Engine Identification: What Is It?

This month we have two engine identifications for you.

engine-identification-lightning-engine

This 6 hp Lightning Engine was manufactured around 1900 by the Kansas City Hay Press Co. in Kansas City, Mo.

PHOTO: OLE LUNDBERG

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The engine identification request from Ole Lundberg of Butterfield, Minn won't defeat us this month. Manufactured by Kansas City Hay Press Co. of Kansas City, Mo. in about 1900, the 6 hp Lightning Engine is one we've seen before in the pages of Gas Engine Magazine. Description is as follows: It is a single cylinder 4 cycle engine of opposed-piston type, not opposed-cylinder type. The engine has one long cylinder barrel with two pistons working in this barrel, the piston-heads coming nearly together at the middle. The space left between the pistons forms the combustion space where the make & break igniter is, where the fuel-air mixture is taken in, and exhaust gases are let out. This opposed-piston engine can pull or idle on comparatively slow R.P.M. wise. The principal is an efficient one because of low heat loss, since only a small area is exposed to the cooling water. This engine is quite vibration-less, since combustion is between two pistons which are parting in opposite directions on the power stroke. Mr. Lundberg states that the block will hold 1 1/2 gallons of water, on which it can be idled for a long time without getting hot. For work, it was piped to a 50 gallon water tank at the rear of the engine.

It has a rachet wheel timing mechanism, with battery & coil system to the igniter. It has a fuel pump and 7 drip oilers. The rear piston is connected to the inside of a "U" or wishbone inside the round dome. This U extends around each side of the block to a square section which holds the wrist pin and sliding action of the connecting rod. Then both connecting rods extend forward to the crankshaft up to two crank throws, opposite of the single crank throw for the front piston. This makes for a perfectly balanced engine. The three connecting rods each have a drip oiler above it on a shield and picks up its oil from a felt with a cup on the rod.

It is equipped with a fly ball governor and has a very large metal muffler. Also, it looks like two different size pulleys were standard equipment.

The 1 1/2 hp John Deere gas engine no-264788 owned by "Rumley Oil Pull Bill" Krumweide is another interesting and rare model. Instead of the usual magneto and ignitor, it has a battery, coil, and spark plug ignition system. This is an original engine and not a conversion changeover as some people might think it would be. Upon close examination you will notice a factory made bracket bolted to the usual magneto base on the engine going on back and down along the top of the push rod on to which is mounted the ignition timer.

Up to now, we know of one or two others like this one and would like to hear from readers of any engines of this model in existence and how a few of such came about to be that way.