Unidentified Engine


Bill Schefter

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During the past several weeks the Reflector was fortunate in acquiring a substantial run of a German engineering journal, Zeitschrift des Vereins Deutscher Ingenieure. Covering the 1857-1920 period, this material will provide substantial insights into engine and tractor developments on the European scene.

Unfortunately, we tend to prejudice ourselves and our own American developments, believing that we have usually had the best answers to these matters. The fact is, however, that much of our farm equipment development comes, either directly or indirectly, from European designs and European thought. Many of our early inventors were immigrants, having already learned a trade before leaving their homeland. While they often 'Americanized' their way of doing things, their designs frequently reflected old-world design and sturdiness.

After attempting to digest some of the material in the above journal, plus that found in Chronique Industrielle, another engineering journal of French origins, we intend to share some of these developments with you.

We're still getting comments about our recent editorial on common sense practices at the engine shows. One letter in particular makes the point we were making, with the writer relating of how he, his wife, and several by -standers were bespeckled by a huge old Rumely Oil Pull which managed to belch voluminous quantities of jet black oil from the exhaust stack. Unfortunately, these folks have not to this day found a fabric cleaner which will remove this stuff, and so attending this particular show was very expensive for a good many people. You're tired of hearing about it, and we're tired of hollering about it, so we'll let the matter rest for now by urging all of you to have a wonderful summer at the shows, but be careful!

Our first question this month concerns a garden tractor:

23/7/1 Q. I'm restoring a Haney tractor and was wondering if anyone has information on it. The Haney was made in Philadelphia in the 1940's. Uses a one-cylinder air cooled engine, is chain driven, and has 7.50-16 traction-grip tires on the rear. Looks like it may have been painted Allis-Chalmers orange. Any information on these tractors will be appreciated, as will any info on an unstyled Centaur KV tractor. Darrell Lind, RR 2, Box 198, Elizabeth, IN 47117.

A. As we've noted in the past, our files on many of these small tractor companies is limited to the small blurbs we've extracted from old farm magazines and the like. Unfortunately, the Haney and Centaur both fall into the group where we have virtually nothing on file.

23/7/2 Q. Having just purchased a 1919 IH 8-16 I would like to know the colors of the tractor. Hood, fenders, and wheel colors. Also would like to hear from someone with an owner's manual for this tractor. Roger Boise, RD 1, Box 12, New Haven, VT 05472.

A. There are a few of these tractors around, and we hope that some other 8-16 owners will get in contact with you-they are probably the ones that can give you the precise information you need.

23/7/3 Q. I think I have an 'out-of-balance' problem with a Fairbanks-Morse 3 HP 'Z' engine. It is the earlier type with the Sumter dynamo mounted above, and driven from, the large cam gear. Its rated speed is 450 rpm. If it turns just a little bit faster it starts bouncing the 500 pound truck it is securely fastened to. A friend of mine has a later type 3 HP 'Z' rated at 475 rpm and it runs nice and steady. I have other engines which run even faster, like the John Deere engines, and they run nice and steady. I added a brass washer under each of the two rod cap nuts. Is this enough to throw it out of balance? How does one go about balancing the flywheel, etc.? David Campbell, 3760 N.W. Entrikin Lane, Madras, OR 97741.

A. Engineers have written, and continue to write, volumes on the matter of engine balancing. By the turn of the century, and perhaps somewhat earlier, engineers had developed a formula for engine balance. Unfortunately, however, the formula includes speed as one of the factors. That's one reason why the engine is rated at 450 rpm, and one reason why it will get out of balance at 500 rpm. In other words, at about 500 rpm you are entering a critical speed, and chances are that if you ran the engine at this speed for an extended period, you would probably break the crank or cause other serious damage. Although it probably isn't very noticeable, this engine, like all others, probably has one or two other criticals through which it passes on its way up to the rated speed.

The whole matter of critical speeds, harmonics, and other research on engine balancing is indeed complicated. Part of the problem is in the fact that at the point of ignition, a vibration takes place in the crank throw-the crank pin has a velocity faster than that of the shaft! That's only part of the problem; there's a lot of iron swinging on the crank pin, and with changing speeds, the forces change dramatically.

In a few words, some of the old-timers had a set of weighted clamps which they would fasten to the flywheels during the hand balancing process. This was purely a cut-and-try affair that went on until the mechanic was satisfied that the engine was in balance. Bear in mind however, that these engines were balanced to run at a specific rated speed, and while vibration usually was not significant at lower speeds, it could become a serious consideration at any speed higher than that stamped on the nameplate.

23/7/4 Q. Can anyone identify the engine in these photos? Any information on this engine will be appreciated. Bill Schefter, RR 1, Box 20, Langdon, ND 58249.

A. We're of the opinion that Nelson Bros, might have been involved here, but we are not entirely certain either.

23/7/5 Q. What is the proper color for a Rawleigh 1? HP engine similar to that shown on page 408 of American Gas Engines? Louis Meszaros, RFD 1, Box 416, Glenfield, NY 13343.

A. Our information has the Rawleigh being a dark brown, comparable to DuPont Dulux 93-036, and striping in a bright blue.

23/7/6 Q. Can you give me any information on a 1? HP Royal from Royal Engine Co., Saginaw, Michigan? Larry A. Moon, 3 Coolidge Circle, Gadsden, AL 35904.

A. The Royal was another of the many engines built by Nelson Bros, at Saginaw. Nelson Bros, built several different engine lines, many of them being on contract for other companies. This makes a precise historical account of their activities nearly impossible. In fact the Nelson Bros. engine line was so broad that some of their instruction manuals were not printed for a specific model, but rather were set up as a generalized instruction manual suitable for several similar engine lines differing primarily in the use of a different nameplate and paint color.

23/7/7 Q. Recently I purchased a Hardy engine, No. 5-A, made at Port Huron, Michigan. This engine is illustrated on page 219 of American Gas Engines. My engine has been converted to an air compressor and is missing its cylinder head, carburetor, and ignition system. I would be most grateful for any further information that might help in restoring this engine. It has a 3? x 4 inch bore and stroke. F.E. Curtis, c/o P.O. Merbein South, 3505, Victoria, Australia.

A. It's certainly unusual to find one of the engines, and we can't help wondering how one of them managed to get so far away from the factory. We have no parts or information, but we wish you every success in the restoration process.

23/7/8 Q. I am writing in regards to a Phelps light plant engine. I recently asked for help, but so far have had no response. My engine is lacking a carburetor. A picture of this engine is on page 388 of American Gas Engines, and the Pausin engine on page 383 appears to use the same carburetor. Can anyone identify the carburetor or tell me how to proceed? Edgar E. Wagner, 1918 Hilison Rd., Amboy, IL 61310.

A. Although we don't believe the carburetor in question to be a Schebler, we see no reason not to adapt one of these to your engine. It is quite similar, and these are relatively plentiful. Sometime in the future, the exact replacement might appear, but in the meantime, one could have considerable enjoyment form the engine, even though the carburetor is not original equipment.

23/7/9 Q. See the accompanying photo of a 3 HP Jackson engine manufactured by Secord & Orr, Jackson, Michigan. It is s/n 1221. The traces of color still remaining are green and orange, although these may not be original. Any information on this engine will be greatly appreciated. Clarence Hickman, P.O. Box 318, East Liverpool, OH 43920.

23/7/10 Q. Can anyone help Delmer C. Anderson of Rt 2, Box 238, Hartford, SD 57033 identify the garden tractor in this photo? It has an air cooled engine with Zenith carburetor, removable intake valve and cage, brass hubs on the wheels with ratchets. The crankcase and transmission is in the same unit. My grandfather gave me a share of Independent Harvester Company with a face value of $100, bought May 8, 1911. Is it worth anything?

A. The Reflector has never been proficient in identifying garden tractors, but hopefully some of our readers can help. Anything the Reflector had to do with stocks has usually resulted in what the accountants call a 'negative cash flow.' In other words, it's usually been a losing proposition! Our guess is that the Independent stock certificate has its value as a collectible item, rather than still having a cash value.

23/7/11 Bob King, RR 1, Princeton, Ontario N0J 1V0 Canada would like further information on restoring two engines. One is a small vertical style with high tension battery ignition. It was built by Scott Machine Co. Ltd., London, Canada. It is s/n 184, 1? HP, 350 rpm. The second engine is a 'Little Tiger' 2 cycle, 2 cylinder marine engine built by Northwestern Machinery company, Detroit, Michigan.

23/7/12 Stanley Schlintz, RR 1, Bangor, WI 54614 needs the proper color scheme for his Co-op E-3 tractor of 1948.

23/7/13 Q. Can anyone supply information on a Kinkade garden tractor built by American Farm Machinery Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota? Mine has one drive wheel and the one-cylinder engine is in the middle of the wheel. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Bob Olson, Box 52, Fort Thompson, SD 57339.

23/7/14 Q. I have a 7 or 8 HP Hercules gasoline engine from which the nameplate has been removed. I would like to establish, if possible, the model and a rough idea of the serial number for this engine. It has a 5? x 9 inch bore and stroke with 34 inch flywheels, and uses an old-style Webster magneto. In comparison against a few other Hercules and Economy engines, the only major difference seems to be in the governor mechanism. In the Sept. 1, 1936 parts book published by Servel, Inc., they show a governor similar to mine for Models E, F, and G. The exceptions are the spindle shaft on my engine has an oil hole, not a grease cup, and there is no thrust washer behind the governor drive gear. Any information will be appreciated. Walter H. Miller, Rt 2, Box 229C, Butler, TN 37640.

A. We're not sure it is possible to come much closer to an identification than you have already done with your previous research. The substitution of a grease cup for the oil hole, plus the addition of the governor thrust washer seem to indicate that your particular engine would be on the early end of this partcular series, since the governor was a frequent source of problems. As you know, it runs very fast, and was subjected to considerable wear-oftentimes the gear teeth on the little governor gear are completely chewed up. Adding a grease fitting and a thrust washer probably obviated at least some of the problems experienced with this design.

23/7/15 Q. I've just acquired an unknown piece of iron (see photo) with no markings whatever. It is of two cycle design, but smaller than a Maytag. Although it is badly set up, it is virtually complete. Any clues to its identification will be appreciated. Ralph Hendrickson, Box 55, Nineveh, NY 13813.

A. We would guess this to be a Maytag, and perhaps a very early one. There are also possibilities that this could be from Elgin Wheel & Engine Co., Elgin, Illinois.

23/7/16 Q. See the enclosed photo of what we believe to be a small grain seeder. Although badly weathered, we plan to restore it, and would appreciate any information on this old seeder. Jesse A. Bandy, 406 N. High St., Paris, IL 61944.

A. This is indeed a 'grass seeder'. It was intended to broadcast small seeds-anything from bluegrass to clover. The wheel operates a mechanism which releases the seed from passages in the bottom of the long box. These seeders became popular during the last half of the nineteenth century, and a great many different companies built them, so we can't tell you specifically who built this particular machine. It is, however, a scarce item nowadays.

23/7/17 Q. On page 545 of American Gas Engines there is an illustration of a Lawson engine as built by Welch & Lawson of New York. This unique engine has been selected by the Utah Antique Machinery Association as their logo to be used on name tags, newsletters, etc. I would like to build a scale model of this engine, but could use some additional illustrations, or even some dimensions if any of these engines still exist. Birk Petersen, 557 East 3460 North, Provo, UT 84604.

A. We've never heard of any Lawson engines still existing, but if there are, we would be happy to run some photos of this unusual design in GEM.

23/7/18 Q. See the enclosed photo of a Ball hot tube engine, 18 HP at 200 rpm. It has an 11 x 12 inch bore and stroke. This is a half-breed engine-one converted from a steam engine into a gas engine many years ago. Some areas of green paint appear. Could this be the original color? Any information on Ball Engine Company would be appreciated. Bob Bemboom, Route 2, Box 906, 0Independence, MO 64050.

A. Quite a number of companies, particularly in Pennsylvania, made a business of converting steam engines to gas engines during the early 1900's. The advent of successful gas engines made this a natural, since ample supplies of natural gas were present at the well heads, and this provided fuel that was virtually free. Unfortunately, the history of most of these companies has already been obscured by time. Their conversion kits were more or less custom made; that is, the cylinder mountings for say a Skinner steam engine were no doubt different than those of a Porter steam engine. As technology improved and prices stabilized for gas engines, the conversion technique probably was no longer cost effective and was abandoned.

23/7/19 Q. The old manure spreader in these two photos is a basket case, but I'm interested in learning everything possible about it so it can be restored. Any clues as to maker, year built, etc., will be appreciated. Granville N. Rideout, 207 Gabe Rd., Ashburnham, MA 01430.

A. We're not sure of the ancestry for this spreader, although we are fairly certain it was not built by Kemp or IHC. A lot of companies got into this business about 1900, and we would guess that your spreader is of 1900-1915 vintage.

23/7/20 Q. What color combination was used on the cast center wheel hubs and also the rims on the Oliver Model 70 row crop tractors? I think the hubs were green, but not sure at all on the rims. Ed Ellis, 980 Peavy Road, Howell, MI 48843.

A. As a youngster, we had a neighbor with one of these; it had Oliver-Hart-Parr cast into the radiator. The skeleton wheels were all green except for the rims which were the same orange as the stripe on the front of the radiator. Right after World War II it was converted to rubber-it would have been changed over sooner if the tires had been available! The Oliver 70 was the only tractor on that 200 acre farm. Our adjoining 200 acres was farmed with a single John Deere styled A tractor. One thing stands out in my memory-the John Deere dealer didn't have to come and fix our tractor nearly so often as the Oliver dealer was out fixing up the Oliver 70.