26 Mott Place Rockaway Boro, NJ 07866
In the beginning of February I made my weekly pilgrimage to one of my local salvage yards. For the last few trips I've found a few small Briggs & Stratton cast iron engines, and several Reo mower engines in various states of repair, lying atop a 30 foot high pile of scrap iron.
On this trip, however, I found something far more interesting near the base of the pile. At first glance it looked like a sheet of 14 inch plate steel on a small skidjust what I was looking for! As I got closer to the base of the pile, I could see that something was still bolted to the plate. 'Goodies' I thought! I worked for about five minutes to uncover the object that was bolted to the plate and found a two cylinder water cooled engine and generator set with a mangled control panel and a smashed radiator laying on its side. Well the engine looked neat anyhow. After another five minutes work, I had everything uncovered, and was able to tip the unit back onto its base.
WOW, I thought, most of it's still here. Maybe I can fix it up! And the crank is still free!!! Well, I got more than I thought. After looking it over, I dragged it away from the massive pile and I wrote SOLD on the smashed radiator shell. I then went inside to talk to the salvage yard's owner. We settled on what we both thought was a fair price, and I went home to retrieve my trailer in order to take it home.
When I got back, one of the yard workers said 'Hey, Andy, does this go with that?' He was holding a mangled door and end piece to a metal cabinet. I took it over to the generator and found that indeed it had been ripped off the generator end of the unit. After looking for several more minutes, I managed to locate the two side panel doors. They were about halfway up the pile of iron and were partially buried and bent up. I
also found the radiator end panel and the top. They apparently were under the unit where I had originally found it, and in my hurry to remove the generator from the pile, I had not seen them. They too were badly bent up, but LO and BEHOLD the fuel tank was still attached to the cabinet top and it was still intact, except for the fuel line fitting which had been recently wrung off flush with the tank outlet fitting.
I looked for any other items I thought went with the unit, and found the fuel tank cap and the engine valve cover, which was badly rusted and rotten, as well as a few badly rusted old spark plugs and other debris, which I left behind. I did not find the radiator cap or the fuel line during my search.
The yard owner helped me load all the pieces on the trailer with a forklift, and then we were on our way home. Upon my arrival, my wife was not a happy camper. She said sarcastically, 'Just what we need, another treasure!' as I backed down the drive. After I parked the trailer, I assembled the damaged metal cabinet on the skid and took a picture of what I had to start with. (See photo 1.) I then took all of the beat up tin-work off the outfit and set it aside for future consideration.
I now took a closer look at the unit and took down the following information: The engine is a thermo syphon type water cooled unit. It is a two cylinder engine with a ? inch wide V belt, driving fan that cools the water in a large radiator. The engine also uses a unique Zenith updraft carburetor. (By removing and inverting the fuel bowl the carb can be made into a downdraft type.) It's a type S-202A S/N 37614.
There is no name on the engine itself. There is a small steel plate with the following information laid out in this manner: 16 88492 B*B .006.006
The number 88492 is also stamped into the block. As I can decipher the plate, I believe the long number is the serial number. B*B would be the model, and the .006 would be the valve clearances. There is no visible writing on the plate.
The engine uses 14mm spark plugs set close to the center of a wet type head. Firing order is (1) front, (2) rear on a 180° crankshaft. When idled slowly, the engine sounds like an old John Deere two cylinder tractor engine. The engine uses an American-Bosch magneto, which will be described later.
On the field housing of the generator is the following: KURZ & ROOT CO. ALTERNATING CURRENT GENERATOR Serial Number 90252 Manufacturing Date 1943 Model A 100 KW2, 5 Cycles 60 Phase 1 RPM 1,800 APPLETON WISCONSIN Established 1898
On the generator control panel is the following information on a rather ornate I.D. Plate: UNITED STATES MOTORS CORP S/N 43299 DATE 1943 MODEL B x 2435 VOLTS 115 AMPS 22 CYCLES 60 PHASE 1 RPM 1800 USE SAE 20 WINTER SAE 30 SUMMER OSHKOSH WISCONSIN USA
Under the company crest is the motto PRODUCTION MUST GIVE SERVICE. (See picture 2.) Picture 3 shows the unit with the shrouding removed.
I began to assess and repair the damage done. One spark plug had been removed at some time in the past, and the threads in the hole were slightly rusted. The front cylinder plug was in place loosely and it was broken. It was an old A C #46 plug. When I tried to turn the engine over, it only turned 3/4 of a turn before coming to a sudden stop with a crunching noise. Oh, @*#&!!! I then tried to turn the engine over backwards 7/8 of a turn and again crunch and stop. I rocked the engine back and forth several times with my fingers in the spark plug hole and felt that the rearward cylinder had no compression or vacuum during piston travel, for as far as I could turn the engine. I could hear some air escaping out of the exhaust manifold, so I took my high pressure air line and put it against the spark plug hole and pressed the trigger. My four kids laughed for about five minutes straight, as a double handful of dirt, rust and seeds shot about ten feet into the air and came down on me. I was a mess! I kept the air on as I turned the engine over, and even more material came out of the upturned exhaust pipe. After about two minutes, the garbage stopped blowing out, and I shut off the air. I then checked the valves for movement, through the open valve spring gallery. I found that the exhaust valve in the number two cylinder was not closing. At this time I removed the loose plug on the front cylinder and then sprayed some aerosol Kroil solvent into the open spark plug holes. I kept rocking the crankshaft back and forth until the engine finally turned over a complete revolution. I kept turning the crank until I was sure that the engine turned over freely. I finally stopped to see how the stuck valve was doing. It hadn't appeared to move, so I tapped lightly on the valve spring retainer, and to my surprise the valve snapped shut. As I again turned over the engine, I re-checked the valves, and noted that they were now moving up and down without binding. Having satisfied myself as to the action of the valves, I then proceeded to put my fingers over the open spark plug holes. To my amazement, both cylinders now had a little compression.
Now I had one of my brilliant ideas, to try to turn the engine over faster using high pressure air on a cylinder placed just after the piston top center compression. WOW, it worked, but with unwanted side effects. I didn't learn from my first mistake I made with air in the cylinders: (1) When the air was applied, the piston under pressure traveled down the bore at a good clip, spinning the crank rapidly (good). At the same time the opposing piston on the crank came back up on the second cylinder at the same. velocity. This motion blew most of the Kr oil and debris out of the open spark plug hole, and all over me and my new Rockaway Boro Fire and Rescue jacket (bad). But wait there's more to come! (2) When the driven piston reached bottom center, the exhaust valve opened, and the black, dirty Kroil in the now pressurized cylinder promptly blew out the upturned exhaust pipe on my face, head and all over my new jacket (GRRR), and that's not all! The stuff was also all over the front of my white garage, too. (3) Lastly, I found that the magneto was good too. My left hand was holding the air nozzle, and unbeknownst to me, the ignition wire for the #2 cylinder was about Vi an inch from my knuckles. The whole operation sounded like this: Psssss (air going into the cylinder), Swish (the crank turning), WHOOSH (air and cp being blown out of the #2 spark plug hole), click (the distinctive sound of an impulse mag tripping), and nearly simultaneously a loud SNAP (A ? inch spark to my hand and a very loud OUCH! what the he was that ? (from me.) Well, that cylinder had compression anyhow. I tried the same thing on the other cylinder, after making a few changes. First I covered the exhaust pipe with a rag, as well as the other open spark plug hole, and I made sure I grounded the ignition wires too. This time I got a nice clean spin, but no impulse or spark. Well at least it has compression on both sides now! I cleaned the rusty spark plug hole with a ? inch plumbers pipe cleaning brush, and on seeing that the plug threads were OK, I installed two new plugs and tightened them up.
Now on to the mag work. The magneto was built by American-Bosch, Model 1-A 3. It is a two cylinder type that utilizes an exposed hi-tension coil that is mounted on top, with a hi-tension lead feeding a two pole distributor. The mag gives two sparks per revolution (See picture 4). Besides not tripping all the time, when it did trip, you didn't always get spark. I also suspected that the ignition timing was off as well, as the spark did not occur when the timing mark was in its inspection window. I removed the mag from the engine. The first thing I found was that the impulse trip assembly was gummed up with varnish from old oil deposits. Some 2+2 carb cleaner soon had them freed up. Then I took the distributor cap off and went to work on the points and rotor.
The distributor cap appeared to be in good shape. The rotor, however, needed some cleaning. It was corroded to the point where the spark jumps from the rotor to the cap. A little wire brushing soon had it in good shape. The points needed a good amount of cleaning, too. They were covered with grease and corrosion, and the gap was closed up, too.
After taking off the grease with some 2+2 carb cleaner, I used some emery paper to clean the surfaces of the points. I set the points at .018 thousandths, and took the magneto into the garage in order to test it. I clamped the base into a vise and used a ? inch drill and a socket to spin the armature. I held the hi-tension lead about ? inch from the case, and gave it a spin at slow speed. It gave a nice fat blue spark, with the impulse latching off at every ? turn. At a faster rate of spin, the impulse is disconnected, and the quality of the spark changes. It is not quite as fat, or blue, but it will now jump a ? inch gap. The magneto was then taken back outside, and the cap and rotor were remounted.
The mag was then remounted on the engine, set so the impulse would trip when the timing mark was centered in the inspection port (top center of the front cylinder). It took about four tries to get the mag to trip in exactly the right spot, with the proper lead. The mag now fires at each top center, either on compression or on the exhaust stroke.
With the magneto set properly, I now removed the two spark plugs, and poured a little gasoline down each of the holes. The plugs were reinstalled and then I wrapped a rope around the starter pulley and gave it a yank. Nothing happened. I took another look at the engine and realized that in my haste to fire the engine up, I had forgotten to put the spark plug wires back on the plugs! I quickly put them on their respective plugs, and tried again to start the engine. I almost fell on my rear end as the engine fired up on the first revolution. It ran for about five seconds. It also blew oil all over the back of my trailer (from a hidden break in the oil gauge line). When it finally quit, for about five seconds the pitter-patter of raining debris could be heard, and finally the 'plop' of the oil soaked rag that I had stuffed into the exhaust pipe, hitting the ground. IT ACTUALLY RAN!!!
I took a look at the smashed radiator top and thought 'forget it.' (See picture 5.) It was really flattened. I then decided to have a look at the damaged control panel and also the broken oil line that was now evident. As it turned out, the oil line was the easiest fix, in retrospect.
The amp meter and the volt meter were mounted in rubber, isolating them from the panel and from vibration. The rubber mounts were rotten, and on the volt meter, ripped away (see picture 6). Where am I going to find something like that, I wondered. The panel face was twisted about 20 degrees and both side braces were flattened so that the panel face was nearly horizontal instead of vertical. This malformation had pinched the oil gauge feed line nearly flat, and had wrung off the adapter ell behind the oil gauge. It's a good thing that the line was pinched, as it did two things for me: (1) It slowed oil loss, and kept pressure on the engine bearings, and (2) that same back pressure located another leak in the lineat the pump housing, that I wouldn't have found if the line were open.
I found that the circuit breaker was also smashed, and the engine kill switch had popped apart at the back. The kill switch wire was also broken at the magneto connection as well. The panel light switch was frozen in the off position, and the light socket itself was smashed with what was left of the previous lamp still inside. This doesn't sound like much does it?
At our local Rockaway Hardware, I located the circuit breaker sitting on a shelf. They also had some much needed TEK screws, and some wide head 14-20 x3/4 inch screws that would be used later. They also had an NOS panel light switch as well as two two-prong outlets that dated back to the '40s. These guys have everything (the commercials are rightSentry Hardware has it all!) The hardware store has been a treasure trove for my antique engine parts needs.
Next I made another trip to the salvage yard to locate a piece of steel plate 1/8 inch thick, to make a valve spring cover. After finding a suitable piece on the big heap, I decided to look in on the 'copper room,' a big shed where the yard accepts all of the incoming brass and copper alloys. On my way in the door I tripped on something that was on the floor. I looked down and saw two six inch black rubber squares with a VW symbol on them. Upon seeing a dismantled VW radiator nearby, I surmised they may have been part of the assembly. Anyway, they made replacement vibration dampers.
Once back home, I used the damaged cover plate as a template to make up a new cover. I made a new gasket out of a piece of sheet cork, and used a small leftover piece of the rubber to make a seal for the 5/16 * 2 bolts, that hold the cover in place. I then removed the abused panel from the generator, after pulling it somewhat upright, and set out to repair the damage.
The next day, I removed the two meters from the panel. Getting the mounts and their locking rings off was not too hard. Using the meters and the mounting rings as templates, I made up a new pair of isolation mounts out of the rubber I obtained from the yard. I also repaired the engine kill switch. Then I straightened the panel face as best I could, and replaced the smashed circuit breaker with the one obtained from the hardware store. Replacing the panel light switch was easy, but fixing the lamp holder was not. The first problem was removing the holder from the panel itself. One screw had apparently vibrated loose long ago, but the other one was now bent at about a 45 degree angle, with the lamp holder sitting askew on the panel face. I used a pair of screwdrivers to pry the holder off the remaining bent up screw, and set off to fix the socket. The first problem was getting the remains of the old crushed bulb out of the mangled socket. This took about 10 minutes, piece by little piece. I then had to straighten the socket and repair the threads in it, in order to install a new bulb in it. This took about another 15 minutes. The final object was to remount the socket back into the panel. I couldn't get the nut off of the bent up screw, so I figured I'd cut it off. Do you know how ridiculous it looks cutting an 1/8 inch screw with a three foot long set of bolt cutters? Well, I did it! I finally located two new screws with which to attach the lamp holder to the panel.
The toughest part was trying to repair the bent up side panel brackets and mounts. These were badly damaged. The panel had been bent with enough force to bend two of the 5/16 mounting bolts at a 45 degree angle. It took about 10 minutes to remove the bent bolts without doing any more harm to the side panels. I sprayed the panel screws with some Liquid Wrench and thankfully, they came off in pretty good shape. After marking the wires, I removed the panel assembly from the unit, and proceeded to remove the sides from the face. It took about 45 minutes each to straighten the bent side panels, using a large rubber mallet, two 2*8 short planks (for the flat surfaces) and a small blacksmith's hammer. This was no mean feat, I tell you. Trying to get the angles right was a real pain in the rear end. I had to assemble and take apart the panel assembly three times in order to get the panel to line up with the bolt holes, and be square with the generator. I did a final check on the panel screws and remounted the panel, using new mount bolts and lock washers. I reconnected the marked wires to their proper points, and prepared to tackle the broken oil line.
As I said earlier, the oil line was the easiest fix to make. The other leak, at the pump housing, was caused by the copper oil line collapsing inside its ferrule, allowing the oil to seep out. I couldn't tighten the ferrule nut any more, as it was bottomed out. I removed and scrapped the mangled tubing, and renewed the line and its fittings.
I temporarily installed a short piece of 3/8 plastic tubing, onto the inlet fitting on the carb. I used this as a temporary reservoir for the carb, as I didn't want to run the engine for an extended time as the cooling system was inoperative, due to the damaged radiator and hoses. After checking and adding oil, I filled the tube with gas, and tried to start the engine. After several tries, the engine finally caught, but ran rough for a few seconds and quit. I figured for a fuel problem, and took off the carb's fuel reservoir top. The fuel bowl was full of rust and corrosion debris, and not much gas. They must have run the engine without using a fuel filter. A quick shot of air under a rag into the bowl soon had all the gunk out. Surprisingly, there was no varnish in the carb. The float and fuel passages in the carb appeared to be in good shape. I reassembled the carb, and tried to start it up again. It started on the second revolution and quickly revved up to its governed speed. The governor appeared to be working fine.
I noticed, however, that there was no voltage reading, and no light on the panel. I tried the switch and checked the 115 terminals at the output leads, and still had no voltage. Now I had to go into the generator. The engine quit as it ran out of fuel, taking about three minutes to use up the fuel in the makeshift reservoir and the fuel bowl. At this time, the head was barely warm. I also noticed that the oil gauge was reading 25 PSInot bad for a 50-year-old engine!
I decided to remove the generator's brush covers in order to inspect the brushes and the wiring. I sprayed some Liquid Wrench onto the screws (I didn't want the Kroil aerosol to get on the brushes), and lightly tapped them with a small hammer. To my surprise the screws came out without a hitch. Amazing, considering the corrosion damage to the screw heads. Upon removal of the screws and the covers, I saw that this was a true self-inducing AC generator. It has a DC field generating system with its own armature and an isolated 1-phase double collecting ring for AC power takeoff.
Both the DC armature and the AC collecting rings were dirty as well as the brushes. Although in generally good condition, several of the brushes were hung in their holders, and one set of the collecting ring brushes was misaligned about 1/4 of the way off the rings, creating a binding condition. I removed all of the brushes from their holders and then refilled my makeshift fuel reservoir. Then I restarted the engine and cleaned the collecting ring and the armature, using a 600 grit sandpaper. I made very sure that I kept my hands away from any moving parts. When the engine quit the second time, the head was quite warm. At this time I repaired the misaligned collecting ring holder, and removed the ridges from the brushes. These were then reinstalled and the springs were checked for good tension (they were all okay). I made sure that all of the brushes were free in their guides (a few were stuck when I took them out). When I was done, I was going to start the engine again, but I felt the head, and it was still too warm. I then decided to remove the radiator while I was waiting for the engine to cool off. (See picture 7.)
I removed two 1/2 inch bolts from the bottom of the radiator, and cut off the remains of the lower hose. The upper hose had already rotted off so the radiator was ready to remove. Upon removal, I found that the lower tank and the core were in perfect condition. On closer inspection, the upper tank, although smashed nearly flat, had no holes or cracks in its battered surface. Then I went to P.J.'s, a local plumbing store, and bought some No Hub test caps. These caps are made of rubber, and are secured by means of a screw type radiator hose clamp. I capped off the upper and lower hose connections with 1/4 inch caps, and 2 inch cap would fit on the filler neck. Before putting on the final cap, I filled the radiator with water, to minimize the damage, should part of the radiator fail. I laid the radiator face down on my driveway and put 25 PSI air pressure on the overflow tube. The entire core and tank lid connections held beautifully, with no leaks, and a few divots popped out on the collapsed tank top. I then slowly boosted the pressure until it reached about 35 PSI. Suddenly the entire upper tank top popped out to roughly its original shape. Still no leaks! Without any warning, the 2 inch No Hub cap blew off of the radiator filler neck. Water and air flew out of the open hole. I'm glad I was not standing in front of the cap when it let goit went about thirty feet before it hit a fence. I had filled the radiator with water to prevent just such a blow off, perhaps using water pressure alone would have been safer. Anyway, the radiator was all set, except for the damaged filler neck.
My wife called me in for lunch, and by the time I got back outside, the engine was now cold. I filled the fuel line again, and started the engine and still it would not generate! I checked the collecting ring brush contacts with my voltmeter and read 0 voltage. I switched the voltmeter to read DC volts, and checked the DC output at the brushes. Still 0 voltage! At this point I was really stumped. I began to review what I had done and seen, and then remembered a very important item.
All of the sheet metal cabinet on the generator had been ripped loose or partially crushed. The damage to the radiator was done from a vertical impact, not from the ends or sides. Even the end panels for the cabinet were hit from above. This vertical impact was great enough to have collapsed the entire top down onto the control panel, flattening it also. This could only mean one thing. The scrap yard people had lifted the unit from whatever had brought it to the yard by means of their electromagnetic crane. Finding the side doors high up on the pile was the giveaway. The only way to get them up there, or to retrieve them was to use the magnet. I reconstructed this set of events.
The outfit must have been virtually perfect, except for some rusted items, upon arrival at the yard. The unit apparently could not be tipped off its carrier, so the crane operator was called. He attempted to lift the unit by the cabinet, but only succeeded in tearing the side doors and the one end panel off, and at this time, he dropped these items high up onto the pile (where I subsequently.
found them). He then attempted to lift it a second time, this time dropping the electromagnet heavily on the front and top of the cabinet; crushing the top of the radiator and flattening the control panel. On this second attempt at lifting the unit, the remains of the mangled cabinet ripped loose, shearing off the fuel line from the carb and the tank, warping the radiator filler neck, and tipping the generator onto its right side. The operator dropped the wrecked sheet metal on the ground next to the big pile, and finally managed to pick up the poor generator on the third try, unceremoniously dropping it on top of the mangled pile of sheet metal, and the fuel tank. The crumpled metal absorbed most of the impact, preventing catastrophic damage, I think. I also believe that the unit was not too far in the air when it was released, as the fuel tank wasn't crushed from the impact.
Getting back to the generator, I now realized why the unit did not make power. When it was picked up by the crane, the electromagnet, which is powered by a 200 AMP 440 Volt AC alternator, had demagnetized the field cores for the DC section of the generator, rendering them useless. Since the ignition magneto was on the left side, it was protected from the effects of the electromagnet, and so was still operational. With the DC section inoperative, the AC part was out of commission too. Now I had to guess which way to polarize the DC fields.
At this time I took an educated guess. Most DC electrical systems built before the early 1960s used a positive ground. I took a 12-volt battery and hooked the positive (+) side to the grounded brush on the armature. Next I lifted the other brush off of the armature and momentarily touched the negative (-) wire to the binding post. I removed the spark plugs from the engine, and placed the brush in its holder. I again hooked the negative wire up to the binding post and the generator attempted to motor over the engine in the same direction that it usually runs. The 12-volt battery wasn't quite strong enough to spin the engine, so I helped it turn three or four turns before removing the battery from the circuit.
During the time it took to do all the work of resetting the field, the engine had cooled enough to run again without overheating. I reinstalled the plugs, filled the fuel line and started up the engine. Eureka! It read 120 volts AC, but still no panel light. I shut off the engine, and checked all of the wiring connections. They looked OK. Then I wired in a lA HP electric motor to the output terminals on the control, restarted the engine, and switched on the circuit breaker. The motor started and ran fine, the meters reading 115 VAC @ 8 AMPS. I still had no light. The engine ran out of fuel and quit. I removed the bulb I had installed and shook it. It didn't sound bad, but I just figured it was no good anyway. I threw it into a nearby garbage can, breaking it, and got another one from the house and installed it. I refilled the fuel line once again and started the engine. Still no light! I checked the wiring again and stood looking at the control panel face, and suddenly realized that the panel light switch was in the off position. All that work and a wasted bulb, just for a turned off switch! (See picture 8.)
This unit doesn't have a water pump, but depends on thermo syphon circulation. It does have a pusher type fan to cool the radiator, though. While the
radiator was still off, I replaced the shot belt. Adjustment is made by loosening a 11/8 inch nut and raising the entire fan assembly in its mount, in order to tighten the belt. I bought a new hose from a local NAPA auto parts store, and after cutting it into the two sections I needed, proceeded to reinstall the radiator itself, along with the new hose sections and four new clamps. The radiator was filled and the system was checked for leaks. Having found none, I filled the fuel line and started the engine. Frequent refilling of the tube was necessary, as I ran the engine for about 10 minutes. It ran flawlessly, running the ? HP motor and the light and maintaining load and voltage. The oil pressure stayed steady too. During this test run the engine maintained a steady speed, with no hunt or surge evident. I'll tell you one thing, this engine is a thirsty one: I must have refilled the tube easily a dozen times before letting the engine quit. At this point I drained the block and radiator in order to prevent freezing (it has hit 10 degrees the last three nights) and called it quits for the night as it was getting dark.
The next morning, I tackled the fuel tank and sheet metal repairs. At first I thought that the fuel line connection, at the tank, was made of brass, and the flange, on the tank itself, was made of steel. I was wrong. The wrung off fitting turned out to be a piece of 1/8 steel pipe that had rusted just enough to look like brass. I tried to use a special pipe remover to take off the broken pipe, but it didn't work. I soaked the fitting with Kroil and then tried an easy out. I usually don't like to use easy outs on 1/8 pipe, because they tend to swage the threaded ends into fittings they are stuck in. My only other alternative was to drill the pipe out and retap the tank fitting, a job I'd have to do anyway if the easy out didn't work. I gave the easy out a chance. The easy out I had picked bottomed itself out in the broken pipe stub, and I was almost to the point of shearing that off too, when with a load 'snap' it broke loose and came out. The threads in the tank fittings were still in good shape, and the Kroil had penetrated all the way to the bottom of the fitting. I put a plug in the open fitting, and held the tank up to the daylight, in order to see if there were any holes in it.
I spotted one small hole near one end of the tank bottom. I wire brushed the area with a stiff, heavy, hand brush until I was down to bare steel, and then rechecked the tank. There was still only one hole, only a little larger. I took a small nail and rounded and indented the hole slightly. Then I took my plumber's soldering torch and fluxed and tinned an area about two inches in diameter, centered on the hole. (I should note here that there was absolutely no evidence of fuel or gum and varnish in this tank. There was no smell of any kind inside the tank.) I then soldered the hole shut with 50/50 solder, making sure that the repair covered the entire tinned area. It will never leak in that spot again! I shot about a half can of 2+2 carb cleaner into the tank, in order to clean out any leftover flux or residue. One thing about 2+2, if there are any leaks, this stuff will find it! Thankfully, there were none. I decided to repair the in-tank fuel gauge after the tank was reinstalled. It needed repainting, new gaskets and a face glass.
Finally, I got a chance to look at the bent up sheet metal for the cabinet for the generator. (See pictures 2 6k 9). Most of the dents were removed with a rubber mallet, again supplied by the Rockaway Hardware (thanks, guys) but some creases are semi-permanent. I roughly straightened some of the panels, and again quit for the night.
On this day I made a lot of noise. Most of the big dents were removed by placing the panels on the 2* 8s, and pounding out the dents with the mallet. The smaller twists in the corners and the re-enforcement ribs, were knocked out using the blacksmiths hammer as an anvil, and the steel hammer as a striker. Some of the angles were a pain to straighten. When I was done with the end panels, the side doors, and the top, I began to set up the repaired pieces onto the base, skid and its platform.
I found that the cabinet had pulled off the base so easily, at the salvage yard, because there were only five of the 18 required ? * 20 screws still in place. Of these five, only three actually ripped out of the sheet metal. The other two were so badly corroded that they broke under the stress. All of the other open holes show no trace of having had a screw in them when the cabinet was ripped loose. As I had mentioned earlier, Rockaway Hardware supplied me with large head ? * 20 *? screws to remount the tinwork. I also drilled extra holes and installed screws in sections where I thought the metal was weak, or where there were ripouts in the cabinet base. Many of the section joining screws were also missing, and the hardware store provided the self tapping TEK screws to fill those spots also. After mounting the end panels, I placed the top on, using only about 2/3 of the required screws, and leaving them loose at that. I purposely left them loose to help in remounting the fuel tank and its mounts. The fuel tank mount incorporates a drip pan in its construction. If the tank should develop a leak, the fuel would be caught in the pan, and following a drain, be diverted to the ground. This prevents a possible fire by keeping the gas off the hot engine and manifold, and off the generator itself. Installing the first two mounting screws was easy, but the second pair was a real 'bugger' to catch, because of location of the nuts and lock-washers between the tank, tank mount and the cabinet top. The tank mount screws were then tightened, and the tank support straps were adjusted to hold the tank securely in position. A final alignment was made on the end panels and the top, and several of the key TEK screws already in place were tightened. The remaining 1/3 of the missing screws were installed, and all of the screws were then tightened.
A fuel line was made up out of ? O.D. copper tubing. A 1/8 * 3 nipple was installed in the tank fitting and a1/8* ? compression ell was put on the nipple. The tubing was run from the ell to a universal fuel line filter that I had installed in the carburetor inlet fitting. This filter uses a glass bowl in its assembly, so I can see if there are any pieces of rust or contamination in the fuel before they hit the carb. With this work completed, I went on to the final few items needed to complete the project it has become.
I made one important alteration to the right rear side of the cabinet. Originally power was taken directly from the power terminals inside the unit, on the control panel. To make the operation of the generator more convenient, I wanted to install an external power outlet. I went back to my friends at the Rockaway Hardware, and obtained an outdoor power box, and a section of one inch angle iron. I cut several pieces to fit inside the generator end panel, one vertical section about 18 inches long, and an 8 inch piece to be mounted horizontally along the base. The base piece was installed first, by marking and pre-drilling the holes, installing the ? * 20 screws through them, and drilling a second set horizontally and using the TEK screws to reinforce the base angle. The vertical piece was clamped in place by using two Vise Grip pliers to lock it in place, about Vi inch from the edge of the cabinet door opening. A series of 1/8 holes was then drilled through both the cabinet side and the one inch angle iron. The self tapping TEK screws were then screwed in, making the area quite stiff. I then cut a four inch high by four inch long hole in the upper quarter of the end panel. I took the previously mentioned power box and marked the location of the four required hold down screws on the cabinet face. I used a TEK screw to drill and tap the mounting holes. I mounted the previously mentioned outlets on the power box and then put it in place in order to check the clearances. I had to open the sides another 1/8 inch. After again making sure there was enough clearance, I installed a set of jumpers between the outlets as well as a heavy gauge wire to each side.
This assembly was remounted to the side of the cabinet, with the four screws and the gasket. I then connected the wires to their respective terminals in the control panel. As a side note, the AC section of the generator is isolated from the frame, therefore it made no sense to provide a grounding to the unit, as it would not provide a safety if indeed there was a grounding fault. (In fact, it could become dangerous to the operator if the frame became charged.) The 30 AMP breaker will of course trip if there is a short type of fault.
The repairs to the fuel gauge were fairly straight forward. I used appliance repair enamel to repaint the gauge face, and installed a new gasket and face glass. I then filled the tank with gas and looked for leaks. Having found none, I started the engine up.
I placed a 25 AMP load on the generator by plugging in three electric motors I have on hand. The engine maintained speed, and the voltage still read 110, so I know the unit is in good shape. I now had just a few more things to do to complete the restoration.
I painted the outfit a medium grey, with Dupont Dulux paint (see picture 10), that I tinted myself to match what was on the panels originally.
As the original choke pull was just a rusted mass, I fabricated one from a Reo lawn-mower clutch shaft. The shaft is made of soft steel rod, ? inch in diameter. I made several bends in the rod, in order to clear the governor housing, and then cut off the excess. I made a 90 degree bend in the end in order to reach the choke lever. A 1/16 hole was drilled about ? inch from the tip of the rod, and the rod and choke lever were then linked together by means of a heavy copper wire that was threaded through the open holes. A small notch was cut into the rod where the rod contacted the cabinet, when the choke was full on. When the choke is pulled, the notch engages the cabinet and the choke remains full on. As the engine starts, the engine vibration causes the rod to unlatch. A spring on the choke shaft holds the choke at full open position, and as the rod becomes free of the latch up the spring will open the choke automatically. This completed my repairs.
The last thing I did was to write to GEM, with all of my initial information, to the Reflections Column. I wanted to see if there was any other information still available on this 50 year old unit (see Vol. 28, #5 - May 1993 issue of GEM, page 10, item #28-5-29.) I have not received any response to date. In my request, I had mentioned that the unit was a green color, but upon cleaning the covers with a commercial cleaner, I found that original color was a medium grey. The green coloring was caused by a thin layer of algae, laid down when the unit was stored in a damp place.
If anyone can help me with information on this neat little outfit, it would be sincerely appreciated. It now does stand by duty in case of power outage, next to the now cleaned up garage.