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Lister SR Series;

A robust workhorse of an engine in production from around 1967 to 1976 and with considerable numbers still earning their keep today. Available in 1, 2, 3 and 4 cylinder variants; the four cylinder is relatively scarce and items peculiar to it may be hard to come by. Over the production run there were a large number of build options, so if looking for parts it's a good idea to mention what the engine is used for. The SR series was available in both clockwise and anti-clockwise rotation builds and for a number of parts replacement items it is important to know which rotation you have. (4 cyl. anti-clock only). When looking at any Lister engine, rotation is defined by which way the flywheel runs when it is viewed from the flywheel end of the engine. Standard build for the SR series is clockwise rotation. Anti-clock engines may have the letter 'A' immediately after the engine type and cylinder number on the engine number plate (e.g. 'SR3A').

Below are listed some useful tips on what to look for when ordering some of the more common pieces for your SR. If you think we have missed something useful, or got something wrong, please email and let us know. We welcome any suggestions for improving the usefulness of this page.

Lister SR Parts Availability:

Routine Service Items -- 100% availability. If ordering, please note the following first:

Oil Filter. Many SR are not fitted with an oil filter (so make sure you do regular oil changes !). Of those that have a filter, the majority use a paper element type, but some later units have a more modern spin on filter fitted. Both readily available.

Fuel Filter. Just one pattern on the SR.
Small paper element type contained within a metal bowl; the bowl is secured by a single bolt from the bottom.

Air Filter Many SR have an oil bath air filter, which providing the gauze is not rusty or shedding fragments is simply cleaned and re-oiled. In theory, for dry filters there is just one size but experience suggests it is sensible to check what is actually fitted as given the age of the engines modifications may have been made. Marine application units may not have an air filter at all.

External Components --- Near 100% availability.

Alternator / Dynamo
Originally fitted with a dynamo charging system, later units sometimes having, or been converted to alternator. We are able to supply replacement dynamo system parts, but given the expense and relative unreliability and low output it really is worth thinking about converting to an alternator system. We have seen numerous alternator fitments so a photo is helpful if you want a replacement.

Drive Belts If you are unable to see any numbers on the existing belt, please advise inside length of the belt and the width of the belt. We have seen numerous different pulleys fitted to SR series and it is important to ensure the belt does not ground out in the bottom of the groove.

Clutch / Couplings   SR series used for propulsion (e.g. dumpers) will have a conventional automotive pattern clutch assembly. In theory there is just one size used, but we always suggest confirming size before ordering as the plant manufacturer may have chosen a different specification. We are hearing reports that some currently supplied carbon face thrust bearings are failing prematurely due to suspect origin / quality; we are able to offer a roller bearing alternative if preferred.
Couplings: Numerous patterns of coupling have been used and generally supply is not a problem. A photo is handy if you are not sure what type you have.

Starter Motors
If you are shopping around for a starter motor for your SR be aware there is often considerable confusion among non-Lister sources over the issue of rotation. If you have a standard rotation (clockwise) SR you will need an anti-clockwise rotation starter motor and vice versa. The rotation of a starter motor is determined by which way the pinion turns as viewed from the pinion end of the motor. Many starter suppliers simply refer to rotation without being clear whether they mean the starter or the engine, or indeed without knowing how Lister define rotation.
Single cylinder engines: an old fashioned inertia type starter with a relatively odd pinion housing is used for the SR1. There tends to be slightly better availability for clockwise engines than anti-clock but be aware these are expensive motors, with the units for anti-clock engines usually staggeringly so. If your motor still works but is sounding tired, get it checked out, as a precautionary repair may save you a considerable amount.
SR2, SR3: Over time, two patterns of motor were fitted. Earlier units have a stud spacing of around 90mm (or thereabouts), while later ones are around 105mm. Early pattern motors suitable for standard (clockwise) rotation engines are significantly scarce and expensive. If your motor is tired but not dead a precautionary repair may save you considerable time, effort and cost. The larger stud pattern motor is also relatively expensive but no availability issues. If you have the smaller pattern motor take the time to have a good look where it bolts to the housing; some housings are drilled to accept both patterns of motor.
SR4: Readily available.

Solenoid, and protection devices. Generally any original soleniod and oil / temperature protection devices fitted to the SR are obsolete, but later substitutes may be used, with a few modifications.
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Fuel Injectors   Brand new injectors are thin on the ground but injector rebuild items are not a problem.

Fuel Injection Pumps    New pumps are becoming scarce, but rebuild parts are not an issue. If you're not sure what you are doing with these pumps, the job is best left to a person with suitable experience, as removal and refitting inevitably involves checking both the injection timing and balance between pumps.

Fuel Lift Pump Readily available.

Raised Hand Start Limited availability of sprocket assemblies but repair parts available. Chain; readily available.

Gaskets and Joints 100% availabilty; sets or individually.

Internal Components

Good, but not 100% availability. Unless your engine has been refurbished before you are not likely to need anything that is hard to come by. If looking at cylinder head work be aware that two patterns of head were used on the SR; standard and high speed (a relative term !). If the manifolds are removed, the shape of the ports tells you which you have. Standard heads have one round and one relatively oval port. High speed heads have predominantly oblong ports; one with rounded ends and one where the inner side leans in toward the top, from about halfway up its length. Alternatively, if the rocker cover is off at least some high speed heads are stamped 'HSR' on their top face. If the engine number plate is available and the stamped rpm is greater than 2200, then it will be a high speed head.
There is a reasonable availability of new parts for the SR and generally good availability of used for anything tricky to find. Items peculiar to the SR4 are more difficult due to small numbers.

Complete Engines
New engines long unobtainable. We carry a good selection of core units and will usually be able to offer a rebuilt exchange engine to meet your specification. We sometimes have good used engines available.

Top Tip !
The SR is a simple and very reliable engine but there are two things to keep an eye out for as they get older. First -- ensure there is a good cooling air flow around the cylinders, particularly if the engine either works in a dusty environment and / or leaks any oil. If not, remove the cowling and give the fins a good clean.
Second -- if the oil level rises slowly and / or the oil smells of fuel, this is always a sign of fuel finding its way into the sump. Typically this will be coming from the fuel pumps and is a sign it is time to have them overhauled. Less often, it may be due to a leaking internal pipe or defective lift pump. Whatever the reason, don't ignore it as it will only get worse and oil thinned with fuel just isn't going to do its job properly. In extreme cases there is a theoretical possibility of the engine runnig away on fuel vapour from the sump.

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