Smoke rings

Harry l. Ritter

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All kinds of greetings to the Gas Engine Family as you are through another season of Reunions and are already planning with that gleam in your eye for the future year-did you really find some beauties to purchase this year? Or a rare engine to encourage your mechanical abilities in restoring same? Or perhaps an interesting story on how you  found your engine and what fun hours you had restoring it? We're waiting to share all these bits of interest with the G.E.M

And now to the letters, and we have many-ROBERT M. BANKS, 11, Warm brook Lane, Chapel-En-Le-Frith, Stockport, England S.V 126 NL tells us: 'I am seeking information about an engine built by the Mianus Motor Works, Stand ford Connecticut, U.S.A The engine is a 7? HP single cylinder 2 storke marine engine, No.30901. I' d like to know the requirements. The type of ignition fitted as this has low tension points as well as a spark plug in the cylinder head and a high tension mag driven by a gear wheel between engine and gear bore. For what type of craft were these engines normally used? This engine was not found in a boat, but crated up in a packing case in the basement of a cotton mill.

Would anyone have a history of the Mianus Motor Works that would divulge some information?

Thank you for the interesting and entertaining reading available in the G.E.M.'

CHUCK HIATT, Orion, Illinois 61273 pens this: 'Thought I'd drop a line to let you know how much I enjoy the Gas Engine Magazine and especially Smoke Rings column. I know lots of people get help from it.

I've become interested in the history of the Root & Vandervoort Engineering Company which made the R & V engines. I've found some information on the company and would like to hear from anyone who knows something about their history so I can write an article for G.E.M. Thanks much and keep up the good work.' (Thanks for the boost, Chuck, and I think you'll be getting some letters from the gas buffs).

HARRY L. RITTER, R.D. 5, Fulton, New York 13069 calls out: 'Hi Smoke Ringers! I have been procrastinating this year, that is, on old iron. I  have been busy repairing old Iron mowers recycling-have started some of the oldies to keep them from getting stiffened up with old age (like me). Am now working on my Fuller Johnson  pump engine. I  hope to get it going this year. I've had it over two years now. I had a lot of help from you folks. I have tried to answer all letters, so if I missed anyone, I'm sorry.

I have a small engine of about 2 HP. It is minus a head. There is no name, only a blurred decal on it which reads G E Genera! Engine Co., Franklin, Illinois. Can anyone give any clues? If so, please blow a smoke ring my way.'

TIM STEWART, Route 2, Box 233H, PasoRobles, California 93446 is still interested in hearing from anyone who knows about Armstrong engines; are they really rare?

Also he would like to get in touch with Bob Bates who used to be Parts Mgr. of Witte engines. (Look for letters, Tim).

From WALLACE TINSLEY, Route No. 10, Box 176, Anderson, South Carolina 29621-this letter: 'I sent an inquiry a year or so ago about an engine that I am restoring. It is a Rockford made before 1912. There is a picture in G.E.M. 1972, May-June issue, page 23, left lower corner. Does anyone have any information on engine?

I also have a very old F.B.M. 1? HP headless, serial No. on water pot is 98143, I think. The carburetor is missing but other than that it is complete. Information on these will be appreciated and I will reply to letters.

I enjoy G.E.M. very much. It is a real reference source.'

BUD HUTT, Clinton, Arkansas 72031 needs any kind of information on a 4 HP Fairfield gas engine #1619, vertical. Says a good picture would help him also.

Bud also tells us that between Joe Craft of Ward and Dr. Scotty Little of Hope, Arkansas that they are getting a gas engine club started. (That's great, let us hear more about your organization when you get it formed).

Take notice-this is a notice from TOM CAMPBELL to his many friends: 'To all my engine friends from G.E.M. and the shows-due to government red tape, my R.R. and Box No. is gone and they have given me a house number 39443 Greenbay Road. It's still the same place, just different mailing address. Keep on crankin'!

SCOTT STROVEN, 14038 68th Avenue, Coopersville, Michigan 49404 is a Bull Dog engine nut and wants some history.' Who made the Bull Dog engines first? Fairbanks or Bates & Edmens? What year did they start making them? Is there anyone out there who has a Pull Pup?-I have one. Write me any information.'

This bit from JIM GUNTHER, 6078 Azurite, Riverside, California 92509: 'I am new to this hobby and could use any help from our reders. I have an Ottawa drag saw, two flywheel, not running yet. I would like to correspond with other collectors of same.

Pictured is a Novo single flywheel upright-any data on this will be appreciated.'

If you want to help HENRY L. SWARTZ, Route 2, Jamesport, Missouri 64648, he would appreciate hearing from you: 'Have just received the 2nd issue of G.E.M. and find them very interesting. I have an engine repair business and now have several Maytag engines that customers have brought in to have repaired. Some people in this area still use them on their washing machines and I am having trouble finding parts. Am wondering if any readers could tell me what I could substitute for the main crankshaft bearings and seals.'

JERRY GERRIOR, 237 Centre Street, Danvers, Massachusetts 01923 sends this next note: and picture:

'I just obtained a vertical 2 hp. I.H.C. one lunger with patent date 1905. I would like to know if anyone could tell me what goes where the arrows are pointing, and what the water tank looked like. Any info on this engine would be very helpful in restoring it.'

A note from JOHN W. HORNSEY, 1060 Waterloo Road, Berwyn, Pennsylvania 19312 as he looks for help:

'I am fairly new to collecting antique engines and have a small collection. Your magazine and the folks at Kinzers have been a big help. My most recent acquisition is a Silver King tractor serial #3359 with Hercules engine model 1XB serial #419851. Can anyone tell me the year of manufacture? I know Silver Kings are not the rarest of tractors but I have nothing to help me with its restoration. I would like to hear from anyone who can provide technical information such as timing, how to stop oil leak from clutch housing and history of this make. Any letters will be greatly appreciated,'

See if you might be able to help ERWIN KRETZSCHMAR, Route 3, Box 157, Floresville, Texas 78114 as he relates: 'I have been collecting tractors and engines and always wanted a large generator. Well, I finally found one with an 80 HP Tipps engine with control panel, but the sad story is they stripped it of all copper wire connections; so I would like to hear from someone who has one that could give me instructions how to rewire. It is a General Electric alternating current No. 4020350, speed 327, KW 48, Volts 240, Amp 144, cycle 60. I'll appreciate if you help me out.'

BILL HOSSFIELD, 50 Oakwood Drive, Ringwood, New Jersey 07456 wants this entered in the Smoke Rings column: 'I have just been given an engine by my grandfather. It's been in his barn for as long as I can remember. Could someone identify it for me? It has a brass tag on the top of the water hopper with these numbers (Engine No. 314064, RPM 550, HP 2GH). The flywheels are 18' x 1?'. It has a Wico magneto. The tag on it is not readable except the imprinted numbers 871312.'

PHILIP VAZZANA, 242 S. Poplar, Greenville, Mississippi 38701 says: 'Thank you Guys for the information about my engine. My engine is a Hercules 1? HP manufactured around 1923. I am still interested in restoration information. I just started this hobby, but have a terminal case of the Gas Engine Fever. And-May all of your engines crank on the first try!'

GORDON AEBIG, 312 Maple Street, Shelby, Michigan 49455 is a newcomer to our Gas Engine Family and writes: 'I have an F-30 Farmall tractor and I wonder if someone can tell me what years these tractors were built. I don't see many for sale in your magazine and parts are unavailable in all salvage yards where I have looked. These tractors are very scarce in my part of the country. Here is a picture of my engine.'

CHARLES W. SCHURMAN, 416 Blake, St. Joseph, Missouri 64504 needs your help: 'At a recent farm sale, I got a six hole Sandwich corn sheller. The people that had it did not know how old it was as they had bought it as a used one. There is a metal plate on the side of it with the number 1035. Can any reader out in Gas Engine Land tell me how old my sheller is? The sheller is in very good shape, only some wood in the cab and shelled corn elevators need to be replaced. The paint is good to fair as it has been in a shed. It has not been used for about 40 years.' (You'll probably hear from our readers, Charles).

A second letter comes from HARRY L. RITTER, Route 5, Box 127, Fulton, New York 13069 as he tells you: 'I would like to thank you all for helping me with my engines. Without you, I would never have made it. Also to Anna Mae for being able to decode my scribbling.

I have a couple more questions to ask-How much clearance should there be in rod and main bearings of the old engine? Also, the magneto on my Fairbanks Morse 2 HP has started to ooze a tar-like substance. It started during winter storage in (unheated) shed. I have run it about five minutes. What shall I do? I hate to ruin it!

By the way, I have my Fuller Johnson pump engine running. (See Sept-Oct. 1976 G.E.M.).

JIM HICKEY, 1333 El Rey Avenue, El Cajon, California 92021 sends this: 'There has been very little in past issues of G.E.M. on the Meco engine. I have a 6 HP Meco, serial number A1549. Bore and stroke is 6' x 8'. This engine looks quite a bit like a Witte. Can any readers tell me what, if any, connection there was between Meco and Witte. Are the Meco engines rare?' (Let Jim hear from you if you know the answers).

The following missal comes from a newcomer, CRAIG WILSON, 28280 Seabiscuit TL., Evergreen, Colorado 80439: 'The July-August 1978 issue of GEM was my first and I have read it cover to cover several times. I was bitten by (the Bug) when I spotted an old Economy engine covered with dirt at a nearby antique shop. Over the years, I had seen old engine exhibits at various State Fairs and marveled at those beautiful machines that had been restored to their original condition. So I purchased the Economy and hauled it home in the trunk of my car.

So-now I need a little help from the readers of GEM. The magneto assembly is completely missing from the engine and I must either construct a new one or find one to purchase in my travels. The engine is a 1? HP, 775 RPM Economy, Engine No. 15 JK 9028 U, with the date 9-8-33 stamped on the block.

One other thing I must mention- my subscribing to your magazine was the result of advice given to me by Bill Swets, a fellow who has rebuilt many old time engines and who lives near Timnath, Colorado. I was told by folks in the area to see Bill for advice on how to get started with this new hobby.

I arrived at Bill's farm in mid-afternoon while he was busy with farm chores. After introducing myself to Bill and his Dad, he set aside his chores for an hour and a half while he showed me his collection and provided insight into what our hobby is all about. If Bill is typical of the people you find fooling around old gas engines, there's a lot more folks I'm anxious to meet! Thanks for your help!