Fairbanks-Morse-powered Myers pump

Double trouble for a pair of restorers


| October/November 2004



Myers pump

Myers pump powered by a 1-1/2 HP Canadian-built Fairbanks-Morse Model Z, built in 1921. The cart - including the steel wheels with lathe-turned wooden hubs - is homemade. The Fairbanks-Morse engine can be removed from the pump rig if desired. Accordingly,

The Central Washington Antique Farm Exposition held at the Central Washington Agricultural Museum in Union Gap each August is a great show in the beautiful area of eastern Washington state.

The show has a very lively swap meet with truckloads of interesting farm antiques, and at the 2003 show we picked up a nice F.E. Myers & Bro. well pump and a separate, rusty old pump jack from a vendor we've visited for years.

The pump was in good condition, and the pump jack gears turned freely when we tested them: We figured it would be an easy job hooking them up to make a small display. Little did we know what challenges lay in store for us.

Pumped to begin
First we tackled the pump. All it needed was some cleaning, oiling and the addition of a nice brass faucet we had saved for just such an occasion. We also installed a sucker rod running from the top of the pump through the base.

The pump jack was a different story. Although the gears turned easily, they were fiercely stuck on the shafts. After trying to remove the gears with a combination of heat, hammering and penetrating solvents to no effect, we built a set of custom gear pullers to gently grab the gears from behind and push on the shafts. With applied force, plus heat from a torch, we were finally able to remove one gear from each shaft. This allowed us to slide the shafts from the cast frame and then band saw the shafts flush with the remaining gears. The severed shafts were then drilled out, and the gear bores were cleaned up.

One cast iron bearing in the frame was worn out, so we bored out the casting and slipped in a bronze bearing sleeve. We made new shafts from drill rod, machined in key ways and put the pump jack assembly together - at last. We added some paint, a new oak pump yoke, and the job was completed.