A Brief Word

The Drake And Fletcher engine


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Recently, one of our Pennsylvania readers called the GEM offices to complain that he has had conversations with many of the GEM subscribers, 'and they all feel that the Reflections does not answer any questions.' This reader said that 'all he does is refer readers to books and ask others for answers. They [?] feel that he [?] should be able to answer technical questions.' Thus speaketh one of our readers!

Our caller asserts that 'all we do is refer people to books.' In many cases we can provide answers to the questions, but with well over 2,000 engine companies in the U.S., it would be naive to think we have built files on all of them. In other cases, we frequently refer readers to American Gasoline Engines Since 1872. There is no other book that covers the gas engine business so extensively. Using a referral to a specific page rather than printing chunks of the book seems to us like an efficient way of saving time and money.

Our caller further growls that we ain't technical enough! The truth is, that we'd love to present a chapter sometime about gas engine design, proportioning, and balancing. The greatest problem is that we haven't figured out a way to couch it in language that the average reader can understand. Many of our readers are new to the hobby, many others are interested in the historical aspects, and many aren't interested in the technical aspects. However, we'll try to include more technical material each month.

Finally, ye olde Reflector states in his own defense that he's been involved in the research of internal combustion engines for over a quarter century now. The more we dig, the more we find that we don't know anything at all! Even a major builder like Fairbanks-Morse has its share of surprises. This company even built a couple different models of side shaft engines! In other words, we make no claims to knowing it all, and we're certainly not going to blow smoke at someone to cover up that fact. So, if we don't know, we're not at all apologetic about turning it over to our readers.

A final point . . . the Reflections column is now, and has always been intended to be, a clearinghouse for information. In many instances we can supply answers, but in many others we can't. We believe that a significant part of this column lies in its ability to serve as a 'matchmaker' for folks needing assistance on a specific problem. We're sorry that our caller finds our approach so distressing. Besides, our hobby is so broad, so enjoyable, and so immensely rewarding, that we're not positively inclined to broach further discussion of the matter.

As this copy goes to press (early February) there are nearly fifty people already signed up for the coming Engine Tour to England in June. If you're interested in going, contact the GEM office at 717-392-0733 for a brochure. Signup will end sometime in April. We just received a very nice letter from Arnold Sayer in England, inviting us to see his collection if possible. He has about 50 engines, with the earliest one being of 1892 vintage. Numerous of his engines are either hot tube or lamp start styles. Examples of the Sayer engines are shown in Photos BW-1, BW-2, and BW-3. The Drake & Fletcher engine of BW-3 is believed to be the only remaining example.

Wade Farm Tours has also sent additional information regarding some of our stopover points . . . exciting, to say the least!

Our first query this month begins with:

28/4/1 Information Needed Q. What is the year built of a Witte 2 HP, s/n B42831? Also a Racine-Sattley, 7 HP, no. 23831! Robert G. Hadlock, Blue River Rt., Kremmling, CO 80459.

A. The Witte was built in 1927; no information is available for the latter model.

28/4/2 Springfield Garden Tractor Q. I have a Springfield garden tractor, and would like to correspond with other owners. It is Model 64TE10-3, s/n A195092; uses a Kohler 10 HP gas engine, K24A5 757823, Spec 46227A. The Springfield was made by Quick Mfg. Co., 'The House of Power,' Springfield, Ohio. I would like to find an instruction manual and the belt sizes. Any help would be appreciated. Bruce C. Wittgren, 104 East 150 South, Valparaiso, IN 46383.

28/4/3 Briggs & Stratton Q. See the photo of a Briggs & Stratton, Type No. 60638, Model ZHL, s/n 2790. Can anyone advise the horsepower, and the year built? Bob Bishop, 1110 Lilac Ct., Hastings, MN 55033.

A. All we know is that the ZHL was built from about 1931 to 1945. We have no other information on this model.

28/4/4 Information Needed Frank C. Hull, 5553 E National Ave., Fresno, CA 93727 has written us concerning the year built for several different engines. The Fairbanks-Morse, s/n 251553, was built in 1917, and was comparable to PPG 43846 Green. For information on Economy and Hercules, see Glenn Karch's excellent book on these engines, as we don't feel at liberty to disclose all the information he gathered within this column; that's not really a just compensation for his hard work! Contact Mr. Karch at 20601 Old State Rd., Haubstadt, IN 47639. We have no data on the Moline Plow Company engine, except to say that it was a dead ringer for the comparable Rock Island. All we have on these engines is in American Gas Engines.

28/4/5 What Is It? Q. See the photo of a 'thing which I cannot identify. It has a inch thread, and was made of some sort of copper alloy. Does anyone know what this 'thing' is? Eugene J. Heath, PO Box 1021, Palmer, AK 99645.

28/4/6 Color Information Q. What is the proper color for a Stover UA 15091, and an IHC LB engine? Jim Pernsteiner, 5404 East 31st, Spokane, WA 99223.

A. The Stover engines before about #80,000 were a deep red, similar to PPG 71965; the IHC LB probably similar to PPG 2833 Red. The latter color varied somewhat through the years, so it's impossible to say with certainty exactly what hue was used at a specific time, particularly before about 1950.

28/4/7 Serial Numbers Q. What is the year built for an Associated 2 HP, s/n 116498; Fairbanks-Morse, s/n 843889; John Deere 1 HP, s/n 333619? Scott C. Neuman, 102 Deer Run Park Rd., Edgerton, WI 53534.

A. No information available on the Associated; Fairbanks is 1943, and Deere is 1936.

28/4/8 If it Ain't Broke ...I know that this sounds elementary, but for quite awhile when I started to restore an engine, even one that was not stuck, the first thing I would do is remove the piston. It took me a few years to learn that in most cases, compression would be better if the piston and rings were not disturbed. 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' Ralph Donaldson, 4214 E. Carmel, Mesa, AZ 85206.

28/4/9 Webster Magneto Q. I have a problem with a Webster oscillator, his completely dead. It has new coils, bushings, magnet charged, and good springs. This magneto was dead before being worked on, and is still dead. Can anyone suggest? Andy Gortsema, PO Box 223,Fairfield, WA99012.

A. If you have our Power in the Past, Volume 3, Stover Engine Works, turn to page 72 for a chart of proper voltages for the various styles. We'd begin by setting up the mag to turn in the lathe, or some other drive where you can get the 600 rpm test speed. Test the voltage at this speed, and it should be somewhere between 8 and 15, depending on the style . . . that's why we suggest looking at the above chart. If there's no reading there, then it has to be either too weak (or dead) magnets, bad coils, or coils improperly connected. If the voltage is at the proper level, then the problem has to be either with the points, or the adjustment of the external setscrew which breaks the points. Perhaps others have some additional ideas.

28/4/10 Stover Engine Q. I have a Stover 4 HP, Type K engine, s/n 190713. What is the proper color? When was it built? Is there an instruction manual and/or drawings? Is there an easy way to start the engine, as I have trouble pulling it through compression? C. Dean Coleman Jr., 203 Shadowood Drive, Simpsonville, SC 29681.

A. It is green, comparable to DuPont 2015, and was built 1926. Ye Olde Reflector has a limited amount of service information, but almost no drawings for this engine. We recommend the book cited in 28/4/9 above, available from GEM, and other sources, since it contains considerable service information on Stover engines. Some of these engines have a 1/8 inch tapped plug on the side of the block; it can be removed for installation of a compression release.

28/4/11 IHC Engine Q. I have a 1 HP International Gasoline-Kerosene engine made by International Harvester, s/n 43639. What year was this engine made, and what are the proper paint colors? Wendell Jones, 1305S Walter Way, Elk City, OK 73644.

A. We think your engine was made in 1937, but to be sure, we need the prefix letters of this serial number.

28/4/12 IHC Engine Q. See the photos of an IHC hit-and-miss engine, s/n 558. Original color was an olive green. Can anyone advise regarding the ignition system of this engine? Craig Blakeman, Rt 5, Box 339A, Charleston, WV 25312.

A. This was the starting engine used in conjunction with the 30-60 IHC Mogul tractors. In fact this one still has remnants of the friction pulley which pushed up to the flywheel. We've only seen one of these engines, and so we have no idea of its ignition system. Could other owners kindly be of help?

28/4/13 Pincor Engine Q. See the photos of a Pincor Power Mower [engine] Model P20, Type #306519, s/n 1802. It has an attached two-speed gear box which drives a double-sprocket attachment. Can anyone tell me the approximate age of this engine, its horsepower, etc.? Any information on this engine and on Pincor will be appreciated. Roger Goetzke, 5193 W. Jerelyn Place, Milwaukee, WI 53219.

A. We have no information whatever on Pincor. Can anyone be of help?

28/4/14 Unidentified Engine Q. Please see the photo of a little generator unit that I have. The nameplate is missing. It is four-cycle, 10mm spark plug, and carry handle is cast with engine base. Engine has no governing system; speed is controlled by the size of the carburetor venturi which is mounted on top of the gas tank. The generator puts out a steady 24 volts. Any information will be appreciated. Duane M. Reynolds, 6634 Rt 90, RD 1, Locke, NY 13092.

28/4/15 Maynard Engines Q. Do you have any information on the Maynard engine sold by the Charles Williams Stores? James E. Andrews, Rt 1, Box 93, Nanjemoy, MD 20662.

A. See the photocopy information (28/4/15) on the preceding page. That's about all we have. However, we do know that the Maynard was finished in a peculiar orange color, but no one has sent us a color match thus far . . . does anyone have this information?