28/4/24 Ethanol and Engines Ethanol fuel is 200
proof corn whiskey, 120 octane, and a super engine fuel. It can be
mixed in any way with gasoline, even 100%. It will start poor in
cold weather at higher ratios. It is a strong solvent and is best
used at 85% or less. For working tractors, 50% gives more power and
cleaner exhaust with only carb adjustments. Modified carbs can use
more. For dual fuel tractors, ethanol mixed with kerosene makes it
possible to use kero with the hot manifold and the gasoline head.
For hit and miss engines in a show atmosphere, ethanol makes for
much more pleasant breathing. High concentrations will eat the
solder out of gas tanks, so they should be drained. For souped up
pullers, ethanol is the perfect fuel.
Gasoline is a horrible fuel, all the way from drilling to
spills, to long after it is burned. It is toxic and carcinogenic.
Ethanol is a USA made renewable fuel, and is infinitely kinder to
the air. Ethanol is available from your gas delivery man.
Soydiesel fuel, made from soybean oil, performs just like diesel
fuel except that it has no sulfur and has a pleasant odor. It is
perfect for show diesels and indoor applications. You’ll like
it! Call 913-341-0300 to order any amount. Ron TePoel, Oronoco, MN
28/4/25 Pioneer Gen-E-Motor Q. I need any
available information on a Pioneer Gen-E-Motor, Model A, Type SS
3780, sin 2-13730. Keith C. Stone, 206 Tanglewood Dr., Rochester
Hills, MI 48309.
28/4/26 Case 10-20 Q. I need information on a
1918 Case 10-20 tractor, s/n 17215. What was the original color,
and where can I get decals? In a 1916 parts book it appears that
four different magnetos could be used, and two different air
strainers? What is correct for the 1918 model? How many of these
three-wheeled tractors still exist? I hope to have this tractor
restored for the 1993 National Show hosted by Branch 13 in Grass
Valley, California. Jeff E.Wallom,10365 Pringle Ave., Galt, CA
A. We’re not certain if this model was
Ditzler 40249 Green or not. The J. I. Case collectors have worked
out a lot of the details in this regard, and perhaps even a 10-20
owner might be able to contact you regarding your questions.
Accurately defining who did what and when they did it is sometimes
very difficult, if not impossible. Having never done the footwork
necessary to restore one of these tractors, we would encourage
someone who has this experience to contact Mr. Wallom.
28/4/27 Bready Cultivator Q. Can anyone supply
information on a Bready walk-behind tractor made at Solon, Ohio? It
is on 12-inch rubber, and is s/n 800633. It is powered with a
Clinton 4-cycle engine with a gear reduction. I would like to know
when it was made, color scheme, and other information; also the
attachments available for it. Any help will be appreciated. Brian
M. Lynch, RD 1, Box 120B, Wellsville, NY 14895-9801.
28/4/28 Unidentified Engine Q. See the photo of
an unidentified engine. It is similar to one shown on the bottom of
page 40 of American Gas Engines. The one illustrated was sold by
Automatic Light Company as the Holt Farm Power Plant. Can anyone
provide further information? Dale Boss, 7195 Colony Rd.,
LaMesa, CA 9194L
A. The very short output shaft might have been
designed for direct coupling to a generator at one time.
Conceivably, a cast iron sub-base joined engine and generator into
an integral unit. The similarities would lead one to think that
this is a possibility, although there may have been some
predecessors or successors of the Holt which also carried a similar
28/4/29 Thanks To John G. Boyd, 1921 LaSalle
St., Martinez, CA 94553, for sending along some photocopies of
serial info regarding Wisconsin motors.
28/4/30 Lawson Vertical Q. See the photo of an
incomplete Lawson vertical engine air cooled. I have not been able
to find parts or literature for same; any help on the following
would be appreciated. Owners manual and or parts book, and parts.
Donal Saxton, 417 E. Pearl Ave., Ovid, MI 48866.
28/4/31 Witte Diesel Q. I have a 6 HP Witte
horizontal diesel engine (Oil Well Supply). I have finally got all
the parts to get it going except the fuel injector nozzle or tip.
Does anyone know where I could get one? I am also missing the
compression release lever, and would like to have a drawing of it
from someone so I can make it. Roy Brooks, 3405 Perdue PI ME,
Albuquerque, NM 87106.
A. We’d shop around at some of the older
diesel shops in hopes of finding the injector parts.
28/4/32 United Engine Q. I have a United Type C
engine, 2 HP, s/n 937 (see the photos). I would be grateful for any
information on this engine; I am unsure of the date the engine was
made, and if United manufactured the engine. In Suffolk where I
live there are three United engines, all within three numbers of
each other, all Type C, and the same horsepower, and wondered if
these engines were all shipped over in one lot. I have not heard of
many United engines elsewhere in the UK. Any information would be
most helpful. John D. Clarke, 10 Steggall Close, Needham
Market, Ipswich, Suffolk, England 1P6 8EB.
A. The United engines were, so far as we know,
built by Associated Manufacturers at Waterloo, Iowa. Both companies
likely shipped quantities of these engines to jobbers in the UK,
and this is evidently what happened with the three engines being in
close proximity. There is no way we know of to accurately date
these engines … all records were destroyed many years ago.
28/4/33 Colors Needed Q. Robert Hullfish, 15
Cold Soil Rd., Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 needs paint color
information on the following: Aermotor 2 HP pumper; Sattley 5 HP;
Sun 1 HP; Aermotor 8-cycle.
A. We have it that the early Sattley engines
were black in the gasoline model, with the kerosene models being
brown. However, we have no exact color match. Late Sattley engines
were DuPont 7498 Green. We’ve never received paint color
information on any of the others in this request.
28/4/34 Unidentified Engine Q. M. Toepfer, 512
River Oaks Rd., Comfort, TX 78013 would like information on the
engine shown in the photo. It has a Wico magneto, Type FG, s/n
017885. It has casting numbers like 2VC5, 1VC1, etc.
(‘Editor’s Note: For a story on a similar unidentified
engine, see the story on page 29. Can anyone help these
28/4/35 Taylor Vacuum Q. I have a Taylor 2 HP,
Type C engine. It has one oiler at rear edge of skirt. There is a
long groove in rod to pin area. How does this arrangement lubricate
the front and rear piston rings? The piston pin is in the working
piston, and the rear piston seems isolated from the lube.
Apparently the factory had confidence in its lube system; can
anyone give me confidence also? Robert E. Sweetland, Pleasant St.,
Box 117, East Hardwick, VT 05836.
A. We’ve never had a Taylor Vacuum, nor
have we ever examined one closely, so we are reluctant to provide
that boost of confidence you desire. However, we’re confident
that some of our readers have studied this design and can provide
the needed information. It should be noted that it was imperative
to not have a lot of extra lube getting into the vacuum system,
thus the peculiar design.
28/4/36 C.H. & E. Engine See the photos of
two of my C. H. &E. engines. I have the planer attachment for
one. One cranks left, the other right; both engines are like new
shape. Orval Bauch, 1605 -13 Avenue, Barron, WI 54812.
28/4/37 Information Needed George F. Pilger,
285 Sinn Rd., Cowlesville, NY 14037 would like dating information
on the Taylor Vacuum, Associated, and Little Jumbo engines.
However, there are no serial number listings for these engines, so
accurate dating is impossible. We wish we could do more.
28/4/38 Witte Sideshaft Q. Dick Hamp, 1772
Conrad Avenue, San Jose, CA 95124-4501 writes: A pal of mine in New
Zealand has located a couple of very early side shaft Witte
engines. They still belong to the family who imported them directly
from Witte Iron Works. They both are in excellent original
condition. My pal would like to know when they were made, s/n 5589
and s/n 7695.
In all my travels, I have never seen a Witte sideshaft, only
heard rumors that there was one somewhere in northern California. I
have one small magazine ad show-ing a tank cooled sideshaft Witte.
Any help will be appreciated.
A. There is no serial number data for the
sideshaft engines. The early Witte re-cords were lost or destroyed
some years ago. However, the Central Hawkeye Club near Des Moines,
Iowa has a Witte sideshaft. They have also displayed this rare bird
at the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion for several years.
28/4/39 Continental Engines Q. Could anyone
please let me know the correct paint colors for the Continental AU
8 and AU 85 engines? I would also like to know where the Wico
magnetos and coils were made. I haven’t had any success finding
this information. If anyone can help I will be extremely grateful.
Paul Burkle, 300 Sycamore St., PO Box 1871, Waterloo, IA 50704.
A. We would be happy to include the paint
information in the Notebook, so if anyone has this information,
please share it with us, and with Mr. Burkle. We assume that the
Wico magnetos were made by Wico Electric Company; however, some
parts are available from GEM subscribers who do magneto repair
28/2/22 Opperman Motorcart Regarding this
query, I was born and raised in Arkley, Hertfordshire, England,
which is adjacent to Boreham Wood. Although the Boreham Wood
factory was near our home, I cannot remember as ever having seen
I worked on a farm in 1945-48 in Hertfordshire. The farmer had a
similar Opperman motorcart (the design was a bit different), which
I used every day to go out to the fields and get cow cabbage, hay
and straw, etc.
When threshing, we used it to put the big bags of grain on it,
and take back to the farm yard.
I stood behind the metal brace (where the steering wheel is), as
there was no seat.
We loaded manure on it from the cow sheds to take out to the
fields. You drove it in the cow sheds, right between the row of
cows. The farmer I worked for had over 75 milking cows. The cow
sheds are different than what we have in [Canada]. It had a
‘tip-box’ on it, and was a very useful and satisfactory
machine for bringing supplies to the cow sheds. It also had a road
gear which was relatively fast in those days.
They were popular at the time, and there were many others in
Hertfordshire. It had a ‘flat bed’ and we put racks on when
needed. I am afraid that’s all I can remember about the
Opperman Motorcart. I came to Canada in 1948, and stayed! Kenneth
Painter, 33 Prospect Street, PO Box 873, Port Dover, ONT N0A 1N0
Fuels, Valve Rings, Etc. Regarding unleaded
fuel: First and foremost is the fact that leaded fuel didn’t
come into existence until the late 1930s. Most of our beloved old
iron was born long before this, so they never had lead to run on
Charlie Kettering of GM started fooling around with high
compression in the 1930s and found tetraethyl lead to be a good
knock inhibitor. Its lubricating qualities were an extra
My point is that your old iron will run just fine on today’s
fuels. We don’t ask them to perform at their rated loads
anyway. If a person wants to go to the expense, any good automotive
machine shop can counterbore the exhaust seat and install a hard
seat ring. Most replacement seats are a good grade of cast iron,
but hard seats, even Stellite, are readily available. I used to be
in the business, so I’ve done lots of them.
The intakes do not need to be hard, as they have a relatively
cool breeze blowing across them. Most shops can also install a
bronze sleeve in the valve guide for you. It makes for a good fit
wears well with the marginal lubrication of these old
Also, my thanks to those who contacted me about my Cushman
questions. Tom Hartman, 1950 Prince Way, Reno, NV 89503.
28/2/13 Spirit of St. LouisDon Siefker, 705 W.
Annie Dr., Muncie, IN 47303-9762 writes that Charles
Lindbergh’s book, The Spirit of St. Louis, refers to the ninth
hour of the journey when he recollected his gas engine dealership
in Minnesota. The milking machines were Empire, but what engines
were represented with the Empire agency at the time? Also, the
LaCrosse tractor was apparently a La-Crosse Happy Farmer.
27/6/59A & B Union Giant With these
pictures I cannot make a positive identification, but they remind
me of a Union Giant engine. On the same page (16), with picture
27/6/59B, is a story ‘Thoughts on Restoring an Engine or
Changing History.’ I wonder if some one changed history on this
engine. On the Union Giant engine the exhaust and intake pipes
screw into the head and on this engine it looks to have been
switched and the rocker arm bracket changed, now what used to be
the intake is now the exhaust, and vice-versa. My engine had a
gravity feed fuel system, and this one has a suction feed. The
cylinder and hopper is cast in one piece on my engine. This engine
may have been repaired and the hopper bolted on. The base is
different than on my engine. The difference in this engine and my
engine may be because of the age or the size. Carl Zippeble, 11702
27/7/43 Unidentified I identify this engine as
a Witte. I have a 4 HP headless hit-and-miss Witte that has similar
styling on several parts. Included are the flywheels, engine base,
spark retard lever, and others of the same styling. Mark L. Rembis,
2190 Buford-Bardwell Road, Mt. Orab, OH 45154.
28/1/10 Cletrac Colors In the January issue,
Bob Lockwood asked for the correct color on a Cletrac W-12. The
Model W-12 from s/n 13756 to 28727 should be a dark gray, and from
28728 to 30253 should be a very dark green. The original parts
manual for the W-12 only lists gray and white for colors. A 1932
reprint lists chestnut brown, green, beige, red, gray, and black
for colors. We have a 1921 W-12 that is red and looks to have been
red from the factory. We use Ford-Ferguson Gray, but have been told
it’s not quite dark enough. David L. Blaze, 112 Main Rd., PO
Box 322, Granville, MA 01034.
28/1/31 Unknown Wagon Doug Plance, 4960 Mamont
Rd., Murrysville, PA 15668 sends a photocopy of a Studebaker dump
wagon, noting in answer to Mr. Koutouc that the wagon was not
necessarily a Studebaker, since many wagon builders manufactured
them years ago. Several other readers also responded to this
Stirling Engine While browsing through some
Scientific American magazines in our local library, I noted an
article that should interest GEM readers. This article is by John
Walker on page 140 of the January 1990 issue. It describes a
working model Stirling cycle engine that can be built with simple
tools. The design is from Peter L. Trailer of the Windfarm Museum
on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. The article explains the
Stirling cycle and includes a reading list of five books. Max F.
Homfeld, 7964 Oakwood Park Ct., St. Michaels, MD 21663.
28/2/2 Fuel Pump Diaphragms We received several
letters and phone calls on this one! Rather than include each one,
here’s a compilation:
We’re told that the diaphragm material is available from Ben
J. Kinsinger, RD 1, Box 234A, Meyersdale, PA 15552. Also from Tom
Hannaford at Antique Auto Parts Cellar, PO Box 3, South Weymouth,
MA 02190. However, the latter firm only makes repair kits; they
apparently don’t sell the material itself. Another reader
suggests looking in the Yellow Pages of major cities under
‘Packings Mechanical’ and some of these companies stock the
material used for diaphragms.
Thanks to all who responded!
THERE ARE NO MODELS AGAIN THIS MONTH! WHAT HAPPENED TO MODELMA
A Closing Word
In late January we began work on a Centennial History of
Fairbanks-Morse; it should appear later this year. During the
course of the initial research we discovered some interesting facts
and figures regarding diesel engines. On studying these figures, it
quickly becomes apparent that a tremendous amount of engineering
and developmental work went into what we now take for granted. For
In a diesel engine operating at 1,800 rpm, fuel injection must
be completed during about 18 degrees of crank travel, or about 0.05
revolution. Running at 1,800 rpm, the crank will make a complete
revolution in 0.033 of a second. Thus the duration of injection, as
determined by the opening and closing of the injection ports, has
to occur in 0.002 (two one-thousandths) of a second.
During these two one-thousandths of a second, the inlet port of
the injection pump must close, sufficient pressure must be built up
to open the nozzle valve, fuel must be injected in the proper
amount, and the spill or exhaust port of the pump opened to relieve
the pressure in the injection tube.
The pump parts must be precisely engineered for a given engine.
For instance, a 6 millimeter plunger with a lift of say, 0.090
inch, will have a theoretical displacement of 0.79 cubic
centimeters. To put this in perspective, a cubic centimeter
contains about 40 drops; now we see that this pump will displace
about 3 drops per injection at maximum.
Several factors intervene to reduce the maximum output of this
pump. One factor is that any leakage, no matter how slight, will
seriously affect the operation. Another is that the compressibility
of the fuel, although very slight, reduces the effective output.
The major problem is the expansion of the fuel injection lines
during the injection cycle. Changing the thickness of the injection
tube walls will dramatically change the injection characteristics
of the engine! It’s easy to understand the expansion of the
injection lines by touching them when the engine is operating. Add
to this that the pressure buildup in this line begins at
practically zero, builds up to its maximum, and then drops again to
practically zero when the exhaust port opens on the pump. This
feature was built into diesel designs to provide accurate metering
of the fuel and to prevent dribbling of fuel at the nozzle tip.
As another example, one current engine manufacturer related to
us recently that they were experimenting with a new engine design.
It performed beautifully under load, but would not idle without
smoke and irregular running. This was found to be due to the fuel
line having too thick a wall. Changing it to a different tubing
completely eliminated the problem.
Sometimes we see vintage diesels at the shows. Some of them run
quite well, and others evoke a lot of knocking that seemingly
can’t be eliminated. More often than not, this is due to the
design of the combustion chamber, and is a problem built right into
the engine. Usually the so-called ‘Diesel-knock’ comes from
high combustion pressures, and usually is because all of the fuel
is reaching combustion temperature at the same time. The
engineering rule-of-thumb has been that when pressure rise during
combustion exceeds 50 to 55 pounds per degree of crank travel,
objectional knocks and rough running are virtually assured. Little
can be done about a complete elimination of this problem if it is
inherent in the design. That’s precisely why the designs have
changed rapidly during the years. In fact, Navistar is developing a
full electronic injection system for diesels, and possibly it will
come onto the market this year or next. It completely eliminates
the injection pump as we know it, and substitutes a combination of
hydraulics, ROM chips, circuit boards, and solenoids. ‘Tis a
long way from the Thermoil and the Fairbanks-Morse Type Y engines,
In closing, we recently took a tour through the Fairbanks-Morse
engine plant at Beloit, Wisconsin. On the test stand was a
Colt-Pielstick PC4.2 engine with twelve cylinders. This one uses a
22.44 x 24.41 inch bore and stroke, and yields 1,629 horsepower per
cylinder at 400 rpm. This totals over 19,500 horsepower. The
maximum size of the PC4.2 is eighteen cylinders for an output of
29,322 horsepower. This engine weighs 350 tons!
And don’t forget, folks … the closing date for the Gas
Engine tour to England is coming up fast! We’ve already got a
good-sized group lined up, so why not join us for a memorable
excursion? Wade Farm Tours also advises that for two weeks prior to
our tour they will be conducting another tour of the Continent,
visiting engine and tractor collections in Germany, Denmark,
Sweden, and other countries. If you would like further information,
call the GEM office at 717-392-0733 and they’ll refer you to
the right people.
The purpose of the Reflections column is to provide a forum for
the exchange of all useful information among subscribers to GEM.
Inquiries or responses should be addressed to: REFLECTIONS, Gas
Engine Magazine, P.O. Box 328, Lancaster, PA 17603.