A Brief Word

Novo square hopper engine


John Miller

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26/6/16 Fairbanks-Morse Q. I have a 1923 FBM 11/2 HPZ engine, s/n 536505, with a drive gear on the shaft inside of the right hand flywheel to run a pump jack that is bolted to the engine and pump head as one unit. The right hand flywheel had additional casting numbers B-3R1V-ZA13. Ail other 11/2 HP flywheels I have seen only have ZA13. Both flywheels look the same. The problem I have is trying to find a gear to fit the magneto. I want to set it up as original. It has a Fairbanks-Morse conversion kit to replace the old AB-33 magneto with the newer FBM rotary magneto. It consists of a plate and a gear. Casting No. ZAA2561A2 is attached to the old AB-33 magneto bracket and cam support. The special gear 33 TEETH Casting No. ZAA2993A is attached to the plate and is driven by the crank gear with 24 teeth. The magneto runs off this spiral idler gear and not the cam gear, as later engines do.

Does anyone have an engine with this conversion? I would like to find out the size and number of teeth on the special magneto gear or loan of the parts to make the replacements.

Also, in the February GEM you note that the 11/2 HP Z engines used an 'R' magneto, but in your book it says the AB-35 was used up till 1924 . Which is right?

A. Regarding the body of your question, we cannot give you the answer, since we do not have enough FBM parts books for a cross-reference. However, regarding the various magnetos used on the 11/2 HP engine, it appears that the Model Z Plugoscillator was discontinued in late 1919, being replaced with the American Bosch AB-33 oscillator. It was used on the 11/2 HP size until early 1924, when it was replaced with the AB-34 for a short time. It was then replaced with the FBM Type R magneto, effective with s/n 592989 of mid-1924. This one stayed in use until being replaced with the FBM RV-1 magneto in 1933, and followed in 1938 with the FBM Type J magneto.

26/6/17 Thermos? Q. I have a question, not about engines, but about the simple thermos bottle. It says, 'Hot stays Hot, and Cold stays Cold.' How does this happen? Willy Toucher, Box 488, Wilmington, DE 19830.

A. The thermos is technically called a vacuum bottle, and as such it tends to keep whatever is poured in at the same temperature as it was when it entered the top. There is nothing in the thermos except the replaceable liner.

26/6/18 Some Questions Q. See photos 18A and 18B of a Novo square hopper engine belted to an air compressor. This is like the engine shown on page 351 of American Gas Engines. What is the proper oil level in the crankcase of these engines?

Photo 18C is an engine no one can identify because I made it and it is the only one like it in the world. It does not run on any kind of fuel. It runs on electricity. It is a magnetic engine, and runs real nice on 12 volts DC. The top with the fins is a coil or solenoid with a plunger 'piston' that is connected to a crankshaft. The cam on the end of the crankshaft opens and closes a set of contact points to energize the solenoid at the proper times. I made this engine about 1965.

Photo 18D is a broken flywheel. Can this be welded?

P.S.-Plans to make the electric engine are available for a donation. John Miller, 34127 Lee Avenue, Leesburg, FL 34788.

A. If anyone can supply the needed information on the Novo, please do so.

Regarding the broken flywheel, we won't flat out tell you it can't be fixed, but in this writer's estimation it wouldn't be worth the trouble, and no matter how good the work, we wouldn't trust it after it was done. I'm sure there are some of you who could tackle a job like this, and I'm sure that there are a few who might be able to do a good (safe) job. However, we think this is the exception rather than the rule, and we've never been too excited about the potential for a lot of large-sized chunks of shrapnel coming at us like big blunted bullets. So, would we try to fix this flywheel? In a word, NO!

26/6/19 Leader Engine Q. In American Gas Engines you make no reference to Leader being a gas engine manufacturer. I have acquired this little 11/2 HP Leader. Do you feel that this engine was built by Leader, or was it made by some other manufacturer? Robert A. Dewey, 3210 River Road, Grand Rapids, MN 55744.

A. Although the governor is similar to Stover, and some of the parts are similar to the Rawleigh, we have developed the opinion that Leader probably built this engine. There have been a few Leader engines showing up from time to time, and perhaps someone has done some research on this company.

26/6/20 Montgomery Ward Q. Can anyone identify the engine in the photo? It has a Montgomery Ward tag, and the plate says 'E2.' It is 5/8 HP, and has a 21/8 x 2 inch bore and stroke. Any information will be appreciated. G.W. Manning, 2401 Brinkwood Dr., Richmond, VA 23224.

Readers Write

Battery Packs

I have run across a couple articles in QST, a magazine for radio amateurs. Apparently the Polaroid Polaplus battery is used in the film pack with the Polaroid Spectra cameras. These batteries put out 6 volts, and they can be hooked in a series-parallel combination to get 12 volts. Apparently they can even be recharged. They apparently have a low internal resistance, as they put out 10 amperes on a short circuit through an ammeter on a momentary test. Philip DeJarlais, 620 Dayton Road, Champlin, MN 55316.

Little Liz Engines

Thanks to Don Goldsby for sending along more information and photographs on the Little Liz as built by Birch & Birch. There was a recent GEM article on these engines, and the additional information is already on file.

26/3/11 Unidentified EnginePhotos C and D are of a PB Briggs off of a reel-type lawn mower. The shroud is missing. This was the next model Briggs after the motor wheel. The garden tractor in 26/3/12 B and C is a Suburbanite built by the American Farm Machinery Co. of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Cledus Stites, RR 1, Odon, IN 47562.


Thanks to Mark A. Corson for sending along further information on sawmills, in particular on the Lyon Iron Works of Greene, New York.

A Closing Word

As of April 1, ye olde Reflector has closed down his retail store at Amana, Iowa. The press of writing projects, including this column, has made it impossible to keep up, and since none of us are getting any younger, this writer decided to slow things up a bit. In the next few months, we hope to visit several swap meets and shows, and this is something we have been unable to do in the past. One of the greatest pleasures is to act as a traveling emissary for Gas Engine Magazine, and we hope to represent this journal at several upcoming shows this year. We're even getting a banner made up so we're easier to find, and then all you'll have to do is look for the familiar Gas Engine Magazine logo, and we should be somewhere nearby. Travel safely, and we'll see you somewhere down the road...