Identifying a Fairbanks-Morse Gas Engine

Fred Gertje shares his thoughts on identifying a Fairbanks-Morse gas engine.

Identifying a Fairbanks-Morse gas engine.

Identifying a Fairbanks-Morse gas engine.

PHOTO: REKEMP

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A reader talks about identifying a Fairbanks-Morse gas engine he purchased. 

Would any of our GEM readers know if Fairbanks-Morse ever used red paint an any of their engines, or if they ever built any engines under contract for mail order houses. I brought home a five horse engine a few weeks ago that was painted red, and which the owner insisted was FM, and am working on identifying a Fairbanks-Morse gas engine. He backed his argument with the statement that he had to buy a governor weight for it once, and he got it from a hardware dealer who sold FM engines. There doesn't seem to be any name plate or serial number on it, and the only number I can locate so far is a part number on the con rod. There is no magneto, but on the side of the frame next to the belt side flywheel there are two holes about 3/8 that are tapped. The ends of the crankshaft extend only two inches past the flywheels, and the flywheels do not seem to have been balanced, as they seem to stop always in the same place, and there are no balancing holes. The crank is unique, in that it is apparently made of 1/2 foot spring steel, factory built. It has MB ignition and HM governor, drip oiling and valve in head with a post between the valves with a spring on it and a plate that connects the post with the two valves. The water jacket and cylinder are cast together, the comers of the jacket being quite square. I will appreciate anyone's opinion.