Gray engine


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While browsing through our copy of Motor Vehicles & Motors by Beaumont, we noted a discussion of various engine styles, and in particular the development of the 'double-inclined cylinder engine' which we now refer to as the V-type. It was invented by Daimler in Germany, and the original patent shows the air intake valve in the piston, as Daimler had done with his early single cylinder designs. The V-type engine was apparently not built under this design but originally was equipped with poppet valves. These were operated by a most unusual mechanism with a sliding piece in the cam grooves. The double-tracked cam was arranged so that the slider would alternately follow two different paths. Because of this arrangement the exhaust valve was operated only on alternate revolutions.

N. A. Otto, the inventor of the four-cycle engine seems to have concentrated most of his efforts on stationary design, while Daimler was preoccupied with fitting internal combustion engines to automotive purposes. In this he excelled, and was eminently successful in building small, lightweight, and high speed engines.

Gottlieb Daimler was born at Schorndorf, Germany in 1834 and died March 6, 1900.

This month's questions begin with:

22/10/1 Q. I need information on a David Bradley Tri-trac tractor made by Sears-Roebuck in the mid-1950's. Especially needed are belt sizes, but any other information will be appreciated. Harold R. Peabody, RFD 1, Box 112, 859 Riverside Drive, Augusta ME 04330.

A. We have limited data on the David Bradley line but nothing on this particular model. Anyone with this information, kindly contact Mr. Peabody.

22/10/2 Myron Patrick, RFD 4, Box 379, Miles Patrick Road, Winder, GA 30680 writes that he has a good sized collection of David Bradley and Planet Jr. garden tractors and implements. He would like to correspond with other collectors of these two product lines in particular.

22/10/3 Karl Johnson, 1807 Arthur Street, Minneapolis, MN 55418 would like to hear from someone having service information on the John Deere Type R-2 magneto.

22/10/4 Q. See the photos given below of a Gray engine, Model G,3? x 5 inch bore and stroke, 17 inch flywheels. There is no data plate. Also, there is no serial number. What is the horsepower? Is there an acid that will bring out stamped numbers in the casting? The measurements and specs are identical to the Model J engines of the Gray stationary line. So far I can find nothing which shows 'Model G' cast into the hopper. Can anyone help me? Raymond L. Gray, No. 1, Honeymoon Hill, Gatlinburg, TN 37738.

A. Your engine is probably about 1? horsepower, but we have no documentation that would be of help regarding the various model designations. Perhaps one of our readers might have some early advertising material that would be of help.

22/10/5 Q. Can you identify this engine? (see photo). I believe it to be a Rawleigh-Schryer. It is mustard yellow with black striping. The inside of the splash guard and pan was dark red. All castings begin with a 'B' prefix. Under the water hopper is cast 11-27-12. The missing nameplate was located on the upper left hand comer of the water hopper. In American Gas Engines the picture of the Rawleigh-Schryer on page 408 is identical to that of the Consolidated engine on page 106. Any information will be appreciated, Tom Crozier, RR 1, Ailsa Craig, Ontario N0M 1A0 Canada.

A. We would suggest that you are probably correct in crediting Rawleigh with this engine, although the casting date would tend to indicate that it was Rawleigh Mfg. Co. and not Rawleigh-Schryer, since the dates do not match (see pages 408 and 409 of American Gas Engines). Also of interest to us is the fact that the Rawleigh-Consolidated comparison you refer to indicates some heretofore unknown connection between the firms.

22/10/6 Robert Booth Jr., 6501 Ravenna Road, Painesville, Ohio 44077 sends some advertising material regarding the 'rebirth' of 'the New Hercules' engine line.

Hercules Engine Company, organized in 1915 at Canton, Ohio had a long and illustrious career as a builder of multiple cylinder engines. During the 1960's and 1970's the company had three different owners, and in 1976 the name was changed to White engines. Recently, the company's new Chairman and CEO Donald C. Stewart changed the name back to Hercules, because 'it represents what we do best-design and manufacture quality engines.'

22/10/7 Q. What year is a McCormick-Deering engine, 1? HP, s/n 25049? I have a Farmall F-2o, s/n FA67297. When consulting the serial number listings I noticed the FA prefix was used on tractors built from 1932 to mid-1934, and a 'TA' prefix was used from late 1934 and beyond. Since my serial number is higher than any of those listed with the FA prefix, I am not sure of the year built. Can anyone supply the year built for a Nichols & Shepard Red River Special separator, s/n 50719 manufactured by Oliver Farm Equipment Company? Ira Krupp Jr., 13894-168th, Apt. 2, Grand Haven, MI 49417.

A. Your McCormick-Deering engine was built in 1926. It seems entirely possible that the prefix confusion on your F-20 might only be the result of a typographical error when the plate was stamped, rather than indicating anything of major proportions. Using this parameter then, your tractor is of 1936 vintage. We have no information on the Nichols &. Shepard line.

22/10/8 Q. I've collected Sandwich engines for many years. From other collectors, and from my own research it appears that the first two digits of the serial number indicate the year built, i.e., A26446 was built in 1926. The letter prefixes (according to the parts book) indicate the horsepower-A,1? HP; B, 2? HP; C, 4 HP; E, 6 HP; F, 8 HP; R, 10 HP. These designations are from catalogs of the early 1920's. The 1934 catalog lists the designators differently-A, 2 HP; B, 3 HP; C, 4? HP and Light 6; D, Light 6; E, Big 6 and Light 6; F, 8 HP; R, 10 HP.

Having checked dozens, if not hundreds of Sandwich engines, I'm convinced that this method of dating is correct. It checks with Webster equipped engines and puts the transition to the Wico EK magneto at the proper time. Robert P. Weis, PO Box 668, Mt. Hermon, MA 01354.

A. Your patient research should be very helpful to owners of Sandwich engines. Despite all the new information coming to light on various companies and their activities, the truth is that we have yet barely scratched the surface.

22/10/9 Q. What is the year built for a Fairbanks-Morse 1? HP headless model, s/n 339784? Is there any information available that might assist me in building a set of portable trucks for this engine? Would also like the proper color for a jaeger 2 HP engine (Hercules type)-casting date on water hopper is 4/5/27. Myron Compton, RR 1 , Pekin, IN 47165.

A. Your engine is of 1918 vintage. Several excellent catalog reprints are available on this engine, including some published by GEM. Contact them for further details and prices.

22/10/10 Q. What is the year built for an Associated air-cooled engine, s/n 83302, also the proper color. Roger Boise, RD, Box 12, New Haven, VT 05472.

A. The Associated corresponds to DuPont Dulux 1434 Mohawk Red, except of course that the air-cooled cylinder is painted with aluminum, preferably a high-heat type. All air cooled engine cylinders are always painted aluminum for maximum heat transfer to the air. Although no specific data has been located, the air cooled model was probably discontinued by 1915 or thereabouts.

22/10/11 Q. I have just acquired a Jaeger 3' HP engine, s/n 273422 and would like any information regarding its age. Jesse Spangler, 6184 Lanman, Drayton Plains, MI 48020.

A. We have no method of dating Jaeger engines, but those familiar with this line might be able to guesstimate its age using the age of known examples as a guide.

22/10/12 Q. We have a 'Johnny' engine as sold by Omega Machine Company, and illustrated on page 361 of American Gas Engines. We need to know how to get it to run. We know of one of these engines where some gasoline was put in and it blew up. Another collector claims he smashed another Johnny engine to pieces trying to determine what made it run. Can anyone help us out? Frank G. Wilson, The Wilson Collection, 40 Basketville, Putney, VT 05346.

A. You have an oil engine which operated on the Hvid principles developed by R. M. Hvid Co. of Chicago. Although this self-igniting engine was very efficient it was rather complicated and could be very recalcitrant if everything was not in prime condition. What you need is a photocopy of a Thermoil instruction manual, and quite possibly one of our readers might be able to supply same. If you use gasoline for starting, use only a few drops! Otherwise you will likely experience the results noted above, plus you will have the unforgettable ordeal of having pieces of cast iron flying about with no regard for life or limb. Having worked somewhat with engines of this type, we hope that someone will be able to furnish an instruction book that will lay out the principles of operation for you. To do so within this column would require considerable space. Engines of this type run very nicely when properly adjusted-they also start with relative ease, and directly on diesel fuel when the ambient temperature is 60 degrees F. or higher.

22/10/13 Q. Donavon W. Anderson, 5627 S.E. 10th St., Topeka, KS 66605 poses the following questions: 1) What is the date built and color scheme of a Little Monitor Pumping Engine, 1? HP, s/n 18771? 2) Did the implements for the F-12 change from gray to red in 1936 like the tractors, or were they always red? 3) Will Farmall 'C' and F-12 rod and main bearings interchange? 4) What is the year built for a Fairbanks-Morse 'Z' engine, s/n 550340? Any help will be appreciated.

A. In answer: 1) We presume you mean the Monitor built by Baker Mfg. Co., Evansville, Wisconsin. There are no known serial number listings for this engine. It is finished comparable to DuPont 57704 gray and trimmed in deep red. 2) We believe that the F-12 implements were always red. 3) We don't have a master parts book for IH, so we can't tell you whether the bearings will interchange. 4) Our FBM serial lists put the above number as a 1923 model.

22/10/14 Q. I am restoring a Foos 6 HP engine, s/n 40735 and would like to know the year built and correct color. Robert L. Willis, 4103 Quapaw CR, Springdale, AR 72764.

A. See the August, 1987 GEM, page 23 for an accurate color match for the Foos engine. We know of no serial number listings.

22/10/15 Here's a picture of an engine I'm restoring. I'm not sure of the make, although I know it is a form of an Economy. It resembles the drawing on page 233 of American Gas Engines of Holm's engine. Can anyone help me identify this engine? Also I would like the age of a Fairbanks-Morse engine, 383320, and a Stover Type D-600, s/n VG225133. All letters will be answered. Mike Nebasis, RR2, Box 167, New York Mills, MN 56567.

A. We can't shed much additional light on the engine in question, but we can tell you that the FBM engine is a 1918 model, and the Stover engine was built for DeLaval in early 1940.

22/10/16 Q. I would like to correspond with anyone having a 12-inch two-cylinder bean threshing machine built by J. L. Owens Co., Minneapolis, Minnesota. Any information will be appreciated. William Spoerl, 5531 Fond du Lac, Dubuque, IA 52001.

22/10/17 Q. I have recently acquired a Maytag Toy Racer with engine serial number 650896. The car has been repainted and I would like to know the correct color shades, also the linkage that controls the clutch and brake is missing and any information on this would be appreciated. I would like to correspond with other owners of these toy racers. Ronald O'Kray, 1636 N. Burgundy Lane, Stevens Point, Wl 54481.

A. Our files have no information whatever on the Maytag Toy Racers, but hopefully some of our readers are familiar with them.

22/10/18 Several readers have written in again this month asking for serial number information on Witte engines. This information is available directly from (and only from) the successors to Witte, now a division of Oil Well Supply. Their full address has been noted in several recent issues.

22/10/19 Q. I have a 1923 Fairbanks-Morse 15 HP 'Z' engine. In the July GEM, page 27 is a picture of a 15 HP engine with everything reversed, including the magneto etc. all on the wrong side of the engine. Can you explain this? Philip E. Mullen, 1702 North McKay Avenue, Alexandria, MN 56308.

A. The photograph was printed from the wrong side of the negative, which of course reverses everything.

22/10/20 Q. Can you tell me the year built for a Caterpillar 20 tractor, s/n PL2444? Any other information on this tractor will also be appreciated. Stephen Dodge, 44 Foxhill Lane, Enfield, CT 06082.

A. Our serial number listings on Caterpillar don't reach back that far, but we are certain that some of our readers might have such a list. In fact, the Reflector will be most happy to add this information to the early files. Likewise, we would guess that some of our readers and/or advertisers might have the instruction manuals and service information you need, either as originals or as photocopies of same.

22/10/21 Q. Thomas Davidson, Ryttarstigen 72, S-430 80 Hovas, Sweden writes: Thank you for a very interesting magazine. I am a Swedish collector who has some unknown engines. (See photos) The twin-cylinder engine (22/10/21 A and 22/10/21 B) has an open crankcase. It was converted in 1920 and got magneto and new carb from a car. Can anyone tell me the make? The single cylinder engine is of two-stroke design with a single-weight governor. Can you tell me the make?

In addition to these I have one 2 HP and one 4 HP Fairbanks-Morse Jack-of-All-Trades engines which have been imported to Sweden and sold here by Goteborgs Maskin Affar (Gothenburg Engine Shop). The serial no. on the Swedish brassplate is 102887 for the 2 HP engine and 69161 for the other one, which has been equipped with both hot tube and low tension ignition. What are the ages of these two engines?

The restored engine (22/10/21D) is a Swedish-built 6 HP, 4-stroke kerosene engine called 'Hercules.' It is of hit-and-miss design and governed on the exhaust push rod. It uses a low tension oscillating magneto and is made by Sandbackens Verkstader in Katrineholm, Sweden. This type is not so common here. In Sweden the two-stroke hot bulb type is the most common.

A. The 2 HP FBM engine is of about 1911 vintage, and the other engine is somewhat older-we do not have the very early serial number listings for Fairbanks-Morse. This company's own advertising seems to indicate that the dual ignition system (hot tube and electric) was intended to obviate the difficulties encountered with both systems. In other words, if it wouldn't run on the hot tube, maybe it would run on the igniter. Conversely, if the batteries were dead, then maybe the engine would run on the hot tube.

We would suggest that perhaps the engine of 22/10/21C might be a Detroit engine as illustrated on page 130 of American Gas Engines. To our knowledge, these engines did not have a nameplate, but depended on a stencilled identification instead. Regarding an identification for the two-cylinder engine, we don't have a clue, but perhaps other collectors somewhere in this world might be of help.

22/10/22 Mr. Al Wilhelm, Box 181, Princeton, MN 55371 sends a photo of his Avery Model #5 tractor.

We believe this to be an accurate representation of the late model Avery so far as color scheme is concerned (Reflector).

22/10/23 Q. James P. Paquette, 6o A High St., Uxbridge, MA 01569 would like the proper paint color for the Lauson engine made by John Lauson Co., New Holstein, Wisconsin. Any information would be appreciated on the Kinner Engine Company. We have a horizontal air cooled engine built by this company.

A. We're not definitely sure on the color match for the Lauson, but hopefully some of the many engine collectors in Wisconsin, (some of whom are very familiar with Lauson) will respond. The General Index of American Gas Engines lists a W. A. Kinne, New Britain, Connecticut as an engine builder, but we have no listing or information on Kinner Engine Company.

22/10/24 Charles C. Lynde, PO Box 3, Churchton, MD 20733 sends a photocopy from page 117 of the July, 1928 issue of National Geographic magazine for our identification. As is often the case with photocopies, it is sufficiently indistinct that identification of the engine in the copy is not possible. However, those collectors looking for early engine photos in magazines might try to locate this issue of National Geographic.

22/10/25 Q. I have a Sta-Rite engine, 1? HP. Is there another reader who has one? If so, I would like to hear from him. Is there a standard method of timing this engine? There is a mark on the cam gear, but not on the crankshaft gear. There is no place to crank on the side most engines are cranked. Does this one crank counter-clockwise from the other side? How is the ignition set up? John Pribbenow, RR2, Box 209, Vemdale, MN 56481.

A. Many, many questions regarding engine timing and ignition schematics are answered in a little book published by GEM and entitled, Gas Engine Guide. Very briefly though, valve timing is the first order-the exhaust valve should begin to open a few degrees before it reaches its outer center. Upon completing the exhaust stroke, it should close a few degrees AFTER reaching the inside center. The cam design will usually dictate this, so that by timing for the moment of exhaust valve opening, the time of closing will be reasonably correct. After this, time for ignition-on stationary engines used for display purposes we recommend firing right on dead center or just a few degrees after. Timing the engine too late will make the engine overheat, but of course, timing too early will make it kick like the proverbial mule! Whether the valve operating mechanism is on the right or left side makes no difference in engine rotation. Almost all engines are designed to 'run with the sun' an old colloquialism which translates to clockwise rotation. Occasionally an engine was designed to run against the sun, and in some engines with symmetrical tear-drop cams the engine can be reversed with little difficulty.

22/10/26 Q. What is the proper color for a Fuller & Johnson engine? Also its age-it is s/n 168742. Darryl Wondra, Rt. 28, Box 150A, LeCenter, MN 56057.

A. We understand the Fuller & Johnson to closely match standard 'New Idea Green.' For serial number information and other data on F & J engines contact: Verne W. Kindschi, S9008B U.S. Hwy 12, Prairie duSac, WI 53578-9723. We assume that readers will also forward their stamped and self-addressed envelope, plus perhaps a buck or so to cover the expense of looking up the information.

22/10/27 Q. I have a Stover-Economy 3? HP kerosene engine, s/n TC271540. It is in very good shape, but has cracked flywheels, which I have learned are very hard to find. Also, it has a tapered water jacket instead of the rounded style used on Economy engines. P.S. I am 14. Norman Gay, 851 Black Horse Hill, Coatesville, PA 19320.

A. Your engine was built September 19, 1940. Stover built these engines under contract with Sears-Roebuck. The only major modification was that compared to Stover's own 'CT' series built at the same time, these 'Economy' engines used a different frame casting with the rounded water hopper. Otherwise it was virtually identical to the 'coffin-type' water hopper that Stover used. The rectangular hopper to which you refer was that built by Hercules Engine Co. for Sears-Roebuck. Your engine will also have a flywheel different than the Stover, in that the latter used round holes in the flywheel, while those built for Sears used teardrop shaped weight holes.

22/10/28 Q. See the photos of my 2 HP Bessemer engine. We have the fuel/water tank stand for it, but have no carburetor, nor do we know just how the tank hooks up to the carburetor. We are also not completely sure of the timing mechanism. No one I have talked to has ever seen a 2 HP Bessemer. As we would like to restore the engine, we would appreciate hearing from anyone with information that would help us achieve this goal. Carl F. Lueg, PO Box 2888, McAllen, TX 78502.

A. We suspect there might be some Bessemer engines lurking about, and hopefully some of our readers might be able to share some information with you in this regard. From the looks of the photos (22/10/28 A and B) we think you will have a very nice engine when it is completed.

22/10/29 Q. What year is a Cletrac BGS, s/n 3C740? L. E. Gray, 2203 Gordon St., Hopewell, VA 23860.

A. Your tractor was built between 1939 and 1944, probably in the early part of that period, since very few tractors were produced outside of military requirements during the 1941-44 period.


Pond Tractors

On page 26 of the August, 1987 GEM the Pond tractor is discussed. It was made at Ravenna, Ohio. As I recall an infringement suit was fought in court with the Ford Motor Co. But Pond was using used parts and rebuilt motors, not new material from Ford, so, as I heard they settled the case before due process in court.

A man from Alliance, Ohio made an identical duplicate of the Pond, but no action was taken against him. His last name was Dennis, and there are some of these tractors still in use.

A man from Damascus, Ohio also built a unit similar to the Pond.

On page 27 a picture of the garden cultivator (22/8/27B) made by S. L. Allen &. Co. appears. I have two of these cultivators and a seeder unit, plus a small garden tractor and two Flexible Flyer sleds also.

I need help in restoring a Shaw 2-wheel garden tractor, First the paint color-I think green on the frame, with the wheels and handles of a different shade. The motor mount is missing; perhaps someone can send a description of this. Perry Willis, RD 3, 9238 Columbus Road NE, Louisville, OH 44641.

22/7/16 Fairbanks-Morse Eclipse

I have the remains of a FBM No. 1 Eclipse bought new in 1916. The office for it was Toronto, Ontario. It always had a crankcase breather directly under the drain plug for the water jacket. There is a hole drilled and tapped into the cylinder wall where it starts to slope out to the crankcase. The breather consists of a ?' street elbow with a brass fitting holding a steel ball and retained by a pin across and above it. It works like a poppet valve. This brass fitting screws into the female end of the street ell and faces up. We had to put a piece of metal under the drain plug for the hopper to keep water from getting into the breather when draining water out. There was a drain plug in the crankcase so oil could be drained off to keep it at the proper level. Wallace Shannon, Lansing, Michigan.

Sheppard Tractors

Per a letter from Peter Sheppard, President of R. H. Sheppard Co., Hanover, PA we obtained the following information:

Sherwin-Williams OPEX Production Lacquer L61EQ3 was the original color for these tractors. This was changed to a modern Sherwin-Williams number as follows: S-W Acrylic Enamel F79XLE0240-1974 (L61EQ3 Orange).

Another reader sent me this number: #3117 Orange force-dry enamel; Sprayon Products Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. (Mfg. expressly for R. H. Sheppard Co. Inc., Hanover, PA).

The following NAPA part numbers apply to the Sheppard tractors:

NAPA Oil filter 1047 fits SD2, 3, and 4 NAPA fuel filter 3110 fits SD4 (fuel)

NAPA fuel filter 3104 fits SD2 and SD3 (fuel)

22/8/15 John Deere Engine Serial 'Numbers

Several readers noted that the information on John Deere engine serial numbers was previously included in the September, 1985 GEM, page 7.

F-12 Tractors with Waukesha 'L' Head Engines'

Several readers responded to this question, and all were in general agreement as follows:

IHC built 2,527 F-12 tractors with the Waukesha L-head engines. These have the serial numbers 501-3035 except s/n 601 to 608 which had the IHC 3 x 4 inch engine, probably as prototypes for later tractors.

22/8/23 Letz Burr Mills

We have a No. 9 Letz burr mill manufactured at Crown Point, Indiana. It appears to be an older and lighter built model than the picture in 22/8/23. The color is an orange hopper about like Allis-Chalmers orange. Everything else is a medium blue color. This includes all lettering, support legs, etc. The pulley is leather-faced. The sheet metal of the hopper has 'Letz No. 9' plus the patent dates of October, 1911; May, 1916; September, 1916; April, 1917; and October, 1917. Lloyd Conrad, 105090 W. Carpenter, Greenfield, WI 53228.

Note: Mr. Conrad wrote a rather extensive letter about his experiences with the Letz mills over the years. From the Reflector's own observations, there must have been Letz burr mills by the tens of thousands in the Midwest, plus who knows how many more in other sections of the country. As a youngster, we never had a burr mill on our farm, since all of our grinding was done with an old Bearcat hammermill built by Western Land Roller Company. It was belted to our old John Deere D tractor, and boy could you make it' talk! About the only problem we ever had was that the ball bearing on the belt pulley side went bad one time, and getting the, remains of the old one off without a cutting torch or similar instrument made this quite a challenge indeed!


We have nothing to report in the Modelmaker's Corner this issue!


Stop to think for a moment! In an engine operating at 1,000 RPM, there are 2000 strokes of the piston every sixty seconds. The entire time for each of these strokes is 3/ 100ths of a second. Now assume that the maximum lift of the valve is ? inch plus the 1/32 inch clearance between the stem and rocker arm. Now if this wear be permitted to increase to 1/16th of an inch, then the valve can only lift 7/32 of an inch for a reduction in the opening of 12.5%. Obviously a change in valve opening of this magnitude is going to affect engine performance. Even stationary engines operating at 300 RPM will be affected. The point is this-by taking some time with your engines you can improve their performance considerably.

To minimize the problem of rapid filling and emptying of the cylinders certain Twin City tractor models used two intake and two exhaust valves for each cylinder, or a total of sixteen valves in a four-cylinder engine. Each cylinder was 4? inches in diameter, and each one carried four valves that were 1? inches in diameter. While costly to build, this design was one of the most innovative tractor engine developments of the 1930's.