A Brief Word

Northwestern mixer


Louis G. Shafer

Content Tools

26/3/14 Engine BatteryBill Wallner, 2039 Laurel Rd., Cave Junction, OR 97523 sends along some interesting information:

'Several years ago I was at an engine show with my display. I noticed a guy's engine with an ignitor and coil, but didn't see a battery. Then I discovered he was using a battery from an old Polaroid film pack. He told me that sometimes they last two days, and other times a half hour. Usually though, they last a whole day. See the sketch of how it is set up.'

26/3/15 Stover Engine Q. See the photo of a Stover engine. It has no identification or model number. I have to rebuild the governor and need to know for sure what model it is. This engine has a 3? x 5 inch bore and stroke; the flywheels are 17? inches. Any information will be appreciated.LeRoy W. Martin, 2135 Bainbridge Rd., Elizabethtown, PA 17022.

A. Your engine is a 2 horsepower Type KA engine.

26/3/16 Ruston-Hornsby Q. See the photo of a Ruston Class 4M diesel engine with gasoline start. It is s/n 156503, 8 x l5? inch bore and stroke, and 54 inch flywheels. Can anyone advise the proper colors, year built, and other information on this engine. There is also a valve in the carburetor that is missing. I believe it is only used when starting and in the closed position when running on diesel. Does anyone have a picture of this carburetor so I can make the needed parts? Any information will be appreciated. Arvin Teige, RR 2, Shevlin, MN 56676.

A. Information on the Ruston-Hornsby engines is available from: Mr. Ray E. Hooley, 16 Alexandre Avenue, Nth Hykeham, Linoln England LN6 8NR.

26/3/17 Armstrong Engine Q. See the photo of a 6 HP Armstrong engine. It is similar to the kerosene style shown on the bottom right, page 32 of American Gas Engines. My engine has a Webster low tension ignitor and is hit-and-miss. The flywheels are 37 inches in diameter, with a 2? inch crankshaft. The ignitor bracket is 303K49 with a two-bar magnet on the Webster. The color is close to Jaeger blue, the maximum r.p.m. is 350. The engine came with a Holley bronze updraft carburetor. Is this the correct carburetor, or did this replace the original mixer? Any information will be appreciated. John E. Derby, 3286 Cramlington Dr., Gibsonia, PA 15044.

A. We doubt that the Holley was original equipment, particularly on a hit-and-miss engine. Chances are that the original mixer did not work very well, so the Holley replaced it somewhere along the line.

26/3/18 Engine Guide Q. Has anyone compiled an engine catalog indicating the degree of rarity? Such a catalog exists for cast iron implement seats, and it's a dandy. William M. Honey, Box 141, West Tisbury, MA 02575.

A. Price guides exist for everything from reed organs to postage stamps. As your letter indicates, no one has tackled the job for engines or tractors. Part of the reason is that rarity, or perhaps desirability, has never been well defined in our hobby. For example, an unusual marine engine that might be the pride of marine engine collectors would be unimportant to someone specializing in hit-and-miss engines. A nice IHC Type M engine rarely brings the price commanded by a John Deere Type E engine, yet there are some collectors who have no John Deere engines-they deem them too common to bother with. So, that's the problem, there are so many different ideas in our hobby as to what constitutes rarity, desirability, and current value that compiling this type of catalog would indeed be a difficult task.

26/3/19 Unidentified Tractor Q. See photo 19-A of a recently acquired garden tractor. Can anyone tell me about it?

Also, see photo 19-B of an Oliver 70 tractor that I recently restored. James K. Hill, 2567 Hesperia, Bradley, CA 93426.

26/3/20 Dempster Engine Q. I recently acquired a Dempster gas engine. I need to know the horsepower, proper color scheme, etc. It uses a ported exhaust similar to the Gade. The flywheels are 24? x 2 3/8 inches. The cylinder head number is 2H3, flywheel, 2H21, carburetor 2H50 1/2, and exhaust manifold, 2H19. Any information will be appreciated. Kevin A. Behnke, 3325 North 65th St., Wausau, WI 54401.

26/3/21 Maytag Aero Plane Q. Can anyone supply the correct wing dimensions for the Maytag Aero Plane? This and any other information will be greatly appreciated. See photos 21-A and 21 -B. George Brown, 2335 S. Goldenrod Rd., Orlando, FL 32822.

26/3/22 FBM Type H Engine Q. I recently became the owner of a Fairbanks-Morse Type H, 4 HP engine, s/n 151770. Are decal transfers available for this engine? If not, is there anyone with a color photo of the decals for the water hopper and crankguard. This engine came straight out of a farmyard in Leicestershire, cracked head, piston cracked, connecting rod bent, half of con rod bearing missing, and magneto bearings worn out. I have overcome all these problems, and hope someone can help me make it look as good as new. Any help or information will be appreciated. C. Heathcote, Flat 4, 221 Branston Rd., Burton-on-Trent, Staffs, DE14 3DB England.

A. We don't know of anyone reproducing the beautiful FBM Type H engine decals. However, if anyone can supply Mr. Heathcote with the needed photos, we're confident that this engine will look like new once again.

26/3/23 IHC Type M Engine Q. What is the year built for a 1?HP Type M engine, s/n A 3169M. This engine has the grease hole for the rod bearing on the governor side rather than on the magneto side. Also there is a long tapped hole in the crankshaft which uses a long bolt rather than a grease cup. Were some of these engines painted blue, rather than the usual dark green? Any information will be appreciated. Ray Scott, 851 - 3rd Street NW, Valley City, ND 580/'2.

A. Your engine was built in 1918. At this early point, it is entirely possible for the engine to have been finished in IHC Blue. As we have noted several times in the past, there is every indication that the IHC engines sold through the Osborne branches were finished in this manner.

26/3/24 Ottawa Log Saw Q. I recently bought an Ottawa log saw, s/n TE 12160, 4 horsepower. The wood parts are rotted away, so I need to contact someone who can supply the original dimensions of the wood parts. Also, can anyone tell me the year built? James R. Taylor Sr., 1305 Second St., Friend, NE 68359.

A. So far as we know all the Ottawa production records have been destroyed.

26/3/25 Stover Grinder Q. I recently purchased a Stover Ideal Duplex No. 9 grinder. Can anyone supply information on this machine?K.W. Schuknecht, 421 E. Coolidge Ave., Appleton, WI 54915.

A. Although the Stover engine records are intact, the records pertaining to the feed grinders and other machinery are virtually non-existent. We have located some information on the No. 5 and No. 6 grinders, but nothing on the No. 9.

26/3/26 Northwestern Mixer Q. Last August I bought a Northwestern concrete mixer made in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. It has a vertical engine that looks like a Novo. It is 3? HP, s/n 15525. However, it has no tag other than Northwestern, so I am not sure of the make. The engine uses a Wico EK magneto. There are no grease cups on the crankshaft, no inspection plate for the rod bearing, and no sump drain or fill hole. The crankcase breathers are small holes in the crankcase just above the main bearings that oil the mains. I don't know how the rod bearing is lubricated. Is this a Northwestern engine? When was it built? Should I use heavy oil in the oiler? Would anyone have any operating information on this outfit?

I also have an IHC Famous 8 horsepower engine with no name tag. Is there a serial number stamped on the engine? Louis G. Shafer, 7125 Old Clinton Hwy, Knoxville, TN 37921.

A. We're not sure if Northwestern actually built their own engines, although they certainly had the manufacturing capabilities to do so. If this is a Novo engine, then it's different from anything we've ever other words, it's no Novo! The IHC Famous should have the serial number stamped on the end of the crankshaft, or perhaps in some other strategic location.

26/3/27 Unknown Engine Q. Can anyone identify the engine in photos 27-A and 27-B? Charles Balyeat, 332 Stephens Loop, Mathis, TX 78368.

26/3/28 FBM Model 32 Engine Q. We have acquired a 6-cylinder, 360 horsepower Fairbanks' Morse Model 32 engine. It has a 14 x 17 inch bore and stroke. The engine is coupled to an electric alternator. It was last run in 1969. In late November we got it started. Moisture from condensation had collected in the governor housing and froze the push rods that work the injector pumps. After correcting this problem the engine started on the first try. Approximately how much does this engine weigh? Lloyd M. McGowen, 315 Laboone Rd., Easley SC 29642.

A. The bare engine will weigh between 40 and 45,000 pounds. The flywheel weighs about 10,000 pounds. The total weight of alternator rotor, stator, exciter, and flywheel will be close to the weight of the engine. Looks like you will need a triple axle trailer for the engine and a tandem trailer for the alternator etc. Another trailer or smaller truck will also be needed for the auxiliary parts, exhaust, etc.

26/3/29 Engine Numbers Q. What is the year built of the following engines:

Olds No. 1, Type A, 1? HP, s/n D3747; Duro (mfg. by Stover), s/n AC99346; Eclipse, made by Fairbanks-Morse.

John M. Preston, 2500 Curtis Rd., Leonard, Ml 48367.

A. The Duro was probably built in 1917, but we cannot help you on the Olds. Send us the number on the Eclipse and we'll try to date it for you.

26/3/30 Dates Needed Q. Can you supply manufacturing dates for Economy, Alamo, or Ideal engines? Hal Opdyke, 4960 Sioux Way, Okemos, MI 48864.

A. No.

Readers Write

Wico EK Information Glen L. Schueler, HCR 2, Box 88, Friona, TX 79035 sends the following info:

Sales Bulletin No. 79 of December 10, 1954 announced the end of production on the Wico EK and OC magnetos. However, Wico agreed to fill all orders received up through January 31, 1955, and agreed to continue providing service parts.

Bulletin No. 39 of June 25,1947 notes that the old 12X235 condenser was superseded by the X6494 condenser having a capacity of .16 to .20 microfarads, the standard for most other Wico condensers. This bulletin also notes that all EK magnetos after s/n 988975 'will be made with a new magnet group part number X6057 which consists of a large Alnico type magnet mounted in a lamination group. The group fits between the two magnet cores and replaces the eight-bar type magnets formerly used. Part number IKAX-141 magnet and core group will also be supplied with the new magneto group. The list price of X6057 is $2.75.' (Wouldn't it be nice to buy all this for $2.75 nowadays?)

Welding Cast IronIn reference to welding cast iron on page 4 of the November 1990 GEM:

I have been doing my farm welding for 40 years. I never use nickel rod except where some machining is needed. I use non-machinable cast iron welding rod which is many times cheaper.

A neighbor had a small tractor which rolled down a hill and hit a tree with the back rear wheel. That did a lot of damage to the housing. The tractor was brought to my shop. I welded this all back together with non-machinable cast iron rod. I veed out all of the cracks with the electric arc. It is much faster than grinding. So far as I know, it is still going.

Another job I did was to weld the main frame of my Oliver 77 tractor. It broke just in front of where it bolts to the rear housing. I veed this out clear through, since I did hot trust my vertical welding too much. I laid some short rods across the weld and welded them on. I have had no more trouble. J.W. Maine, RR 1, Leonard, MO 63451.

Waterloo Boy Paint Scheme Several readers wrote in response to this recent query. See pages 536 and 537 of American Gas Engines for a general idea of the striping scheme. The stripes are yellow over a green finish.

John Deere Tractors I believe who ever wrote up the story on the big John Deere tractor is wrong. Here's why. Look at the model decal. It says 'R'. The exhaust and intake are wrong. On a 'D' they're side by side in front, right and left. This is a straight diesel. The 'D' was all-fuel. Look at the fuel filters on the side. Last but not least, this tractor is bigger, longer, and so heavier. I have a 1948 'D' and the only thing that looks the same is the pulley and front tires. The people who won the big M-M are members of our club. H. Rossow, POB 15, Weston, ID 83286.

Dick Hamp Writes! After a noticeable absence, we got a nice letter from Dick Hamp, 1772 Conrad Ave., San Jose, CA 95124-4501. Dick tells us that the engine of 26/1/2 (January 1991 GEM) is a 'Sprayer Engine' built by Witte for the Bean Spray Pump Company.

Dick tells us the reason for his long hiatus, and we relate his story as a warning to all of us working around old iron:

I had an accident on September 27, 1989 and it took the wind out of my sails! I was cranking a 1938 A-C 'M' tractor which I had just repaired for an elderly friend. I had my thumb in the proper position (folded back into my hand, and not wrapped around the crank!!). I was pulling the engine through one cylinder at a time. The engine would fire, but not start. I decided to give it a good spin, and when I did this it kicked back, breaking the small bone in my right arm at the wrist, and dislocating my wrist. I was in a cast for eight weeks, and then I had to do physical therapy for ten weeks. I was off work for three months. I am happy to report that my arm is now back to normal. I have been cranking engines since I was thirteen years old, and this is my first cranking accident. You can never be too careful!

Paint Color Listing Several people sent us additional paint color identifications. Rather than handle these letters individually, it seems better to group this information in a single heading. Thanks to all who sent information, and if anyone has additional numbers to add, please do so!

Despite word that DuPont is phasing out their Dulux Enamel, it appears that they are still making it, despite the word from some of the paint shops. By the way, we have learned that DuPont has three different shades of John Deere Green, so be sure to get what you want BEFORE they mix it. One writer says that DuPont 651 Green is a perfect match for a 1948 John Deere tractor. It' is made only in Dulux, not in Imron or Centari.

John Hamilton at Webster Groves, Missouri tells us that DuPont Centari 5800-A Green is an exact match for the McCormick-Deering Type M engines. Also, the 1929 Sattley from Montgomery Ward uses a gray that matches Ford 8-N Gray. The 1919 Sattley engines were black for the gasoline models and brown for the kerosene engines.

For the Cockshutt and Co-op tractors the following numbers are presented:

YellowJK-6475 Sherwin-Williams,RedJK-8522G Sherwin Williams,Harvest Gold JK-8523 Sherwin Williams,Co-op Orange90T-22014 Martin-Senour from NAPA.

Where the numbers do not correspond with existing numbers, we'll do some correlating and try to determine which comes the closest to an original match.

Modelmaker's Corner

Nothing to report this month.

A Closing Word

Did you know that in 1929 the Nichols & Shepard Company offered five different sizes of combines? The smallest size was the 22 x 30 Prairie model. It had a cut of 10 feet. Power came from a Waukesha four cylinder engine with a 3? x 4? inch bore and stroke. At the top of the scale was the 28 x 40 Prairie model. This and all other sizes of Nichols & Shepard combines were powered by Hercules engines. In this case it was a four- cylinder model having a 4? x 5? inch bore and stroke.

Wood Bros. Thresher Company of Des Moines, Iowa also offered their New Model Prairie combine. It featured a 12-foot cut and used a 21 inch cylinder with a 36 inch separator. Power came from a Buda four-cylinder engine. The Wood Bros. combine of 1929 made more extensive use of Timken roller bearings than any of its contemporaries.

Ground speeds varied from 2 to 3 mph. At the highest speed, a 12-foot combine was technically able to harvest about 4 acres an hour. Pit stops for grain unloading, greasing, and maintenance certainly cut down on the production time. With barely adequate power plants on the 1929 machines, it can be safely guessed that infestations of horseweeds, morning glories, or cockleburs cut production time to a fraction of the optimums listed.

The American Thresherman Magazine of 1928 indicated that over 20,000 combines were being used in Kansas, mostly in the central and western parts of the state. Iowa had only 78, Missouri 65, and Wisconsin only 3 combines. Montana was using 3,200, followed by California with 2,600. Very few combines were in service east of the Mississippi River, and several states had none at all. We're sure that no one at the time thought that combines would ever bring a complete end to the threshing machine. But then, farmers were also sure that nothing could ever replace the steam engine on the farm....

The purpose of the Reflections column is to provide a forum for the exchange of all useful information among subscribers to GEM Inquiries or responses should be addressed to: REFLECTIONS, Gas Engine Magazine, P.O. Box 328, Lancaster, PA 17603.