A Brief Word

Lawson vertical engine


Donal Saxton

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28/4/24 Ethanol and Engines Ethanol fuel is 200 proof corn whiskey, 120 octane, and a super engine fuel. It can be mixed in any way with gasoline, even 100%. It will start poor in cold weather at higher ratios. It is a strong solvent and is best used at 85% or less. For working tractors, 50% gives more power and cleaner exhaust with only carb adjustments. Modified carbs can use more. For dual fuel tractors, ethanol mixed with kerosene makes it possible to use kero with the hot manifold and the gasoline head. For hit and miss engines in a show atmosphere, ethanol makes for much more pleasant breathing. High concentrations will eat the solder out of gas tanks, so they should be drained. For souped up pullers, ethanol is the perfect fuel.

Gasoline is a horrible fuel, all the way from drilling to spills, to long after it is burned. It is toxic and carcinogenic. Ethanol is a USA made renewable fuel, and is infinitely kinder to the air. Ethanol is available from your gas delivery man.

Soydiesel fuel, made from soybean oil, performs just like diesel fuel except that it has no sulfur and has a pleasant odor. It is perfect for show diesels and indoor applications. You'll like it! Call 913-341-0300 to order any amount. Ron TePoel, Oronoco, MN 55960-2208.

28/4/25 Pioneer Gen-E-Motor Q. I need any available information on a Pioneer Gen-E-Motor, Model A, Type SS 3780, sin 2-13730. Keith C. Stone, 206 Tanglewood Dr., Rochester Hills, MI 48309.

28/4/26 Case 10-20 Q. I need information on a 1918 Case 10-20 tractor, s/n 17215. What was the original color, and where can I get decals? In a 1916 parts book it appears that four different magnetos could be used, and two different air strainers? What is correct for the 1918 model? How many of these three-wheeled tractors still exist? I hope to have this tractor restored for the 1993 National Show hosted by Branch 13 in Grass Valley, California. Jeff E.Wallom,10365 Pringle Ave., Galt, CA 95632.

A. We're not certain if this model was Ditzler 40249 Green or not. The J. I. Case collectors have worked out a lot of the details in this regard, and perhaps even a 10-20 owner might be able to contact you regarding your questions. Accurately defining who did what and when they did it is sometimes very difficult, if not impossible. Having never done the footwork necessary to restore one of these tractors, we would encourage someone who has this experience to contact Mr. Wallom.

28/4/27 Bready Cultivator Q. Can anyone supply information on a Bready walk-behind tractor made at Solon, Ohio? It is on 12-inch rubber, and is s/n 800633. It is powered with a Clinton 4-cycle engine with a gear reduction. I would like to know when it was made, color scheme, and other information; also the attachments available for it. Any help will be appreciated. Brian M. Lynch, RD 1, Box 120B, Wellsville, NY 14895-9801.

28/4/28 Unidentified Engine Q. See the photo of an unidentified engine. It is similar to one shown on the bottom of page 40 of American Gas Engines. The one illustrated was sold by Automatic Light Company as the Holt Farm Power Plant. Can anyone provide further information? Dale Boss, 7195 Colony Rd., LaMesa, CA 9194L

A. The very short output shaft might have been designed for direct coupling to a generator at one time. Conceivably, a cast iron sub-base joined engine and generator into an integral unit. The similarities would lead one to think that this is a possibility, although there may have been some predecessors or successors of the Holt which also carried a similar design.

28/4/29 Thanks To John G. Boyd, 1921 LaSalle St., Martinez, CA 94553, for sending along some photocopies of serial info regarding Wisconsin motors.

28/4/30 Lawson Vertical Q. See the photo of an incomplete Lawson vertical engine air cooled. I have not been able to find parts or literature for same; any help on the following would be appreciated. Owners manual and or parts book, and parts. Donal Saxton, 417 E. Pearl Ave., Ovid, MI 48866.

28/4/31 Witte Diesel Q. I have a 6 HP Witte horizontal diesel engine (Oil Well Supply). I have finally got all the parts to get it going except the fuel injector nozzle or tip. Does anyone know where I could get one? I am also missing the compression release lever, and would like to have a drawing of it from someone so I can make it. Roy Brooks, 3405 Perdue PI ME, Albuquerque, NM 87106.

A. We'd shop around at some of the older diesel shops in hopes of finding the injector parts.

28/4/32 United Engine Q. I have a United Type C engine, 2 HP, s/n 937 (see the photos). I would be grateful for any information on this engine; I am unsure of the date the engine was made, and if United manufactured the engine. In Suffolk where I live there are three United engines, all within three numbers of each other, all Type C, and the same horsepower, and wondered if these engines were all shipped over in one lot. I have not heard of many United engines elsewhere in the UK. Any information would be most helpful. John D. Clarke, 10 Steggall Close, Needham Market, Ipswich, Suffolk, England 1P6 8EB.

A. The United engines were, so far as we know, built by Associated Manufacturers at Waterloo, Iowa. Both companies likely shipped quantities of these engines to jobbers in the UK, and this is evidently what happened with the three engines being in close proximity. There is no way we know of to accurately date these engines ... all records were destroyed many years ago.

28/4/33 Colors Needed Q. Robert Hullfish, 15 Cold Soil Rd., Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 needs paint color information on the following: Aermotor 2 HP pumper; Sattley 5 HP; Sun 1 HP; Aermotor 8-cycle.

A. We have it that the early Sattley engines were black in the gasoline model, with the kerosene models being brown. However, we have no exact color match. Late Sattley engines were DuPont 7498 Green. We've never received paint color information on any of the others in this request.

28/4/34 Unidentified Engine Q. M. Toepfer, 512 River Oaks Rd., Comfort, TX 78013 would like information on the engine shown in the photo. It has a Wico magneto, Type FG, s/n 017885. It has casting numbers like 2VC5, 1VC1, etc.

('Editor's Note: For a story on a similar unidentified engine, see the story on page 29. Can anyone help these gentlemen?)

28/4/35 Taylor Vacuum Q. I have a Taylor 2 HP, Type C engine. It has one oiler at rear edge of skirt. There is a long groove in rod to pin area. How does this arrangement lubricate the front and rear piston rings? The piston pin is in the working piston, and the rear piston seems isolated from the lube. Apparently the factory had confidence in its lube system; can anyone give me confidence also? Robert E. Sweetland, Pleasant St., Box 117, East Hardwick, VT 05836.

A. We've never had a Taylor Vacuum, nor have we ever examined one closely, so we are reluctant to provide that boost of confidence you desire. However, we're confident that some of our readers have studied this design and can provide the needed information. It should be noted that it was imperative to not have a lot of extra lube getting into the vacuum system, thus the peculiar design.

28/4/36 C.H. & E. Engine See the photos of two of my C. H. &E. engines. I have the planer attachment for one. One cranks left, the other right; both engines are like new shape. Orval Bauch, 1605 -13 Avenue, Barron, WI 54812.

28/4/37 Information Needed George F. Pilger, 285 Sinn Rd., Cowlesville, NY 14037 would like dating information on the Taylor Vacuum, Associated, and Little Jumbo engines. However, there are no serial number listings for these engines, so accurate dating is impossible. We wish we could do more.

28/4/38 Witte Sideshaft Q. Dick Hamp, 1772 Conrad Avenue, San Jose, CA 95124-4501 writes: A pal of mine in New Zealand has located a couple of very early side shaft Witte engines. They still belong to the family who imported them directly from Witte Iron Works. They both are in excellent original condition. My pal would like to know when they were made, s/n 5589 and s/n 7695.

In all my travels, I have never seen a Witte sideshaft, only heard rumors that there was one somewhere in northern California. I have one small magazine ad show-ing a tank cooled sideshaft Witte. Any help will be appreciated.

A. There is no serial number data for the sideshaft engines. The early Witte re-cords were lost or destroyed some years ago. However, the Central Hawkeye Club near Des Moines, Iowa has a Witte sideshaft. They have also displayed this rare bird at the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion for several years.

28/4/39 Continental Engines Q. Could anyone please let me know the correct paint colors for the Continental AU 8 and AU 85 engines? I would also like to know where the Wico magnetos and coils were made. I haven't had any success finding this information. If anyone can help I will be extremely grateful. Paul Burkle, 300 Sycamore St., PO Box 1871, Waterloo, IA 50704.

A. We would be happy to include the paint information in the Notebook, so if anyone has this information, please share it with us, and with Mr. Burkle. We assume that the Wico magnetos were made by Wico Electric Company; however, some parts are available from GEM subscribers who do magneto repair work.

Readers Write

28/2/22 Opperman Motorcart Regarding this query, I was born and raised in Arkley, Hertfordshire, England, which is adjacent to Boreham Wood. Although the Boreham Wood factory was near our home, I cannot remember as ever having seen it.

I worked on a farm in 1945-48 in Hertfordshire. The farmer had a similar Opperman motorcart (the design was a bit different), which I used every day to go out to the fields and get cow cabbage, hay and straw, etc.

When threshing, we used it to put the big bags of grain on it, and take back to the farm yard.

I stood behind the metal brace (where the steering wheel is), as there was no seat.

We loaded manure on it from the cow sheds to take out to the fields. You drove it in the cow sheds, right between the row of cows. The farmer I worked for had over 75 milking cows. The cow sheds are different than what we have in [Canada]. It had a 'tip-box' on it, and was a very useful and satisfactory machine for bringing supplies to the cow sheds. It also had a road gear which was relatively fast in those days.

They were popular at the time, and there were many others in Hertfordshire. It had a 'flat bed' and we put racks on when needed. I am afraid that's all I can remember about the Opperman Motorcart. I came to Canada in 1948, and stayed! Kenneth Painter, 33 Prospect Street, PO Box 873, Port Dover, ONT N0A 1N0 Canada.

Fuels, Valve Rings, Etc. Regarding unleaded fuel: First and foremost is the fact that leaded fuel didn't come into existence until the late 1930s. Most of our beloved old iron was born long before this, so they never had lead to run on when new.

Charlie Kettering of GM started fooling around with high compression in the 1930s and found tetraethyl lead to be a good knock inhibitor. Its lubricating qualities were an extra benefit.

My point is that your old iron will run just fine on today's fuels. We don't ask them to perform at their rated loads anyway. If a person wants to go to the expense, any good automotive machine shop can counterbore the exhaust seat and install a hard seat ring. Most replacement seats are a good grade of cast iron, but hard seats, even Stellite, are readily available. I used to be in the business, so I've done lots of them.

The intakes do not need to be hard, as they have a relatively cool breeze blowing across them. Most shops can also install a bronze sleeve in the valve guide for you. It makes for a good fit and

wears well with the marginal lubrication of these old engines.

Also, my thanks to those who contacted me about my Cushman questions. Tom Hartman, 1950 Prince Way, Reno, NV 89503.

28/2/13 Spirit of St. LouisDon Siefker, 705 W. Annie Dr., Muncie, IN 47303-9762 writes that Charles Lindbergh's book, The Spirit of St. Louis, refers to the ninth hour of the journey when he recollected his gas engine dealership in Minnesota. The milking machines were Empire, but what engines were represented with the Empire agency at the time? Also, the LaCrosse tractor was apparently a La-Crosse Happy Farmer.

27/6/59A & B Union Giant With these pictures I cannot make a positive identification, but they remind me of a Union Giant engine. On the same page (16), with picture 27/6/59B, is a story 'Thoughts on Restoring an Engine or Changing History.' I wonder if some one changed history on this engine. On the Union Giant engine the exhaust and intake pipes screw into the head and on this engine it looks to have been switched and the rocker arm bracket changed, now what used to be the intake is now the exhaust, and vice-versa. My engine had a gravity feed fuel system, and this one has a suction feed. The cylinder and hopper is cast in one piece on my engine. This engine may have been repaired and the hopper bolted on. The base is different than on my engine. The difference in this engine and my engine may be because of the age or the size. Carl Zippeble, 11702 CR81,Vemon,TX 76384.

27/7/43 Unidentified I identify this engine as a Witte. I have a 4 HP headless hit-and-miss Witte that has similar styling on several parts. Included are the flywheels, engine base, spark retard lever, and others of the same styling. Mark L. Rembis, 2190 Buford-Bardwell Road, Mt. Orab, OH 45154.

28/1/10 Cletrac Colors In the January issue, Bob Lockwood asked for the correct color on a Cletrac W-12. The Model W-12 from s/n 13756 to 28727 should be a dark gray, and from 28728 to 30253 should be a very dark green. The original parts manual for the W-12 only lists gray and white for colors. A 1932 reprint lists chestnut brown, green, beige, red, gray, and black for colors. We have a 1921 W-12 that is red and looks to have been red from the factory. We use Ford-Ferguson Gray, but have been told it's not quite dark enough. David L. Blaze, 112 Main Rd., PO Box 322, Granville, MA 01034.

28/1/31 Unknown Wagon Doug Plance, 4960 Mamont Rd., Murrysville, PA 15668 sends a photocopy of a Studebaker dump wagon, noting in answer to Mr. Koutouc that the wagon was not necessarily a Studebaker, since many wagon builders manufactured them years ago. Several other readers also responded to this query.

Stirling Engine While browsing through some Scientific American magazines in our local library, I noted an article that should interest GEM readers. This article is by John Walker on page 140 of the January 1990 issue. It describes a working model Stirling cycle engine that can be built with simple tools. The design is from Peter L. Trailer of the Windfarm Museum on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. The article explains the Stirling cycle and includes a reading list of five books. Max F. Homfeld, 7964 Oakwood Park Ct., St. Michaels, MD 21663.

28/2/2 Fuel Pump Diaphragms We received several letters and phone calls on this one! Rather than include each one, here's a compilation:

We're told that the diaphragm material is available from Ben J. Kinsinger, RD 1, Box 234A, Meyersdale, PA 15552. Also from Tom Hannaford at Antique Auto Parts Cellar, PO Box 3, South Weymouth, MA 02190. However, the latter firm only makes repair kits; they apparently don't sell the material itself. Another reader suggests looking in the Yellow Pages of major cities under 'Packings Mechanical' and some of these companies stock the material used for diaphragms.

Thanks to all who responded!


A Closing Word

In late January we began work on a Centennial History of Fairbanks-Morse; it should appear later this year. During the course of the initial research we discovered some interesting facts and figures regarding diesel engines. On studying these figures, it quickly becomes apparent that a tremendous amount of engineering and developmental work went into what we now take for granted. For instance:

In a diesel engine operating at 1,800 rpm, fuel injection must be completed during about 18 degrees of crank travel, or about 0.05 revolution. Running at 1,800 rpm, the crank will make a complete revolution in 0.033 of a second. Thus the duration of injection, as determined by the opening and closing of the injection ports, has to occur in 0.002 (two one-thousandths) of a second.

During these two one-thousandths of a second, the inlet port of the injection pump must close, sufficient pressure must be built up to open the nozzle valve, fuel must be injected in the proper amount, and the spill or exhaust port of the pump opened to relieve the pressure in the injection tube.

The pump parts must be precisely engineered for a given engine. For instance, a 6 millimeter plunger with a lift of say, 0.090 inch, will have a theoretical displacement of 0.79 cubic centimeters. To put this in perspective, a cubic centimeter contains about 40 drops; now we see that this pump will displace about 3 drops per injection at maximum.

Several factors intervene to reduce the maximum output of this pump. One factor is that any leakage, no matter how slight, will seriously affect the operation. Another is that the compressibility of the fuel, although very slight, reduces the effective output. The major problem is the expansion of the fuel injection lines during the injection cycle. Changing the thickness of the injection tube walls will dramatically change the injection characteristics of the engine! It's easy to understand the expansion of the injection lines by touching them when the engine is operating. Add to this that the pressure buildup in this line begins at practically zero, builds up to its maximum, and then drops again to practically zero when the exhaust port opens on the pump. This feature was built into diesel designs to provide accurate metering of the fuel and to prevent dribbling of fuel at the nozzle tip.

As another example, one current engine manufacturer related to us recently that they were experimenting with a new engine design. It performed beautifully under load, but would not idle without smoke and irregular running. This was found to be due to the fuel line having too thick a wall. Changing it to a different tubing completely eliminated the problem.

Sometimes we see vintage diesels at the shows. Some of them run quite well, and others evoke a lot of knocking that seemingly can't be eliminated. More often than not, this is due to the design of the combustion chamber, and is a problem built right into the engine. Usually the so-called 'Diesel-knock' comes from high combustion pressures, and usually is because all of the fuel is reaching combustion temperature at the same time. The engineering rule-of-thumb has been that when pressure rise during combustion exceeds 50 to 55 pounds per degree of crank travel, objectional knocks and rough running are virtually assured. Little can be done about a complete elimination of this problem if it is inherent in the design. That's precisely why the designs have changed rapidly during the years. In fact, Navistar is developing a full electronic injection system for diesels, and possibly it will come onto the market this year or next. It completely eliminates the injection pump as we know it, and substitutes a combination of hydraulics, ROM chips, circuit boards, and solenoids. 'Tis a long way from the Thermoil and the Fairbanks-Morse Type Y engines, isn't it!

In closing, we recently took a tour through the Fairbanks-Morse engine plant at Beloit, Wisconsin. On the test stand was a Colt-Pielstick PC4.2 engine with twelve cylinders. This one uses a 22.44 x 24.41 inch bore and stroke, and yields 1,629 horsepower per cylinder at 400 rpm. This totals over 19,500 horsepower. The maximum size of the PC4.2 is eighteen cylinders for an output of 29,322 horsepower. This engine weighs 350 tons!

And don't forget, folks ... the closing date for the Gas Engine tour to England is coming up fast! We've already got a good-sized group lined up, so why not join us for a memorable excursion? Wade Farm Tours also advises that for two weeks prior to our tour they will be conducting another tour of the Continent, visiting engine and tractor collections in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and other countries. If you would like further information, call the GEM office at 717-392-0733 and they'll refer you to the right people.

The purpose of the Reflections column is to provide a forum for the exchange of all useful information among subscribers to GEM. Inquiries or responses should be addressed to: REFLECTIONS, Gas Engine Magazine, P.O. Box 328, Lancaster, PA 17603.