306 Mountain Brook Drive Cumming, Georgia 30130
It's been several years since I wrote to your magazine about SHALDA (named for my grandchildren): SHane, ALlen, and DAwn), my 1921 Hercules 6 S HP one cylinder gasoline engine, serial #361019. I call it a 1921 because that is the year I was born.
My first story about SHALDA was published in the November/December 1980 issue of GEM. Since that time the original body deteriorated and had to be replaced. I saw a picture of a T model Ford Depot Hack (or canopy express) and copied that basic style. I used 1x2 steel tubing for posts and supports and used 5/4 x 12 inch step tread lumber for the body. To cut wind resistance while towing or hauling I left the windshield out.
A large number of 1 to 3 HP engines are on lawnmower or garden tractor frames, but the 5, 6, or larger engines are just sitting around on skids or truck beds. Why not put them to work, too?
With that in mind, this is how SHALDA was built. I bought the engine from a friend in 1973. I used a 1950 Ford pickup frame which I stripped down to a rolling chassis. I cleaned and painted the frame before mounting the engine. The engine was hoisted into position over the frame and two pieces of four inch channel iron were welded to the frame for motor supports. I had to relocate the steering sector back 19 inches to make room for the engine.
Next the engine was placed on the supports and four holes were drilled through the base and the engine was bolted to the supports. To eliminate any movement of the engine while running, nuts were welded on each side of the front and rear of the engine supports.
A right angle one to one gear ratio gear box (in my case from a junked lime spreader truck, but any right angle gear box will work just as well) was placed underneath inside the engine base. I removed the right flywheel and added a 10 inch V pulley and replaced the flywheel. An eight inch V pulley was mounted on the right angle gear box. An idler pulley was bolted to the base and a 5/8 inch V belt was installed. This one belt pulls the vehicle. A four speed transmission from a 1946 Ford panel truck replaced the original three-speed transmission. (I don't recommend using a three-speed transmission since the higher gearing will cause the engine to labor and stall). The idler pulley on the V belt acts as a clutch. For those wanting to use a pressure plate and throw out bearing, replace the V pulleys and V belt with a sprocket and chain. A chain drive will eliminate any slippage you will get when the belt gets wet. A short driveshaft is hooked from the right angle gear box to the transmission, giving SHALDA a top speed of 12 miles per hour.
The original gas tank was removed from beneath the engine and a three gallon tank was mounted to the right side of the body. The engine originally ran on a magneto, but has since been adapted to run on a coil, Chevrolet points, and a 12 volt battery. It has a Model A Ford updraft carburetor and a hand throttle. An alternator is pulled off the flywheel. I suggest you remove three of the four diodes from the alternator since all four will cause the engine to pull too hard and one diode is all that is needed to charge the battery anyway.
To transport SHALDA to shows and parades I either haul it on a trailer, or for short distances, tow it behind my pickup truck. If towing a vehicle like SHALDA, remember to unhook the driveshaft from the rear end. Towing with the driveshaft connected for a long distance can damage the needle bearings in the transmission. I found that out the hard way and had to replace a transmission.
I use a detachable tow bar mounted by drilling holes in the end of the frame and sliding a inch steel pipe through the frame and tow bar. This allows the tow bar to move up and down but not sideways. For showing or parades the tow bar is removed and replaced with a 2,8 wood bumper.
The front fenders are homemade and are fastened to the inside of the brake hubs. I found a pair of headlights in a junkyard that looked like they were made for SHALDA. They even burn! The rear fenders are from a trailer supply company.
If you think it is expensive to build, it's not. A suggestion would be, you find the parts and material, then let a high school automotive shop build it. The students would rather work on it than to eat when they are hungry.
SHALDA has participated in many, many shows and parades in Georgia, Alabama, North and South Carolina, and Tennessee. And, I'm proud to say, has won quite a number of awards. I even took SHALDA to Evansville, Indiana, the birthplace of the Hercules engine, helping celebrate their 80th anniversary in June 1994.
Many thanks to Donald Long, who engineered SHALDA. Also thanks to the late Eugene Bennett and several others including my long-suffering family. Without them SHALDA would never have been built.
I also have a 1937 1 x HP John Deere model E, serial #345675, mounted on a Cub Cadet garden tractor that I hope to have running by early summer. It will be for my 12 year old granddaughter, Tammy. She has already named it 'Sweet Pea.' I can haul it in my pickup.
Thank you for allowing me to update the story on SHALDA. By the way we have a steam and gas engine parade and show every July 4th in Cumming, Georgia 40 miles north of Atlanta, just off Georgia 400. We welcome you all. For questions or information write me at the above address.