REFLECTIONS-2

A Brief Word


| March/April 1989



Fairbanks-Morse 'Z' engine

FBM-2

Don Green

READERS WRITE

24/1/69 Stover engines

In Mr. Wendel's answer he has apparently set aside the historic usage of foundry casting dates with the notion that the 9-10-23 in the casting represents the date the casting pattern was made. In the 53 years I have been collecting and restoring antique machinery and engines I have never heard anyone or read any document which implies or states that such markings represent the date a pattern was made. Mr. Wendel apparently has an insight into these matters that transcends us mere mortals.

My limited insight in these matters suggests the 9-10-23 is the casting date used by foundries to insure castings don't get mixed up in the curing process used to relieve stresses in green castings. In the engine in question it appears some six months elapsed between casting and machining. Depending on the nature of the casting, the curing process typically extended from 90 days to several years storage outside hence the seeming piles of rusting junk outside manufacturer's plants. Richard A. Day, Rt. 2, Box 44, Leonardtown, MD 20650.

A. The Reflector at one time had five different Stover 'K' engine models, all with the same 9-10-23 date in the main frame casting. Curiously, however, the serial numbers indicated that these engines were built over a period ranging from 1924 to 1935. Ye olde Reflector doesn't have any 'greater insight into these things' than anyone else, but to suggest that an engine built in 1935 was cast already in 1923 doesn't make sense. This is especially true with Stover we would think, because the company had its share of financial troubles, and it doesn't seem likely that they left anything in the curing yard any longer than necessary.

We're not attempting to peddle misinformation in wholesale lots- and in the case of the above mentioned engine, we're going with the facts as we have them. Beyond this, we maintain that using the date in the casting is inaccurate since it does not necessarily reflect the manufacturing date. To settle on a single point of criteria would be like saying that all IHC Famous vertical engines were built in 1905 because that year is cast on the engine. Both assumptions would be erroneous.

24/1/11 United States engine