Well, how about the shows out there waiting, guys? There is much in store of '84! It seems each year we have more organizations forming and that's what keeps you all interested in this hobby only trouble is you just can't get to see them all but when you do make your trek from show to show make new friends, find out many more things, and give us some of your ideas also have fun and there are so many letters of interest we'll just plunge into them.
We'll begin with the following letter from DARREL STEELE, JR., HC 64, Box 94, Ainsworth, Nebraska 69210:
'I am in need of information on some of my gas engines. I would like to know the year these engines were made: Sandwich Cub S/N AA27678, 575 RPM; a Galloway 2 HP No. 4892 and a Fairbanks Morse headless Type Z, 1 HP S/N 285422. Would also appreciate knowing the color of green paint used on these engines. I would like to know the Sumter magneto model used. The fourth engine is a Cushman vertical cylinder, 4 HP Model C7, 850 RPM engine no. 56546.
'I would also like information about a Diamond T truck which I believe was made about 1925 to 1930. Cab serial no. is 530 AK. It is of wooden frame construction covered with sheet metal. Truck model K2C and the chassis NO. 3119011334. The truck uses Timken front and rear axles, Diamond Ts on transmission and 36 x 6 tires, however, 7.50 x 24 will work. The doors are the suicide type opening from the front. Engine is a Hercules model L, 4' bore. Engine no. 1072009, 4 cylinder valve in block.'
'I bought a small tractor without a name that I have identified as Haas-Atomic. It has a two cylinder upright Novo engine on it, which isn't original. This tractor has a planetary rear end and a speed reducer gear box between the transmission and rear end. The clutch is a separate unit mounted in a steel box which is bolted to the front of the transmission, not attached to the engine flywheel. Rear tires are 7.50 x 16, front tires are 5.00 x 12. If anyone has one like this, please write GORDON AEBIG, 312 Maple Street, Shelby, Michigan 49455. Gordon will appreciate information on the little Novo also.
MARK SAWYER, 110 Price Street, Soose Creek, South Carolina, 29445 would like to know if there are any small engine clubs that collect just small engines. He would appreciate hearing from you as he likes collecting small engines, the kind that are sometimes called shelf pets. (I know there are lots of clubs and I'm sure the small engines are welcome, but I'm not sure there are any just for the little ones. Please get in touch with Mark if you are aware of this type of organization, and 1 would like to hear from you also!)
A report on magnet chargers comes from H. L. RITTER, Route 5, Box 146, Fulton, New York 13069: 'I have had several inquiries about magnet chargers. Regarding the article in Jan/Feb '84 GEM, I've done some experimenting: 1) I split a rome and cable used in house wiring, using three layers and it worked, then I used four layers and it worked. 2) Then using either 10 or 12 gauge multi-strand making even number of turns up to eight layers. They all worked. I have eight layers on mine. I also have a charger from old telephones. The coils are about the same dimension but the wires are very small and a lot of windings of varnished magnet wire. I used even layers of wire so cross over at bottom same as starting end of magnet. Note one pole the wire is turned one away from the other thus N-S poles. All parts must be square and flat. Special Attention the top surfaces must be exactly on the same plane so magnets to be charged lay flat and square. I have not tried it yet but why can't a tap be put in where wires cross over and use one side of charger for a coil?
'If you have a magneto that is round, such as Maytag or Briggs, make two blocks that fit between magent and charger and go to it. Be sure to use a fully charged battery No 110 A. C. I find several intervals of about two or three seconds each works best as the jar or jolt is a shock to the molecules in the magnet and replaces them to their natural position.'
BRIAN GLUCK, Packer Road, Box 395, Plainfield, Connecticut 06374 writes: 'I recently bought a 1917, 3 HP Fairbanks Morse and would like to know if anyone could give me information on this engine. I would like to know what the original color was and other data to help me to restore the engine.
'The first GEM I ever saw was the Nov/Dec 1983 and I think it is a very interesting magazine. Keep up the good work!'
'I wrote a letter concerning some items we have (Nov/Dec 1983, p. 15). I have received some replies, mostly Gibson information and I very much appreciate the help from fellow collectors,' says BRIAN W. KEIS, 33159 Town ship line Road, R.R. 1, Matsqui, B.C , Canada VOX ISO.
'My letter did not yet yield any response regarding the R & P tractor. First I must correct the name of 'Thurston.' It is Torbensen my fault. It's hard to believe that nobody in Engine Land owns or knows anything about these R & P tractors. I hope that someone with information will read this and let me know. Please help us! All letters will be answered.'
'I need help on a gas engine I have as it has no name tag, but cast on the block and even the igniter it reads: THE JAEGER 6HP E1B,' says FRANK M. EDDY, Route 1, Centerville, Iowa 52544.
'All part numbers start with the letter E. Bore is 5', stroke 9', flywheels 27'. Facing the head the igniter, timing mechanism is on the left. Where was it made? The end of the crank has the No. 19 or 61is that the S/N? Will answer all letter.'
Sending a picture of his two recently restored engines, this communication comes from WILLIAM ROGERS, Independence Lane, Hannacroix, New York 12087: 'The top picture is my Briggs & Stratton model Y made in 1936. It was a real challenge to restore. I bought this engine complete and 'free' but it was very rusty and full of' mud nests'. The man I bought it from said it wouldn't run 30 years ago so he put it away in the shed. I tore it apart and rebuilt it completely. It was in good shape inside the crankcase and had very little wear. I put it back together and tried to start it no luck it wouldn't start! It would just kick over and die.
'I checked the magneto again, leaving the adjustments just as I originally found them. It still wouldn't run. I spent the next two weeks of spare time trying to get it to run, but no such luck. Finally, in desperation, I installed the flywheel on the opposite way it was originally. It started the first time after putting it back together. Hooray!
The flywheel has no keyway or marks so it can be installed right or 180 degrees out of time. That's why the engine had so little wear. If anyone else has the same type engine with the same problems, try switching the flywheel 180 degrees.
The bottom engine is my Briggs & Stratton model WMI made in 1938.'
STUART HESS, 502 Scenter Road, Birdsboro, Pennsylvania 19508 has a tip on stuck pistons he would like to pass along: 'I have an old engine and I don't know the name as it is all rusted. I tried all the standard ways to get the piston loose but to no avail. So, one day I used my own 1 idea: I put a steel bar through the spokes of the flywheels and put a hydraulic jack between the steel bar and the hopper of the engine. A couple pulls on the tack handle moved the piston right away, so now the piston is loose.
'I never got around to restoring the engine for I ended up in the hospital with four operations, and much time spent in a nursing home. Nonetheless, I thought my experience would help somebody who has trouble with a stuck piston in a spoke type engine.' (Thanks, Stuart and here's hoping you will soon get time to restore that engine.)
JAMES LOMBARDO, 4750 North Rochester Road, Rochester, Michigan 48064 sends this letter and entitles it Plug Hole Mystery. He has questions to be answered:
'Two years ago I purchased an early 1905-06 Gilson 2 HP gas engine. It was made at Port Washington, Illinois, and sold it to a French farmer in Soo Saint Marie, Canada.
'There was no name plate and the name was ground off each side of the water hopper. It is what is known as a left hand engine. It has two piece frame and hopper bolted together, short throw piston to crank, round connecting rod with slot for picking up oil from both piston and rod journal, muffler has international trade mark, gas tank opposite side of carburetor end, crank guard and oil pick-up tray, hand made of light gauge tin, held down by oiler and two nails in original wood frame. The most interesting point of the engine is the fact that it has a low-tension Webster mag, with make and brake ignition system. It also has one half inch tapped hole in which spark plug was found.
'Was this a prototype engine or did Gilson offer both magnetic spark plug and low-tension mag, or same with make and brake? For those of you who may not know, a magnetic spark plug consists of two interrupter contracts (or points) with copper winding coil around iron core with built-in spark plug as shown.
'There is no timer on the engine, for use of battery and buzz coil. If magnetic plug was used there is very little room, for on each side of plug is only one half inch beyond valve guides. The threaded hole in head is definitely not for priming cock, because there is a priming cup on two bolt flang of ignitor. Was it a hole for burning out carbon? Could there be hot tube threaded in to help in cold weather starting? Was it for compression release cock on such a small engine?'
An appreciative letter with a hint or two of things to come arrives from MAURICE H. WHITE, 2236 Ivy Lane, Birmingham, Alabama 35226:
'I have enjoyed your GEM for years and have just started restoring my engines now that I've retired.
'I would like to see someone publish a list of OEM colors and stripes on engines. I have spent a lot of valuable time trying to duplicate colors and would like to purchase such as list.
'Our Dixieland is becoming interested in old engines and tractors; perhaps in the future we may be able to have a show here in Birmingham, the home of Vulcan (The Iron Man).
'Please don't run out of ink on our GEM, a lot of us would be lost and many thanks to all the Versteeg's, McQueen's and Motry's who so willingly share information and stories with us.'
'I have an engine that has no 'make' name on the plate. The plate has the following information on it: Made in USA under R. M. Hvid Co's patents Oct. 22, 1907; May 18, 1909; Dec. 28, 1915 and April 6, 1915. Other Patents Pending. Patented also in Foreign Countries NO T 5121, HP 8, RPM 450. There are two small brassplates on the fuel valve. One has printed: Use only on Engines Built by License of R. M. Hvid Co. The other plate reads: HVID Fuel Valve Built by Webster Elect. Co.
'The engine is diesel, has no spark plug, heavy construction and is in very good condition and runs good. Is it called an Hvid engine? It's built like a Hercules. I have never seen any info about Hvid engine. I would like to hear from someone about it. Anything at all will be of help. It's getting to be a bit too much for an old engine guy like me to crank and I can't tell anyone much about it.' This letter comes from NEIL R. ERICKSON, 8454 W. Keystone Road, Whitte more, Michigan 48770. Phone 517-873-4813.
DAN EHLERDING, 1639 Gallimore Road, Jamestown, Ohio 45335 phone 513-486-5121 would like to hear from anyone who knows about the Universal Motor Cultivator made in Columbus, Ohio. This tractor was bought by Moline Plow Company.
Waiting for you to write him and send any information you can, MONTY ADAIR, 130 Canyon Creek Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78232 sends this: 'I have recently acquired a pretty good-looking one cylinder engine but will need to know much to get it running. It is a four cycle ATLAS with an 8' bore and 4' flywheels. I would particularly like to know what data was on the I.D. plate. I will answer all letters.
'I look forward to each magazine. It is a great help to us out here who enjoy old machinery and lets us know we are not alone in our hobby.'
Awaiting your answers with great anticipation is PAUL R. BONIFACE II, 2727 Collie Hill Way, Anchorage, Alaska 99504. 907-333-5187 after 9 A.M. any time his time.
'I am enclosing several pictures of the Hit or Miss I'm working on in hopes that you might help to identify the manufacturer. Then perhaps I can determine the ignition parts I will need to get it running again.
'The brass name plate located on the top front of the water hopper says only:
ENGINE No. 229547 R.P.M. 375 H.P. 7E
I have found a hallmark on the throws of the crankshaft which I think may be the best clue:
The engine has a 34' x 2' flywheel, a 5' piston with a 9' stroke. The magneto trip sleeve has K23 345 cast on one side. The underside of the magneto bracket shows part of a number which is 303. The bracket is broken at the magneto holes. This same bracket serves as the cover over the opening in the cylinder where the spark plug is located.'
JOSEPH PINCHBECK, 87 Old South Salem Road, Ridgefield, Connecticut 06877 sends some information: 'This letter is for the younger readers. You ole dudes probably know this truck.
My 15-30 was sitting out in the woods for more than 20 years and was all froze up. Get yourself two stout chains, a good hydraulic jack and several oak planks, rail tie, or hunk of railroad rail. Now this is not a one-sitting job. It calls for patience, caution and persistence. Soak the pistons, after taking off the head, with that good weasel stuff. Then put a heavy plank on the head so that the chain will not ruin the block. Take off the oil pan. I disconnected the piston arms because my tractor was so bound up.
Put one chain over the block and another on the transmission housing. Put rail tie under the tractor and secure with the chains. Put the jack on the rail tie and pump away. Piston can be pushed down also. I used a hocky puck to spread the force on the piston and a log to push it out.
'Good luck young readers, and be careful.'
'Recently I bought the front axle and wheels from a tractor that had been taken apart and used elsewhere,' comments MORRIS BLOMGREN, Route 1, Siren, Wisconsin 54872. 'I am enclosing a picture of the hub cap in the hopes someone can identify the make of the tractor. I was told the tractor had a six inch channel iron from 12 inch with back wheels, four cylinder motor and each cylinder separate. Please help!
I also have ten horse drawn one-row potato planters, all made by different companies. Anyone know how many different companies made these items?'
'The latest addition to my engine family, a Christmas present from my wife, sent me to all of the back issues of GEM, but I came up empty,' says MILO BROWN, 7436 Laurie Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76112. 'It is a Rawleigh 2 HP 500 RPM, 22' flywheels S/N BB19734 with Webster mag and igniter-fired. I hope someone can help me with paint color and striping, if it had decals and where located, age of engine and any data that I could copy and return. I will answer all letters.' (Rawleigh owners to the front and help Milo if possible.)
HAROLD R. RICE, 1209 Yerian Road, North Lima, Ohio 44452 sends this picture of a little tractor he recently acquired. He would like to know if anyone has any data on it. All he can find on a nameplate is Vaughan Motor Company.
A short letter comes from DEAN E. SCHUTT, Brayton, Iowa 50042 who tells us: 'I have gotten a Fairbanks Morse engine that is a Z model 450 RPM with Patent dates 10-17-1916 and 1-9-1917. It is a 3 HP, but a horizontal engine and not hopper-cooled. The engine is the tank-cooled type. I have talked to collectors and no one seems to have heard of one of these in a 3 HP, but they say they started at 6 HP and ran up to 20 and 25. If anyone could help me with information on this engine, I would sure appreciate it.'
'I'm enclosing a picture of my 1936 John Deere D, S/N 128901,' writes KEN HAVEKOST, Monroe, Michigan 48161. 'I bought this tractor in Northern Michigan a year ago and am only the third owner. It was in good condition, needing only gaskets, seals and the usual sheet metal work.
'The tractor ran a grain thresher this summer and also helped fit wheat ground pulling 2-12' drags and a packer. These tractors are powerful, developing 501 cubic inches from the two cylinders.
'I also have a 36-BR, 36-A and an original 43-B on steel. I use them all occasionally for farm work. They always start and I've never had a dead battery. Ha Ha!'
'I have been a subscriber to GEM for about two years and I really enjoy reading it from cover to cover. It has been very informative and hope you can help me solve my problem,' says H. CLAY FRIEND, 206 Prospect Street, Point Marion, Pennsylvania 15474.
'Here is a garden tractor I recently acquired. It was made by Shaw Manufacturing Company of Galesburg, Kansas. It has a Briggs and Stratton engine model U-R-6. The tractor is a model A-1. I believe it has wooden handles to rotate the plows in or out.
'I have not restored this machine and I don't know if it will run. The bottom half of the shroud has rusted away and will have to be rebuilt. I am looking for all information name, color, year and markings, if any. All correspondence will be acknowledged and greatly appreciated. Please help!'
JAMES H. ORSBORN, Box 598, Yazoo City, Mississippi 39194, Phone 601-746-1715, sends the following:
'I need some help and information on two items that Mr. Carter and I have recently acquired. The first is a shingle mill. The only markings are casting numbers which areR15,R17, R19, A19 & W24. The main frame also has an R cast in it. We would like to know the manufacturer and any information on how to operate it.
'The second item is a Sterling Dolphin 4 cylinder marine engine which was used as a stand-by power unit in a municipal light plant to run a water pump. It is a model CRC, 150 HP, S/N 90, with triple ignition system. Would like to know year manufactured and history of the company and engine. Any information will be greatly appreciated.'
Awaiting your help with his new project, GARY J. ARNOLD, Route 2, Marietta, Ohio 45750 writes:
'I just purchaed and am in the process of restoring a 50 HP model Y, style V Fairbanks-Morse oil engine. I would like to know if anyone can supply me with information on this engine.
'I would like to know what type of hot tube or heat bulb was used in the pre-combustion chamber to transfer the heat from the burner to the combustion area. Also, if anyone knows of starting procedures for this engine, I would appreciate your help.'
'I need a lot of information on a McVicker automatic engine Pat. April 28, 1903, Nov. 10, 1903, Feb. 24, 1904; Model 1777 Type 60 375 RPM, 3 HP,' says DAVE HAALA, 105 Third Avenue, S.W., Sleepy Eye, Minnesota 56085, phone 507-794-5821 (days) and 794-7341 (nights). 'I purchased the engine four years ago from a farmer near Mankato, Minnesota. He had found it buried in the mud along the Minnesota River.'
'I now have it freed and the crankshaft straight. I would need info on the firing mechanism in flywheel, piping and cooling system and color.
'I am also restoring a 14-23 Twin City. On casting is KT100A. I will respond to letters, pay costs for photos, literature or details of engine.'
Questions on several engines come from HAROLD E. BURKHOLDER, 215 West Bank Street, Bridgewater, Virginia 22812. Phone 703-828-3015: 'I bought a 20-40 tractor about a year ago. The name tag tells me that it is a Nichols Shepard, built by Lauson. It is a 4 cylinder gas tractor. Engine has Buda on one side and Lauson on the other. It has been put on rubber and is in good condition. I would like to know paint color and mixes, any decals and lettering? Where were these built and how many?
'My son and I are also in the process of restoring a John Deere BI tractor. We need to know the shade of yellow that it was painted. Were there any decals or lettering and if so where located, color and size of lettering? All information will be greatly appreciated.'
A short letter comes from TONY BIZJAK, 754 S.W. Moonlight Lane, Chehalis, Washington 98532: 'I would like to pass along information on purchasing government surplus. Write to: Bidders Control Office-2, P.O. Box 1370, Federal Center, Battle Creek, Michigan 49016 and request an application to be put on official bidders' list.
'I would also like to know if anyone has done research on matching engine colors to current paints available.'
LOWELL KASTNER, Solway, Minnesota 56678 has a question: 'In reply to the article on page 9, Mar/Apr 1983, is this the first sign of Gas Engine Disease? My 4 year old son gets his little car or tractor and runs it over the table or on the couch and goes GRRRR or BUZZZZZZ or ZZZZZZZ and this seems very normal.
But when the little neighbor boy comes over and gets a tractor and goes PUTT PUTT PUTT is this a sign he is a John Deere man?' (That's how gas buffs get a start, Lowell!)
Some of our short, but important letters follow: DALE ALGER, Route 1, Box 481, Luray, Virginia 22835 would like to correspond with anyone having a 1915 8-16 Mogul tractor... .GEORGE BEST, 4100 S. W. 195th Court, Aloha, Oregon 97007 would like to hear from anyone with experience in rebuilding bull gears that have broken or worn teeth. Also anyone who has a 1917 Russell 12-24 kerosene tractor. ... BOBBY PRESTON, Box 2293, Missoula, Montana 59806 has a 35 HP Superior side shaft and needs to know how the air-start worked. It originally ran on well head gas and he wants to run his on propane; also would like to know the color of engine. ... EARL JONES, Route 1, Box 144, Farmington, West Virginia 26751 needs information on a Fairbanks Morse vertical. It is (plumed?) for gas and has a 4' bore, brass plate with several Pat. dates of which last one is Oct. 15, 1901. ... LOUIS MILLER, 807 Pine, Georgetown, Texas 78626 has just traded for a Y.T. Moline tractor and he would like to know if anybody knows anything about them. How many were made and when? Also, he has just bought a 4 HP Bessemer Gaso Kero engine and he would like to hear from another owner of same whose engine is complete and running. ... FREDERICK C. BOWEN, JR., 141 Wae Trail, Cortland, Ohio 44410 would like to hear form someone who can provide details concerning the 2 HP throttle-governed Mogul with low tension magneto: model number, manufacturer, original paint color and availability of decals. ... MAX BROWN, 982 Nash Road, North Tonawanda 14120 would like someone to supply him with a pattern for a 2 HP Galloway rocker arm. ... CLARENCE WIPPER, Box 39, Drake, North Dakota 58736 has a Handy Andy engine built by Galloway and would like someone to tell him just how the connecting rod gets oiled. The rod has been changed and he will have to pour a new bearing, but it seems that it should have a dip finger and a hole for oil. ... ROY A. DILL, 229 South Oak Street, LaFayette, Georgia 30728 would like information on a Jaeger engine 2 HP, 600 RPM and would like to know if Hercules and Jaeger are the same engine. ... DUANE L. RETZLOFF, G3172 Moody Court, Flint, Michigan 48504 was given an International Model L.B. 1-2 HP hopper in a box. He would like to restore it, but knows little on how to do it. How about it fellows? Drop him a line and encourage Duane. CARL KNIPFEL, Route 3, Morton, Illinois 61550 has a Smith Motor Wheel and would like to correspond with someone who has one. Needs information pertinent to restoring it. ROBERT M. SHENKEY, R.D#7, Box 292, Oswego, New York 13126 needs information on an engine made in Syracuse, New York by a Mr. Jones (Jones Oil Engines).
A short letter comes from FRED M. JACOBY, 107 Grove Street, Plymouth, Wisconsin 53073: 'At 70 now I am very much into old gas engine snever cared too much before years ago our family friends included the Gilsons and Lausons. 'Recently I found a Gilson and several Lausons 3, 8 and 1 HP. I would like to know if anyone can help and where I might get decals or even a clear photo.'
'I recently purchased a gas engine and need help identifying it,' writes LEROY A. ROBINSON, JR., R.R. #1, Ashland, Illinois 62612. Phone 217-478-231.
'The engine was dark blue without any striping, as far as I can tell. S/N LH4427, 3 HP is stamped into the top of the water hopper. Flywheels are 24' with 2 1/16: face. They have the numbers H43 and H44 cast into them. Base number is H6.
Cylinder block is H1, exhaust valve lever has H24 and Pat APD for cast into it. Main bearing #DC261, governor weights HL70. They are pie-shaped and fit inside the spokes of the flywheels, just like the Schramm engine pictured on page 450 of American Gas Engines Since 1872.
'The piston is 4' x 7 1/16', rod length from the center of wrist pin to center of crank is 15'. It has grease caps on the main and rod bearings and a drip oiler for the cylinder that comes up through the water hopper, just like the Galloway on the cover of the above mentioned book.
'I wrote to Preston Foster and he was not able to identify the engine. He said it was not a Schramm, Sharp less, West Chester or Keystone. We have asked everyone we know and so far no one has been able to help.
'This is a new hobby for me and I enjoy and have learned much from your magazine. I'm looking forward to hearing from your readers and will answer all letters. Would also like information on the carburetor and magneto.'
'This is my first letter to Smoke Rings. I have been collecting gas engines for nearly a year and have enjoyed your magazine since last June. Although the articles are very interesting, I enjoy Smoke Rings the best. Everyone seems so friendly, like they are writing to good friends or family. I hope one of the friends out there can help me with a problem.
'I have three Model Z Fairbanks Morse engines: two 3 HP and one 6 HP. They all have type R magnetos. When I got the engines none of the magnetos worked. After some cleaning and adjusting I was able to get a nice blue spark out of two of them. The third, however, has been a problem. The half of the points with the spring is missing. I tried writing to Fairbanks Morse, since they are still in the magneto business, and although they were very helpful about when the engine left the factory, they no longer make parts for the type R magneto.
'I thought I might be able to use points from a modern engine that were close to the same size and that I might be able to make them fit with some small modifications. I went to two local auto parts stores and the local small engine distributors. From all three I got the same answer: they might have them, but they just didn't have the time to find them.
'Now I turn to the good folks at GEM. Has anyone had this problem and perhaps had better luck than I? If you don't know part numbers or manufacturers, maybe you know of a book or catalog that had some pictures and specifications for modern made points so I could try to find my own?
'I have also heard that some people make new parts for some old engines. Does anyone know the name of someone who does this alteration on new points? If I am really barking up the wrong tree, and you think that I won't find anyone to do the work or that the part can't be made, I would like to know that, too. Then I can advertise for a whole new magneto.
'Thank you for the good work you do on behalf of all of us out in Engine Land. Your magazine has helped me a great deal already and I am sure it will continue to do so.' Write RANDALL C. SMITH, 9 Captain Road, Longmeadow, Massachusetts 01106.
You might enjoy some comments from ED GRAVES, 38 Lovell Road, Stratham, New Hampshire 03885: 'As if we old engine enthusiasts don't have enough problems finding time to rebuild, parts money to do it all, patience of wives whatever!! Mother nature has to come up with one more problem. I'm sure all have run into the same thing.
'On one engine, at least, after rebuilding, I had to rod and blow out every last one of the fuel, water, etc., pipes, many plugged! I hooked up one trailer to go to a show, couldn't make up the wiring plugharness. Just wouldn't go together, ground wire-plugged. Tried to hook up another trailer for a show couldn't get it unlocked (lock my hitches with a padlock) Mother Nature locked it plugged padlock! One day I looked at some foreign material in a crankshaft center couldn't believe my eyes plugged!
'In case you haven't guessed, all these problems are caused by a little harmless, good for humanity bug, the mud wasp! Seems it finds a hole (I'll never know how), lays an egg, goes out and captures a bug, puts it in with the egg for baby food, seals it all with homemade mud. When the baby is born, hatches or whatever, it feeds on the insect to carry it on to the harsh life out in the big world. Oh well if all our problems were only this big what a happy world it could be!'
Next communication comes from HAROLD THOMAS, Route 1, Box 237 (S. Greeno Rd.) U.S. 98, Fairhope, Alabama 36532: 'During the past six months I have managed to dig out, buy or trade for over thirty engines that range from beautifully restored to junk yard dogs. My ultimate goal is to get an example of each Fairbanks-Morse engine, but I have John Deere, International Harvester, Sears Farm Master, Briggs & Stratton, Cushman and, of course, a couple of May tags. My first two F-M engines are a 3 HP 1924 Z named Belching Bertha and a 6 HP 1918 Z named Burping Buford that I took to the Dixieland Old Time Engine and Agriculture Club Show in Biloxi, Mississippi.
'Bertha and Buford must have enjoyed themselves more than I did! While I ran around gawking and peering at all the old engines, they stayed busy. The birth control pills for Jacobson engines and giant May-tags mentioned in your previous columns have nothing on the Fairbanks Morse ability to reproduce because since September my flock is now over 20 Z engines from 1 to 15 HP. Do you think running them on diesel fuel instead of kerosene had anything to do with it?
'Correspondence is welcomed form other F-M owners since I would like to know whether I should run my 1 HP styled D on alcohol, peanut oil or prune juice to make it grow into a 100 HP style Y.
'Enthusiasts in this area were invited to attend Fairhope's 30th annual Arts and Crafts Festival in March and then a gas-up held at my place the same weekend. Mid-March weather here is usually warm enough for short sleeves and easy engine starting, so maybe we even warmed up a few snowbirds, too. My hopes are to get a club started and this was a good way to begin.
'Phone calls are encouraged and I will answer letters and if someone drops in, it gives me an excuse to start an engine. My location is right on U.S. 98, 1 miles South of the Eastern Shore Shopping Center and I'm almost always here. Ya'll Come! (We hope you have success in getting your club started, Harry, and let us know when you do and don't forget to send in your show dates for a free listing next year in the Directory!)
RICHARD P. GLASS, 5812 E-3005, Hartford City, Indiana 47348 sends out a call for help: 'I have an engine that is an Ellinwood Industries S/N 5951 model 44 assembly no. 90700. It is an air-cooled engine and the cylinder runs at about a 45 degree angle. Would like to know the color and for what the engine was used. I have never seen one like it before. (Sounds new to me.) I think it may be an unusual engine at least to my part of the country. I would also appreciate the year it was made. I think GEM is the best magazine I have ever read!
'I am enclosing a photo of the S/N plate from our incomplete John Deere 3-wheel drive Dain tractor. WE think No. 191861 was built in 1918 and is the oldest John Deere tractor in existence.' (This comes from KEN LAYHER, RR2, Box 25s, Wood River, Nebraska 68883what do you Deere collectors think of this claim?)
Information is needed by FRED A. FRANCIS, Route 1, Box 193, Cairo, West Virginia 26337 who writes: 'I have a 1 HP Wizard engine with 3' bore and 4' stroke, S/N 1422. All parts have numbers starting with N.F. except the 16' flywheels which have T-2. I was wondering if someone might know who made this engine, color, decals etc. Picture was taken the day I brought it home and it has since been painted and taken to some local shows. Will certainly appreciate any info on this.'
'I enjoy the GEM a great deal and I find my list of pen pals growing all the time because of the good folks I meet through the magazine' remarks ED IRWIN, 117 Simcoe Street, Orillia, Ontario, Canada L3V 1G6.
'Many thanks for all the letters I received regarding model gas engines. It seems like there are many of us in Gas Engine Land working away at little engines. I need help with my latest projecta complete working model of the Holt 75 HP Caterpillar tractor. I have the engine almost finished and ready to go. I would like to get in touch with someone who has one of these machines. I have some drawings, but I need photos of certain parts and dimensions of radiator, etc. When finished, the model will be 32' long and will probably be controlled by radio. Thanks for all help!'
A newcomer writing in hope of aid is P. T. SYME, 121 West Park Drive, Charlottesville, Virginia 22901: 'I recently purchased a 2 HP Domestic engine S/N 7746. I bought it because I like machinery, but never expected to be able to find parts or advice on how to restore it. Imagine my surprise when I discovered your magazine and found there was a whole family of people devoted to restoring these old engines!
'I am a complete novice and will gladly accept whatever advice I can get. All of the engine's parts seem to be there and nothing major appears frozen or broken. It is a single cylinder, horizontal stroke, hit or miss type with a cast iron water hopper. I would like hearing anything, particularly on this engine or just general advice on how to get started when you really don't know how to begin a restoration job.' (There guys, your work is cut out for you don't let him down.)
'Can anyone out in Gas Engine Land tell me if there is an old time Wrench Collector's Club?' asks ARMIN HELGESON, Genoa, Wisconsin 54632. 'I just can't seem to track anything down. I have some old wrenches with names like Fuller & Johnson, Economy, Fairbanks and etc. I think these wrenches belong with those great old gas chuggers. I love to collect these old wrenches myself and will try to answer any letters I get regarding this matter.' (Seems someone else had inquired about this is there such a club, fellows? If so, let Arm in hear from you and me, too!)
A letter with picture comes from WAYNE A. DAVIS, RR1, Box 76, Fairfield, Nebraska 68938:
'Have been a GEM reader for about 2 years and think it is the greatest and Smoke Rings is the high light.
'I purchased an Araco engine last spring and restored it over summer, just in time for the Old Trusty Antique Engine & Collectors Show at Clay Center, Nebraska in early September. It is a hot tube ignition engine that I now run on propane. After getting the timing set right it has been a very dependable, constant running engine; a pleasure to show.
'I would like to know if anyone has an idea of the date or manufacturer of the engine. The plate reads: 'ARACO S/N 853 model D hp 4 American Railway Appliance Co. Oil City, Pa. Engines and Power Dept.' It is water-cooled and a hit-miss. Carburetion is done with holes in a wide intake valve seat so when the intake valve is sucked in, it lets propane under regulated pressure mix with incoming air. It's a very heavy engine with a 5' bore and 7' stroke and 3 5/16 x 29 flywheels.
'If anybody has one or has information, I would like to hear from you and will try to answer all letters.'
A most interesting letter comes from DONALD L. SMITH, R.R. 1, Box 2784: 'In the Jan/Feb 1979 issue of GEM I placed an ad asking for help in identifying a vertical engine I had acquired and the response was not only generous and helpful but began some good friendships. The engine in question without a name-plate turned out to be a 4 HP Root and Vandervoort.
'Now I need help again. This past fall while chatting with some friends about old engines I was given a clue as to the location of an engine of some sort that was 'resting' in the weeds. The search was on! In short order I located the engine not 30 feet from a well-traveled road 'resting' sure enough in a pile of brush and wild rose bushes some 8 feet high. A talk with the owner secured the engine plus the story of how it came to be where it was and established another friend who turned out to have been a friend of my Dad's starting about 1920. You can imagine the amount of dialogue that followed.
'At any rate the engine is a 5 HP Stickney #23717nearly complete, stuck of courseand with a fouled valve push rod. Probably valve trouble stopped the engine. I would like to hear from someone familiar with Stickneys. I've never had one apart and I would like to know a bit about it before proceeding this summer. Can someone educate me?
'For what it's worth I was just recalling that years ago I learned that when you know enough to know that you don't know enough then you know enough.'
A man with a lot of tractors is WILLIAM A. PAGEL, Box 135, Route 2, St. Charles, Minnesota 55972 who says: 'Two years ago I quit farming, so had to find something to do. I had a 1925 model D and like tractors so started buying them. In 18 months, I bought 28 tractors, no two alike. There are 25 in the picture and 3 more in shed, 1925-1956. I got them from the Red River Valley of North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin. Most need work and painting, so I have something to do for a few years. I would like to know if anyone else has bought more in 18 months!'
PAT VOAK, 580 Scott Road, Penn Yan, New York 14527 has an engine that was given to him last fall. He was also given C. H. Wendel's American Gas Engines book, but he can't find out where the engine was built and would appreciate any help from our readers. The information he has is that it is a model TA, no. 1174, with this inscribed on it:
ALEX MAGDALENO, 71 Lori Lane, Camarillo, California 93010 needs to know the approximate S/N for a 1922 1 HP Economy engine. He would like to hear from anyone who has an owner's manual for a Power Chief grist mill. Also anyone with a Novo engine with a S/N less than 41000 and a known year of purchase, please contact him so he can establish a list of pre-1917 engines.
A question for all Smoke Ringers comes from DALE NICKERSON, Glasgow Road, Cassadaga, New York 14718: 'After doing a couple magneto and igniter repair jobs plus a bearing ment job on one of my electric drills, I did something that prompts me to ask this question. Is it a sign of old age or senility when one gets the strange desire to see what the top of the work bench looks like?? Even found some of my long lost tools.' (I'll bet there are quite a few gas buffs who understand what you are saying.)
Appreciating the service the column offers is RONALD U. PRITZKAU, 1921 208 Street E. #25, Spanaway, Washington 98387 who writes: 'Several months ago I wrote a letter to the GEM for information on headers and header boxes used years ago in some parts of the Midwest and other places. I have had many letters from people all over the USA. Everyone was so helpful and I want to thank each and every one for the response, I surely found out there are many, many wonderful people in this country and will try to answer them all.' (It's good to hear a report such as this.)
From one of our younger enthusiasts comes this: 'I think your magazine is super and read it from cover to cover. I am 13 years old and enjoy having old tractors and engines, but I have a lot to learn. My problem now is an old bicycle motor manufactured in Galesburg, Kansas by the Shaw Mfg. Co. It has no serial number and it seems to be missing a lot of parts. Could someone help identify the approximate year of this engine and type of ignition, carburetion and information on this engine. I need all the help I can get!' (We really enjoy hearing from the younger element and I'm sure you will get some answers.) If you can start this young man on the happy road to this hobby please write DEAN GLANVILLE, R.R. #4, Walton, Ontario, Canada N0K 1Z0.
We try to get all your letters in and this time we are really loaded, so I don't think I'll take your time with my thoughts just remember, we here at GEM love you all and hope we are serving you in the best manner possible let us know how we can do better! I might add that when you folks send pictures and sketches in, try to put your name on them, for it is possible for them to get separated from the letter and it can be very hard to identify them without a name. I always mark the name on those that do not have it, but often the pictures will not take ink. In that case, you should tape your name on the back. Take care, have fun at the reunions and keep writing! Love ya all!