TROUBLESHOOTING THE GAS ENGINE

Fairbanks-Morse

Courtesy of Stan Read, Star Route 2, Gunnison, Colorado 81230

Stan Read

Content Tools

Star Rte. 2, Gunnison, Colorado 81230

The fall season has arrived and with it more time to do the things most enjoyed - and for an engine collector that means working again with the favorite engines, or maybe just remembering some of the things they bring to mind:

Another fall. My wife had been in a Denver hospital for quite some time. As often as possible I would head the Jeep for Denver, two hundred miles away. One day I spotted flywheels off through the trees but there was no time for engines then. Better days after her recovery, I went over the mountains to meet my wife who was returning from a checkup. This day, I thought, I'll have time to check on that engine. A friendly man owned it and he took time off from his plowing to help me load it and he called to mind some of the things he had used it for and then I thanked him and hurried into the nearby town to meet the bus.

Still another fall a few years later. I had acquired another engine in the high country and we had gone to pick it up. Enjoying the beautiful scenery and nice weather we had spent the day hiking, driving and sightseeing and toward evening drove up the mountain to load the engine. No one was there to help so my wife and two daughters lent a hand and we soon had it in the pick-up. A bitterly cold wind had started to blow and heavy clouds were moving in fast. We decided to take the short way home, directly over the mountains. Soon we were in a world of swirling white snow, climbing skyward, four-wheel-drive engaged and the low gears singing a lonely song into the gloom. In an hour we were on top -Cinnamon Pass, Elevation, 13,200 Ft. the sign read. The wind had stopped as suddenly as it had began and now the snow was falling softly, but overhead a few stars could be seen. We were alone in a silent world. The sheepherder that we had waved to so many times during the summer had folded his tent and gone and only a small pile of split wood marked where it had been. My wife opened our thermos of coffee and the girls had Kool-Aid and we ate homemade cookies and nothing ever tasted better. Then the engine roared back to life and the cab heater hummed again and times. They share something in common, however. Both are Fairbanks-Morse, one type T, one type unknown.

A 5 Hp. Simplicity built by Western Mallable and Gray Iron Mfg. Co. of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Hit and miss with igniter and bat and coil. Original bat. box.

Virgil Gerdes inquired on page 33 of the Sept-Oct GEM as to the type a certain Fairbanks-Morse was. I have one of these same engines (see picture) Serial 159356 and I hope someone can come up with the type. The other engine is the Fairbanks-Morse Type T vertical serial 89333. I notice on comparing these two engines that they have several parts bearing the same casting numbers. Both have the nameplates missing and the T is missing its fuel pump but otherwise they are in fair shape, and about 2 H.P.

I'll try and get back to the troubleshooting business in my next article, but right now I've got to investigate that aroma of do-nuts and coffee!