Readers' Engine Questions

HomeLite Generator

37/6/6A: HomeLite Generator

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A Brief Word

37/6/6: Homelite Generator See the photos of a Homelite Generator, Model HRUA, 115 volts, 13.1 amps, 1,500 watts, 60-cycle, s/n 12V11817. It is a 2-cycle outfit of about 2 HP. There is an insulated cover over the spark plug wire and a vacuum line to pull fumes out of the gas tank. It has olive drab paint underneath. I have been told it was a Navy issue in the early 1940s or an auxiliary power on W.W. II bombers. Any information on this unit would be appreciated. Ray Gray, 2135 Little Valley Road, Sevierville, TN 37862, or via e-mail at:

37/6/7: Unidentified Garden Tractor I acquired the garden tractor shown in the photo from a trash heap. No engine or belts were left and I replaced the one large pulley. So far I have no clue as to who built this unit. Any help would be appreciated. Bob Rose, 51 Simcoe Street, Oyster Bay, NY 11711.

37/6/8: Columbia Engine Q: We are trying to find information, especially concerning carburetion on 2-port/2-cycle kerosene engines. In particular we are working on a Columbia engine made in Detroit about 1911. This machine has a 5--inch bore and stroke (about 7 HP). Any information would be greatly appreciated. Doug Leighton, 3806 - 254th Street, Aldergrove, BC V4W 2R3 Canada.

A: Carburetion problems on early 2-cycle engines can present some difficult problems. Sometimes an engine that simply will not run smoothly under a load will settle right down with as little as holding a grease wiper against the flywheel. Part of the problem seems to be that early two-cycle engines were designed to work under load, and so no thought was given to smooth running when idle. With hopes of retiring soon, perhaps we'll finally have the time to compile our magneto and carburetor book, pulling together information from the mountain of literature we've acquired over the past 40-plus years. We've delayed doing so mainly because this is a project that will require a constant rain of thought for at least several weeks as we attempt to compile this book. We learned long ago that to attempt a project like this while under constant interruptions is completely frustrating ... it takes ye olde Reflector more time to figure out what happened in the previous research session than can be accomplished when we return to it. Meanwhile, if anyone can offer some suggestions on 2-cycle carburetion, please contact Mr. Leighton.

37/6/9: Empire Engine I am looking for information on an Empire engine made for Cockshutt Plow Co., Brantford, Ontario. It is 1- HP, s/n C111728. Any information would be appreciated. Chuck Baldwin, 2910 Jane Court NE, Albuquerque, NM 87112.

37/6/10: Unidentified Engine From the adjacent photos, can anyone tell me the make and model of the engine shown here? The engine was found in Colorado in the basement of a farm granary. I thought it might be a Fairbanks-Morse Type H, but the only thing that matches is the fuel pump. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Ken Lindblad, 11565 WCR76, Windsor, CO 80550.

37/6/11: Unidentified Engine See the photos of an unidentified two-cycle marine engine. Looking at an old Motor Boat magazine it looks like something like a St. Joseph Motor Co. 'Miss Simplicity' engine. I acquired it in Maine. Any help would be appreciated. William Koch, 5416 - 3rd Street Court West, Bradenton, FL 34207. E-mail:

37/6/12: Unidentified Engine The engine shown in the photo was pulled from the Colorado River in 2001. The Bureau of Land Management is considering displaying it near a popular Whitewater area if it has any historical significance. Because I have been involved with gathering history of the area I was asked if I could identify any historical events that might have involved the engine. Any information regarding the make and approximate age of this engine would be very helpful. Mike Milligan, 448 East 8575 South, Sandy, UT 84070.

A Closing Word

We're still on the lookout of old zinc engravings pertaining to early engines and farm machinery. Recently for instance, a friend loaned us an ancient copper electro of a very early Frick portable steam engine. Sadly, lots of this material is gone. Many years ago, the old Farm Implement News magazine had thousands upon thousands of these engravings used to publish the magazine for many years. Seeing no further use for them, it was related to ye olde Reflector that a big dump truck was backed up to the building and workers heaved the whole works out a window, type cases and all! Sadder yet, we learned after the fact that much of the early Rumely material was in a basement at the LaPorte, Ind., plant into the 1980s. After the Deutz-Allis merger, the new management seemed bent on cleaning house, and several truckloads of literature, drawings and other memorabilia was hauled to a landfill.

Then, there was a late friend of mine who had access to an ancient farm equipment dealership that was closing out. Being friends of the owner's family, he (and subsequently myself) were welcome to take whatever we wanted of old literature in a deserted second-floor attic. We took what we thought we could use, and then left the rest. Oh that we had taken two or three pickup loads of this stuff back 35 years ago! Ah well, reminiscing is good sometimes, and other times it is more painful to think of the John Deere engines we used to walk over out in some grove for $5 apiece!

C.H. Wendel is a noted authority on antique engines and tractors. His books constitute a vital reference resource for collectors and hobbyists. If you have a query for C.H. Wendel, send it along to Gas Engine Magazine, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265.