'My Mogul Engine'

Mogul Engine

Courtesy of Wilbur Peters, 4023 South Quaker Road, Gasport, New York 14067.

Wilbur Peters

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4023 South Quaker Road Gasport, New York 14067

Enclosed is a picture and story about my Mogul engine. First I want to congratulate you on your wonderful magazine, 'Gem'. I look forward to each issue.

The engine, built in 1914, is a 16 hp. Mogul with a trip magneto igniter. It runs 400 rpm with a throttling governor. Made by International Harvester Co., these engines were then used on their 8-16 Mogul tractors.

This special engine was used to power a cider mill at Newfane, New York for about 50 years. It remained stationary all that time. The Mogul engine was first bought by Mr. Willliam Thomkins, who operated the mill and sold farm machinery. His son, Howard Thomkins, working side by side with his father since the age of fourteen, later took over the complete operation that lasted many years. The last owner, Mr. Ralph Keynon, purchased the mill in 1955. He now resides in the house above the mill that was in full operation until six years ago. The old engine has been silent since then. Mrs. Keynon relates how the residents of Newfane could always tell when they were making cider, as the old engine could be heard echoing down the Creek Valley behind the village.

I found the engine on a hunch. Approaching the area, I saw the old mill at the bottom of a steep hill. As I came closer to the mill, I could see the cylinder by the open door of the engine room. Inquiring, I learned that the engine was for sale, but moving it would be a problem. The engine weighed about 4,000 pounds and the forward part of the engine room would have to be dismantled in order to remove the engine itself. It was late fall when I purchased it, but it was not until early spring before I was able to remove it.

I stripped the engine and cut the bolts on the concrete foundation. Then I removed the flywheel which weighs about 800 pounds. The flywheel was much lower than the frame and would have been difficult to move without high skids.

Tractors in a parade at Steam-Era 1968. Rumely, Townsend, Rumely, Hart-Parr. The Rumely and Townsend owned and restored by Norm Schell, Hillview Farms, Woodstock, Ontario. (Photo by Milton Champion.)

The engine was finally and completely removed in early May with a tractor and trailer, twelve miles to my engine house door. There it was set on temporary skids to be cleaned and painted before moving it to permanent quarters. The engine was then placed on 16 inch high by 5 feet long skids, which I painted red.

The engine itself is painted O.D. with red trim. There were also a few repairs to be made along the way. Pipes and gas tank were installed plus the oil tank which is a pump feed. The exhaust is 2? inch diameter and extends through the roof with a canopy cover.

With all the repairs completed, I still had one more problem -- to get the engine started! That is always the time I look forward to, after getting a new, old engine ready to run. I belted a 3 hp. McGormick Deering to the pulley of the Mogul, which has a friction clutch; but when I would engage the clutch, it would stall the -3 hp. dead. When I put a shim under the exhaust valve, it turned over enough to find out if the old magneto was working. It was a large magneto and in perfect running order.

As there were no instructions, just a do-it-yourself kit, I had to cut and try on the mixer valve which is a down draft mixer. Giving it a good priming of gas, it then gave off two or three explosions for the whole neighborhood to hear. After throwing the belt off a few times, the engine settled down to run on its own. It was a thrill for me to have the run smooth and quiet after such a long silence. The engine starts easy now with a pull backward on the flywheel to make it kick into forward motion.

I would have liked to exhibit the engine at some of the shows, but because of its weight, it would have been difficult. The engine now sets bolted to the floor like an overstuffed play thing. If any of your readers would be interested in seeing this Mogul engine run, they are welcome anytime.

The old Mogul engine is the largest item in my collection. Engine collecting is the most fascinating of all my hobbies. If any one has information concerning over-shot water wheels, I would be interested. This would be either plans to build or where I might locate one to copy the plans from. I have just the place for these wheels to generate electric power. Here is to larger and fancier engines.