A Brief Word

Air Pump


Content Tools

34/3/5 Fairbanks-Morse Q. I am restoring a Fairbanks-Morse 1? HP engine, s/n 440684. On the water jacket I found the casting number 21820. Since the s/n references a date of early 1920, can I assume that the casting number is translated to February 18, 1920? Also on the left crank journal cap I have found stamped the number 3 RIV.7 What does this pertain to? Any information would be appreciated. Gary Everett, Overland Park, KS 66204.

A. It was (and probably still is) a common practice to date castings at the foundry. In many instances at least, the castings were set outside to 'cure' for a few weeks or a few months. This helped the castings stabilize so that when they were machined they would 'stay put' and not twist or warp. We don't know the meaning of the 3RIV figure on the bearing cap.

34/3/6 Pouring Bearings Q. Being a new subscriber, I have seen references to pouring babbitt bearings, but do not know where to look. Can you refer me to the proper issues? W. P. Haworth, PO Box 358, Clifton, CO 81520.

A. We have had some short descriptions of the process in this column, notably in the July 1991 issue. In our September/October 1983 issue, we had a two page article with illustrations of the process by Donald Goldsby. In our December 1998 issue, there was an article on page 10 which described the services of a shop in West Virginia which provides this service.

34/3/7 Milwaukee Compressor Q. See the photo of an air pump made by Milwaukee Air Power Pump Co., Milwaukee , Wisconsin. What was the original intended purpose of this pump, and how was it lubricated? Any information on this unit would be greatly appreciated. Dean Suhr, 3525 E. Hawser St., Tucson, AZ 85739-8898.

A. This is simply an air compressor, and it might have been used for any number of reasons. Years ago, air compressors were usually found in service garages, and some shallow well systems used a jet arrangement whereby compressed air was used to push water to the surface. Aside from these purposes, air compressors weren't widely used except by industry. Some early compressors had an opening in the side of the cylinder that was filled with wicking. This served to provide a small amount of lubricant to the piston. We would guess that this one got an occasional shot of oil from an oilcan. Air compressor pistons are lubricated very sparingly.

34/3/8 Witte Engine

Donald J. Keys, RR 1, Box 114, Webster, KY 40176-9704 inquires about an operators and parts manual for a Witte 12 HP engine with an enclosed crank-case, and of 1931 vintage. We don't have anything, so can anyone provide a photocopy?

34/3/9 Some Questions Q. See photo 9A of a Clarke engine that was made into an air compressor. The company was D. R. Clarke Engine Co., Ltd., Toronto, Ontario. Can anyone provide any information on this engine?

Photo 9B is a small water-cooled engine but there are no markings. The mounting base also serves as a gas tank. What was its purpose, and was there a water pump or generator mounted on the base? Can anyone identify this engine. All information appreciated. Oswald Bartnick, 127 Parkland Rd., Lockport, MB R1A 3K2 Canada.

34/3/10 Bolens Garden Tractor Q. I recently purchased a Bolens Garden Tractor, Type 22001, s/n 35069. Any information on this unit would be appreciated Bob Craig, 602 Craig Road, Walnut Shade, MO 65771.

34/3/11 Information Needed Q. I need information on two engines. The first one is a 5 HP Ottawa, s/n TE27985, and I would like to know the paint color and when it was built. The second engine is an Economy with a 4? x 6 inch bore and stroke, and s/n 307752. When was it made? Dale Sheasley, RD 5, Box 283, Tyrone, PA 16686.

A. We have the Ottawa Log Saw as being DuPont 51197 Green, but have no other information. We have no specific serial number lists for the Economy engines.

34/3/12 Unidentified Engine Q. See the two photos of an unidentified engine. It has 10-inch flywheels and uses a  2? x 2? inch bore and stroke. There is a chain drive to the camshaft. Both valves are cam-operated, high-tension battery ignition, suction mixer, and governor on the mixer, and flywheel rims were nickel plated. Any information would be appreciated. Vincent Durham, Site 8, Comp 34 RR1, Sicamous, BC V0E 2V0 Canada.

34/3/13 Fuller & Johnson Q. See the photo of a 5 HP Fuller & Johnson engine, s/n 93465. When was it built and what is the correct color? Are new decals available? What model is this engine? Any help would be appreciated. Boris Dobrotin, 29483 Paso Robles Rd., Valley Center, CA 92082.

A. Your engine was made in 1925. It was a dark green, similar to DuPont 1317 or Ditzler 3255. Decals are available from some of the GEM advertisers.

34/3/14 Unidentified Machine

Quinn Lenk, Box 525, Dupree, SD 57623 sends along some photos of an unidentified chopper or shredder. The unit is of wood with internal parts of cast iron. The owner thinks that perhaps at one time the word 'Avery' was painted on the side of the machine. Photo 14A shows the unit with the cover in place, and 14B shows the cover removed. The blades moved past a spring-loaded shield, and there are two slots for feeding material into this machine. He would appreciate any information.

(We think it was either a forage cutter, or possibly an ear com cutter . . . either way, it was a dangerous machine!)

34/3/15 Alpha Engine Q. See the photo of a Type F, 1? HP Alpha engine. Does it have the correct carburetor? What is the correct color? Dave Knoll, 212-8th St NW, Little Falls, MN 56345.

A. We've never owned an Alpha, nor have we ever looked closely at one, so we can't tell you about the mixer. We have DuPont 24166 Brewster Green listed as the color for these engines.

A Closing Word

As we finish this edition in late December 1998, and enduring snow and cold, we're certainly looking ahead to an enjoyable two weeks in England with some of you this summer. As noted in the last issue, we will be leaving June 18 via British Airways for London's Heathrow Airport to embark on our journey. After 15 or 16 days of enjoyable times together, plus numerous engine and tractor stops, we'll be able to come back home with ne'er a thought of those glorious Iowa snowdrifts!

While digging through some old things awhile back we came across one of those combination yardsticks and fuel measuring sticks that came out with the IHC Titan tractors. Ours is like new, and we would doubt that it has ever been dipped into a gas tank . . . we were really happy about that find! We also came across some nice oil and gas measuring cans from Maytag and others. Although we understand that everything antique is expensive now, we didn't reckon on just how expensive some of these things can be!

Work progresses slow but steady on our Catalog of American Farm Tractors. We hope to have our work done before summer arrives, and as we begin 1999, we are on schedule, with letter 'I' companies almost done. We think there may be a few surprises, even for the seasoned collectors. This book will include a large number of garden tractors, many of which we've never heard of before. We also continue to be surprised by the large number of tractor companies that sprang up right after World War Two. Many of them lasted for only a short time, and so of course, their tractors are now pretty scarce. Thanks to digital imaging, we haven't spent a moment in our darkroom since last fall. Everything now is being done on a scanner of one kind or another. This saves us an enormous amount of time.

We'll close here by extending our very Best Wishes for the New Year.