461 Algonquin Place, Webster Groves, Missouri 63119
In the February 1990 issue of GEM my article on the Associated horse power engine appeared. There was a large response and owners had a lot of new information. I've sold my Pony and sent all of my files to the 'Reflector,' so I'm not a Pony fan anymore, but some, of what I've found is important.
Why Was The Pony Made? Before rural electrification, farms had the need for a small, light, power plant for washing machines, generators, etc. Many companies tried to provide an answer in the HP range. Maytag was an early winner with the Johnson Utilimotor, Nelson, Ideal, Sattley and many others taking their best shots. Briggs and Stratton probably outlasted most. The Associated Manufacturers Company of Waterloo, Iowa, had two entries: the 2-cycle Pony and the 4-cy-cle Type K Colt. Most Colts were re turned to the factory and destroyed. The Ponies were not very good engines, either. However, Associated claimed to 'lead the way in fractional horsepower engines.'
How Many Ponies Were Produced? Serial numbers from those responding to my first article ranged from 654 to 27,409. Distribution of numbers over this range was pretty even, with no large gaps. Therefore, it is reasonable to say that only about 28,000 Ponies were made. This is peanuts compared to some competitors like Maytag.
What Were The Ponies Used For? The 1927 through 1930 (at least) Montgomery-Ward catalogs show the Pony in a Wardway Gyrator washing machine. (See the February 1990 GEM article for a picture.) Many other mounting base types were reported as was a second washing machine brand, the 'Meadows.' If only 28,000 engines were made, a national retailer like Montgomery-Ward must have taken most of them.
What Is The Proper Color? Unlike most Associated's, which were red with a silver cylinder, Ponies seem to be either all black or a pea green. Possibly the green ones were sold to a different retailer? The Montgomery-Ward manual said the gas filler cap was painted red.
GEM References To Ponies I have searched all of the past GEM's (except 1967 which I do not have but want) for pictures of these engines. The only references were:
Mar-Apr 1970 pg 16: details of the starter
Sep-Oct 1975 pg 21: picture from an owner
Oct 1985 pg 6: 'Reflector' question and picture
June 1988 pg 4: 'Reflector' question and picture
Nov. 1988 pg 2: 'Reflector' question and picture
July 1991 pg 7: 'Reflector question and picture
Feb 1990 pg 17: my original article'
How Good An Engine Was The Pony? Of the 87 engines reported to me, only 18 actually run, and only 5 run well. If the magneto is not broken the engine bogs down after running a few minutes. This must have been a frustration to the farm wife. Montgomery-Ward followed the Pony with a Nelson and a HP Sattley (see pictures). I have never seen a Pony run, although I have seen many nicely painted examples at shows. The owners always beg off trying to start them.
As I reported in the first article, the bogging down problem may be solved by drilling a ? inch hole low in the side of the crankcase. Plug the hole with a sliver of wood. When the engine starts to bog down, pull the wood out and it should be okay. Apparently the piston blow-by puts pressure in the crankcase in stead of a vacuum. Fuel can't be sucked in and the engine dies.
Sattley HP 4-cycle sold by Montgomery-Ward. Maker uknown. Photo by Sam Hamilton at Pawnee, Oklahoma.
Gas And Oil Mixtures: Some GEM articles say you shouldn't use modern 2-cycle oil in these old engines because it is designed for much higher heat ranges. You can use 30-W non-detergent motor oil. The mixture in the manual is pint oil to one gallon of gas. This is about 15 to 1, a very oily mixture. A better starting mixture for an engine running with out load would be pint oil to one gallon of gas, or 30 to 1. If it smokes, try a little less oil, or don't set up next to me at a show. If the engine seems too hot try a little more oil. The combination of low workload, modern oil and modern fuel will reduce the stress on your engine so less oil is necessary.
The Associated HP Colt Type K The Colt was a 4-cycle, kick start engine that is pictured in 100 Years of American Gas Engines. It was said that most of them were returned to the factory and later destroyed. The Colt was sold to replace 'obsolete' 2-cycle engines, so they must have been made after the Pony or after 1930. The brochure touted easy starting, uniform speed and long life, but they failed somehow. The size was 2 inch bore by 2 inch stroke, 1,450 RPM with both valves mechanically operated. Ignition was flywheel-type mag with internal, flyball governor.
Summary As I said, I have sent all of my material to the 'Reflector,' so I have no more information than this. Hopefully this article will be helpful to someone in restoring, operating or appreciating his engine.