Back in the April 1990 GEM, John Hamilton submitted an article on tractor design, specifically on chassis design. Hopefully a study of Mr. Hamilton's article has been beneficial to those contemplating a model tractor. When it is considered that these and many other decisions must be made in designing a model, then consider the challenges which faced the early tractor designers. At the time there were virtually no reference books whereby it was possible to make the design off the shelf. For those builders fortunate enough to have experience in mechanical engineering the problems were big enough. However, for the erstwhile tractor designers without a technical education, designing a tractor was indeed a challenge.
Beyond the chassis and steering layout came other necessaries, such as the layout of the final drive system, drawbar arrangement, and of course the selection of an engine. Given the state of the art some eighty years ago, we will never cease to look at the early designs with amazement. In short, we must give a lot of credit to our ancestors for their determination in designing workable farm tractors. To put it another way, look back on some of your own mechanical projects. In all honesty, some of these are crude at best, at least that is how the Reflector feels about some of his past projects. In this perspective then, it is much easier to be forgiving of our ancestors for having built some tractors which we now consider to be the very epitome of crudity. But then, they didn't have a lathe, a welder, an acetylene outfit, or a full set of micrometers. For many of them, the shop was a shade tree, and the tools consisted of an anvil, a forge, and a 5-pound hammer!
Due to the rush of summer activities we don't have a lot of correspondence this time, but we begin with:
25/9/1 Fairbanks-Morse Q. I have a Fairbanks Morse Z, 17 HP. The only identification on it is a number moulded on the side of the crankcase. If this is the serial number, could you tell me anything about it? The number is 7682A24. Any information will be appreciated. Barry J. Tomyke, Box 148, Stonewall, Manitoba ROC 22,0 Canada.
A. Perhaps this engine was built by Canadian Fairbanks; we don't know. The number is certainly not anything with which we are familiar. A photo would be most helpful. Meanwhile, perhaps some of our readers might have some information.
25/9/2 N O D A Engine Q. Is the N O D A one lung gas engine anything special? Is it a Japanese or American engine? The engine is tight but looks in good shape with all the parts. I am not too familiar with restoring engines. I worked on one, but I sold it before it was done. Also, how much is a 1936 Allis-Chalmers WC with cultivator worth? It is stored inside. Henry Baerg, 433 Amatsubo, Minami Ashigara-shi, Kamagawa 250-01 Japan.
A. Our offhand guess is that the above mentioned engine is of Japanese origin, or at least, not of U.S. origin. We don't follow equipment prices, but perhaps some of our readers might know the value of the Allis-Chalmers.
25/9/3 Alpha Engine Q. See the photo of an Alpha DeLaval engine, style VA. I do not see this model in American Gas Engines. The s/n is 6220. Can anyone supply any information on this engine, approximate time it was built, etc?
Also see 25/9/3B illustrating a small grinder. Hopefully someone can identify it. Andrew Mackey, 26 Mott Place, Rock-away Boro, New Jersey 07866.
25/9/4 Nelson Bros. Q. I need some help in identifying a Nelson Bros. 2 HP engine. It is a pale blue or a blue-green with gold starburst striping on the flywheels and gold lines on the hopper. There never was a decal.
The Montgomery-Ward catalog pages show the Nelson as a Sattley and show another Sattley with my striping but the Sattley engines used decals. What model of Nelson had this color scheme? See the two photos.
To help another reader, in 25/6/6A, the Jumbo head is correct, as can be seen on page 22 of the June 1990 GEM. John Hamilton, 461 Algonquin Place, Webster Groves, Missouri 63119.
25/9/5 Gray Engine Q. See the photo of my Gray Model G engine (Gray Motor Company, Detroit, Michigan). This engine is 41/4 x 5 3/8 inch bore and stroke. What is the horsepower, and approximately when was it built? I have been able to learn very little about this engine here in Australia, so if anyone can help me on the above questions, the proper paint colors etc., it would be greatly appreciated. C.B. Green, P.O. Box 841, Katanning 6317, Western Australia.
A. Beyond the information we gathered for American Gas Engines, we have little more to offer. We too have found information on the Gray engines to be elusive.
25/9/6 Fordson Starter Recently I started restoring a 1924 Fordson tractor, and after a few turns of the crank I realized that it would never run if I was to be the power source for cranking. Enclosed are pictures of a starter arrangement I made. It turns the engine at 200 RPM, and at this speed it will start directly on the flywheel magneto. The total cost was about $175.
The hand crank is replaced by a shaft approximately the same length and a spring to disengage it. A pin through the shaft near its outer end is driven by a coupling on the starter assembly. The starter itself is composed of a 4-cylinder Ford Escort starter motor and flywheel spider, a 1 inch shaft about 11 inches long, two flange bearings, two plates of 11 ga. metal about 18 x 22 inches, four spacers 3? inches long, a shop-made hub for mounting the flywheel to shaft, and a drive coupling, a solenoid, and a push button switch.
To start the tractor place this assembly on a suitable support to align the drive coupling and the driven shaft. RETARD the Fordson timing, attach jumper cables and start. Once the engine starts it pushes the starter assembly in the clear. Anyone wanting more information may write: H.W. Richardson, 425 Parkway Circle, Montevallo, Alabama35115.
25/9/7 Unidentified Engine Q. We recently found an old engine. What information do you need to aid in identifying it? Thomas T. Mellan, 127 Market St., Potsdam, New York 13676-1214.
A. First of all, a photograph or two are most helpful. If there is a nameplate, then include this information. Also helpful are the bore and stroke dimensions, flywheel diameter, and other information that seems significant, such as casting numbers.
25/9/8 Standard Engine Q. See the photo of a Standard Separator Company engine, as per page 149 of American Gas Engines. The engine is in excellent condition, but the only information we have is from the above book. Can these engines be dated, and also what is the color scheme? Ian Matthews, 3 Kaoriki Court, Condon, 4815, Australia.
A. We have no specific literature on the Standard, but some of our readers might have something that would be of help. We believe the engine to have been a very deep forest green color, with the air-cooled cylinder being aluminum, as should be ALL air cooled engine cylinders. There is no specific dating available, although it appears that these engines lapsed out of existence during the 1920's.
25/9/9 Olds Engine Q. I am restoring an Olds No. 1, Type A, 1? HP engine as shown on page 418 of American Gas Engines. The s/n plate is attached to the crank guard which is the same as the battery box holder. How can I tell which s/n, crank guard, or battery box number is the right one for the engine I have? Is the s/n stamped elsewhere on the engine? What is the age of this engine, and what are the correct colors? John M. Preston, 2500 Curtis Rd., Leonard, Michigan 48038.
A. Your letter poses some questions which we in turn address to those readers having researched the Olds engine to some extent.
25/9/10 Case CC Tractor Q. I am restoring a 1930 Case CC, s/n C315324, and need the correct number for the LC Gray in a DuPont number. Were any of these painted Flambeau Red? Darry Wondra, RR 2, LeCenter, Minnesota 56057.
A. The only Case Gray number we have in DuPont is 24938, but we believe this is for model L, Model C, etc. The latest information we have is that the LC Gray is still available from Case dealers, although we have heard that there is a DuPont color match for it. Can anyone supply the needed colors?
25/9/11 Globe Engines At the Waukee Swap Meet, four owners of Globe engines got together and wondered how many are left. According to a GEM article in 1973 they were all scrapped. These are the little 1 HP horizontal, nickel plated, tank cooled engines with the governor on the carburetor. It went under such names as Huckle & McCleod. Send information and SASE and you will get a copy of the roster. Also keeping a roster of Eli and the Field-Brundage engines. For updated Field roster send SASE. John Davidson, Box 4, Bristol, Wisconsin 53104.
25/9/12 New Century Thresher Q. See the photo of a 32-50 New Century thresher built by Aultman-Taylor. Can anyone supply me with information on this machine, and are there any serial lists for these threshers? Dana E. Tuck' ness, P.O. Box 83, Brogan, Oregon 97903.
See the pictures of a small two-cycle engine I own. I recently restored it, and it might be of interest: Tank-screen cooled, holds a quart, K & W coil, small DC pump for circulation, scaled Lunkenheimer-type carburetor, fuel tank is in the base. All bolts are British thread, not SAE or metric, engine is 5? inches high and eight inches long, flywheels are 5 3/16 o.d. on a 7/16 inch shaft, one is crowned the other has a shallow groove in the center. Bore is slightly over 13/8 inches, stroke is about 11/8 inches, actual compressed area is only about ? inch. Engine uses a 14mm spark plug.
Cast into several parts and on the small brass plate on top of the engine are: ME&SC Co. I've been told that this engine may have been built by the people who made Stuart steam engines prior to World War Two. Total unit weighs about 40 pounds. All parts are steel or cast iron except for connecting rod, carb, and cooling tank. Any information on this engine would be appreciated. Andrew K. Mackey, 26 Mott Place, Rockaway Boro, New Jersey, 07866.