Brief Word

Unidentified Engine


Harold Price

Content Tools

As we assemble this column in early April, we've just sent another section of our Standard Catalog of Farm Tractors off to the publisher. Even though we've been writing books about tractors since 1970, we're amazed at the number of different tractors that have hit the market since the Charter of 1889. Tractor design for decades to come ranged anywhere from the ridiculous to the sublime and everything between.

Most people attempting to build tractors, as well as gas engines, went into the venture with a lack of capital, and even with a good design, a shortage of funds led to their undoing. Speaking of capital, there were also a few 'tractor builders' who were nothing more than paper companies that wheedled lots of money from folks through the sale of worthless, or nearly worthless stock. A few of these people spent some time in jail as a result of their misdeeds. Of course by then, the money was long gone.

We were just on the Internet. At the present time, there are literally thousands of entries that come up when you type 'Antique Gas Engines' into the 'Search' line. There's no doubt about it ... the Internet is fast emerging as a new way of bringing people closer together within a specific hobby.

As the 1998 show season approaches, we offer our annual caveat to be careful in moving and operating your engines and equipment. Accidents can and will happen, but there's no point in helping things along by being careless, or sometimes, just plain ignorant. All of us can recall some bonehead foolishness we did at some time or other. It's more fun to recall these boners when we didn't get hurt too badly, but not so great when there was serious injury. If you're not too worried about getting yourself bunged up, at least think about the spectators ... no use causing injury to a bystander, even if you do no more than injure their dignity by splattering oil on them.

Our first query this month is:

33/6/1 Stover Grinding Mill Q. See the photos of a Stover No. 40 grinding mill. J would like to know the size and pattern of the wooden hopper used on this mill. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Also see my want ad in this issue. Don Upham, 723 Ryan Road, Florence, MA01062.

33/6/2 IHC LA Engine Q. Can anyone supply information on re-manufactured valve covers for the IHC LA engines? Alvin Dockendorfer, 20952 Roosevelt St., Danville, IA 52623.

33/6/3 Des Moines Gas Engines Q. Recently you published a short article about the engines from Des Monies Gas Engine & Electric Company. I have an 8 HP Des Moines engine that is in quite good condition. The hot tube chimney has been lost and a spark plug is screwed into the hot tube opening. Otherwise it is quite complete. It is a gearless engine with a wobble rod to activate the exhaust valve. It has a very unusual carburetion system built right into the intake valve casting. The engine has 53 inch flywheels and is beautifully proportioned, Jerry Toews, Box 131, Goessel, KS 67053.

A. Jerry includes various other comments about this engine in his letter, and we are certainly happy to know that at least one of the Des Moines engines still survives. Jerry would like to see some other views of the engine if any exist; the picture in a recent issue is the only one we have of this engine.

33/6/4 Fairbanks-Morse Engine Q. I recently purchased a Fairbanks-Morse 1 HP Type Z engine on a sub-base set up for an electrical generator. This unit has battery ignition with a battery and Model T coil. The coil will buzz just fine, but the spark is very weak. After cleaning up the points, it wasn't any better than before. Can anyone advise?

Also, I have Fairbanks-Morse 3 HP engine with magneto ignition. Is there any printed information on rebuilding these magnetos? Any help would be appreciated. Robert L. Rowe II, 145 Mollei St., Many, LA 71449.

A. Either the coil is partially shorted or the capacitor is bad. Either way, we'd hunt up another coil. There isn't any reprinted literature that we know of on the F-M magnetos.

33/6/5 Lawn-O-Matic See the photo of a small engine found at a rummage sale. It is four-cycle, and all aluminum except for the cylinder. It has a fully working differential between the flywheel and the crankshaft. The tag reads: Lawn-O-Matic, Glen & Cut-Ian Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota. Can anyone provide any information on this unit, when built, etc. Dale Kraig, Leonard, ND 58052.

33/6/6 Challenge Engine Q. I recently acquired the Challenge engine shown in the photos. It has no serial number. This engine has a 6 x 11 inch bore and stroke and 48 inch fly wheels. What is the horsepower and the year built? Also, what kind of carburetor does it need? Would like to hear from anyone having one of these engines, or information about my engine. Dan Moss, N8258 County A, Watertown, WI 53094.

A. Can anyone supply Mr. Moss with more details on his Challenge engine? We have little information on them.

33/6/7 M-E Rototillers Q. Regarding Ron Baer's question in the April 1998 GEM; the EC-12-C2 model was listed in 1952. Also, beginning in 1954 the M-E rototillers were added to the FMC-Bolens line. As far as [factory] parts are concerned, forget it! Paul Curtis, 4409 N 128 Ct., #19, Omaha, NE 68164-1976.

33/6/8 Hercules Engine Q. See the photo of what we think is a 5 HP Hercules engine, s/n 87079, with a 5E suffix on the horsepower. When was this engine built, and what is the proper color?

Beside it is a 3 HP McCormick-Deering with s/n W3648. What year is it?

We also have a Witte 6 HP engine, s/n 102398 and would like the year built and the correct color. Jim Schilling, 346 Tri-Hill Frontage Road, Great Falls, MT 59404.

A. To our knowledge, the 'E' suffix behind the horsepower would indicate 'Economy' and this would then mean it was built by Hercules for Sears & Roe -buck Co. If so, then the engine would be red, comparable to DuPont 674 Red.

The 3 HP McCormick-Deering, s/n W3648 would be a 1925 model.

The 6 HP Witte was built in 1944. Witte engines are comparable in color to 5204 Forest Green.

33/6/9 Unidentified Engine Q. See the photos of an engine of about 3 horsepower. It has a low crank guard, a spark advance lever on the timing gear, and the governor weights are on the timing gear. The rocker arm has a ring controlling the spring pressure on the intake valve. I have had this engine to several shows, but no one has come up with a name for it. Any information on this engine would be greatly appreciated. Harold Price, 54 Stetmore, Dubuque, Iowa 52001.

A. We have no clue as to the make of this engine. Can anyone be of help?

33/6/10 Steering Wheel Restorations Q. Can anyone advise of someone who can redo steering wheels of 13 inches or smaller? I know of two companies, but they cannot handle anything this small. Paul H. Burkle, PO Box 1871, Waterloo, IA 50704.

33/6/11 Unidentified Engine Q. The picture shown here was taken in August 1944 on the island of Tinian, Marianas Islands. When things calmed down, we in Motor Transport could acquire all kinds of motorized equipment, including the engine shown here running a washing machine. Does anyone know the make of this engine? It was a hit-and-miss style. Harold L. Mathieu, RR 2, Box 279, Chassell, MI 49916.

33/6/12 Furrow Guides Q. Regarding the comments in the April 1998 GEM about furrow guides; there were two types. One was the wheel type, and the other was a runner that went into the furrow. My dad purchased a Case 15-27 tractor in 1919 or 1920 and it had the runner-type. The furrow guide was lifted at each end with a rope. Our neighbor had an IHC Titan 10-20 and it too had a furrow guide, but since it was so heavy to lift at the ends, it was discarded after the first season. Another neighbor had an OilPull with a furrow guide, and it too was discarded after the first season due to the hard work of lifting it at each end of the field. Edwin Bredemeier, RR 1, Box 13, Steinauer, NE 68441-9755.

333/6/13 Novo Engine Q. I have a Novo engine, 3 HP, and s/n 97134. When was it built? Jim Hendrick, 260 Cohoon Rd., Murray, KY 42071.

A. Your engine was built in June 1926.

333/6/14 Unidentified Machine Q. See the photos of an unidentified machine. It is a No. 1 Western Chief, Made by Canedy-Otto Mfg. Company, Chicago Heights, Illinois. This machine is in an old barn, along with various other old pieces, including a huge old bandsaw that stands about 7 feet high. Is there anyone interested in large functioning pieces like these? Ken Taplin, 132 Royal Rd., North Yarmouth, ME 04097.

A. What you have is a tire shrinker. In the days of wooden wheel wagons, it occasionally became necessary to reset the wagon tires because the wood had shrunk, leaving the tire loose on the wheel. There were hot setters and cold setters. The former required that the tire be heated before going to the shrinker where its periphery was shortened by simply upsetting or shortening it to an appropriate degree. Then the entire wagon tire was heated to expand it, whereupon it was dropped over the wooden wheel to shrink into place.

33/6/15 Wolfe Engine Q. Phil Hayse, 411 E. Washington St., Lyons, Kansas 67554 sends along a newspaper clipping of the Wolfe engine, made by D. C. Wolfe, Lyons, Kansas. This engine was made about 1900. Does anyone have any information on this engine or the whereabouts of one?

33/6/17 David Bradley Suburban I recently acquired a David Bradley Suburban 725 riding garden tractor. It has a lawn mower attachment and a Briggs & Stratton Model 19 engine, s/n 650 943. It has a lot of belts, pulleys and hand levers. Does anyone have any information about this garden tractor? Any help would be appreciated. Tom Cameron, 403281st Avenue North, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443.

33/6/18 Gray Motor Company Q. See the photo of a Gray engine, s/n 3082. It has a 6-inch bore and 34-inch flywheels. I would like to know when it was built, the correct color and any other information on this engine. AH help appreciated. Brent Riser, PO Box 1, Tremonton, UT 84337.

A. We have DuPont RS903 Red listed as being the appropriate color, but have no further information. Can anyone help?

33/6/19 Questions and Comments Q. See photos 19 A and 19B of a 1, HP Now Model S pump jack engine. It is rigged up to a sludge pump from London Concrete Products, London, Ontario. It has s/n 90179. Can you tell me when this engine was built?

Also see photos 19C and 19D of a 1 HP Gilson engine made in Guelph, Ontario. These engines are green, unlike the American-made Gilsons which are red. Ted Braniff, RR 1, Holstein, ONT N0G 2A0 Canada.

A. Your engine was shipped to London Concrete Products on February 27, 1925. We also note that the Canadian-made Gilson engines are green, compared to the red ones that came from Port Washington, Wisconsin.

33/6/20 Fairbanks-Morse Q. I have several 1 HP Fairbanks-Morse engine blocks for which I have found most of the parts to make complete engines. I have three different styles of magneto I cam brackets. One is No. ZAA 37 B for the rotary magnetos like the RV-1 or the FM Type J. The other two I am uncertain about. Any information would be appreciated.

There was also a question one time about the Economy engines with the gouges on the face of the flywheel. I never saw any answer or followup on the question. I also have a 3 HP Jaeger with the same gouges, and I would like to find out why. Jim Osnes, 16420 Fillmore St., Brighton, CO 80601.

A. It is possible that one of the FM castings might be for an engine that used the Sumter Plugoscillator igniter and low tension magneto. Also, FM used the American Bosch AB-33 high tension oscillator for a time. Both were replaced with the FM Type RV-1 and later the Type J high tension magnetos.

33/6/21 Cushman Engine Q. I have a Cushman Model 21, Type X headless engine of 1 HP. I would like to know the year built, correct paint color, and the proper location for the buzz coil and battery. I also have a Stover engine, s/n TD255586, and would like the year built and the correct paint color. Andrew F. Mackey, 39 Rousseau Hts., Greenville, NH 03048.

A. There is no s/n information for the Cushman of which we are aware. The correct color is gray, but we do not have the exact shade. For the Stover, it was made in 1938. It appears that the CT engines such as yours were a lighter shade of green than the earlier engines, and DuPont GS188 seems to come pretty close.

33/6/22 Toro Tractor Q. See the two photos of a Toro two-wheel garden tractor. I can't find a name plate on the tractor, but the engine has a number of 2567. What is the model of this tractor? The color? When was it built? The carburetor is missing, so I would like to know the proper replacement for it. Any information including photocopies and other data would be appreciated, and I will gladly pay the cost of any photocopying. Harley Collins, 2540 FoxRoad, Bath, PA 18014.

33/6/23 Galloway Engine Q. I have a 1 HP Galloway engine, s/n 8908. It is fired with an ignitor. Can anyone tell me when this engine was made? John M. Edgerton, 27 Loon Lake Rd., Bigfork, MT 599U.

33/6/24 Ingersoll-Rand Compressor Q. See the photos of an Ingersoll-Rand IR 3-cylinder radial type compressor, Model 250, s/n 250A183. It operates at 830 rpm using a Waukesha Model 4-80 engine with a 5 x 6 inch bore and stroke. The cart has solid rubber tires. Any information would be greatly appreciated. D.J. Baisch, 6230 E. 81st N., Idaho Falls, ID 83401.

33/6/25 Universal Generator Q. See the photos of a Universal engine-generator I found last fall. I would like more information from readers such as the carburetor, manifold, control panel, etc. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated. Don C. Wiley, 7840 State Rt. 4, Sparta, IL 62286.

33/6/25 Universal Generator Q. See the photos of a Universal engine-generator I found last fall. I would like more information from readers such as the carburetor, manifold, control panel, etc. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated. Don C. Wiley, 7840 State Rt. 4, Sparta, IL 62286.

33/6/26 Antique Outboard Catalogs Thanks to Arthur DeKalb, 51 Van Alstyne Drive, Pulaski, NY 13142 for sending along his 1998 Antique Outboard Catalogs listings. For anyone interested in antique outboard engines, here might be a good source point.

33/6/27 John Deere Type E Q. I recently purchased a John Deere Model E with a high base (see picture). All the information I've found states that Model E started with s/n 235001. The s/n on this engine is 227255. I have only seen one other high-base Model E like it. Is it possible that this was a prototype or just very few produced? Mark Ostrander, 14488 Bierman Rd., Riga, MI 49276.

A. There are several possibilities, but it seems logical to us that this was a pre-production model before full-fledged production began on the Type E engines. Since s/n 235001 begins in 1923, it also seems logical that your engine was made in 1921 or 1922.

33/6/28 Cement Mixer Q. See the photo of an old cement mixer that has been in the family since 1942 and in the area since at least 1926. Originally, it had a F-M dishpan engine on it. Can anyone advise about the original cover over the engine? The mixer is a Wonder, built by Construction Machinery Company, Waterloo, Iowa. Any help would be appreciated. Sam Spencer & Family, 1285-A Lovett Road, Orange Park, FL 32065.

33/6/29 Kramer Tractor Q. I recently purchased a Kramer tractor, Type KL9140, s/n 196 with a Deutz single-cylinder air-cooled diesel engine. Can anyone provide any information on this tractor, such as the year it was built? I would also like to know of any parts suppliers or where to look for any manuals or other information on this tractor. Terry Grady, PO Box5J0067, Mt. Home, UT 84051-0067.

33/6/30 Hand Blow Torch Q. I have a hand blow torch and a lead melting pot. What type of fuel can I buy now that white gas is hard to find? Larry Kohnert, 345 Prairie Road, Monticello, MM 55362.

A. As we've always understood it, leaded gas was no good in a plumber's furnace because the additives got caught up in the coils and then it wouldn't heat properly. We're not sure how today's unleaded gasoline would work, or whether it would cause much of a problem. Then there's always Cole-man fuel, but it is rather expensive. Does anyone have any suggestions?

33/6/31 Repairing Stripped Studs Q. To repair stripped studs on a Webster magneto, I put it upside down in the vise and tap out the hole with a 5/16 tap, but be careful not to bottom it too tight or you will strip it out again. Take a 5/16 bolt as long as the original, and put on two nuts to lock it tight, then set up in lathe and turn the other end down to inch. Put some Lock-Tite on the 5/16 end of stud and screw it in place.

Also see the photo of two F-M generating sets being installed at the Sebewaing Municipal Light & Water Dept. here in Sebewaing, Michigan, in 1994. They are Model 38D 8 1/8 x 10 inch opposed piston engines, 1920 HP, 1500 kw generators. We now have four 12-cylinder engines, five 10-cylinder engines, one 8-cylinder engine, and two 6-cylinder engines. All are opposed piston engines. William C. Kuhl, 464 S 5th St., Sebewaing, MI 48759-1559.

33/6/32 Thanks! To David L. Frederick 'The Tiger Man,' Rt 4, Box 149A, Keyser, WV 26726. email: Mr. Frederick has written a nice little history book of the Tiger Tractor Corporation that operated in his hometown. Those interested in the Tiger tractors are advised to contact Mr. Frederick in this regard.

333/6/33 Magneto Book Q. Newton DeYoung, Box 56, 109 Railroad St., Friesland, WI 53935-0056 inquires as to when we might be producing a magneto and ignition book. Well, as a matter of fact, ye olde Reflector is in touch with some publishers at the moment in this regard. We have the material in-house; it's a matter of first finding someone to publish the book, and then assembling all the material into a readable form. With all the writing projects we have in mind, we sure hope we don't run out of birthdays for awhile yet!

33/6/34 Novo Engine Q. I have a Novo 1 HP engine, s/n 87770 and would like to know when it was built. Dennis Chesley, 135 Granite Road, Ossipee, NH 03864.

A. Your engine was shipped to Kwik Mix Concrete Machy. Co., Port Washington, Wise, on June 5, 1924.

33/6/35 Ariens Rototiller Q. I have a 1938 Ariens Rototiller Model A with a 30-inch till width. It uses an AC4 Wisconsin engine. Would anyone have any information on this machine, especially the color? All replies appreciated. Gene LeJeune 5154 Hidden Valley Dr., Slinger, WI 53086.

Readers Write

Thanks to Cris A. Nystrom, 1764 South River Road, Autryville, NC 28318 for sending the following three responses to recent queries:

33/4/18 Clinton Engine The Clinton engine described is 1.05 HP @ 1800 rpm, ranging up to 2.5 HP @ 3600 rpm. It was built with aluminum block and cast iron cylinder liner. The designation GEM simply denotes it as part of a design family. The other design families were Long Life, Panther, and Red Horse. The Model No. 100-2112 denotes the base model of 100, and modification 2112 which is a 21107-1 crankshaft, a 3670 main bearing and a 10049-A bearing plate assembly. The correct carburetor is Part No. 14362 which is a Clinton house-marked Walbro LMG-32 carburetor. Bore and stroke dimensions of 2.375 x 1.625 give a 7.2 cid. The motor originally sold for $50.50. The gas tank is permanently spot welded to the blower housing. I presently have 11 Clinton engines in my stable, and two of them are GEM 100's.

33/4/21 Ohlsson & Rice Engine The Ohlsson & Rice .75 HP engine is a 'Compact I' series motor with a 1.25 x 1.032 bore and stroke. Displacement was 1.26 ci. There were the Compact II and Compact III motors developing .85 and 1.0 HP. A clue to its date of production is that in June 1967 a three digit 'type' number was stamped on the crankcase flange opposite the coil and carburetor. Also starting at that time the s/n indicates the month and date: first digit is the year and the next two were the month. Rated speed is 6300 rpm. Point gap is 0.020 inch and the armature air gap is 0.010 inch. The engine is lubricated by the addition of a third pint of 30W oil to a gallon of gasoline. I have no knowledge of whether O & R is still in business. Their last address I have is 3340 Emery St., Los Angeles, CA 90023.

33/4/44 West Bend Engine The West Bend engine is actually produced by Chrysler Outboard Corporation. It has a 2.25 x 1.75 inch bore and stroke and is rated at 5 HP @5500 rpm. The carburetor is either a Tillotson H, HL, or HP model. The spark plug is a Champion H8J gapped to 0.030. Correct timing is achieved by positioning the Wico FW2605 magneto at the MR (midrange) position stamped in the adjustment arm and a 0.020 breaker gap. The carburetor reed setting is 0.25 inch. Engine lube is pint of 30 or 40 weight oil per gallon of gasoline. As a side note, beware of the connecting rod cap joint. It should be invisible upon reassembly since it was formed by deliberate fracturing of the metal. Any line at all would dictate trying it the other way.

Cris also invites anyone interested to contact him directly for manufacturers data. If doing so, we presume you will send along a SASE and something to cover the cost of copying!

Thanks! To Edward L. Swanson, 11976 Montague Road, Winnebago, IL 61088-9433 for sending along some photocopies of specs on the Novo engines. Items like this are always appreciated, and are put on file. (Maybe that's why we now have 40 file drawers of materials, and still not room enough for everything).

Modelmaker's Corner

Don Achen, 28223 Hiway 52, Bellevue, IA 52031 sends along some photos of recent model projects:

Photo MM-1 is a Lil' Brother engine from the Breisch/Peters castings.

Photo MM-2 is a vertical Maytag using bronze castings from Brad Smith.

Photo MM-3 is a fabricated model of the Handy Andy engine. This engine was entirely fabricated except for the flywheels which were cast in solid bronze, and the spokes milled in. I need decals for this engine if anyone can advise. The original engine is owned by Don Jensen of Onslow, Iowa; it had a different governor than I have seen on other Handy Andy engines.

A Closing Word

This month we're including some interesting photos of engines, beginning with the Hayes engines of 1914. They were built by Hayes Pump & Planter Company at Galva, Illinois. Every indication is that they were built for only a short time, but a 1914 advertisement notes that they were available in l 2, 3, and 4 HP sizes. A very few of the Hayes engines have survived. See our photo CW-1.

Photo CW-2 shows the Ideal portable gas engine made by Ideal Gas Engine Company, Independence, Iowa. Despite the fact that we have been acquainted with the Independence area since youth, we have never found anything but bare-bone essentials on this company, nor do we recall of ever having seen one of their engines. This photograph is from 1915.

One of the earliest Iowa engine builders was Davis Gasoline Engine Company at Waterloo, Iowa. Photos CW-3 and CW-4 show two different views of the Davis in 1895. Note in CW-3 that the company indicates a capacity of '400 engines annually.' Photo CW-4 shows a Davis pumping engine. It could also be set up for belt work, and as was usual at the time, this was through a lineshaft. Also note that the engine in CW-4 has hot tube ignition as evidenced by the chimney on the cylinder head. However, the engine in CW-3 is lacking the chimney and was probably equipped with electric ignition.

We'll see you next month. By the way, we haven't yet told the folks at GEM, but while ye olde Reflector is off in Germany, Austria and Holland during July, we'll be taking a one-month sabbattical from our usual place here in the Reflections column.