Unidentified Engine


Gary B. Sisson

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25/3/24 Corn Sheller Q. Could anyone identify the corn sheller parts shown in the photo? If so, then I would like to correspond with someone having one of these shelters, so as to get the dimensions of the wooden parts, and then proceed to rebuild it. Any information will be appreciated. Donald McVittie, Box 508, Alliston, Ontario L0M 1A0 Canada.

25/3/25 Information Needed Q. What is the year built for an IHC LB, s/n LBB34956? Also, for a Stover, s/n TA 229172? I am also looking for information on Stover. Any help will be appreciated. Bert Levesque, 1722- 10th Ave., New Westminster, BC V3M 3J4 Canada.

A. The IHC was built in 1944, and the Stover in 1935. Detailed historical and service information on Stover is contained in Power in the Past, Vol. 3, available from this magazine.

25/3/26 Printing Press Q. Enclosed is a photo of an old Chandler & Price printing press. I am really hung up on this outfit. Could you please tell me when it was built? Any information will be appreciated. A. L. Buchanan, Rt 1, Box 219B, Term. Colony, TX 75861.

A. We can't see the flywheel-if has curved spokes, it is the old style, and with straight spokes, it is the New Series. Other appearances lead us to believe this is an old style press, and so it was probably built in the 1910 era, perhaps earlier.

25/3/27 LeRoi and Allis-Chalmers Q. What is the relationship between the LeRoi power units and the 'W' engines used in the WC and later model Allis-Chalmers tractors. Did A-C buy the rights to use this engine with their own modifications, or was it vice-versa on the part of LeRoi? I have seen WC tractors with LeRoi power units installed. Many parts, I am told, will interchange. LeRoi had two power plants with identical outside dimensions, the D 176 and the D 201 (which is the same CID as the 'W' engine). The installations I saw were the D 176 engines. They were rated at a higher horsepower than the 'W' engines, but also ran at a higher speed (1800 rpm). Any information will be appreciated. Bob A. Bilden, RR 3, Box 390, Bagley, MN 56621.

A. Our understanding of this matter is that AC contracted with LeRoi for the latter to manufacture engine parts, and if we correctly recall, the parts were then assembled into engines over at the AC shops. We have been told that it was not unusual to tear down an AC Type W engine and find connecting rods or other parts with the LeRoi stamping. LeRoi was an established engine manufacturer, and since they had the specialized equipment required for manufacturing engine parts, it seems entirely logical that they might have contracted with Allis-Chalmers to manufacture some of their engine parts as well. Possibly, the LeRoi people may have had some input on the design. Until A-C bought out the Buda Plant at Harvey, Illinois in the 1950s, they were previously deficient in the equipment and facilities for this branch of work. Perhaps some of our readers might be able to offer additional input on this subject.

25/3/28 IHC Famous Engine Q. I have an IHC Famous pumpjack engine, s/n P451. Apparently, the 'Famous' tradename was used earlier than 1906, as has been believed, since this engine would have to have been built in 1905. Hopefully, a reader can supply the dimensions for the pumpjack, as well as for the thermosyphon cooling tank. Any information at all will be appreciated.

A. The earliest listing we can find for this engine is s/n P908, and this was the beginning of the 1906 production. Although it has been generally assumed that the 'Famous' trademark was first used with the 1906 production, (and this, according to the company's own records), it is entirely possible that the slogan was taken up earlier; at this point, we will probably never know with certainty.

25/3/29 Rumely Combine Q. See the photo of my dad and my uncle combining flax in the 1930s. This is a Rumely combine, either a No. 2 or a No. 3 Prairie style. I have the remains of this unit, as well as the Rumely swather noted on page 44 of The Allis-Chalmers Story. My recollection is that Rumely converted the combine into a swather by removing the header and attaching front trucks and a rear bull wheel. My father, H. P. Mandt is on the combine, and my uncle, Ted Mandt is on the John Deere D, a 1928 or 1929 model. Jerry Mandt, RR 1, Box 25, Northwood, ND 58267.

25/3/30 Silver King Tractor

Gene Talbott, RR 2, Box 42, Potomac, IL 61865 would like to hear from anyone having information on the proper paint colors for a 1938 Silver King tractor.

25/3/31 Duplex-Superior Q. Over the years I have seen the name Duplex-Superior referred to in articles, and am enclosing some photocopies of material from their 1919 catalog for your files. Mike Messner,(No address).

A. We inadvertently discarded the cover envelope with Mr. Messner's enclosures, but our thanks for sending them.

Duplex-Superior was a major hardware supplier. They offered a wide range of hardware, windmills, pumps, and other items. This company if often referred to as an engine builder, apparently because they affixed their nameplate to several different engines. It does not appear however, that Duplex was an engine manufacturer, but instead, it is our opinion that they were probably jobbers, having contracted from year to year for engines on a bid basis.

25/3/32 Unknown Engine Q. See the two photos of an unidentified engine. There are no marks or casting numbers. The engine was given to me by a friend, and he had it for over 50 years. Dave Pearson, 3001 Ramona Dr., PO Box 122149, Fort Worth, TX 76116.

A. We would suggest that this is either an early cycle engine or an early car engine, probably of pre-1915 vintage. Offhand, we can't tell you the make, but we believe this engine, or one very close to it, is illustrated in American Gas Engines. Without a page-by-page perusal however, we weren't able to locate it.

25/3/33 Road Boss Engine Q. Some time ago I acquired a Road Boss engine, built by North American Engine Co., Algona, Iowa. Any information on this engine will be greatly appreciated. Herbert Montgomery, RR 1, Box 294A, Charlestown, IN 47111.

A. The sketchy information we have on the Road Boss indicates that it was built for railway motor car service. However, information on North American Engine Company continues to be elusive indeed!

25/3/34 Arizona Activities

Don Robertson, Gold King Mine, PO Box 125, Jerome, AZ 86331 forwards some interesting photos, and in 25/3/34 the Arizona Flywheelers are shown loading a big Chicago Pneumatic engine for a trip to the Gold King Mine. Photo 25/3/34A shows the signboard at the entry to Gold King. Don tells us that they are now out of the campground business, with camping available only to friends, relatives, and engine collectors during the year. They have free camping for everyone during their gas engine show, the first weekend in May.

25/3/35 Plunket Engine Q. I have a 1909 Plunket engine, 112 hp hit-and-miss; also a similar J. D. Wallace engine. Both have an inertia governor, and I am having trouble in getting the governor to work properly. Either it hooks up and won't release, or it will not hook up and the engine runs wild. Any suggestions?

We also obtained a Slusser-McLean 3-wheel dirt scraper made in Sidney, Ohio. It is a Model MC-42. Any information on this unit would be appreciated.

Now for a few tips on removing stuck pistons. After removing the head and crankshaft, carefully support the engine so the cylinder is in a vertical position. Pour some brake fluid and fuel oil into the cylinder and light the fluid on fire. Remember to work outside and have a proper fire extinguisher handy. The flames will thin the mixture and between the expansion of the metal cylinder block and the thin fluid it will work down between the piston and cylinder and helps loosen stuck rings. A 3/4 or 1 -inch thick plate should be made a little smaller than the engine bore to sit on top of the piston to protect it from pounding with a heavy hammer and a solid piece of shaft. Before inserting the plate, all hot oil should be removed from the cylinder so as to prevent hot oil bums when driving on the plate with a hammer.

Non-removeable head engines are a little more of a problem. First the intake and exhaust valve have to be ground to be oil tight. A Porta-Power pump with gauge and hose is then connected to the spark plug hole, or a homemade adapter is placed over the igniter hole. Now be certain there is no air in the lines or the cylinder connected to the hand-operated hydraulic pump. Air under pressure is very dangerous, and any rupturing of the casting or a flying piston could cause great harm or injury. Very slowly pump up pressure, and watch the pressure gauge. If the piston hasn't moved before 200 psi, let it remain there and take a coffee break. Any higher pressure is unnecessary and is dangerous both to you and to the engine. At this point; if the piston hasn't moved, some boiling hot water in the cylinder jacket might help, or if an air-cooled cylinder, immerse it in boiling hot water. Any other method of heating the cylinder can be very dangerous, and do not attempt it with pressure in the cylinder. Safety first. Re-read the article a couple of times, and if you are not sure, and feel safe about it, then let a professional do it.

Keep pushing safety! Every issue has its first-time readers and I still can remember not being able to identify a Sears Economy engine I found 25 years ago. We all still learn from each issue, or at least we are refreshed on old knowledge. The more we know, the more we realize we don't know. John]. Levora, 62660 CR 380, Bangor, MI 49013.

A. Regarding the engines with the pendulum governors, we think your problem might be concentrated on the fact that the engines are not mounted on a solid foundation, and this might then permit an erratic motion for the pendulum weight. You might try temporarily mounting one of them on the welding table or some other solid and firm foundation, and then see if this helps the problem. Other than that, we would think the only other problem could be in loose joints or worn contact surfaces that might either slip or bind.

We have no information on the Slusser-McLean scraper.

Hurrah for safety! Might we add another point; if you are pressing something apart, especially a ball or roller bearing off a shaft, be sure to wrap some old burlap sacks or some old rubber inner tubes around this whole assembly. Even a few hundred pounds of pressure on a ball bearing, and the outer race can disintegrate, sending numerous miniature cannon balls all over the shop. Ye olde Reflector had this happen about a quarter century ago, and it sounded as if the opening volleys of Fort Sumter. So, bear in mind, that something as relatively simple as pushing a bearing off a shaft can have serious or even fatal consequences if done improperly.

25/3/36 Dempster Engine

Harry Butler, 3237 W. Northview, Phoenix, AZ 85051 needs to correspond with another owner of a Dempster 1 1/2 hp engine (ignitor style). He needs to dimension the governor weights and the crank cover. Any correspondence will be greatly appreciated.

25/3/37 Cunningham Mower. Q. What kind of engine was used on the Model MA sickle bar lawn mower built by James Cunningham Son & Company, Rochester, New York? The mounting plate has several different sets of holes, leading to the presumption that more than one type of engine might have been used. Of course, any information will be appreciated. J. D. Wescott, 1304 Ransom, Independence, MO 64057.

25/3/38 Unknown Engine Q. See the photo of a 1 hp engine recently acquired in Canada. Can anyone identify it?

Also see 38-B illustrating a cast iron sign for Eclipse Mfg. Co. at Wellston, Ohio. Is there any information on this firm? Ronald Cooper, 3210 Aitken Road, Mar-late, MI 48453.

A. We can tell you that Eclipse built bolt and screw cases for the hardware trade, but find nothing else concerning their activities.

25/3/39 Oliver-Superior Q. Can anyone give me the proper paint colors and the color scheme for an Oliver-Superior one-row horse drawn cultivator. Any help will be appreciated. John S. Brown, RR 1, Box 19,Falmouth, IN 46127.

25/3/40 Unidentified Engine Q. Can anyone identify the engine in 40-A? It is four- cycle, stands about 18 inches high, and uses Wico FG flywheel magneto. It is missing the air shroud and the carburetor. Any information will be appreciated.

Also see 40-B, illustrating my 8 hp Stover. Since parts have been almost impossible to come by, I have become creative, even making a pattern for a new cylinder head and having it cast in iron. Without all the photos and drawings from the book Power in the Past:  Vol. 3 on the Stover engines, it would never have been possible to restore it.

The igniter trip was so badly worn that it was impossible to keep it from rounding off. I laminated pieces of hacksaw blade onto the wear surfaces, using Mairetex epoxy steel mender as an adhesive. It has run many hours now, with no sign of trouble. Gary B. Sisson, Star Route, Box 137, Olga, WA 98279.

25/3/41 Mercury Twin Q. Can anyone supply me with information on a Mercury two- stroke twin engine? It has vertical air-cooled cylinders, Model KB6F, s/n 20505, date 1943, 6 hp. It was built by Kiekaefer Corporation, Cedarburg, Wisconsin, USA. The US Army base at Burton-wood thinks it might have been used by the military during World War Two. Any help will be much appreciated. B. Smith, 8, Devon St., Leigh, Lanes., WN7 2NG England.

25/3/42 Westrac Crawler Q. See the three photos of a small crawler I have restored. There are no nameplates or serial numbers to be found on this machine. After a lot of detective work I found that it was originally purchased from the Minneapolis-Moline warehouse at Hopkins, Minnesota. In talking with several former Moline employees, they can provide no background. It appears to be a Westrac, and my information has it that these tractors were built by General Farm Tractor Company of Seattle, Washington. Can anyone supply further details on this tractor? Sam W. Erlandson, 11857 Jersey Ave N., Champlin, MN 55316.

25/3/43 Ellis Engine Q. Can anyone supply information on the 6 hp Ellis engine? Richard Juengel, 70375 Dutchess, Romeo, MI 48065.

25/3/44 IHC Questions Q. Were some of the IH tractors painted a different shade of red? Also, did the company send out a Farmall M painted white? Ray Rodgers, RR 3, Box 397, Nashville, IN 47448.

A. Regarding IH Red, see a comment in the Readers Write section below.

25/3/45 A-C B w/Waukesha Q. I have recently acquired a very early Allis-Chalmers Model B tractor with the Waukesha flat-head engine. This has hand brakes, and crank start, with a serial number of B-45. Most literature brushes very lightly on these first 100 of the Model B tractors. I would like to hear from anyone who can shed more light on the subject. Wayne L. Fisher, RFD 2, Box 579B, Hancock, NH 03449.

25/3/46 United Engine Q. I have just bought the United engine shown in the below photo, and would like to get more information on it. The engine came from United Engine Company Ltd., Lansing, Michigan, USA, s/n 956, Type C, 2 1/2 hp. I am trying to find a date for the engine, and how to locate the low tension magneto, which I am told is the Sumter No. 12. Any information will be appreciated. Jo Clarke, 10 Steggall Close, Needham Market, Suffolk, 1P6 8EB England.

25/3/47 Simar Rotary Tiller Q. I have acquired a rotary tiller using a two-cycle engine. It is a basket case; two boxes full! The nameplate reads:The Original Rotary Tiller SimarMfg. By Simar, Geneva, Switzerland USA Distributor: E. C. Geiger Co.,North Wales, PennsylvaniaType 21C SN 614

Any information on this machine would be most helpful.

Also, I have a 1500 watt Kohler 110 VDC Light Plant, and need information on how to set up the self-start feature, correct battery voltage, and other restoration information. Jim Osnes, 16420 Fillmore, Brighton, CO 80601.

25/3/48 Information Needed Q. What is the year built for a Fairbanks-Morse engine, sin 521583? Also, I need information on the restoration of a Sheffield 2-cylinder, 2-cycle railroad handcar engine. Does FBM still make these engines or carry repair parts? Gary C. Pardue, 306MontroseSt., Bluefield, VA 24605.

A. The engine was built in 1924- We doubt that FBM continues with repair parts for the Sheffield.

Readers Write

The following two responses are courtesy of Clark W. Colby, Special Projects Coordinator, Coolspring Power Museum, Coolspring, PA 15730:

24/12/24 Unknown Engine

Rich Howard's unknown engine appears to be a Brown-Cochran engine made in Lorain, Ohio. This rare engine is a very desirable addition to anyone's collection. Rich is invited to visit or correspond with the Coolspring Power Museum where a similarly sized and restored engine runs on a regular basis.

24/12/27 Ajax Engine

Gene Townsend's Ajax is indeed an interesting engine. According to information available at the Coolspring Power Museum, this small engine is one of only three known to exist. A collector in New York owns a very nice 5 hp disc crank model, and the Museum display includes a plain crank 10 hp model.

It is believed that Ajax introduced this engine between 1895 and 1898 as the first in a series of three models. It is interesting to note that this engine was probably made from a design purchased or licensed from an engineer named Giddings, a prolific engine designer active in the late 19th century. An example of the 1905 crosshead style (second model) is shown on page 15 of American Gas Engines. The third model looked a lot like a Jacobson sideshaft engine made in Warren, Pennsylvania. It is believed that the second and third models were not designed by Giddings. Presumably, by that time, Ajax had sufficient design expertise in-house, or simply bought designs elsewhere. Giddings advertised engine designs, kits, and castings, presumably preferring to sell his designs to other manufacturers. Engines produced by Ajax Iron Works, Hamilton (of Ohio), Rockford, Ohio, George Pohl, Emerson-Brantingham, Root & Vandervoort, among others, are believed to have been based on the Giddings designs. The Giddings designs were typified by a flange mounted cylinder, vertical governor, side shaft, and a full base, quite often having external ribbing. Unclear at this point is whether Gene's unusually small engine was a salesman's sample or an actual production model. Gene is encouraged to travel north to the Coolspring Museum to study the 10 hp Ajax and of course, the Museum would especially like to have him exhibit his engine at the June 1990 show.

Tom Knowles' Curiosity Engine

Regarding this unknown engine on page 20 of the October 1989 GEM, I can definitely answer that it is a Briggs & Stratton, probably 4 hp, of about 1940 vintage. I would say that it is a Model Z or ZZ, I don't know the difference. The missing air shroud is cast iron with bosses for mounting a starting crank rather than the usual rope start. The right side of the head in the top picture is sloped to match the top of the shroud. The cooling fins in the head are enclosed within the casting rather than being free standing with a sheet metal cover. I can even see the governor shaft sticking out under the carburetor. The lever which works the carburetor is missing. This particular engine seems to have a gear reduction unit on the power takeoff end of the crankshaft. These were optional units. I have a 4 hp engine identical to this which came on a 1940 David Bradley walking garden tractor. There were many of these engines used by the military in World War Two on 2 1/2 kw generators. These however, had the sheet metal shroud and cover over the head fins. Leigh B. Dennison, Box 873, Delta Junction, Alaska 99737.

IHC Colors

Regarding the question about IHC colors, I worked for IH from 1943 to 1955. From 1946 to 1949 the tractors were painted red, but the color changed by itself to orange. I also painted tractors with IHC red and they turned orange. During the war there was something wrong with the paint, it just wasn't right, and that is why this happened. Dallas Iwanski, 613 -6th St., St. Paul, NE 68873.

24/12/25 John Deere

This tractor is a John Deere GP Wide-Tread model. The original GP introduced in 1928 could straddle one row and cultivate as many as three rows. This was fine in the corn belt, but cotton growers preferred two and four row operations, so the GP Wide-Tread was introduced in 1929 to meet this need. The Wide-Tread is identified by the dropped rear axle and the two large equipment mounting holes in the frame. The Wide-Tread was built from 1929-1933. Serial numbers started at 400000, and run as follows:

Production Year

Serial No.

















There are some nice photos of the GP Wide-Tread in Huber's How Johnny Popper Replaced the Horse (1988) and Macmillan's John Deere Tractors & Equipment, Vol. 1. Hank Wessel, 5056 Cashlie Court, Gibsonia, PA 15044.

Lalley Light Plant

Recently, Mr. Ross Alcock, Myponga, South Australia requested information on the Lalley Light Plant. We have heard from Mr. Robert T. Wright, 15100 Excelsior Blvd., Minnetonka, MN 55345 that he is presently restoring one of these units.

24/12/6 My Days With the Diesel

Several letters came in regarding the book by the late Clessie Cummins, My Days With the Diesel. The following is from a letter sent in by C. Lyle Cummins Jr., 7733 Arbor Glen Court, Wilsonville, OR 97070:

Your item about Dad's book raises a difficult question for me. I too get occasional queries about the book, but am in a quandry as to what should be done. Ever since Chilton (Book Company) remaindered the book years ago, I have had the copyright rights. I have come close to making a reprint several times, but have so far hung back.

My wife's and my main reason for not reprinting it is that there is so much more worthwhile information about him which was not said the first time. The greatest missing ingredient is the true depth of the man. Someday we do hope to bring out a new and expanded edition. I had the great fortune to work closely with him for seven years and then continued a business association with him till his death five years later. My wife was like a daughter to him and her insights can add much. Thus maybe you can get a glimmer why we hesitate to just make a copy of the original. Although the book is not now available, it hasn't been forgotten, and hopefully will come out again sometime.

24/12/11 2-Cycle Engine Oils

Richard A. Day Jr., RR 2, Box 44, Leonardtown, MD 20650 writes that the use of modern two-cycle oils may be technically incorrect, since the use of these modern lubricants in vintage two-cycle engines might cause serious pollution problems. His letter continues:

The modern 2-cycle engine oils are formulated for high temperatures and piston speeds which burn the oil effectively, while maintaining proper lubrication. The old time 2-cycle engine piston speeds and temperatures are much lower and the oil just passes through the engine and out the exhaust pipe. In the case in point, the lube oil not being burned will leave a significant oil slick (a punishable offense according to Coast Guard and EPA regulations). Modern outboards leave an oil slick of far less detectable proportions. The two-cycle water cooled engines at shows run as though they had broken rings and throw oil all over the place. Maytags and other air cooled engines run much better than the water cooled ones.

I recommend the following as best meeting the needs for lubricating old time water cooled 2-cycle engines. Mix 1 pint of SAE 30 non-detergent oil to 5 gallons of gasoline. Use the same mix in priming the engine, otherwise raw gasoline washes down the cylinder wall, causing stiff cranking and loss of compression.

Regardless of the presence of lubrication on the engine, use the oil-gas mix as well, to insure proper lubrication.

It should be remembered that the practice of mixing oil in the gasoline of 2-cycle engines did not become known until 1909. There was a terrible problem until then  with lubrication. The dripping of oil into the carburetor or intake manifold never worked well and we should not compare the modern techniques of oil injection with the old time drip oiler.

An unrelated tip: White & Middleton engines have the serial number and the manufacturing date stamped behind the water funnel on the side of the cylinder. Just take out two screws and the vital information will be there.

24/12/12 Engine Periodicals

Your article in the above issue left out The Stationary Engine , printed in England. It is a monthly, and correspondence should be directed to PPG Publishing Ltd., Kelsey House, 77 High Street, Beckenham, Kent, England. Sent in by Tom Salmons, Box 547, Mango, FL 33550.


We have no gas engine models this month, but MM-1 illustrates a model steamer just completed by Olen J. Miller, 13133 SR39, Big Prairie, OH 44611. This beautiful working model is 23 inches long and 13 inches high. The drive wheels are 7 1/2 inches in diameter. The engine features a Woolf valve gear and over-center flywheel clutch, with a 3/4 x 1 1/4 inch bore and stroke. The boiler shell is 3 inches in diameter, made of brass with silver soldered joints.