Lightning Engine

Courtesy of Gerald Jacobson, 212 South Cedar St., Marshfield, Wisconsin 54449

Gerald Jacobson

Content Tools

212 South Cedar St., Marshfield, Wisconsin 54449

The mystery tractor on page 28 of the Nov.-Dec. Magazine is no longer a mystery, and the boys that helped me identify it should go to the head of the class. On Dec. 28, I was at Osakis, Minn., visiting with Jim Withers and he told me that the 2 piston engine was a lightning and was made by the Kansas City Hay Press Company and that there was a 6 H.P. Skid engine at Mountain Lake, Minnesota. On Dec. 30, I was at Adams Minn, and talked with a fellow that used to work with this tractor, which was at Elkton, Minn, and he said that the tractor was called a Kansas City. On Dec. 31, I drove to Mountain Lake and saw this Skid Engine which is in good running order in the summer time.

This Tractor was at Elkton, Minn, and I was about 11 years old when I saw it. It takes a lot of head scratching to remember anything that far back. The 10 H.P. rating is probably right. The 25 H.P. rating I gave it was an estimate of some of the people that remembered it. It used to power a Baler real well and would pull 3 Plows. At one time it was belted up to a small Separator, about 18 inch cylinder with a straw carrier but did not have enough power for that. It has gone the way of lots of old tractors but would be worth a lot today. I would like to know if there are any left. It would be a good project for someone to build a model of this engine.

6 Hp. Lightning Engine at Mountain Lake, Minnesota.

6 Hp. Ligthning Engine at Mountain Lake, Minnesota.

The newest additions to the Wilcox family-65 hp. De La Vergne Model DH #622 and l? hp. Domestic #4446. Sort of the big and little of things.

The Model DH, brought out about 1915 by the De La Vergne Machine Co., New York City, was one of the last steps in the evolution of the solid injection Diesel. It compresses to about half the pressure of a full Diesel, and fires with the aid of an uncooled plate in the bottom of the head. It starts cold with the aid of a smouldering fuse made from impregnated cloth rolled up to form a bar about the size and shape of a cigarette. This fuse is lighted and introduced to the combustion chamber in a special T-handled plug, and the engine is then quickly rolled over with compressed air. The fuse burns long enough to provide ignition until the engine is warmed up, and eventually is completely consumed. If, through some accident, the cylinder pressure becomes excessive, the dead-weighted relief valve under the head opens and allows pressure to blow off.

Courtesy of John P. Wilcox, 47 Deland Ave, Columbus 14, Ohio

Figure 2 shows a cross section through the governor head and fuel pump. The by-pass valve beside the governor thrust collar controls both the beginning and the end of injection by allowing pumped oil to return to the tank. It gives the good sharp action necessary to avoid dribble from the nozzle, and meters the injected charge according to the length of time the governor allows it to be closed. This governor is driven through a spring, its heavy head acting as a flywheel to keep it from responding to short-term speed variations as the engine compresses and fires.

The DH was also one of the first large engines to lubricate the wrist pin from the crankshaft through a drilled con rod. The passage in the rod holds about a quart of oil, and a necessary part of the starting procedure is to remove a plug from the top of the rod and fill it up!

Bore and stroke are 14 x 24, flywheels 76 diameter by 8? face, and total weight 20,600 lb. A similar De La Vergne is in the collection of A.D. Mast, 1316 Clayton Rd., Lancaster, Pa. and may be seen on the Rough and Tumble show grounds at Kinzer. A. D. was the previous owner of the little Domestic, and did a fine job of cleaning it up and putting it in running order for me.

SANDOW - 2 cycle, reversing, S/N 12460, manufactured by the Detroit Motor Car Supply Co. Restored and displayed by Marvin Gordon, Port Charlotte, Fla. at the fall meeting of the Florida Gas and Steam Engineers Club at one Sarasota Brandenton Speedway. Marvin also has a model Z type D Fairbanks Morse and a Waterloo Boy completely restored and is working on a McCormick Deering and an upright Fairbanks Morse.