Hercules Engine News

Truck Equipment

Content Tools

20601 Old State Road Haubstadt, Indiana 47639

One of the most elusive styles of the Hercules/Economy engines are the tank cooled versions. They were only made in 1914 and 1915. They were all half base engines that came standard on a straight framed cart. If a saw was desired, an extended frame was provided so a sliding table saw could be bolted to the rear on the frame. The accompanying illustration shows such a unit. Without the saw, the frame stopped just past the cooling tank.

In general, the tank cooled version was very similar to the half base hopper cooled. However, the tank cooled has several modifications. A cover bolted to the top of the cylinder where the hopper normally was. The cylinder cover has a lid bolted on top to cover an opening in it. This second opening was so that it provided access to  the inside to bolt the cylinder cover on. The second cover was then fastened on top with cap screws. Since the oiler pipe now passed through the water jacket, it became necessary to have packing around the oiler pipe to prevent water leakage.

Being screen cooled, some means was necessary to make the water circulate. A small gear pump, as illustrated, was bolted to the rear of the engine base toward the off side. A pulley (A41) was provided to drive the pump by a small belt (A21) and it was located on the crankshaft just inside the off side flywheel. The wrench (097) was not a part for the pump, but rather, a tool that came with the engine. There will be more on Hercules/Economy tools and accessories sometime later.

This kind of unit was only available in the 6, 8 and 10 HP D model and the 7, 9 and 12 HP size E model. Since the Elkhart magneto was an option on these, the magneto drive gear, if used, and the water pump drive pulley both had to be squeezed inside between the off side flywheel and the engine base.

So far, yours truly has seen one such unit and has heard about two more, these last two being bare engines without the original equipment. The unit shown here has the common J type fuel mixer; however, the 6 HP D model observed had a Lukenheimer mixer.

In the spring 1915 Sears catalog, the 7 HP hopper cooled half base engine on the straight cart with Elkhart magneto was priced at $142.75. A comparable tank cooled was priced at $167.75. Apparently, there weren't many farmers, at that time, willing to pay an additional $25 for the tank cooled style-thus the rarity today.