A Brief Word

Ruston & Hornsby engine


Max Wiese

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24/4/12 Ruston & Hornsby Q. See the photo of my Ruston & Hornsby engine. Built in 1924, I found it in England in 1987 for about $200.00 U.S. I've taken it to several events here in Holland. Also, can anyone tell me the year built of a Cushman 5-6 HP Type C-340 engine? The number is 72736. W. E. Van Gulik, Trompweg 1, 7441 HN Nijverdal, Netherlands, Europe.

A. Our compliments on a nice looking R & H engine! So far as we know, there are no records on Cushman to date it by the serial number,

24/4/13 Easy engines Q. I recently acquired an Easy 4-cycle engine as used on the Easy washing machines. The flywheel and its housing are cast brass. When were these engines built, and are they considered to be rare? James G. Holzauer, Rt 2, Box 84, Sorento, IL 62086.

A. From our 1922 edition of Hardware Buyers Directory, the 'Easy' washing machine is listed as being built by Syracuse Washing Machine Corporation of Syracuse, New York. This listing is our only reference to Easy, and gives no information regarding the engine.

24/4/14 M-H Pony tractor Q. This fall I bought a 1951 mintage M-H Pony tractor. I drove it home (28 miles), and it started and ran perfectly. Now I can't get it started when the thermometer gets down to 40 degrees, no matter what I try. It turns over quickly and provides one big pop, and nothing else. At that point the starter disengages and then it's time to start over. I have replaced all the wiring, installed new points and plugs, rebuilt the Marvel updraft carburetor, and installed a rebuilt starter and a new battery. Still, no results'. Any suggestions will be appreciated. Mike Cannon, 402 Drayton Road, Oreland, PA 19075.

A. Assuming the carburetor is in good condition, have you tried replacing the coil? Also, the condenser you installed may not be up to snuff, or the points may be causing some difficulty. Then there's always the chance for high resistance, either in the contact points, or somewhere in the primary circuit. At a temperature of 40 degrees, you should not be experiencing this sort of difficulty. Check the point resistance for one thing. Also, have you checked the intake manifold? Any leakage at all in the intake manifold will cause hard starting. This includes the connection between the manifold and the carburetor. If there is any leakage, even a very small amount, the engine is getting wind but no fuel. The little N62 Continental engine on your tractor is usually quite dependable, and we hope this helps you to find the trouble.

4C15 24/4/15 Clover Huller Q. Can you advise on the clover huller shown in 24/4/15 A? We could use some information on the operation of this machine, and will answer all letters and return all pictures. John Hamilton, 461 Algonquin Place, Webster Groves, MO 63119.

A. You have a Birdsell clover huller made by Birdsell Mfg. Company, South Bend, Indiana. A catalog illustration of this huller is shown in photo 24/4/15B.

24/4/16 Stover engine Q. See the photo of my Stover 1? HP Model K engine, s/n 98396. As you can see, it has been converted to a sparkplug, but I need information on getting it back to the original igniter system, or the optional Webster magneto. Any help will be appreciated. Richard Borgaro, 5085 Santa Susana Ave., Santa Barbara, CA 93111

A. Since a great many of these engines were built, it is quite possible that one of our readers might be able to help in your quest. We would also suggest contacting some of the GEM advertisers or running a 'Wanted' ad in the classified section.

24/4/17 Information needed Q. Can anyone help in dating the following engines: McCormick-Deering 1? HP, s/n A500 (uses low tension American Bosch magneto, and is throttle governed); Mallilieu & Conrey 1? HP engine built at Philadelphia; Economy 2 HP, s/n 296211; and Economy 2 HP, s/n TA238188SR. Any information will be appreciated. Carl G. Guretse, 304 Perkiomen Ave., Lansdale, PA 19446.

A. The McCormick-Deering is of 1917 vintage. The M & C engine is illustrated on page 289 of American Gas Engines. Our information shows that it was advertised for a few months during 1910, so we doubt that any great number were built. No information is available on the first Economy in question, but the latter one with the TA prefix was built by Stover Engine Works at Freeport, Illinois in 1936.

24/4/18 Moline plow Q. I'm restoring a 16-inch Moline sulky plow of 1900-1910 vintage, and need to know the proper color scheme. Ed Bredemeier, RR 1, P.O. Box 13, Steinauer, NE 68441.

A. Our Moline files have no colored illustrations of their implements, but perhaps some of our readers can help.

24/4/19 Friend engines Q. See the two photos of a Friend engine, s/n CN7552 built at Gasport, New York. It was used on an orchard sprayer. The spray solution circulated through the engine to cool it, and the dome on, top served as a surge chamber for the pump Any information on the Friend engines will be appreciated. Richard Taylor, 467 Lee Ave., Clarksburg, WV 26301.

A. Several references have been made to the Friend engines over the years, and we believe that one or more of our readers might have reprinted some Friend literature. Would any of these individuals kindly contact Mr. Taylor.

24/4/20 McCormick-Deering threshers Q. I have a McCormick-Deering 22 x 38 thresher. It has a machine number painted on it. Would this be the serial number? Is there any way to tell from this number when it was built? The number is 7145T. Nathan Larson, RR 1, Box 176, Shiocton, WI 54170.

A. Production of the 22 x 38 thresher began in 1929, but our records do not indicate when production ended, nor do we have a serial number listing. In 1938 however, it sold for $810.00.

24/4/21 Information needed Q. As a relative novice to engine collecting, I remain puzzled by the so-called open flame ignition that was used on early engines, and would like to have an idea of how it worked.

Also, I would like to see more articles in the Reflections column that describe more history, provide descriptions and perhaps operational hints to go with the hobby. I am very impressed with Wendel's book on gas engines but I am rather disappointed at the relative deficiency of details on manufacture and operation. I realize that it cannot be covered in too much detail due to the large number of engines, and this magazine would be an excellent forum for this type of information to be distributed to us interested but uneducated.

Can you tell me the approximate manufacturing dates for a 10 HP Fairbanks-Morse Z with s/n 455685 and a Galloway 6 HP, s/n 27510? One other question: Can anyone help me locate reproduction nameplates to replace some that have been stolen? David Reed, Port Orchard, WA 98366.

A. See 24/4/21 for an illustration of the open-flame system. An external flame from a Bunsen burner was in communication with a moveable port leading to the engine cylinder. At the proper instant the port moved into contact with the engine cylinder and the residual flame ignited the charge. This system was not overly dependable, especially since it was virtually impossible to keep the highly heated moving slide from wearing and warping with a resultant loss of compression.

When this writer began compiling the book American Gas Engines, the decision was made to concentrate on including as many companies as possible, rather than including a lot of material on early design and development work. Much of the basis for this reasoning is because we did not see any point in covering the work already shown in the book Internal Fire compiled by Lyle Cummins (it is regularly advertised in GEM). In our opinion, Mr. Cummins performed yeoman service in the compilation of his book, especially since his research took him to Europe for extended periods of writing.

The point is well taken in regard to feature articles on various phases of gas engine and tractor manufacturers and their developments. These articles are always appreciated here at GEM, and we encourage and welcome our readers to contribute whatever they can!

Your FBM engine is of 1920 vintage, but we can't tell you anything about the Galloway.

Lastly, in the Readers Write section of this column you will find a compiled list of those with engine nameplates.

24/4/22 PBY Flying Boat Q. Would anyone out there have any information or a manual on a 5-cylinder radial air-cooled aircraft-type engine which was possibly used on a PBY Flying Boat during the late 1930's or early 1940's? The engine has to run lying down with the take off shaft in a vertical position. I've been told that a generator was set on top of the engine, and have also been told that it is possibly a Lancaster engine, made somewhere in Iowa. The engine uses two Bendix-Scintilla magnetos and a Stromberg carburetor, Model NA-HIE. Any information will be appreciated. Ed Formeister, 82 Chestnut Hill, Stafford Springs, CT 06076.

A. Since Stromberg carburetors seem to have been made specifically for a certain application, perhaps one might work the back door and determine the make of the engine by finding the appropriate number in a Stromberg application book. Beyond that, we can't tell you anything about this engine.

24/4/23 Unidentified Q. Can you identify the engine in the photo? It is stamped '6 HP' on the end of the crankshaft. Any help will be appreciated, along with any suggestions or help in restoration of same. Jim Rogers, 3229 Clearview SW, Marietta, GA 30060.

A. No doubt about it, yours is a Rockford engine built at Rockford, Illinois. There are a few of these engines around the country, so you might be able to get the dimensions of needed parts, etc., from current owners. Too bad the water hopper is broken up, but we suspect that this looks worse than it is, and is certainly well worth the time for a relatively scarce side-shaft engine.

24/4/24 Jack-of-All Trades Q. I recently acquired a very derelict Jack-of-All-Trades engine as built by Fairbanks-Morse. Some parts are missing, including the hot tube assembly. Sketches, drawings, photos, etc. would be most helpful. Can anyone help? N. Sabin, 44 Maylands Avenue, Breaston, Derbyshire DE7 3EE England.

A. We would hope that some of your American cousins who have Jack-of-All-Trades engines will render some aid and assistance.

24/4/25 Cletrac 20-C Q. What is the year built for a Cletrac 20-C, s/n 14236, and what is the proper engine for same? Jim Hazen, 8865 Bryant Road, Fredericktown, OH 43019.

A. It was built in 1936, and our information has it that a Hercules OOC, 4 x 4? inch, 4 cylinder engine was used.

24/4/26 Unidentified Q. See 24/4/26A of what I believe is a Gilson 3? HP 'The Handy Hopper Cooler' engine. It has a very long crankshaft with a wooden steady bearing on the outside. The main bearing supports were poured separately, and then bolted to the sides of the base. The second engine in 26B has a tag reading, 'Gray Motor Co., Detroit, Michigan' and s/n D566. I would like to know the horsepower, the proper color, and approximate year built. This engine has a 4? x 5? inch bore and stroke; the flywheels are 20? inches in diameter, and carry the number D2. It is quite similar to the engine shown on page 477 of American Gas Engines. Any help will be appreciated. Bazil Rogers, 8 Davidson Street, Hantsport, N. S. B0P 1P0 Canada.

24/4/27 Evinrude Q. I recently acquired a four cycle Lawn Boy mower engine built by Evinrude. The cylinder points up at a 45 degree angle, it has a hand-operated starting lever, and a 'bottle brush' type of air cleaner element. The mower deck nameplate reads 958-00317. Any information about the engine, especially the fuel tank arrangement and the approximate year of manufacture, will be appreciated. Ken Hollerbeck, 312 Gillett Ave., Waukegan, IL 60085.

24/4/28 Unidentified tractor Q. Can anyone help me identify this tractor? There is no make or model tag. It uses a Hercules engine. Any information such as make model, year built, etc., will be appreciated. Albert G. Freeman, Dana Rd., Bane, MA 01005.

24/4/29 On Writing Magazine Articles Q. Mr. Paul Reno, 3254 Kansas St., Oakland, CA 94602 sends us an interesting letter this month, commenting on various aspects and on recent articles. He writes in part, 'I just lately received my Jan/Feb 1989 issue of Iron Men Album. I might as well not got it as all but two stories had appeared in the last E & E Magazine. I say to those that are going to send in their story to all the magazines; send in different pictures and a different story to each. Don't run the same story twice.'

Mr. Reno expresses his disappointment to those whose queries are answered, but who do not send back a letter of acknowledgement regarding same.

Regarding his query as to where he can write for J. I. Case information, there are two different collector organizations: J. I. Case Collectors Association, Route 2, Box 242, Vinton, OH 45686, and International J. I. Case Heritage Foundation, 204 East Melbourne Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20901.

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