A Brief Word

| April/May 1995

30/4/60 Rock Island Engine Q. See the pictures of a Rock Island engine, 3 HP, s/n A87296. The engine has sat in the trees for the last sixty years. The owner told me it was new in about 1915. Since I am a beginner, I would appreciate any information about the color, operating information, etc. on this engine. Dale E. Schroeder, Rt 3, Box 19, Avoca, IA 51521.

A. This engine is painted brown, like DuPont 93-24590. In Centari enamel, we presume one would drop the 93-prefix. Decals are available through some GEM advertisers, and perhaps someone might have a photocopy of the instruction hook.

30/4/61 Witte Engine Information Q. What is the year built for a Witte engine, s/n 25281? David Babcock, 3491 E. Deckerville Rd., Cass City, MI 48726.

A. Your engine was made in 1916.

30/4/62 Making New Valves Q. I have restored a number of engines, and find that replacing valves is difficult. I purchase new valves in a local automotive store, but they are very hard and it is impossible to drill a hole in them. I have tried several different ways to soften them, but with no luck. Can anyone provide a solution? Larry R. Holderman, 2328 W 300 N, Warsaw, IN 46580.

A. We've experienced the same problem, and have ended up cutting a groove in the end of the stem with a carbide tool, and then making a keeper. Even carbide doesn't like those hard valve stems! Any ideas would be welcome!