Hercules Engine


Lloyd Hallead

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With this issue, Volume 21 of GEM comes to an end, and likewise, 1986 is rapidly drawing to a close. From the viewpoint of enthusiasm for our hobby, we believe it has increased dramatically, especially as witnessed by the number of letters from those who are just beginning the hobby of collecting and restoring old engines and tractors. Those of us who have been collectors for some time often become jaded, and perhaps it is human nature to become rather uncaring about the new members of our fraternity. However, all that's necessary is for any of us to look back at our early days of engine collecting and think back of some of the great boners we've pulled to see that we were neophytes too. The moral of the story is this even the neophyte might know something we do not know, so helping newcomers to our hobby might well have an eventual reward.

Surprisingly, our comments a while back about including a section on model making has drawn virtually no comment from the readers. Either there aren't any model makers (which we know is not the case), or there simply isn't the enthusiasm for model making that we first imagined. We'll not give up on the issue though from time to time we hope to bring you bits and pieces that might be of help to model makers.

One thing we learned about model-making is to use graph paper when making a reduction of the engine you wish to model. Graph paper is available at most office supply stores. Using say, inch grids, then it is rather easy to sketch all the parts.

The Reflector was especially pleased to have an unexpected visit from Mr. Don Macmillan, Whiterig, Etchilhampton, Devizes, Wilts., England recently. Mr. Macmillan is a well known collector in England, and visits the United States occasionally.

A couple of articles in the November, 1986 GEM piqued the interest of the Reflector. 'Made from Scratch' on page 10 illustrates several hand made items, and the article by John Rex on 'How Often do Magnetos need Recharging' contains a lot of excellent information on this subject. We agree completely with John in his comment, 'Don't attempt to recharge magnetos by methods which produce inadequate energy to fully recharge them.' For years the Reflector has heard of a good many ways to recharge magnets, but the fact is, that it can only be done one way the right way! The majority of battery-powered magneto chargers are designed for something in the area of 1500 ampere-turns, while the big chargers intended to charge iron or Alnico magnets approach a size of 3,000 ampere-turns, or even more.

21/12/1 Q. John Kendall, 262-01 Francis Lewis Blvd., Rosedale Qns., NY 11422 asks for the paint scheme on the Massey-Harris No. 1 engines. John writes that he has read that the flywheels were green and the base was red on the original, but how about the rest of the engine, and what Dulux number applies?

A. We do not as yet have any color pix of the Massey-Harris No. 1, nor can we locate any information in this regard. As soon as we hear from some of our readers we will notify you or include the information within this column.

21/12/2From Bernie Barber, RR 1, Box 332, Hamlet, IN 46532 we get a letter noting that he received some information on the Falk kerosene engines as requested through this column earlier. Mr. Barber kindly forwarded a photocopy of this data for our files.

21/12/3 Q. I have just purchased a two-wheel garden tractor. It is an Iron Horse made by Johnston Tractor Co. of Redlands, California, and uses a Cushman Cub 3 HP engine. I enjoy your column, but it seems to me that all those letter writers are old hands at engine restoration. I have a fair amount of knowledge of modem air-cooled engines, but I'm just starting on antiques. Can you recommend a book or books for beginners? Something that explains terms such as 'hit-and-miss', 'hot tube' and other terminology. Marvin Lowe, 5095 Central Ave., Riverside, CA 92504.

A. You are absolutely correct, Marvin, ye olde Reflector often waxes prolific on technical aspects of engine and tractor design! Beyond that, as we pointed out in the preface to this column, it is easy for a seasoned collector to become jaded toward the more simple aspects, completely ignoring those without the blessing of experience. Several reprints are available that are very helpful in regard to early engines. We especially recommend 'Gas Engine Guide,' available from GEM, or a new reprint titled 'Gas Engine Construction.' This reprint from the early 1900's details the design of a small home-built engine and in so doing explains many details of early engine design.

21/12/4 Q. Jacob E. Schmidt, 2986 Rigerd, West Bend, WI 53095 relates that he recently contacted F. E. Myers Co. regarding a Model V Myers water pump he was restoring. The Myers people soon responded to his letter, and noted that in 1980 they sold manufacturing, sales, and service rights to these pumps to T & T Machine Co., Inc., Route 8, Box 343, Fairmont, WV 26554.

A. The above information is well worth having, and we thank Mr. Schmidt for sending this letter into GEM, since we have had occasional inquiries in regard to the Myers pumps.

21/12/5 Q. Can you give me the proper colors etc. on a Fairmont railway engine? When were the following engines built: International LB, s/n LBA 92551; Fairbanks-Morse Model Z, s/n 679623. Ray Scott, 851 Third St. NW, Valley City, ND 58072.

A. No one has forwarded information regarding the proper Fairmont colors, but possibly this information might be secured directly from the Fairmont people at Fairmont, Minnesota. They likewise might be able to supply instructions and parts information. The LB engine was built in 1945; the Model Z was built in 1927.

21/12/6 Q. Lloyd Hallead, 3194 Main St., Marlette, MI 48453 sends two photos of an engine that appears to be a Hercules, but also has some signs of being an Economy. He writes in part:' 'The brass nameplate reads 2 HP, while 2 is stamped on the head. The water hopper is Hercules style, as is the head. The kerosene mixer is identical to the Sears Economy on page 458 of American Gasoline Engines. It has two needle valves, one for fuel and one for water. There is a two way valve in the fuel line gasoline for starting and kerosene for running. The Hercules owners manual shows a mixer like this except that it has three needle valves and separate lines for kerosene and gasoline. The connecting rod has the mark 'E' inside a diamond with the number 256. Hercules uses '56' as their part number for a connecting rod, so '256' refers to a 2 HP engine. There are no numbers on any other parts. The engine was originally painted green with red striping, and the decal looks like Hercules, except that the engine on the decal is definitely an Economy, red with black striping, squared water hopper, etc. Can anyone tell me whether this engine is Hercules, Economy, or something else.

A. Mr. Hallead presents a puzzle some question indeed! There is of course no doubt that this engine emerged from the Hercules factories, but whether it was shipped as a Hercules, or sent to Sears for shipment as an Economy is tough to answer at this point. One possibility, especially in light of your description of the decal, is that Hercules might have entertained thoughts of shipping the 'Hercules' to Sears rather than modifying it into an 'Economy.' Very possibly this was one such engine. It seems entirely possible that Hercules might have worked up a few such engines for shipment to Sears, and subject to their approval. After looking them over, Sears probably sold the sample engines. Perhaps some of our readers might have some ideas on this subject.

21/12/7 Q. Thomas Sederstromme, 3872 Dolomite Dr., Eagan, MN 55122 comments regarding the 'Engine Getter' illustrated several months ago in GEM: 'I built an 'engine getter' after reading about it, and it works quite well for small engines, but not for large ones. After loading my 5 HP New Holland and moving it into my shop for restoration, I was unable to slide it off the engine getter. After many futile attempts to slide it off, I decided to put a chain through both flywheels and around a large tree. I then hooked onto the engine getter with my pickup to pull the unit out from under the engine. As I was watching out the rear window, my foot slipped off the clutch causing the pickup to suddenly lunge for ward. Needless to say, my engine was immediately unloaded and the engine getter came crashing into the pickup. The sudden jerk caused by the chain resulted in a broken flywheel on the New Holland.

A. 'Engine getter' aside, this letter points out what we have stated repeatedlyDon't try to pick up an engine by its flywheels, and perhaps we should restate it as 'Don't ever put a chain on the flywheel rims for any reason.' If you must pick up the flywheels, pick them up around the hub and not by the rim! Flywheels aren't designed for any sort of sidestrain.

21/12/8 Q. What is the year built of a Stover K, 1 HP, s/n K 51859. Is there an instruction manual available for this engine? B. L. Brown, 3797 Pine Grove Dr., Rhinelander, WI 54501.

A. Your engine was built in June, 1913. The Reflector has in the office, all the Stover engine production records, along with a fairly complete series of Stover Instructions and Parts Books. These were given to the Reflector some years ago by the late Lester L. Roos, Geneseo, Illinois. During the last fifteen years of his life, Lester became the country's leading expert on Stover engines.

21/12/9 Q. Can you identify the engines in the two adjacent photos? I would like to know the make, and then I might know the proper paint color etc. Photo 21/12/9a shows an engine with a 3 x 4 inch bore and stroke; flywheels are 16 inches in diameter with a 1 inch face. It uses a Webster M40 magneto. The base is painted green. Photo 21/12/9b appears to have been made by Nelson Bros., although the nameplate reads: MacLeod's, 1 hp, 500 rpm, s/n 4787 MacLeod's is a chain of hardware stores in Canada. W. Eichorst, 1116 Ashley Drive, Swift Current, Sask. S9H 1N4 Canada.

A. We tend to believe that this engine was built by Gilson. Although you give the Webster magneto number, you do not give the number of the igniter bracket. This number should provide the information you need, since almost every bracket was designed for a specific engine. Likewise, we tend to agree that the MacLeod engine was likely built by Nelson Bros.

21/12/10 Q. Can you give us the proper colors for a McCormick-Deering Model M hay press. It was built from 1919 to 1948. Our particular press was built in 1932 or 1933. We know that the main frame and gears were red, but beyond that we are unable to determine the color details. Richard Pingel, RR 1, Box 153, Pittsboro, IN 46167.

A. The Reflector's copy of IHC Catalog 20 is out on loan right now, but GEM's new reprint of this catalog should provide the proper color scheme, since it includes quite a number of color plates.

21/12/11 Q. Can you give the age and paint information on a Stover CT-2 engine, s/n TB267155. Geo. V. Titus, 1709 W. 241 St., Lomita, CA 90717.

A. Your engine was built in January, 1940 so it is one of the last that was built. The color is a deep Brewster green which we derive by taking DuPont Dulux 24166 Brewster green, and adding 1 part DuPont Super Black and 1 part 93-036 brown to 6 parts of the green.

21/12/12 Q. Dick Hamp, 1772 Conrad Ave., San Jose, CA 95124 is looking for information on the Webster HT magneto.

A. We have never seen a particle of printed data on the Webster High Tension oscillating magneto, although a great many were used on Witte engines, and possibly some others as well. Mr. Hamp also enclosed several magneto data sheets, but of particular interest is one on fitting the high tension oscillator to the Witte engines, see pages 27 and 28.

21/12/13 Q. Can you identify this engine? It has a brass tag which states: 1 hp, 550 rpm. William S. Peterson, 1126 Cooper St., Beverly, NJ 08010.

A. It looks like a Hercules.

21/12/14 Q. What is the year of my McCormick-Deering 6 HP engine, s/n CW5288. Also what is the correct decal for the water hopper? J. V. Turner, 3330 Park Avenue, Richmond, VA 23221.

A. Your engine is a 1919 model. The water hopper on the pulley side takes a decal 'McCormick-Deering'. This is a rectangular decal about 3 x 10 inches. The magneto side takes an IHC double globe decal. These are available from several GEM advertisers.

21/12/15 Q. John Thumma, RR 2, Laurens, IA 50554 writes that he has finished the restoration of his Thieman tractor (see below photo). It is finished with 1985 Chrysler Mexican Red. Mr. Thumma also reports that in his travels he has learned that the Thieman records were destroyed in a fire some years ago, so no production records now exist.

21/12/16 Q. Tim Ranisate, RR 1, Box 508, Shevlin, MN 56676 is looking for information on an Aermotor pump jack engine (see below photo).

A. A reprint of the Aermotor catalog is available through the GEM office.

21/12/17 Q. I have a Maytag motor with the following information: Main case number S-233, Type FY-4; flywheel case, American Bosch Magneto Corp'n; Pat Pending FYED 4 7 0 W. Thank you for any information you can supply on this engine. I have about all the reprints I have been able to find on Maytag motors. Joe L. Killess, Box 668, Niceville, FL 32578.

A. We have little more than the reprints you mention above, but we know that there are several GEM advertisers who specialize in Maytag parts, and hopefully they will be able to help you.

21/12/18 Q. I was advised that you may be able to advise a parts supplier or dealer in Witte generators. Any assistance will be appreciated. Orville Hicks, HCR 32, Box 122, Ft. Pierre, SD 57532.

A. Try Witte Engines, Lister Diesel, Inc., 555 E. 56 Hwy., Olathe, KS 66061.

21/12/19 Q. I am 7 years old and I have a Lauson. It is my first engine. What year is it? Serial 80578, Model 93LC5130E, 5/8 hp. Thank you. Wesley Bondy, 1220 Birch, Cody, WY 82414.

A. We would think your engine was built sometime between 1936 and 1941.

21/12/20 Q. I have a post drill, model 203, from the Champion Blower & Forge Co. which is missing the self-feed mechanism and perhaps a small flywheel. Would appreciate any information on this so as to put it back together again. Also have an 'air engine' rescued from a Nevada mountain which I understand drove a ventilating fan. The engine is about 5 feet tall, and is a Type A, by American Blower Co., Detroit, Michigan and patented Nov. 21, 1905. It was driven by a large compressor located topside. Would like to hear from anyone with information about this unit.

21/12/21 Q. I recently obtained a Farmall F-14, s/n FS148059. What is the year built? What are the differences between this tractor and the earlier F-12? Where can I obtain parts for this tractor? It uses 9-40 rear tires, and I understand this is an odd size. Where might I look for these? Bob Ciaccio, 70 Fireside Lane, East Setauket, NY 11733.

A. The F-14 was built in 1938 and 1939yours is of the last year. The F-14 does not exhibit profound design changes over the earlier F-12, but there are indeed differences between the two. These are extensively addressed in the book 150 Years of International Harvester. Several parts suppliers regularly advertise in GEM, and of these, several specialize in Farmall and IHC parts. They should be able to help you in the restoration, and also might be able to provide some leads to tire distributors that might carry the 9-40 tires.

21/12/22 Q. Does anyone know where I can get old tractor steering wheels rebuilt. The hard rubber has cracked and begun to fall off. Is there anyone that rebuilds old steering wheels? T. A. Roberts, 1709 Old Dicey Road, Weatherford, TX 76086.

A. We don't know of anyone, but if there is anyone doing this sort of work, kindly step forward and identify yourself.

21/12/23 Q. I am a newcomer to old gas engines. I've become interested in old engines because I am in the process of designing a building for an old-time machine shop, utilizing line-shaft driven equipment. Now I am in need of advice on a proper engine for driving the line shaft. It will be about 40 feet long. Also need information on a belt-driven generator to be used in this connection. It should generate 100 amperes or more with 220 volt electricity. Three phase power is not necessary, but would be nice. Any advice will be appreciated. E. Dean Butler, 4325 Drake Road, Cincinnati, OH 45243.

A. Original information on setting up lineshafting is now difficult to obtain. The best title we have seen is Rogers Erecting & Operating for Engineers, Machinists, and Millwrights. This title by William Rogers was published by Theo. Audel & Co. in 1907. You might try finding it from an antiquarian book dealer in your area. Many of these dealers will initiate a book search for a very modest charge. Generally, the smaller shops using electric motor drives were equipped with several different lineshafts, but in your case a single prime mover of 10 to 15 horsepower would probably be required. Not only is the power needed for driving machinery there is a considerable power loss due to the many bearings over forty feet of shafting. Lineshafts are usually set up to run at 300 rpm, and pulley sizes are altered to get the required speed for individual machines. We also suggest that life will be much easier if you use two or three separate shafts, each connected by belts and pulleys, rather than using a single shaft the full length of the building. Any settling or shifting of the forty foot building will throw the shaft out of alignment. The Reflector also suggests you use a throttle governed engine, since it will run somewhat more smoothly than a hit-and-miss style, thus eliminating some strain on both the belting and shafting. We're almost a sure bet to catch some static on this belief, but maintain that this would be the preferable method, at least in our eyes. Although not a classy engine from the standpoint of exterior appearance, the 10 or 15 HP Fairbanks-Morse Type Z engine would, we believe, be an excellent choice if we were to set up the system you propose. These engines are easier to obtain than Otto and some others, and have the added advantage that repair parts might be around when and if needed. If you are adding a generator that will put out 100-plus amps on 220 volts, and plan to use it in conjunction with the lineshaft, that's another issue entirely15 horsepower won't begin to handle a load of this size. One other notewe would suggest that the first one-third of your shaft be of 1 13/16 or 2 3/16 inch size to handle the load. The remaining two-thirds could be of 1 13/16 size or you could get by okay with 1 7/16 inch line shafting. Keep us informed of your project!

21/12/24 Q. I have just finished restoring this engine (see below photo). Now I need to know what decals to use. I think the engine is an Economy. I bought it from the grandson of the original owner, and he said it was bought new from Sears & Roebuck. He said it could have been bought as far back as 1910 but he wasn't sure. There is no nameplate on the engine, but some castings are marked with an 'S' inside a circle. I think the engine is a 4 HP, and the red paint on the engine is very close to the original color. Any help will be appreciated. Fred Marineau, RR 1, Box 180, Wallace, MI 49893.

A. We beg to differ the engine is a Sandow built at Waterloo, Iowa. These engines were marketed by Sandy McManus Inc. at that city, as well as by a number of other firms, possibly including Sears & Roebuck for a time. We would guesstimate your engine was built in the 1910-1912 period. So far as decals and striping, we are unsure.

21/12/25 Q. We bought a Sandwich engine and the metal plate is missing. After some measuring we have determined this engine has a 4 inch bore and 6 or 6 inch stroke; flywheels are 25 inch diameter. After studying American Gas Engines Since 1872 we think it is a 3 HP model. We want to get a nameplate made, so wondered if you had any idea of the rpm for this engine. Bill Palmer, RD 2, Box 2101, Middlebury, VT 05753.

A. Your engine is a 2 HP model, with a 4 x 6 inch bore and stroke and a rated speed of 400 rpm.

21/12/26John D. Miller III, RR 1, Box 18, Fishersville, VA 22939 has just bought a Kohler Power-Light engine, Model K, No. 669 that is missing some parts. He needs to hear from someone with a manual for this engine so that he can determine the parts needed and then try to obtain them (hopefully) from a GEM reader. If anyone has this information, kindly communicate with Mr. Miller.


Ingeco engine ownersReed S. Benton, RD 1, Box 116, Wassaic, NY 12592 reports that due to his ad in the August, 1986 GEM, he has catalogued about 20 engines for the register which will be shared with all contributors in late 1986. Mr. Benton continues by noting that 'I suspect however, that there are still quite a few engines out there still unaccounted for.' If you have an Ingeco engine, kindly contact Mr. Benton so that it can be included in the register.

Thrall marine engineEd Thrall, 145 Chamberlain Road, Broad Brook, CT 06016 writes that he has had letters from Canada and from Indiana on this engine, and in both cases these owners had the engine without the nameplate. Mr. Thrall asks where he might get duplicate plates made.

Cast brass nameplates could probably be best made by someone using the lost wax process, also called investment casting. Possibly a good moulder could make these up in sand molds as well. Since there are a sizeable number of amateur foundry men in our fraternity, along with a number of foundry professionals, perhaps one or more of these individuals might be of help to you. Ordinary etched nameplates could probably be procured from someone specializing in this process, and in fact, there are some GEM advertisers who make brass nameplates. Hopefully these individuals will be in touch with you.

International Director of Collectors of Vintage Machinery From M. J. Laflin, The Warrens, Hartest, Bury St. Edmonds, Suffolk, IP29 4 EB England comes a letter noting that his company is already involved in producing a computerized list of collectors all over the world, with details of their collections. Mr. Laflin also hopes to include a listing of parts suppliers, new or used, along with other helpful information. Because of the enormous amount of work and the attendant costs, Mr. Laflin is making a very modest charge of $1.50 U.S. for each entry.

Reo enginesErv Troyer, RR 1, Box 258, LaGrange, IN 46761 writes that he already has a great deal of information on these engines (see August issue of GEM and the article by Andrew Mackey). However, since he worked for Motor Wheel Corporation, the last company to build the Reo 45-degree engines, he has a great deal of material on them, and plans' to put it into an article on the subject. To do so however, Mr. Troyer would appreciate hearing from anyone with information on the Reo engines, especially former employees, former dealers, etc. Mr. Troyer also writes that he will be more than happy to send a copy of any parts list to anyone who will send the model number of an engine or mower, plus a self-addressed and stamped long envelope. (The Reflector urges readers taking advantage of this gracious offer to also include a nominal amount to cover Erv's cost of photocopying etc.)


From Power's Practical Handbook of 1929 we glean some information regarding the freeing up of stuck piston rings. Their writers comment that a strong lye solution is recommended by some, but they oppose this process because strong lye is dangerous to use, and can cause embitterment of the rings. The so-called carbon removers use either carbon disulphide or acetone to do the job, but their recommendation is to use commercial benzol, toluol, or xylol, noting that these solvents will dissolve the tar and free the ring. Stover Engine Works, in their instruction manual for the Stover Diesel engines recommends that owners periodically put a couple of teaspoons of denatured alcohol in the cylinder after shutting the engine down. By leaving it to settle down over the rings overnight, the rings will be kept free of tar. The Stover people also warned of the danger of trying to start the engine while the alcohol was still present in the cylinder! Please note that the above solvents are explosive in nature, so be careful. Perhaps some of our readers will share their favorite method of freeing stuck piston rings short of prying them out in small pieces.

We recently saw a brief article in an old magazine that attempted to describe the molding of mica tubes. The process apparently consists of soaking the piece of mica plate in boiling water. Just before commencing to wrap the tube, take the mandrel you will be using, and also soak it to bring it up to temperature. Using gloves, wrap the mica around the mandrel and secure it with cord until it is cool We haven't tried this yet, so we have no idea of the problems you might encounter. However, if you need a mica tube of a size you cannot obtain anywhere, perhaps this idea is worth trying.

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.