Readers' Engine Questions


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A Closing Word

First of all, my thanks to everyone who contacted me, sent cards, e-mails and the like when I got sick and during my long convalescence. Recovering from a stroke is indeed a long-term project. However, after a year-plus, 1 can get around fairly well, and have regained limited use of my left hand. Sometimes this is frustrating, but it's amazing just how creative one can be.

We're taking a serious look at reprinting American Gas Engines Since 1872, this time with the yellow cover. We're also looking at doing a second, but smaller volume of gas and diesel engines. We've considered redoing everything from 'square one' but gave up on that idea. Printing has changed so much, and we would have to digitize every photo in the book if we combined everything into a new edition. This would be months of work, and since typing is now limited to one hand, we've opted for a simpler solution of compiling Volume Two. Your input is important. If you are interested in seeing the Yellow Book back in print, and/or a second volume, please call, write, or e-mail Richard Backus at the coordinates listed on page 8.

Meanwhile we have a new edition of Encyclopedia of American Farm Implements coming out this Fall. It is a much larger book, and has a new index of manufacturers. For instance, if you want to see how many companies made corn shellers, you need only to go to that section to see the huge list we've compiled, all from original sources. Right now, we're working on a huge volume of tractors that will combine our Encyclopedia of American Farm Tractors, Standard Catalog of Tractors, and our Nebraska Tractor Tests Since 1920 book into a single volume. We'll grant that there have been dozens of tractor books published over the last 20 years, but this new tractor book will easily eclipse anything you've seen. Once we get ourselves in the clear on the new tractor book, we'll be starting on our second volume of the Yellow Book.

After our long hiatus from writing the Reflections column, we've reluctantly decided that others should step into this task. Actually, the 'Reflections' name probably will disappear, since it was used by permission. Originally, the late Elmer J. Baker Jr., whose father published Farm Implement News for decades, used this name. We always admired Elmer's writing, and attempted to emulate his style. Now that we've gone digital, we plan on doing some freelance articles from time to time.

We're also thinking of doing another overseas tour or two, if health maintains or improves. The National Rally in Australia will be in South Australia in early 2005. If we should do a tour, we've already decided we won't be doing that straight-through 14-hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney. Instead, we'll break things up by stopping off at Fiji or someplace instead. Fourteen hours is just too long to be confined to an aluminum tube! We thank everyone who has helped us over the years. If you have pictures and information on engines not in the first engine book, please send them over to Richard, at GEM.

38/10/1 Fairbanks-Morse EngineQ: I'm looking for information on my upright Fairbanks-Morse engine and hoping someone can help me. I would like to know the year, horsepower, paint color, etc. The engine has 28-inch flywheel. I find no evidence of number on the ends of the crankshaft. Any information greatly appreciated. Wayne Hanson, Box 444, Mt. Lake, MN 56159.

A: Judging from the patent dates on your nameplate, and by virtue of your engine's inclusion of both igniter and hot tube ignition, we'd guess your Fairbanks-Morse to be a 2 HP Type T of the style built between 1898-1904. Hot tube ignition was optional after 1904. We can't say for sure what color it should be, but Wendel's Notebook lists DuPont 74713 green for early Fairbanks-Morse engines.

38/10/2: Case QuestionQ: I have recently acquired a Case Model C tractor, serial no. C319931. The engine block shows number 4569A on the right side and 12-23-35 on the left side.

I would appreciate any help I could get finding parts, and any other information on this tractor. Delton Hasten, 11701 Korinek Road, Reedsville, WI 54230.

A: Finding parts for your Case Model C shouldn't be too hard. A popular series, Case built various versions based on the basic Model C, which was introduced in 1929. Your Model C is of 1936 vintage. Check the classifieds in GEM, and if you don't have any luck there, perhaps a knowledgeable reader will contact you about parts sources.

38/10/3: Racine-SattleyQ: I'd like to know the date of manufacture for my 1 -1/2 HP Racine-Sattley sold by Montgomery, Ward & Co. It shows serial no. 15384. Bailey Wilkins, 366 Waughs Ferry Road, Amherst, VA 24521; (434) 946-5668.

A: Unfortunately, we don't have a serial number list for the line. A discussion on the Stationary Engine List some months ago suggested that pre-1925 engines have spoked flywheels, while post-1925 engines have dishpan flywheels. Perhaps someone else knows more?

38/10/4: Unidentified EnginesQ: I have an engine I need help identifying. It is approximately 10 HP and runs a drive vertically through a cast gearbox on the sub-frame. The water hopper/cylinder bolts to the sub-frame, as well. It came out of the mines in northern Wisconsin and has a clutch on one flywheel. Does anyone know who made this engine?

I have also have two marine engines, and I was hoping someone could identify them, as well. Thanks for any help. L.M. Korthals, 1621 S. River Road, Janesville, WI 53546.

A: We're not sure what you have, but it looks suspiciously similar to engines that came out of the Waterloo, Iowa, area. The projecting cylinder and water hopper on your engine are certainly defining features. Perhaps one of our readers knows better. As for the marine engines, we're not sure about those, either.

38/10/5: Unidentified Vacuum

I bought this vacuum cleaner at the Portland swap meet in 2002, and so far I can't find anyone who has ever seen one. There is no name, tag or date on it. I sanded and cleaned it but found nothing to tell me the make or what year it was used in. The vacuum still works. Weldon E. Gray, 1584 Garner Road, Alvaton, GA 30218.

A Final Word

With C. H. Wendel's departure, we now count on our readers more than ever to help each other with engine identifications and related issues. We will, of course, continue running your engine and tractor queries, and we'll continue to do our best to answer them. Even so, we encourage anyone who can help a fellow collector to step up to bat and answer reader questions when possible.

The old iron collective is incredibly lucky to have among its ranks individuals who think nothing of taking time and trouble to help their fellow collectors. We like letting readers know when questions have been answered, so if someone has helped you out, drop us a line so we can spread the word. It's part of what makes this hobby so great, so let's all keep it up.

Have an engine question you can't answer? Send your questions, with photos when possible, to Flywheel Forum, Gas Engine Magazine, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265, or via e-mail: