Restoring the PAST

Fairbanks Morse

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4221 Jay Avenue Orange City, Iowa 51041

Loren D. Wynia of 4221 Jay Avenue, Orange City, Iowa 51041, tells us in this issue about this Fairbanks Morse 6 HP Z purchased at the Waukee Swap Meet.

Collecting engines and refurbishing them has been a hobby that I find challenging and fun. One of the latest projects I have completed is a Fairbanks-Morse 6 HP Z engine I purchased at the Waukee Swap Meet near Des Moines, Iowa. This 1916 engine was designed to run sawmills, balers, etc.

The engine, at the time of purchase, was mounted on a homemade steel engine cart. The only part of the cart that was salvageable was the cast iron wheels. The cart is my own design and is made of oak wood with a hand lever brake system. My dad also had a hand in the refurbishing process. I give him credit for the hours he spent working on the steering mechanism and brake system for the cart. I wouldn't dare say how many hours we have invested in the cart alone.

The engine itself was pretty much complete at the time of purchase. The only item missing was the muffler, and of course the nice shiny paint job.

When I got the engine home, we hooked up the coil and battery for ignition, poured some gas in the carburetor and turned it over. A few puffs of black smoke poured out of the muffler. We adjusted the carb and away she went. Next the engine received a new paint job. I cleaned the engine up and sprayed on two coats of gray primer and three topcoats of deep green paint to make up the finished product.

It was a fun and eventful project! I like the manual labor involved in reworking these old engines. I would much rather be working on an antique engine than writing an article about one!