'A Stubborn Shadow'

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1223 Westover Drive Danville, Virginia 24541

My father's uncle, being a carpenter, needed an engine to power a ripsaw. According to my father, his uncle purchased a Sandow 1? hp. gasoline engine about 1920. This engine was manufactured by the Detroit Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan. This is a 2 cycle, water-cooled verticle engine. The ignition system for this engine is comprised of a spark plug, a dry cell battery and a vibrating coil. The engine is controlled by throwing a time lever either side of the center of a contact ring which is connected to the shaft by a key. One unusual feature about this engine is that it has no exhaust valve.

The carburetor is located on the left side of the cylinder. The gas is pumped to the carburetor and forced into the cylinder by a back pressure which is created in the crankcase of this engine. This back pressure is caused by the movement of the piston. Once the carburetor has filled with gas, a circular cork float rises, raising a valve which is supposed to keep the engine from flooding. Below the carburetor is a ball valve which helps the engine maintain its prime. Whenever gas is used, the cork float lowers the valve which allows the crankcase back pressure to pump more gas into the carburetor. This same back pressure forces the gas into the cylinder by means of a short tube from the carburetor into the cylinder.

On the right side of. the cylinder is located a two side feed lubricator. This provides oil for the piston and one main shaft bearing of the engine. The other main shaft bearing is lubricated by a grease cup.

To start this engine, one follows three basic principles. One starts first by priming the engine. This is done by pouring a small amount of gasoline into the priming cup which is located on the cylinder. To finish the priming procedure, you then draw the gas into the cylinder by turning the flywheel. After priming the engine, one moves the timing lever a little off center into the direction in which the engine is to run. The third step is to run the flywheel in the opposite direction of which the engine is to run. The result of this procedure is that contact is made and the engine should start.

The engine usually doesn't start according to the described starting procedures. To start the engine, we usually have to belt it to a tractor belt pulley. Using the tractor power to start this engine has its merits because 1 have mashed many blisters under my finger nails while trying to start this Sandow engine. This happens when I've tried to keep the engine turning over and having my fingers come between the flywheel and the engine's skids.

When the engine has been started, it does not always run well. It will often times flood or run out of gas. The adjustment of the needle valve in the carburetor does not help much. Once the engine has been started, its speed is controlled by a flywheel governor which is linked by an arm to the crankcase air valve. The speed of this engine can also be controlled by the timing lever.

The engine referred to in this article has been restored and is used as an 'adults' toy. If anyone has such an engine or a similar one and can provide some operation techniques, I would appreciate hearing from him.