Vertical engine


Randall Goff

Content Tools

24/2/28 Unidentified

Q. See the photo of a recent purchase. This vertical engine has flywheels 28?x 2 3/8 inches. Also a 5? x 7 inch bore and stroke. The serial number is R6445, fuel tank is in base, and the engine uses hit-and-miss governing. Any information will be appreciated.

Mitch Malcolm, R 1, Box 564-B, Ottertail, MN 56571.

A. If this is an early Fairbanks-Morse (it's hard to tell from this photo), then the serial number AND manufacturing date might be stamped on the END of the crankshaft.

24/2/29 Feed grinder

Q. I have a feed grinder just like the one on page 9 of the November, 1988 GEM, on the lower right hand corner, just above the Economy engine. My feed grinder has been restored, but I don't know who manufactured it. Would appreciate hearing from anyone with any information. Harlen C. Maier, 130 W. Loretta Ave., Stockton, CA 95207.

24/2/30 Sharpies and Olds engines

Q. See photos of a 4? HP engine by Sharpies Separator Co., West Chester, Pennsylvania. It exhibits some innovative modifications. The addition of the Manzel lubricator, a large Stromberg carburetor, and a Bosch B6 magneto, and replacement of the igniter with a spark plug are some modifications, along with a throttle governing system. Questions: 1) Is the throttle governor standard equipment? 2) By virtue of the sideshaft drive for the magneto, can this be considered a sideshaft engine? 3) I would like to restore the engine to its original low tension ignition system, but have found it impossible so far to locate anyone who can help. 4) Can you explain the difference between high tension and low tension ignition? 5) What speed should this engine run?

Regarding the Seager-Olds engine shown in 24/2/30D, there 15 a boss cast into the valve cage cover for the serial number, but nothing is there. Was this sort of omission common? Also, I have not so far been able to secure a copy of an operator's manual for this engine. If anyone can help, please advise.

Jim Mehegan, RR 1, Box 39, Linville, VA 22834.

A. Either this engine came from the factory this way, or it was under the hands of a VERY SKILLFUL workman! It is entirely possible that Sharpies set this engine up this way, either on a special order basis from a customer, or perhaps in their own experiments aimed at improving the design. We suppose you could call it a sideshaft engine, although this terminology is generally considered in terms of operating the valve gear mechanism. This 4? HP engine might have had a rated speed of 300 to 450 rpm-at this point in time, something of the lower range would probably be advisable. High tension simply refers to a jump spark system, while low tension is the make-and-break igniter system.

After sandblasting, we wouldn't be too surprised to find the serial number stamped somewhere on the Olds, possibly even on the boss where it should have been. Sometimes, years of rust and corrosion have virtually obliterated these markings.

24/2/31 Johnson Iron Horse

Q. Patrick C. Zeller, PO Box 142, Paxico, KS 66526 has a Johnson Iron Horse engine built in Waukegan, Illinois and asks the following questions: Is any literature available on these engines! How many years were they built? Were they used on washing machines? Are these engines rare?

A. We know of no literature. Little information has emerged concerning the company, its years of operation, etc. We would consider these engines to be fairly scarce-based on the fact that they are seldom seen at a show.

24/2/32 Monitor pump engine

Q. I would like to know the age and proper color of Monitor upright pump engines, s/n 49611 and 22732, also the proper color of same.

Can anyone tell me where I can get new decals etc. for a Farmall 450 toy, pedal type tractor, as I wish to restore one. Mike Timm, Route 1, Box 100, Weyauwega, WI 54983.

A. There is no serial number data available on the Monitor. See the September, 1988 GEM for a compare able color list. Hopefully, someone involved in toy tractors will contact you regarding how you might secure the items necessary for restoration.

24/2/33 Unidentified engine

The marine engine in the two photos was given to me by my uncle about 30 years ago. He discovered it several years before in Merrimac, Massachusetts. There is no name or part numbers on the engine-it is four-cylinder, four-stroke, and water cooled with automatic intake valves. So far no one has been able to identify it. Can anyone help? Oran S. Rowe, 5 Titcomb St., Haverhill, MA 01832.


23/11/5 Engine Accidents

See photo RE-1 of myself holding a pair of 'show shorts.' I was preparing a 2 HP KA Stover engine for a show in July, and decided to make one last adjustment on my running engine. A chain drive gear that is mounted on the crankshaft caught hold of the leg of my shorts and literally tore my pants off! Luckily the engine is governed to run very slowly and I was able to stop it by grabbing the flywheels and holding on!

Now that I have torn up a good set of shorts, and have two severely lacerated and bruised legs (as well as wounded pride), I have learned my lesson. I'll state it for all my fellow readers: Keep all loose clothing tucked in. If possible, stop your engines before making adjustments.

Andrew K. Mackey, 26 Mott Place, Rockaway Boro, NJ 07866.

Reflector's Comment: About twenty years ago the Reflector was helping someone start a 6 HP R & V engine at a show. The R & V Triumph engines have the lower pivot for the valve pitman located very close to the inside of the flywheel. Since the engine was on the verge of running, I was helping it along by grabbing the flywheel and helping it out. Well, I went too far around, and the result was that my fingers got caught between the flywheel and the pin carrying the pitman arm. In the process, this completely tore off one fingernail, with a projecting cotter pin managing to leave a one inch gash in the next finger. Now before you write the GEM editors complaining that we are being too gross in what we say in the column, the same thing can happen to any one of us who plays with old iron. In the old days, safety wasn't talked about like it is today, and if somebody got himself caught in some machinery, the usual response was that 'He shouldn't have had his hands in there to begin with.'

You folks probably get awfully tired of the Reflector harping about safety. Especially for our younger generation who may not realize that those inventive days weren't much concerned with the safety factors, we will continue to admonish you to be careful. I can tell you that there's a whole lot of misery involved in growing a new fingernail and healing a one inch gash!

23/12/7 Cork Floats

Several people wrote us on this one, and all seemed to agree that aircraft-type sealer is the way to go. Also, it appears that the job has to be done very carefully, using several thin coats of this stuff to get the job done. However, it appears to solve the problem of heavy cork floats. This material is available from numerous sources, including some GEM advertisers.

23/10/10 Engine

The engine in Bob Womack's letter is an Eli. The photo (RE-2) is from the 1988 Portland, Indiana show. (The Eli was built by Moline Pump Company, Moline, Illinois.)

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