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28/5/2 Minneapolis-Moline RE

Older M-M tractors have an engine serial plate and the tractor serial plate is on the side of the transmission. RE engines power the Z-Series tractors up to about 1950. EE engines are used on the Model R, and KEF engines are for the Model U. Len Hoops, 3210 Tabora Dr., Antioch, CA 94509.

28/5/26 Sears Tractor

This is a Sears Handiman. Briggs 6k Stratton made the complete transaxle for this tractor. It was made by B & S in 1939 and 1940. (Model No. 917-5154.) Also the engine is a Model Z B & S uprated from 4 to 5 horsepower in 1939. Probably the rest of the tractor was assembled by Bradley Mfg. Co. B & S didn't make transmissions and transaxles for garden and lawn equipment after 1940.  Undoubtedly the Handiman 4-wheel tractor was still being sold in 1941, but if any were made after WW2, either a different transaxle was used, or someone else was making this transaxle.

The 6 x 22 tires had been an option on Sears walking tractors since 1935. Also, Montgomery, Ward 6k Co. and others used this size tire. In GEM 22/11, page 25 is a short article and picture of a similar Handiman. The transmissions of these two tractors are identical except for the shift lever and axle shafts. Both of these transmission variations were near identical to the walking garden tractors introduced by Sears in 1938. Dave Baas' 'Vintage Garden Tractors' 2nd Edition has a 2-page spread of this tractor on pages 40 and 41. Also a nice picture of a 4-wheel Handiman on page 44. Also another picture of the 4-wheel Handiman is in GEM 27/9/31.

Of the Walking Garden Tractors, Briggs 6k Stratton made all of the large models for Sears from 1933 through 1940 except for the handlebars and wheels, these being furnished by an outside supplier. Kenneth Scales, 2601 Shadynook Way, Oklahoma City, OK 73141.

28/4/23 Chained Flywheels

We're still getting letters about the engine shown with a chain over the flywheels for lifting the engine. Folks, the message is always the same ... if you're determined to lift an engine that way, put a block between the two wheels to eliminate the inward pull on the flywheel rims!

Stuart Perry Engines

There is a substantial amount of information in Internal Fire by Lyle Cummins. Pretty much the same material appears in both the original and revised editions. Mr. Cummins confirms your information, and in addition offers a detailed description of the principles of operation of the engine. The patent model resides in the Smithsonian. Gerald B. Lombard, 5120 Belcrest Avenue, Bakersfield, CA 93309-4705.

28/5/8 It's a Clinton

The engine in question is a 3 HP Clinton. I removed one like it from a Bearcat walking tractor with steel wheels. It could have been a Tigercat. My engine is missing the blower housing, and the cooling fins are broken off the flywheel. If I can find the parts I need or a complete engine I will restore the tractor. A friend gave it to me about 25 years ago, and all it has done for me is gather dust and rust. R. W. Doss, 5950 Wilson Dr., Huntington, WV 25705.

28/5/1 Fordson Carburetors

I'm sure anyone inverting the old Fordson carburetor had to make other arrangements for the exhaust as the Fordsons did not have a hood as such, but only a long kerosene fuel tank mated to the rear of the large upper radiator header tank. James Fulkerson, 1057 S. 75th PL. Mesa, AZ 85208.

28/3/46 Hallicrafters Generator

Back a couple of months ago I wrote to Reflections asking for the electrical diagram on the 1942 Hallicrafters PE-108A generator.

Mr. G. B. Lombard of Bakersfield, CA, read my request and wrote suggesting who I should contact, a noted Hallicrafters collector. After some correspondence, I got the diagram/book I needed. I got this material because Mr. Lombard in California read my request and pointed me in the correct direction. Thank you all for your help! Kenneth L. Roland, 3205 Circle Dr. NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402.

Modelmaker's Corner

My Steam Projects

Ernest T. Werner, 6613 State Route 158, Millstadt, IL 62260 sends along photos and information on the following:

Photo MM-1 is a code boiler once used in a cleaning establishment. It was gas fired, and is shown as it was under steam the first time after replacing the flues. It is shown operating the oscillating cylinder engine shown in the last issue. The stack is made up of four-inch galvanized vent pipe. It takes six gallons of water to fill the boiler to the right place on the gauge glass.

Photo MM-2 shows the firebox for the boiler on truck after the wheels were installed. The firebrick were cut tapered on two sides for a tight fit in the round firebox. The firebrick is 1 inches thick. The firebox is made of 12 inch steel pipe with a 5/16 inch wall. Fire door and ash door are made of inch steel plate. All fabrication was done in my shop, as well as installation of new flues in the boiler.

Photo MM-3 shows the boiler, as well as my engines mounted on a 5 x 10 trailer. A factory-built engine was also on the display, namely an Engberg, built at St. Joseph, Michigan. It has a 3 inch bore and stroke. It can be seen on the photo between the two signs, directly behind me sitting on the trailer. It is an upright engine, and has quite an elaborate boiler. The driver of the Economy tractor is a close friend and a fellow steamer. He had built several small steam engines, as as well as two 1/3 scale Case threshing engines. He has also built a miniature threshing machine and sawmill.

Don Achen's Models

Thanks to Don Achen, RR2, Bellevue, IA 52031 for sending photos of recent models, shown and described as follows:

MM-4 is a 'Panther Pup' four-cylinder engine which I am just getting finished.

MM-5 is a 1/3 scale Economy engine that provides power for a line shaft; it drives a pedestal grinder, table saw, drill press, and wood lathe.

MM-6 illustrates a 1/6 scale Economy. The flywheels of this little engine are only three inches in diameter.


The other day we received a detailed letter from Mr. Gerald B. Lombard, 5120 Belcrest Avenue, Bakersfield, CA 93309-4705. In his letter, Mr. Lombard offers a number of suggestions that might improve the column, and also poses the double-pointed question of, 'What response from readers does the Reflector want/expect/hope for? and what does the Reflector offer in return?

The response we want/expect/hope for is that if we don't have an answer to a question, then perhaps some of our readers might. That's really the bottom line . . . that's really the purpose of this column ... to serve as a clearinghouse of information ... and occasionally as a matchmaker for the benefit of the readership.

The question is also raised as to what we might offer in return. Ye olde Reflector has dabbled with vintage iron for a long time, and the longer we're at it, the more we find out we didn't know. Over the many years that we've been writing the Reflections column, we've never thought of it in terms of anything but being a sincere attempt to disseminate information for the benefit of all, and to be as helpful as possible within our capabilities. Sometimes we're succinct, sometimes we're vague, sometimes we'll tell you we don't have the answer. Thus, we've never subscribed much to having well-defined procedural rules. Sometimes our readers send us information that replicates that sent to an inquirer, sometimes not. Although we appreciate receiving all the information we can, we're not sure it's necessary that each and every response show up in the column. Sometimes there are inquiries of a rather narrow nature, and we try to write the column with as much information which in our judgement is of interest to the majority of our readers. This is sometimes a judgement call on our part, a phenomenon sometimes known as intuition.

Regarding priorities, we think the first priority is to our readers. It's far more important to us that an inquirer receive a letter or response from someone knowledgeable than it is for us to receive that same information. In this case, the old rule of the customer (reader) is always first' applies. All in all, we've never set up many rules regarding this column or its content, and this by design. It's not ye olde Reflector's column, it's YOUR column, and we're quite happy to be the caretaker, the matchmaker, and occasionally, the referee!

Might we once again add the notice that it would behoove anyone sending out an inquiry letter to at least include the return postage or a stamped envelope. If someone replies to your query, is it too much to ask that you send a 'Thank You' note, along with a stamp that can be used for another letter?

Mr. Lombard's letter, together with his suggestions and comments are greatly appreciated. We'll take up some other interesting points in coming issues. Meanwhile, ye olde Reflector is gearing up for a trip to England in June, one that we hope will be a memorable experience!