Fuel Tanks


Eugene Hickmann

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25/4/11 Fouled Fuel Tanks Q. I am restoring a 1930 Fordson that stood for six years with gasoline in the tank. What does it take to remove the varnish from the tank and carburetor? Eugene Hickmann, 11915 Meeme Road, Newton, WI 53063.

A. We believe there are several things you can use, but all are hazardous materials and should be used with the greatest of care-preferably outdoors, and certainly away from any fire, naked light bulbs, or anything that might even create static electricity! Our personal preference is to use acetone. It can usually be purchased at fleet stores and paint stores. This stuff bites into almost anything but is extremely flammable and more than a little toxic. Then too, there are numerous carburetor cleaners, or you may prefer to take the tank and carburetor to an automotive machine shop and let them do a professional cleaning job. One thing is certain-any remaining varnish and other crud in the tank and carburetor will be a never ending source of trouble!

25/4/12 Witte Diesel Q. See the photo of my Witte Diesel, 12 hp, s/nD21010. Can you tell me the year of this engine, and whether any manuals might be available? What is the proper color? I have tried starting the engine but the compression is low and it will not start. Any information will be appreciated.

William G. Power, PO Box 387, Cotopaxi, CO81223.

A. Inquiries regarding the Witte Diesel engines should be directed to:

Mr. R. A. Holman, Lister-Petter, 555 E. 56th Hwy, Olathe, KS 66061.

25/4/13 Lauson Engine Q. I have a 1 ? -2 hp Lauson engine of 1924 vintage, and would like to know the proper color of same.

Walter R. Fisher, 8092 Main St., Tuscarora, NY 14510.

A. We know that Lauson engines were green, but do not have an exact color match.

25/4/14 Economy Engine Q. See the photo of an Economy engine we restored. It has the following nameplate info: Size No. 3 ? E, S/N 44548 Jaeger Machine Company, Columbus, Ohio. Another tag reads, Horsepower 2S. Further information on this engine will be appreciated. What does the 'Economy' trade name signify? Was it a term used by manufacturers to indicate the economy aspects of their engines? Are there any publications relating to these engines? Your help is appreciated. Leonard P. Williams, 10926 Bethel Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46818.

A. We suggest you direct further inquiries to Glenn Karch, 20601 Old State Road, Haubstadt, IN 47639. Mr. Karch has compiled an extensive study of Hercules and related engines. We believe it will answer many of your questions.

25/4/15 From Sweden Q. Photo 15A shows an IHC Famous 2 hp engine equipped with a Milton magneto. The owner said that the engine was bought by his grandfather in the 1905-1907 period. It was bought, together with some machinery for making combs out of horn, in Berlin, Germany. The engine has been at the same place all its life and was in use until the outbreak of the war in 1939. The magneto ceased to work in the 1920's and since then a battery and coil was used. The owner said that nothing has been altered on the engine so I think it is original, although it looks a little bit tricky to arrange that both the magneto and the ignitor trip at the same time. The engine was complete with a cooling pump, cooling tower, and muffler. The number is KA 14617; can anyone date it exactly? Then in Photo 15B is illustrated a 3 hp IHC Famous, s/n T4620. This engine does not have the 'Famous' trademark on the crankcase cover. What is its age? Photo 15C illustrates an Oliver 70 Standard, or '25' as they are called here in Sweden. It has a 6-speed gearbox, and bears s/n 301294. What year is this model? Your help will be appreciated  P. G. Fagerberg, O. Vemmenhog 19, S-270 10 Skivarp, Sweden.

A. Our records show that the 2 hp engine was built in 1909. The 3 hp engine may be of 1907 vintage, and the Oliver tractor would be a 1937 model.

25/4/16 Unknown engine Q. See the photo of an engine we cannot identify. The previous owner says it is a Bernard(?)- It uses all metric bolts, and there is no nameplate. On the oil cap are the words, 'Huile-Oil-Aceite-oel.' It has a 2 ? x 2 ? inch bore and stroke and uses a Solex carburetor. The points are in a box on the side of the engine, and the coil is inside the flywheel. Jerry Lester, 629 Freedom Road, Freedom, NY 14065.

25/4/17 LeRoi Engine Q. See the three photos of a big LeRoi engine I recently acquired. It is a Model RX1SP, s/n J9399, and has a 6 ? x7 inch bore and stroke with its six cylinders. Photo 17B illustrates the dual ignition using two American Bosch MJB6A-30J magnetos. Two sets of spark plugs are used. Also featured are twin Ensign carburetors, one with a brass tag labeled 'butane' and the other one is tagged 'natural' gas. There is a water cooled exhaust manifold. A pony engine is used for starting. It is a Model V I76 with a 3 ? x 2 7/8 inch bore and stroke. Any information on this engine will be greatly appreciated. Ed Lerew, RR 2, Box 146, Hartford, SD 57033.

A. Your engine was likely used for a special duty such as generator service, fire pump service, or some other application requiring an uninterruptible power source. Waukesha acquired the manufacturing rights to the LeRoi engines in the mid-1950's, and for a few years Waukesha built the Roiline engines. However, the LeRoi manufacturing plant was not acquired by Waukesha.

25/4/18 F-20 Serial Numbers Q. Back in the October 1987 GEM the question was raised regarding the prefix for the F-20 Farmall tractors. I am wondering whether there might have been a typographical error regarding the FA and TA prefixes. I have 23 of the F-20 tractors, beginning with s/n 4040 and ending with number 148139. So far as I can tell, all these had the FA prefix, and not the TA prefix. On another subject, is there any serial number data for the Co-op, Cockshutt, Silver king, Baker, and other tractors? Any information will be appreciated. Duane Gulliver, 416 hi. Brownson Ave., Kingsley, MI 49649.

A. We checked another source regarding the F-20 serial numbers, this time the 'United Tractor & Combine Trade-In Manual' for 1939. The numbers show that in 1932 the numbers were FA-501 to FA-3000. In 1933 is listed the TA-135000 to TA135661. Then in 1934 we have a resumption of the FA prefix, beginning with F-3001. The listing in 150 Years of International Harvester is verbatim from company records.

Of the numerous Silver King models available in the 1930's, we can supply the following data:

1934: 100 to 313
1935: 313 to 968
1936: 968 to 1845
1937: 1845 to 2913
1938: 2913 to....

We have no further data regarding the models to which you refer.

25/4/19 John Deere Engine Q. What is the year built of a John Deere engine, s/n 361218? When cleaning this engine I discovered yellow paint on the sub-base. Since this seems to be original, is this a possibility? A tip for correct paint color is to look under bolts or attachment points. Also, a good quality automotive enamel will give a long-lasting finish. It is more expensive, but a good paint man can tint it to match a paint sample. The paint code listing in the September 1988 issue of GEM makes for a good starting point. Richard Mosher, 109 Highman Ave., Cambridge, Ontario N1R 3M2 Canada.

A. We would judge your engine to be a 1944 model.

25/4/20 Colors needed Q. What is the correct color for the Cletrac Model W tractor, and also for a Johnson Utilimotor? Also, a worm-gear style of hose clamp makes a first class piston ring compressor.

Harley Collins, 2540 Fox Road, Bath, PA 18014.

A. We have used one or more hose clamps for a ring compressor and it really does work very well.

25/4/21 United Engines Q. What is year built and the proper color for a United Type A gas engine?

Harold F. Kyler, 2875 South 50 East, Columbia City, IN 46725.

A. We can't tell you the age, but we can tell you that the color is comparable to DuPont Dulux 93-1863-H red. Reproduction United decals are available form some GEM advertisers.

25/4/22 Dismantling Problems Q. In the restoration of a 2 hp New Holland engine, the problem is in removing the big pipe plugs over the valves. These have to be screwed out to remove them. Any suggestions will be appreciated. Also, I am looking for any information or manuals on the New Holland engine. Leonard J. Rahilly, 7760OldM-78, East Lansing, MI 48823.

A. Threaded caps over engine valves are often a problem. In the case of New Holland, we once had this difficulty. First we made a 'wrench' that was forged out of 1 ? inch shafting to exactly fit the square holes in the plugs. Then we made a handle about five feet long. After getting the engine fastened down we rigged up a means of putting downward pressure on the wrench to prevent its working up out of the square holes. Then with a lot of heating with the torch and a lot of pull on the long handle, each one finally made its exit.

Another time we didn't fare so well, and it was necessary to drill a multitude of holes in the plug, then taking a series of small and very sharp chisels and chipping the lug out piece by little piece. Good luck!

25/4/23 B. F. Avery Q. First of all, thanks to GEM, I now have the manuals I needed for the restoration of my B. F. Avery Model A tractor. Thank you GEM.' I have locally tried to find the 'Tartan Red' color that was used originally on my Avery. Can anyone tell me where to look or what other color match to look for? Another point is that on the cover of the February GEM should n' t that be noted as a B. F. Avery, not a B. E. Avery? Thanks for your help. M. D. Hardesty, 407 N. West St., Missouri Valley, 1A 51555.

A. You're absolutely right regarding the B. E. instead of B. F, as it should have been. Unfortunately, we can't tell you where to find Tartan Red, or the proper color match. Can anyone advise?

25/4/24 Lawn Mowers Q. Has anyone compiled a history or listing of old riding lawn mowers? If there is such a title, I would like to hear about it. William C. Cooley Sr., 511 East St., Colon, MI 49040.

A. We understand there is a title in the works on garden tractors, but we do not know if it might include mower tractors as well.

25/4/25 Paint Colors

Andy Michaels of 302 Highland Ave., Plentywood, MT 59254 writes:

I thought I'd let off a little steam about the many people asking over and over about the color of a given tractor.

I attended the Austin Show this last summer. The Third Case Expo was the main feature. Of the nearly 100 Case tractors exhibited, there were many shades of gray, and each owner insisted his was the correct color.

Fordson and Ford tractors through 1952 were Dearborn Gray. International was IH Gray until 1936, then IH Red. John Deere is John Deere Green with John Deere Yellow on the wheels. Oliver and Hart-Parr are Oliver Green. Case used the same gray until the LA and then came with Flambeau Red. Allis-Chalmers orange has been the same since 1933.

The early A-C tractors were an Olive drab, then they changed to a light green in 1926, similar to IH Green or Case Implement Green. Rumely used a dark cloudy green. They never painted the wheels red on the Lightweights. The 1917 Case 20-40 had a green motor and chassis with a gray cab and red wheels. Avery changed colors from time to time. Avery Green is a Brewster Green that can be made up by darkening Oliver Green with Black. Avery Red is similar to Implement Red; their Brown is similar to M-M Brown.

IHC Implement Red is not the same as truck red.

Paint the color you like. I saw a 4 hp R & V engine painted a light yellowish green and it was pretty, even though it was supposed to be a Brewster Green.

A comment:

We'll grant that we get many requests on a color match for engine restoration. There are two schools of thought. One is that it is sufficient to get somewhere near the original color, or perhaps to use a finish that the owner happens to like. The other side of the coin is to be a purist and go for an exact restoration.

As we have pointed out on numerous occasions, a major problem is that the manufacturers of the early engines and tractors were usually not all that particular about the exact color match. If it was reasonably close, the paint company with the best price usually got the contract. Thus, there was considerable variation from one batch of paint to another. If any mixing on-site was done, we suspect that it then became a matter of what sort of mood the head painter was in on that particular day. This is exactly why we usually indicate a 'comparable' color match, since we don't know exactly what the shade might have been, nor does anyone else. This too, is why we have repeatedly cautioned our readers in this regard. So far as we are concerned, the best that can be done is to get the color as close as possible. The whole question resolves itself into what is more important, the chicken or the egg?

25/4/26 Otto & Langen Engine Q.  Being involved in a research project concerning atmospheric engines, I am in the process of collecting information on the Otto &. Langen design. A useful source of information has been 'Internal Fire' by Lyle Cummins Jr. Within the book are many references to English and German publications. Unfortunately, these are very hard to find. Is there further published information on this engine design? Are there any examples of the Otto &. Langen atmospheric engine to be observed in the Northeast, in addition to the one at the Smithsonian? Any information will be greatly appreciated. Wayne S. Grenning, 34 Redway Rd., Grand Island, NY 14072.

25/4/27 IHC 'M' Engine Q. What is the year built for a McCormick Deering 1? hp engine, s/n TA9645? Jeff Davis, 10 Woodhaven Dr., Poquoson, VA 23662.

A. We believe your engine was built in 1928. We also wish to thank Mr. Davis for sending along numerous photocopies concerning various companies. Included is a copy of the 1874 price list for Russell grain separators. It shows their 30 inch machine for that year was priced at $310.

25/4/28 IHC Engine Q. I am restoring a 4 hp Famous engine, s/n SA 650 and would like to know the year built, also the paint colors.

Joe Price, RR 1, Hwy 96, #52, Douglas, WY82633.

A. The engine was built in 1907. It was probably finished in IHC Red, and probably had either red or black flywheels at this point. Possibly the flywheels were IHC Olive Green, DuPont 93-29609-H.

25/4/29 Novo Engine Q. What is the year of a Novo Model S engine, s/n 53432; also the proper color? Jim Bush, 8127 Incline Rd., Russellville, OH 45168.

A. No s/n info available. We have DuPont 93-77161 Green as a comparable color.

25/4/30 Some Questions Q. I have a 3 hp Fairbanks-Morse made in Canada, bearing s/n C23673. What is the year built? How many engines were built by Canadian FBM, and what is the correct color? Were these engines built to metric specs? On mine, the spark plug hole and the grease cups are NPT, but the bolts and nuts are metric.

Another question regards production data on the John Bean engines. I have a 6 hp model, s/n 2503. In the August 1985 GEM it is stated that no castings were later than 1927. As an employee of FMC Corporation, I have not been able to get much data so far. The engineers at our Jonesboro, Arkansas plant say that all records of the Lansing plant are there, but no production records are available. We may be able to date the engine using part casting numbers. Any help would be appreciated. I am using Rustoleum smoke gray to restore the engine. Any comments? Tom Crumby, 710 Laney Drive, Clinton, MS 39056.

A. We've never been able to learn much about Canadian FBM and its activities. We would assume however, that the paint color was comparable on the U.S. and Canadian models, but again we have no way to know for sure. Perhaps someone has researched this interesting company on the Canadian side of the border.

25/4/31 Ford Parts Engine Q. See the two photos of a recent engine acquisition. It is made entirely from Ford parts. There is no name, and there are no part numbers. It has a Model T Ford timer and coil, cut down muffler, rod and piston, timing gear and cover with oil filler and cap, valves, valve springs and keepers, exhaust and intake manifold clamps, and a side-draft Holley Model F carburetor. I would like to know who made it and if Ford had anything to do with it. The block has a Model T look. Any information will be greatly appreciated. Raymond Czaplewski, PO Box 614, Nalcrest, FL 33856.

25/4/32 F&J and Economy Q. What is the year built of the Fuller & Johnson engines? Is there any rule of thumb method of dating Economy engines? Chester E. Whiting, 1471 Shadyside Road, Doumington, PA 19335.

A. For Fuller & Johnson information, contact Verne W. Kindschi, RR 1, Prairie du Sac, WI 53578. Regarding the Economy engines may we recommend the Glenn Karch book noted earlier in this column.

25/4/33 Ellis Engines

Thanks to Ramon Oralls, RD 3, Walton, NY 13856 for sending a photocopy of his Ellis engine catalog. It's already in the files.

25/4/34 Domestic Engine Q. Can anyone supply information or give the manufacturing date of a Domestic engine built at Shippensburg, PA? Any help will be appreciated. Mark S. Schleppi, 2695 Bixby Road, Groveport, OH 43125.

25/4/35 Freeport Engines Q. I have a Stover 6 hp engine of 1910 vintage . The nameplate calls this engine the 'Freeport.' However, I can find no reference to this trade name. Also, can anyone identify the manufacturer of the engine trucks shown in the photo? Your help will be appreciated. Leonard Spoelman, 3221 Brookshire SE, Grand Rapids, Ml49508.

A. We are aware of the 'Freeport' trade name being applied to Stover engines for a time. As to why the name was used for only a short time, or in fact, why it was used at all, we cannot say. Our research of the Stover records several years ago provided not a single clue.

25/4/36 Co-op and Silver King Q. Can anyone provide the information on the B-2 co-op tractor built as Shelbyville, Indiana from 1940-42? The company was a part of the national Farm Machinery Cooperative. I have been told it was a venture of the Indiana Farm Bureau. Were these tractors marketed by other cooperatives outside of Indiana? Also, is there a serial number listing available for Silver King tractors? Lowell Kroger, South Central High School, Greenwich, OH 44837.

A. See the serial number information on Silver King earlier in this column.

25/4/37 FBM Engine Comment

One of our readers has sent us some recollections of a Fairbanks-Morse engine, but has asked his name to be withheld. He writes: I bought a 15 hp Fairbanks-Morse gas engine in 1924- It was built on a truck and was supposed to weigh three tons. The flywheels were five feet in diameter. It might interest you to know that one day while we were buzzing wood I needed to start the engine, but I didn't know that an ignitor spring had broken. In trying to turn the engine over and when I had all my weight on the flywheel, it fired prematurely. It was then that I got the longest ride by air that I ever had!

25/4/38 Boring Tractor Q. Are there any Boring tractors still in existence? They were built at Rock-ford, Illinois. Roy Witley, 3312 Ellis Rd., Rockford, IL 61103.

25/4/39 Gray Engine Q. Can anyone supply the proper paint scheme for a Gray Model G engine? Also when built? Gilbert Fox, HC63, Box 38, O'Neill, NE 68763.

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