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26/6/16 Fairbanks-Morse Q. I have a 1923 FBM
11/2 HPZ engine, s/n 536505, with a drive
gear on the shaft inside of the right hand flywheel to run a pump
jack that is bolted to the engine and pump head as one unit. The
right hand flywheel had additional casting numbers B-3R1V-ZA13. Ail
other 11/2 HP flywheels I have seen only have
ZA13. Both flywheels look the same. The problem I have is trying to
find a gear to fit the magneto. I want to set it up as original. It
has a Fairbanks-Morse conversion kit to replace the old AB-33
magneto with the newer FBM rotary magneto. It consists of a plate
and a gear. Casting No. ZAA2561A2 is attached to the old AB-33
magneto bracket and cam support. The special gear 33 TEETH Casting
No. ZAA2993A is attached to the plate and is driven by the crank
gear with 24 teeth. The magneto runs off this spiral idler gear and
not the cam gear, as later engines do.

Does anyone have an engine with this conversion? I would like to
find out the size and number of teeth on the special magneto gear
or loan of the parts to make the replacements.

Also, in the February GEM you note that the
11/2 HP Z engines used an ‘R’
magneto, but in your book it says the AB-35 was used up till 1924 .
Which is right?

A. Regarding the body of your question, we
cannot give you the answer, since we do not have enough FBM parts
books for a cross-reference. However, regarding the various
magnetos used on the 11/2 HP engine, it
appears that the Model Z Plugoscillator was discontinued in late
1919, being replaced with the American Bosch AB-33 oscillator. It
was used on the 11/2 HP size until early
1924, when it was replaced with the AB-34 for a short time. It was
then replaced with the FBM Type R magneto, effective with s/n
592989 of mid-1924. This one stayed in use until being replaced
with the FBM RV-1 magneto in 1933, and followed in 1938 with the
FBM Type J magneto.

26/6/17 Thermos? Q. I have a question, not
about engines, but about the simple thermos bottle. It says,
‘Hot stays Hot, and Cold stays Cold.’ How does this happen?
Willy Toucher, Box 488, Wilmington, DE 19830.

A. The thermos is technically called a vacuum
bottle, and as such it tends to keep whatever is poured in at the
same temperature as it was when it entered the top. There is
nothing in the thermos except the replaceable liner.

26/6/18 Some Questions Q. See photos 18A and
18B of a Novo square hopper engine belted to an air compressor.
This is like the engine shown on page 351 of American Gas Engines.
What is the proper oil level in the crankcase of these engines?

Photo 18C is an engine no one can identify because I made it and
it is the only one like it in the world. It does not run on any
kind of fuel. It runs on electricity. It is a magnetic engine, and
runs real nice on 12 volts DC. The top with the fins is a coil or
solenoid with a plunger ‘piston’ that is connected to a
crankshaft. The cam on the end of the crankshaft opens and closes a
set of contact points to energize the solenoid at the proper times.
I made this engine about 1965.

Photo 18D is a broken flywheel. Can this be welded?

P.S.-Plans to make the electric engine are available for a
donation. John Miller, 34127 Lee Avenue, Leesburg, FL 34788.

A. If anyone can supply the needed information
on the Novo, please do so.

Regarding the broken flywheel, we won’t flat out tell you it
can’t be fixed, but in this writer’s estimation it
wouldn’t be worth the trouble, and no matter how good the work,
we wouldn’t trust it after it was done. I’m sure there are
some of you who could tackle a job like this, and I’m sure that
there are a few who might be able to do a good (safe) job. However,
we think this is the exception rather than the rule, and we’ve
never been too excited about the potential for a lot of large-sized
chunks of shrapnel coming at us like big blunted bullets. So, would
we try to fix this flywheel? In a word, NO!

26/6/19 Leader Engine Q. In American Gas
Engines you make no reference to Leader being a gas engine
manufacturer. I have acquired this little
11/2 HP Leader. Do you feel that this engine
was built by Leader, or was it made by some other manufacturer?
Robert A. Dewey, 3210 River Road, Grand Rapids, MN 55744.

A. Although the governor is similar to Stover,
and some of the parts are similar to the Rawleigh, we have
developed the opinion that Leader probably built this engine. There
have been a few Leader engines showing up from time to time, and
perhaps someone has done some research on this company.

26/6/20 Montgomery Ward Q. Can anyone identify
the engine in the photo? It has a Montgomery Ward tag, and the
plate says ‘E2.’ It is 5/8 HP, and
has a 21/8 x 2 inch bore and stroke. Any
information will be appreciated. G.W. Manning, 2401 Brinkwood Dr.,
Richmond, VA 23224.

Readers Write

Battery Packs

I have run across a couple articles in QST, a magazine for radio
amateurs. Apparently the Polaroid Polaplus battery is used in the
film pack with the Polaroid Spectra cameras. These batteries put
out 6 volts, and they can be hooked in a series-parallel
combination to get 12 volts. Apparently they can even be recharged.
They apparently have a low internal resistance, as they put out 10
amperes on a short circuit through an ammeter on a momentary test.
Philip DeJarlais, 620 Dayton Road, Champlin, MN 55316.

Little Liz Engines

Thanks to Don Goldsby for sending along more information and
photographs on the Little Liz as built by Birch & Birch. There
was a recent GEM article on these engines, and the additional
information is already on file.

26/3/11 Unidentified EnginePhotos C and D are
of a PB Briggs off of a reel-type lawn mower. The shroud is
missing. This was the next model Briggs after the motor wheel. The
garden tractor in 26/3/12 B and C is a Suburbanite built by the
American Farm Machinery Co. of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Cledus Stites,
RR 1, Odon, IN 47562.


Thanks to Mark A. Corson for sending along further information
on sawmills, in particular on the Lyon Iron Works of Greene, New

A Closing Word

As of April 1, ye olde Reflector has closed down his retail
store at Amana, Iowa. The press of writing projects, including this
column, has made it impossible to keep up, and since none of us are
getting any younger, this writer decided to slow things up a bit.
In the next few months, we hope to visit several swap meets and
shows, and this is something we have been unable to do in the past.
One of the greatest pleasures is to act as a traveling emissary for
Gas Engine Magazine, and we hope to represent this journal at
several upcoming shows this year. We’re even getting a banner
made up so we’re easier to find, and then all you’ll have
to do is look for the familiar Gas Engine Magazine logo, and we
should be somewhere nearby. Travel safely, and we’ll see you
somewhere down the road…


Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines