A Brief Word

Ride-A-Mower Engine


Roger R. Frens

Content Tools

27/5/35 MM Avery Model V Q. I have an Avery Model V built by Minneapolis-Moline. It has serial number 6V649, but this does not correspond with any of the serial number lists I have. Can anyone provide the year built for this tractor? George Millen, Rt 1, Box 48, Tillatoba, MS 38961.

A. Our listings show that for 1952 the beginning serial number for the Avery V was 6V422. That would make your tractor a 1952 model, and this was the last year the Model V shows up in the serial number guide at hand.

27/5/36 Haas Genealogy Q. I am presently engaged in researching the Haas family of Mahantango Valley, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. This family was in the foundry business, and also built steam and gas engines, plus a few experimental automobiles. If anyone has any information on the above, please contact: David P. Rhine, 1124 Park Dr., Palmyra, PA 17078.

27/5/37 Ride-A-Mower Q. See the two photos of a Ride-A-Mower built in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The engine is a foot-start Clinton. I would appreciate any information on this machine. Roger R. Frens, 3467 W. 72nd St., Newaygo, Ml 49337.

27/5/38 Sattley Engine Q. See the photo of a Sattley 5 HP engine, s/n 10207. Can anyone tell me when it was built? Donald Layton, Box 16, River-lane, Riverton, WY 82501.

A. There is no serial number information available on the Sattley engines.

27/5/39 Terrill Saw Company Q. I am 15 years old, and just inherited this chain saw from my grandfather. I have been to local chain saw dealers and no one has heard of the name or date it was made. Before I restored it the colors were only red and yellow. The nameplate reads: Model CS-5, s/n 80220, Mfd. by D.D. Terrill Saw Co., Inc., Bangor, Maine. Any information on this saw will be greatly appreciated. Ken Shearhart, 181 Loftus Road, Port Townsend, WA 98368.

A. If anyone can be of help, kindly do so.

27/5/40 Siamese Cat Q. Back in 1951 Farm Implement News noted a huge Siamese Cat headed for the King Ranch in Texas. It was a huge crawler that was built with two engines, and had a total weight of about 72,000 pounds. Does anyone have any information on this huge Caterpillar tractor?

27/5/41 Maytag Question Q. See the photo of a twin-cylinder Maytag engine. It has a die cast tank on the bottom of the engine rather than the usual cast iron combination gas tank and mounting base. There are no mounting provisions on this engine. Can anyone advise further on this model? John Miller, 34127 Lee Avenue, Leesburg, FL 34788.

27/5/42 Hercules Engine Q. I have a 1916 Hercules 7 HP throttle governed engine. It was converted to a hit-and-miss, using the original carburetor. I would like to convert it back to throttle governing, but need to have the information on doing it. Can anyone help? Ray Bennett, 159 Sycamore Drive, DeBary, FL 32713.

A. You will need a different mixer of course, plus there will be some changes to the governor linkage so as to extend it to the butterfly valve. Those are the major changes, with other changes being minor by comparison.

Readers Write

26/12/20 Cutaway Engine. In the above article, this is a ? horsepower military standard engine built by Continental Motors Corporation in 1959. It was Model 1A03-1. This was the smallest in a series of engines designed by Continental to government specs. This particular engine was cancelled after a pilot run of 100 engines were made. The primary purpose of this engine was to power a 300 watt generator for the Signal Corps. I have complete engines, serial numbers 000035 and 000099. Ronald C. Parks, 22 South Cane Ct., Houma, LA 70360.

Thanks!. Thanks to all who responded to my call on the corn sheller listed in the January issue of GEM. I want to thank in particular, Marion J. Robb, as his picture of his sheller is exactly the same as mine. I didn't receive any responses on the riding lawn mower. Thanks again! Robert A. LeBaron, 5801 E. 5th St., Tucson, AZ 85711.

27/2/13 Gladden Products. Several people responded to this query. Thanks in particular to Fred Howard, 2305 W. 11th St., Plainview, TX 79072 for sending us a copy of the Instructions and Parts on the BB Series Gladden engines.

Hocking Valley Corn Sheller. In regards to this item, it is advertised in the reprint of the 1894-95 Montgomery Ward catalog. At that time, the one-hole sheller sold for the princely sum of $5.40, with the belt pulley costing an extra 50 cents! Thanks to Wesley G. Ball, 11239 Alleghany Rd., Forestville, NY 14062 for sending along this information.

Unleaded vs. Leaded. I am certainly no petrochemical engineer, but I know enough to realize that common sense should prevail on this subject. I don't know when lead was added to gasoline on a regular basis, but I don't think it was used in the very early years of gas engines. If it was, it would make little difference if our old, low compression, slow speed engines burned lead or not. I understand that high speed, high compression gasoline engines of the 1950s, 60s, and early 70s can suffer valve damage, due to the lack of the cushioning effect of lead and higher firing temperatures, from running unleaded, but our old one-lungers? I don't think this is possible and even if it did matter, these engines would need to spend their time running hard on a daily basis, to ever see any effect. This is almost never the case on vintage engines running slow, with no load on them most of the time. In fact, the build-up of carbon on the valves, ignitor, etc. can cause more trouble than the lack of lead ever could in these engines; even excessive lead in gasoline can add to the problem by leaving lead deposits.

Engines that use an oiler to lubricate the cylinder manage to burn some of that oil as well, maybe helping to 'cushion' the exhaust valve seat a little bit. As in all hit and miss engines, the valves remain idle a large percentage of the time.

What about engines fueled by natural gas or kerosene? There has never been any lead added to these fuels, at least not to my knowledge. I don't think that the use of unleaded gasoline could harm early tractor engines, for many of the same reasons. As for later, high speed, high performance tractor engines, the type of fuel burned may very well make a difference.

I really believe that any problems with the use of unleaded fuel should be worried about by collectors of '57 Chevys, 1960s vintage muscle cars, etc., and not by vintage gas engine collectors. I have always run my engines on unleaded gasoline (nine years) and have never had a problem. Todd W. Kuhns, PO Box 142, Kingman, KS 67068.

Judging Engines and Tractors. I believe that judging engines and tractors at shows is very sad, to say the least. If anything could lead to the demise of our hobby as we know it, this would be a leading cause. There have been a few others who have written on this same subject and I have to agree with them 100%.

Judging engines, etc. on appearance, quality, rarity, etc. would not only lead to collectors who compete against each other, but would lead to a 'rich man's hobby' like others we know so well. This would lead collectors with 'common' engines not to exhibit anymore.

Who's to say what makes a 'prize winning' engine or 'Best of the Show'? Is it the restoration, originality, rarity, or brand name? This is all a matter of opinion. ANYONE who brings ANY vintage engine to a show, should be welcomed with open arms. I may happen to own a small Mogul, but I also own, have owned, and still admire the more 'common' engines such as LBs, F-M, Kohler, Briggs, etc. Each engine is special to its owner.

I am happy to say none of the shows I attend do any judging, and I hope they never do. As far as giving out prizes for 'most miles traveled' or 'slow flywheel contests', slow races, tractor pulls, etc. I see no problem. This is all done in good fun and entering such a contest is of course, voluntary. Todd W. Kuhns, PO Box 142, Kingman, KS 67068.

Notebook Items

Novo Correction In our Notebook we have DuPont 143 AH Green listed as the color match. However, we find that this number is maroon, not dark green. Therefore, make a note of this! Meanwhile, we'll go back to the older DuPont number of 93-77161 Dark Green as being somewhere near correct.

We also have some NAPA (Martin-Senour) numbers cross matched from DuPont and Ditzler as follows:

Dark Red99N-7022
Case C Gray: LC Gray99L1479
Associated: Red99N2569
IHC Type M: Adirondack Green99L222

Modelmaker's Corner

An Old Engine Q. I need some help identifying this little piece (See MM-1 and MM-2). It is all brass, including the gears, with nickel plating. It has a safety on it so that it can be cranked forward or backward. It is four inches long and 15/8 inches high. In MM-1 you can see a small flywheel. It works like a clock until it turns a sideshaft. MM-2 shows the rear view of it. I also have a small engine, as shown in MM-3. It is well machined, and is tank cooled with a brass water jacket. On one side is cast DENNIS in raised letters. This engine has a 2? x 3 inch bore and stroke, and two flywheels with a diameter of 9? inches. Cun anyone supply any information on either of the above items? Nick Rowland, Johnston Road, New Washington, OH 44854.

A New Norman Model.  In the northern part of Wisconsin, about 1937, my father owned a machine shop. As a boy would do, I went to my Dad and asked him if we could buy a little model airplane engine. A couple of my young friends had them. I'll never forget his comment to me. He said, 'If you can't build one in this shop you don't need one.' I'm sure he knew there was a possibility that I could build one, because he always told me nothing was impossible.

It took about seven months to come up with an engine, and after about a half dozen pistons, I finally made that little engine run. It didn't run well and the way I started it was by turning the bicycle upside down and rubbing the flywheel against the rear tire that I was cranking. It turned out to be way too heavy to put in a model airplane. When my dad saw that engine run he said, 'Norman, how much did you say that model airplane engine cost?...I'll give you the money for the airplane engine, but I want this one.' That was the beginning of Norman and his miniatures.

See photos MM-4, -5, and -6 of my latest miniature engine, a ? scale Briggs & Stratton Model FB with a kickstarter. Norman D. Brockelsby, 1127? North Sherman, Grand Island, NE 68803. 

An Olds Model. The Olds engine in MM-7 and MM-8 is from the Paul Breisch castings. Starting with 12 cast pieces, about 350 hours later I had a total of 180 pieces of stuff like shafts, springs, studs, rods, etc.

I would like to thank Homer Stevens for all his time and knowledge. Without Homer's help I'm sure I would still be adding up time. Note the simple and straightforward, no-nonsense was Homer's idea. Bob Schneider was more than willing to get his shop buzzing to help with the stout maple base.

I'm presently building a Fairbanks-Morse 1/6 scale Model N 25 HP engine from Tom's Engine Shed in Oregon. It is a nice set of castings, and a pleasure to work on. When it is completed, I'll send a photo. Jim Limacher, 2024 Gambels Way, Santa Rosa, CA 95403.

A Closing Word

This month we've got a lot of interesting material, and for ye olde Reflector, the models shown above represent some nice work. Just in the past few years, engine enthusiasts in America have begun taking to model engine building, whereas in England, the model scene has been very popular for over a century. Keep up the good work!

As this issue is closed up in early March, the mid western weather is warming a bit, and thoughts are returning to bringing some old iron back to life. By the time this issue is in your hands, there'll be thoughts about getting some engines ready for the 1992 shows, and no doubt, those who are on show committees are already working like beavers trying to work out the details. It's a great hobby, but always remember that this old iron wasn't designed with safety in mind. So, be careful. Don't strain your back trying to lift some iron that properly requires two or three people. Keep your mitts (and those oil can spouts) out of places they shouldn't be, and all-in-all, treat this old iron with a bit of respect. That way you can go to shows all summer and still be happy about it. It sure ain't fun wearing a back brace for those strained muscles, a cast over a mashed finger, or bandages over a toasted face! And by the way, we plan to see many of you at the annual Waukee Swap Meet coming up in May!