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Many times in the short period that I have been reading GEM, I have come across this question. Some people, when sending in pictures, will call an Economy a Hercules, a Hercules, an Economy, and one person even called his a 'Hercules/Economy.' I hope this article will clear up this matter.
There are several ways in which to distinguish between these two;
1 --the water hopper- A Hercules has a water hopper with rounded edges. An Economy also has rounded edges but in a more square form. The hole to fill the jacket on a Hercules is an oval. On an Economy, it is square.
2 --the muffler - The Hercules muffler is shaped like a bell, similar to that of a Domestic. An Economy muffler is shaped like a ball.
3 -- the gas fill - A Hercules has a cap that opens upward. An Economy has one that opens sideways.
4 --On a Hercules, you will usually find a grease shield. If there is none, check to see if there are holes drilled and tapped. The Economy had none.
5 --the decal - If your engine was in a barn or shed, on the sides of the water hopper are decals. On a Hercules, it is round, with a picture of the lengendary Greek hero adjusting an engine. On an Economy, the word Economy appears on a slant with the E extending the length of the word.
I hope this article will benefit anyone who has trouble distinguishing between the two. Hercules engines are my favorites, and I would like to hear from others who have some.