39/1/1: Ellis Gasoline Engine Q: I purchased a
3 HP vertical two-cycle Ellis gasoline engine, serial no. 1109.
Does anyone know the year of manufacture for this engine? I
don’t know much about the engine since this is the first one
I’ve come in contact with. I’d like any operator’s
manuals or maintenance instructions for it. Also, what kind of fuel
does it use? Does the fuel have to be mixed with two-cycle oil?
Also, what type of oil should I put in the oiler that pumps to the
engine cylinder? Any help would be appreciated. Arvin C. Ellis,
P.O. Box 1304, Oil City, PA 16301; (814) 676-2031.
A: There’s very little information
available on the engines made by Ellis Engine Co., Detroit, Mich.
According to C.H. Wendel’s American Gasoline Engines Since
1872, Ellis engines came on the market about 1910. Wendel suggests
1915 as the company’s last year, but it may have been active
until 1916. In addition to running clockwise or counter-clockwise,
the 3 HP engine was rated as a 1 -3 HP, its output dependent on one
of three throttle settings. Surviving engines are few, but with any
luck an Ellis owner will contact you – and us – with helpful
information on these unique engines.
39/1/2: Two-cylinder Fire Pump Q: I recently
acquired a two-cylinder, 12 HP diesel engine with an attached water
pump. It came off a Great Lakes freighter, which was being scrapped
in my hometown of Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada. The unit was used
as a fire pump on board the ship.
I went on the Internet to find the year of manufacture and found
that there is no information about this particular model, only
listings for newer units. The engine is a Petter, made in England.
It has a tag that reads: Sigmund Pumps Ltd., Gateshead, England
Type: PENEK GL4A, Serial No. 828308. Another tag on the engine
reads: Main Guys Ltd., Montreal, Canada.
The modern engines I researched on the Internet are listed as
Lister-Petter. I would appreciate any information about this unit.
Ron Baer, R.R. 1, Port Colborne, ONT, Canada L3K 5V3; (905)
A: Your engine is an air-cooled Petter AVA
manufactured by J.B. Petter & Sons, Yeovil, Somerset, England.
The AVA was introduced in 1950 and stayed in production until at
least 1961. These were available in single-and two-cylinder
configurations. Petter and rival R.A. Lister Co. Ltd., Dursley,
Gloucestershire, England, merged in 1985, and the Petter factory
closed the following year.
39/1/3: Domestic Engine I recently acquired a
Domestic gasoline engine from a friend. I offered the former owner
$50 sight unseen, and he took me up on it. At the time I didn’t
know the make of the engine, but I soon discovered it was a
Domestic side shaft engine. It has a 4-inch bore and stroke with a
side-mounted pump. The identification tag is missing.
I would like to save this engine, but I don’t have any
information on it. If anyone with information about Domestics could
help me out, I would greatly appreciate it. I enjoy GEM very much.
Ronald Williams, 916 Sington Road, Morrisdale, PA 16858.
39/1/3A and B: Domestic side shaft with direct-connected water
pump. Judging by the engine base this is a 1-1/2 or 2 HP Type A
built by Domestic Engine & Pump Co., Shippensburg, Pa.
39/1/4: Unidentified Engine: I need help
identifying this engine. On the brass tag it shows: JK4967U, RPM
775, 1-1/2-2 HP JK. Other identifying features include: a water
jacket indented to allow for the Wico magneto (missing in photo);
magneto bolts through the water reservoir; it is a kerosene engine,
and the carburetor is mounted in an unusual manner; the fuel tank
filler can be installed on either side of the engine; it has a
splash oil system like a John Deere (no drip oiler); and most
casting numbers begin with GE45 and 10-5-30 (which I assume is a
Any help greatly appreciated. Bob Hitchcock, P.O. Box 1543,
Overton, NV 89040; firstname.lastname@example.org
Flywheel Forum is a place for readers to ask questions and share
information on their equipment. If you have a question about your
engine or tractor, please send it along to Gas Engine Magazine,
1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265;
Rusty Hopper’s Modeler’s Corner
This column came about after sitting down over a few cups of
coffee and talking models with GEM editor Richard Backus. I
wondered who looks at models and why, and it seems Richard and I
have different views of what is a model or just a working toy.
Richard thinks a model is something copying a production item,
but I think a model is any running item, and it can be made out of
anything. An air compressor can, with a little work, make a
beautiful engine. And an old discarded or broken engine can, with
patience and ingenuity, be turned into a nice side shaft engine. If
you look into many of the fine casting kits available today, you
will find many of these are not patterned off of an existing
It’s fun to go to a model show and see what someone with
only an idea and time on their hands can build. I have seen milling
machines in model form that look better than the full-size machines
they were patterned after, along with washing machines and other
items that make you feel small in the field of model building.
I have also seen freelance models of engines and such that look
like they should never run but do, and very well. And yes, the
model engines, trains, boats, and tractors that are patterned off
of full-sized units are nice.
This issue launches this column, and as long as Richard will
have me do this, I will try and look into all the different aspects
of model making, and I hope you will let me know your thoughts on
what this column should do. I may be old, but this dog still enjoys
learning new tricks. These tips will be for your thoughts only and
your fuel lines may vary. – Rusty Hopper
Have a tip you think other model makers should know? Send it
to Rusty Hopper care of Gas Engine Magazine, 1503 S.W. 42nd St.,
Topeka, KS 66609-1265, or e-mail: email@example.com