacer fitted, but the previous owner robbed the starter (probably traded it for beer, or gold by the sounds of the price tag!). I am making a log splitter out of this one.

    Comment by Shawn — August 31, 2012 @ 6:45 am

    • Morning Shawn and welcome, glad you found that, I thought it may be of use so tried to make it as obvious as possible on the net. It had me tearing my hair out too for long enough 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 31, 2012 @ 6:55 am

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