Alpha Engine


Bob Mellin

Content Tools

This piece of copy is being assembled in early June. Simple logistics dictate that it won't be in your hands until early July, but nevertheless, we want to belatedly thank everyone who stopped by to see us at the Waukee Swap Meet over the Memorial Day Weekend.

Folks, we've seen rain and mud numerous times, but we truly felt sorry for everyone at this year's Swap Meet. The weather remained 'iffy' until Friday, and then it really rained! Despite the rain and mud though, there were many bright spots, especially from the many people who stopped by to see us. Thanks from ye olde Reflector, and thanks from all the folks here at GEM.

The September issue will be our first sabbatical since May of 1985. Every month since that time we have contributed the monthly Reflections column to GEM. However, with the two-week trip to England on the Gas Engine Extravaganza, we're going to be absent for the Reflections column in the September issue. Next month our Editor, Linda Sharron will handle details of the column, but we'll be back for the October issue. Through all these years we've enjoyed doing the column immensely, but on the other hand, it's fun to play hooky once in awhile.

When this issue reaches you in early July, the show season will be coming into full bloom. All the more reason for us to ever and again remind everyone to work and play with care. Don't overexert, don't strain you back, and above all, don't do something really dumb. All of us are guilty of this once in awhile, and almost always we look back on some mishap and say to ourselves that we were really stupid for having created bodily damage to ourselves, or worse yet, to someone else! Be careful! and make those shows happy memories instead of bittersweet ones!

Again this year we plan to represent Stem gas at the annual Midwest Old Threshers Reunion. We look forward to seeing many of you there!

Our queries this month begin with:

28/8/1 Alpha Engine. Q. See the photo of an Alpha engine I found recently in a junk yard. Can you tell me more about the engine? It has a bent crankshaft. What's involved in repairing or replacing it? Bob Mellin, 11 Library Place, San Anselmo, CA 94960.

A. The Alpha was sold by Delavan, and built by Lauson. The most obvious answer to the bent crank is to bend it back exactly like it was originally. That's easier said than done, while still keeping the entire shaft concentric. Some prefer to bend hot, others say it's best to bend it cold. We contend that the best way to go about it is to first set the crank up so that you can pretty closely determine the point of greatest bend, and then start from there. We would guess that the bend is mostly in the crank web, so that's the first place to start. After getting most of the bend out, and doing as much as you can on a heavy flat steel surface, if the crank centers are okay, then we would set it up in the lathe and start dialing it in and marking the high spots with chalk. It's best to do one thing at a time, and since there are several critical dimensions that have to be concentric, it's going to take some time. If you're not experienced with this sort of work, seek out someone who you think is capable, or is willing to tackle the job. It can be done, but it ain't easy.

28/8/2 Monitor Pumpjack Steve Rekemeyer, Box 129, Amana, IA 52203 would like to know the proper color scheme for the Type VJ Monitor pumpjack. His appears to have evidence of gray, white, and red at various places. Could anyone advise him the correct scheme, and also the proper spark plug to use?

28/8/3 Caterpillar Service Literature Robert G. Calhoun, 309 Decatur Rd., Marquette Heights, IL 61554 informs us that a new computer printout publication is available through a Caterpillar licensee. The catalog is called 'Legendary Service Literature' and is a 414 page printout listing documents on old machinery, engines, and components. More than 6,600 publications are available on products built between 1913 and 1967. The cost is $10.

Each publication is reproduced on antique paper to its original size. Orders may be placed through Caterpillar Legendary Service Literature, Midland Press Corporation, 3218 E. 35th St., Davenport, IA 52807. Call 1-800-228-7821, for more information.

28/8/4 Thank You! Maurice Biehn, 2805 E. Cedarwood Dr., Lake Bonnet Village, Avon Park, FL 33825 thanks all the Maytag Friends that wrote him about his mower.

28/8/5 Unidentified AC Tractor Russ Metz, 10037 Struthers Rd., New Middletown, OH 44442 would like to know the model and further details of the Allis-Chalmers tractor shown in the photos. If you can be of help, please contact Mr. Metz at the above address.

28/8/6 Stover CT Colors. Q. Regarding the PPG 44616 Green listed for the Stover CT engines, my local PPG store could not find this number. Could it be a different number? Also, are the letters on the flywheels of the Stover engines a different color? Kent Heidenis, 2 Volovski Road, Avon, CT 06001.

A. Can anyone reference the above PPG number? We don't have it in our files, nor do we know who sent us this number. If anyone can help on this, please let us know! We've seen the cast letters on the flywheels to be in bright red, and also in a bright gold color. We think that either one is correct, although the gold seems to be more common.

28/8/7 Adriance-Platt Mower. Q. See the photos of a mower we recently discovered. It says, Moline, Adriance-Platt; Branch of Moline Plow Co., No. 5, Poughkeepsie, NY, USA. The fancy gear cover with Moline on it is cast, and the drive dogs are external. Can anyone advise the proper colors, when made, etc. I also have an Ohio Famous mower made by the Ohio Cultivator Co., Bellevue, Ohio. It has a two-speed gear box. What color is this mower, and when was it built? Kevin F. Kurtis, 1855 Bakertown Rd., Buchanan, MI 49107.

A. Offhand, we can't tell you a lot about either mower. Just making an approbation of when they were built would take at least several hours of poring through old equipment guides, etc. So far as colors are concerned, we haven't a clue. We'd like to give you some answers, but here are some mysteries that have never been researched, and so it takes a lot of painstaking effort to find them, perhaps more than we dare appropriate within this brief column. Has anyone ever seen or heard of mowers like these, and is able to provide additional information?

28/8/8 Bean Engine. Q I recently acquired a Bean 6 HP engine, No. 7127. The book American Gas Engines shows them in 3 and 6 horsepower, made by John Bean Mfg. Co. It has a Wico EK magneto and a brass top radiator mounted behind the flywheel. The vertical cylinder is water cooled via the radiator and water pump. I would like to find some information or literature on this engine, or would like to correspond with someone who has one. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Kenneth C. Fall, 04917 Boyne City-Char Rd., Boyne City, MI 49712.

28/8/9 Information Needed. Q. Can you supply serial number information on the following: Case Model C, s/n 4206290; Stover KE 1811B; Fairbanks-Morse 92851 and 816081.S. W. Bowes, 58 Haynee St., Regina, Sask S4N1P7 Canada.

A. The Case C was built in 1938; Stover is 1926; the Fairbanks with 816081 was made in 1940. You note that 92851 is for a dishpan Fairbanks, so there must be a missing digit, because this number is far too early for the engine in question.

28/8/10 Bowsher Mill Wayne Rogers, 10076 Quail Run Road, Tyler, TX 75709-9761 needs information on a Bowsher mill, as shown in the accompanying photograph. It has a patent date of Dec. 8, 1903, and is called an Improved No. 33. He would appreciate any information available on this old mill. Mr. Rogers also inquires about the age of a Fairbanks-Morse, no. 618611; it was built in 1925. We also wish to tell Mr. Rogers that his Witte engine about which he inquired was made in 1931

28/8/11 Shaw Du-All. Q. I have had the wonderful good fortune to have acquired a 1937 Shaw Du-All, plow and sulky from the family of the original owner. I am desperately seeking a brake wheel (hold wheel on!), engine to transmission belt guard, and pyramid lugs. I have the original owners manual but would love to see other Shaw Du-All literature. Any help on the parts or further information would be much appreciated. Peter Hill, 6189 Parks Rd., New Lyme, OH 44085.

28/6/12 Is it a Maytag? Q. See the photos of an engine I have. Is it a Maytag? The only marking on it is S-143. Ronald P. Seymour, 2807 2 Mi Rd., Bay City, MI 48706.

A. This same engine appears on page 296 of American Gas Engines as a Maytag.

28/6/13 Montgomery Ward Mill. Q. I'm restoring the Montgomery-Ward mill shown in the photo, and would like to get the correct color. Traces of orange can be seen. I also need a picture or a drawing of the piece that runs from the eccentric to the grain chute that runs from the grain hopper to the burr area. T. E. Howarth, 221 Maywinn Rd., Defiance, OH43512.