2-cycle engine


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Having just returned from a week at the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa the Reflector finds himself covered with paperwork in making the copy deadline for this issue.

As a representative of Stemgas Publishing at the Old Threshers Reunion, we were pleasantly surprised at all the people who stopped by, if for no other reason, than to wish us well. That alone was very gratifying to the Reflector, and your thoughts have already been conveyed to the entire GEM staff!

We continue to make progress on the paint color guide, and urge you to continue sending us color chips or color numbers that you have on hand. Quite a number of people left information with us at Old Threshers, and with any luck, we'll have a listing ready sometime this winter. Either GEM will publish this list as part of a regular issue, or possibly it will be printed as a pocket booklet.

The quality of engine restorations seems to improve each year! Although we have not attended a large number of shows this year, the 500+ engines on display at Mt. Pleasant revealed some very nice restorations of some very nice engines. Also, the color photographs coming into the GEM office indicate some long, hard hours of work in many of the restorations.

Now to the questions for this month:

20/9/1 Q. Mark Serfass, 1533 Mt. Eagle PL, Alexandria, VA 22302 is looking for information on a Merkel Motor Wheelliterature, instructions, parts, etc.

A. For those not familiar with the Motor Wheel design, see American Gas Engines, page 65 for an illustration of the Smith Motor Wheel as built by Briggs & Stratton. The Smith is somewhat different than the Merkel, although the purpose is the same. Mr. Serfass also sends some detailed information on Messinger Mfg. Co., Tatamy, PA. After getting additional photographs, we hope to publish this article in its entirety.

20/9/2 Q. Mr. Arthur L. Crabille, 2704 Sunshine Drive S., Lakeland, FL 33801 sends a photo (20/9/2A) of his Cush-man 12 HP, 2-cylinder engine. This is a Model E 35 U engine with s/n A 56296, and rated at 1000-1300 RPM. It uses the same governor as the Model C, 4 HP style. Photo 20/9/2B illustrates Mr. Crabille's Model ZZ Briggs marine engine of 1941, while to the right appears his 5 HP DuBrie (1923) marine engine. This engine uses Ford Model T piston, rod, camshaft bushings, main bearing caps, riming gear, and carburetor. Mr. Crabille would like to know why the Cushman used the long shaft extension.

A. The Cushman crankshaft was apparently equipped at one time with a clutch, probably of the same general design used on the 8 HP, 2-cylinder Cushman design. The length of the shaft and location of the keyway would seem to indicate this to be so.

20/9/3 Q. I have a Cletrac DG, 6-speed crawler tractor. It used an iron nameplate, and the letters are rusted off. Is the serial number stamped on the frame so that I might determine the age of this tractor? Edwin H. Bredemeier, Route 1, Box 13, Steinauer, NE 68441.

A. Although we would guess the serial number to be stamped on the frame, transmission case, or some other location, a quick look through our files fails to give specific information.

20/9/4 Q. Can anyone help me with a Lauson Model W6112 HP engine? Frank]. Soden, 94 Davis Road, Doylestown, PA 18901.

A. Several GEM advertisers have literature and/or parts for the Lauson engines. Likewise, some of our readers may be of help.

Q. What is the difference between the Massey-Harris Colt, Mustang, and '22' tractors? Stanley Byerly. (812) 347-2186.

A. Our letter from Mr. Boyerly has only the phone number, but no address. First of all, the Model 21, Colt tractor was built during 1952 and 1953. Available in either tricycle or adjustable wide-front design, it was equipped with a 124 CID L-head engine with 21.6 max. corrected h.p. A 3-point hitch and a hydraulic system was available. The 140 cubic inch Mustang carried 23.91 maximum corrected h.p., and was available with gas or distillate manifold. The Model 23 Mustang was built during 1952-1954. Massey-Harris Model 22 tractors were available in standard-tread or row-crop design as well as gasoline or distillate models. Production began in 1948 and ended in 1953. This model carried a 140 cubic inch engine with 23.91 maximum drawbar horsepower.

20/9/6 Q. Donald L. Smith, 1649 Hwy. 212 South, Laurel, MT 59044 recently retrieved this 25 HP, 2-cycle engine. The flywheels are 63 inches in diameter with a 4-inch face. They carry casting numbers R15785 and L15785. With this limited information can anyone tell us the make and model?

20/9/7 Q. I have a 2 HP Economy engine with a dry head. Also have a 2 HP model with a wet cylinder head, the 2 HP model appears to be older, but has a higher serial number than the 2 HP model. I also have a Tom Thumb engine with number G'6527. Is this the serial number, and if not, where is it located? Is there a way to determine the correct paint color for these engines? jack L. Wadsworth, 264 W. Pamela Road, Arcadia, CA 91006. (818) 447-9459.

A. To our knowledge, no serial number lists exist for the Economy engines. However, some manufacturers had a habit of jumbling the numbers to confuse the competition. Whether Economy did this, we do not know, but we DO KNOW that Witte, as an example, was notorious for shifting numbers by several thousand, even within the same year and model. Quite honestly, we are not sure whether the Tom Thumb carried a shop number at all, but the 'G' prefix definitely indicates a part number. Regarding paint colors, the Reflector hopes to complete an index on the subject by this winter. One thing is sureno matter the make, air cooled cylinders should always be painted aluminum to help dissipate the heat!

20/9/8Marion Dirks, RR 1, Box 85, Greens-burg, KS 67054 would like to see some articles on the Avery tractors in future issues of GEM. (Note: The Reflector will be happy to work with anyone out there having some Avery literature, photos, history, etc. who would like to submit an article on the subject.)

20/9/9Stiles Bradley, Box 25, Pavilion, NY 14525 sends a photo of his incomplete Lazier engine, and would like to correspond with anyone having one of these engines or literature on same so that he might make the missing parts.

20/9/10 Q. Harold A. Stupp, RR 1, Aurora, NY 13026 has a New Way engine, Model GHA, s/n 1214also a New Way Model EH, s/n 1776. He would like further information on these engines.

A. Neither of these engines are illustrated in American Gas Engines, and the Reflector was in fact, unaware of these models. Perhaps someone else can help the cause. No serial number listings for these engines are available.

20/9/11R. V. Burton, 3816 Findley Road, Woodbridge, VA 22193 requests information on a Racine-Sattley engine, 3 HP, s/n 1701. Specifically requested is approximate age, magneto equipment, actual builder, original color. Also, Mr. Burton would be happy to hear from any gas engine clubs in his area.

20/9/12 Q. Regarding the Thieman tractor, ]ohn Thumma, RR 2, Box 73, Laurens, IA 50554 writes that his was equipped with a Ford flathead V-8 instead of the usual Ford Model A engine. Although some literature indicates that this and other engines could be used, we need more data on just how to go about it. For instance, the standard Model A radiator had but two openings, while the flathead V-8 required four.

A. The Thieman tractor remains for the Reflector one of the most interesting and innovative attempts at making a tractor out of an old car. In fact, the Thieman was probably one of the most successful in terms of its usefulness. Perhaps someone has some detailed information on this interesting tractor that they would share with both Mr. Thumma and the Reflector.


Delco, Spark Coils, etc.From Jack Daniel, 2229 E. Morton St., Tacoma, WA 98404 we finally learn that he originally sent in the Delco material incorrectly ascribed to Gene Brandt. (See page 7 of the September, 1985 GEM). Mr. Daniel goes on to note that he has a sizeable group of manuals he can photocopy for those needing this information. The list includes: Delco Pump Repair Parts, 1945; Delco 600 watt Service Parts Catalog; Atlas Cyclohm Generator Unit; Tiny Tim Battery Chargers and Light Plants; Homelite Instruction and Service Manuals; United States Motors, Oshkosh, Wisc. Electric Light Plants; Several Onan Manuals. These are available on a photocopy basis at a price to cover my costs.

Mr. Daniel is also in need of information on a Myers 'Bulldozer' pump, and wants to know if it can be operated at a pressure as high as 110 PSI.

In additional comments, Jack notes that many people test magnetos or coils by holding the wire inch or more away from the engine to determine whether there is fire. Doing this endangers the coil, since to arc a gap of .030' requires only about 2000 volts at normal atmospheric pressure. To arc a ' gap requires about 12,000 volts.

Note: the Reflector has noted the same thing, and urges readers to observe the same caution. A good coil or magneto will rupture its own coils if the leads cannot jump the gap, or if the wire is simply disconnected. Most magnetos are equipped with a built-in safety gap to prevent this, but spark coils usually do not have this feature. Prestolite Company builds a tiny unit resembling a spark plug, except that it is equipped with an alligator clip to attach to the engine block, with the electrode uniformly gapped about . 200'. If the spark jumps this gap at atmospheric pressure, there is every likelihood that the problem is not in the ignition system. Another point when using a Ford Model T spark coil, it is necessary to use a 12 volt battery. These coils were designed for 9 to 18 volts, not 6 volts, and under good compression there simply isn't enough voltage to cross the gap. A final comment Mr. Daniel's offer to photocopy his materials at cost is considered a service to GEM readers, and should not be construed as plugging a commercial venture.

Duro Paint ColorsGlen R. Swenson, H.C. RR2, Box 492, Bovey, MN 55709 writes that the Duro cylinder and attachments are silver (Krylon Hi-Heat Aluminum, # 1401 or # 1402). The base and other parts are White Truck Gray, DuPont Centari 29547.

20/3/12 Epoxy Resin Myron Korsmeyer, Box 153, Lucas, KS 67648 offers some valuable advice concerning the use of epoxy resins

1.  Epoxy resins are TOXIC! Don't breathe the fumes, and if any should catch fire, DO NOT BREATHE THE SMOKE!

2.  Do not allow epoxy resins to remain on the skin. 'Quick-Set' epoxy has a period of chemical heating and can cause severe burns.

3.  Allowing epoxy to remain on the skin allows some of this material to be absorbed into the body. This temporarily immobilizes the body's ability to absorb calcium. Repeated contact can even be life-threatening!

4. Marine-type epoxy resin is impervious to solvents, but other types eventually turn into a gummy mess. Now to various paints most of the old enamels contained either lead or silica. When baked, the silica provided a deep, glassy effect. Much the same effect can be otained using DuPont Centari or similar enamels. Even the metallics can be used effectively. First you need a GOOD paint gun, an air pressure regulator, and a moisture trap. To get the life and glow of the metallic but not the glitter, use only 20-30 PSI at the regulator and practice at various settings on your paint gun to get the rate and pattern established. The low regulator pressure permits the metallic itself to recede into the paint, thus giving the glow without the glitter. This also cuts down on the dusty overspray problem.

For Fairbanks-Morse green, we use B8152AH (Code 4J) Dark Spruce. Associated Red, 5229 AM Bright Red (Code 3 or 2). John Deere Green 262A. IH Blue 45765AH. McCormick-Deering 8-11792G Dark Jade Green. These are all DuPont Centari numbers.

20/7/2 T. L. Smith Co.Brad E. Smith, 7574 S. 74 St., Franklin, WI 53132 writes that this company built cement mixers at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The plant closed about 3 years ago. They probably purchased their engines (most likely from Lauson).

20/7/7 Warehouse Scale Several readers gave us information on the warehouse scale. These excellent photos illustrating this unit were submitted by Bob Calhoun, 309 Decatur Road, Marquette Hts., IL 61554.

Norbert Keeley CastingsIn the September GEM appeared a photo showing a scale model Fairbanks-Morse Eclipse Pumper made from Norbert Keeley castings. Several readers asked us for more information, and several people wrote that these castings are available from: Norbert H. Keeley, 901 Mulberry St., Perrysburg, OH 43551. We understand however, that blueprints are NOT furnished.


Although the Reflector's book American Gas Engines Since 1872 probably covers the majority of stationary and portable engines built in North America it becomes increasingly obvious that a great many more are yet to be discovered. As an example, our week-long stay at the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion yielded a number of photographs to us by collectors from all over the U.S. and Canada. As time permits, this material will be appropriately filed for future use. Several people stopped by the Stemgas stand to give us original and reprinted literature on several different gas engine and tractor companies. These materials are in constant use for continuing research, so we wish to publicly thank everyone who stopped by with new information. In addition, we wish to thank all who stopped in with words of encouragement, or even a simple 'Hello.' Your message has already been delivered to the entire Stemgas staff!

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.