Rare Side Shaft Witte

Sales brochure

Illustration from the sales brochure.

Wayne Walker

Content Tools

8315 Amber Lane Newcastle, California 95658

I acquired this engine with some others from a collector in Northern California. It was all there except the carburetor. Someone had cut the manifold off that supported the original carburetor and installed a Model T carburetor in its place.

I have a number of engines that were converted to a Model T carburetor. The T carburetor with its needle valve and float allowed the old engine users the use of a gravity fuel tank, eliminating the check valve.

The Witte system was gravity, but if the engine stopped, the gas could leak by the valve flooding the engine. Good reason for changing the carburetor.

I searched the sales literature, Witte manuals, and looked at larger side shaft Wittes for info on what the carburetor system looked like. I wrote to Oil Well people for information and was told they had no record of a 2 HP side shaft Witte.

A friend of mine, Buzz Statler, on a trip to Waukee, Iowa, talked with Wayne Walker of Kansas, who had parts of one. Buzz gave me Wayne's card so I could call and talk with him about what I needed to know. Wayne said he would send me pictures and measurements, and if I would cast him the governor parts that he needed, he would cast the carburetor parts that I needed, which we did.

I later talked to Wayne at the Kansas National Show about his 2 HP Witte and found he only had the block and the head with the carburetor, no flywheels, side shaft or gears. Lucky for me he had the carburetor.

He said there was another 2 HP side shaft parts-Witte in Oklahoma.

In 1993 on a trip to Portland, Indiana, I got in a conversation with a collector at the airport at Fort Wayne. Was I surprised to learn that he was Rick Phillips, the owner of the Oklahoma parts side shaft. Small world!

With the carburetor parts from Wayne installed, a new water tank and gas tank, the project was completed as in the original sales literature.

This engine has three pop pit valves and two rocker arms, one for the exhaust valve and one for the carburetor valve. It has a sliding collar on the governor to operate the rocker arm and carburetor pop pit valve.

There are larger side shaft Witte engines but the 2 HP seems to be rare. I would like to hear from other Witte owners.

Thanks, Buzz, Wayne and Rick for your help!