Monday, May 9, 2011

Changfa Water Cooled Diesel Engine


I bought this 12 hp engine new about four years ago. I already had an S1100, and wanted to get another of the same design before the US government could ban their importation which, of course, they have since done.
When I bought it, I started it once and ran it for maybe one minute. A few minutes before I shot this video, I disassembled the fuel filter and lines and double checked that there were no metal shavings or the like in there, then I started it and immediately shut it back down while bleeding the lines. So this video is the third time I have ever started it.
After I shot the video, I started it again and ran it for 20 minutes.
Right after I got it and before I ever started it, I removed the radiator and fuel tank. I wanted to have access to every part of the engine, plus you can really see the roots of the design with all that stuff gone. Also, when I got my S1100 I had a couple problems with it early on, and those problems were caused by the radiator and the fuel tank.
I plan to put a decent-sized hopper on this one for cooling, and use a boat gas tank or something like that.
I set my S1100 up for thermo-siphon cooling and a 55 gallon drum for a fuel tank.

Note the pop-up oil pressure indicator at 3:43. If I remember correctly, it has pressurized oiling only to the valvetrain; with the bottom end being splash lubed. That is a good thing, actually, because all mechanical things eventually fail, and if the oil pump fails it would only increase wear to the rocker arms. Even at that, probably not much. After all, my Lister CS clone doesn't have pressure lubrication at all. You're supposed to lube the rockers when you start it, and every few hours while it is running. It might actually be an improvement on this engine to eliminate the oil pump altogether, and set up a gravity feed oiling system for the rockers. That would eliminate the parasitic drag of the oil pump thereby slightly increasing fuel efficiency, and it would eliminate the potential failure point of the rocker oil feed line, which could drain the oil sump if it developed a leak and I didn't catch it in time.

These engines were very popular among off-gridders back in the 1980s and '90s. I read all kinds of articles about them in Backwoods Home Magazine, American Survival Guide, and other publications. I even have a book I bought back then called "More Power To You" that was all about using a generator based on this engine as the basis of an off-grid electrical system. That is why I bought the S1100, which I still have.

I wish I could give you a link to where you can buy one if you want one, but our heroic government works diligently and tirelessly to protect us from anything that might serve to reduce our dependence, and this is yet one more "sharp tool" they have taken away from us.

1 comment:

Craig Cavanaugh said...

Ugh... Well at least there are a lot of old Listers and Deutz air cooled engines out there. Lots of portable pumps and compressors with those engines. They won't have a constant speed governor for a generator, but a savvy tinkerer could come up with something...