Almost immediately after the diesel engine became a reality, the concept of supercharging was advocated. Dr. Alfred J. Buchi was granted the first of many turbocharger patents already in 1905. His work as a diesel engineer took him to the famous firm of Carels Bros. in Belgium, and with Sulzer Bros., Winterthur, Switzerland. Despite the obvious potential for a turbocharged engine, Dr. Buchi was unable to convince his employer to move in this direction until 1911.
Curiously, Buchi's work went almost unnoticed in the United States. However, the French-built Rateau turbocharger was used to a limited extent during World War One in connection with high-altitude aircraft engines. About 1918, General Electric Company, functioning as the American licensee to the Rateau patents, took up this work in the U.S., concentrating their efforts primarily on aircraft turbochargers. American-built Rateau units were later used during World War Two on the Flying Fortress bombers. Most of these units were built by General Electric and Allis Chalmers.
Cheap fuel and little concern for excessive weight: horsepower ratios were major factors in the apathy of the American diesel engine manufacturers toward turbo charging. During the 1930's Buchi saw the turbocharger applied to marine diesel engines, and in this regard, German manufacturers and shipbuilders took the lead. With the outbreak of World War Two, the Elliott Company of Ridgway, Pennsylvania acquired a manufacturing license for the Buchi turbocharger designs in 1940. During the 1940-45 period, United States builders produced more turbochargers than had been built in the entire world between 1923 and 1940. In addition to marine and other applications, large numbers of Elliott-Buchi turbochargers were installed on electrical generating engines.
A purely American development was the application of turbo charging to dual fuel engines. The first company to suggest this improvement was Worthington Corporation in 1945.
Briefly, several different methods of supercharging have been used. The Buchi method utilized the exhaust gases to power a high-speed turbine- it in turn operates a blower which serves to substantially raise the intake air pressure somewhat above atmospheric. Some engines, including certain Fairbanks-Morse diesels, use a reciprocating compressor. A positive pressure blower of the Roots type has been used on GM and Buda diesels to name a couple of styles. Crosshead-type engines have been designed so that the lower end served as a huge compressor and receiver. Altering the intake valve setting to induce a greater intake air velocity, and consequently, a greater air volume has been used. A very inexpensive, although rather cumbersome method, is the concept of inertia charging by using a very long intake air pipe.
Ye olde Reflector is happy to report that most of the annual shows are over for 1988. Although we hate to see the approach of winter, the high-pitched activities of the show season make a few weeks of subdued activities entirely welcome. The Reflector and the GEM staff certainly wish to thank everyone who stopped by the Stem gas booth at the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion and at the World Plowing Matches which followed immediately afterward at Amana, Iowa.
The plowing matches offered all kinds of activity-plowing with horses, plowing with steam, plowing with antique tractors and plows, and finally, the plowing matches themselves, where entrants from 25 different countries demonstrated their proficiency. Each day of the competition the throngs of spectators were enormous. Usually, it was next to impossible to get a closeup look at the plowing activities. The Avenue of Farm Progress at this affair saw a tremendous showing of vintage engines and tractors. Since the World Plowing Matches move from country to country, it will be sometime in the next century before this event will return to the United States.
Dick Hamp, 1772 Conrad Avenue, San Jose, CA 95124 sends along some very important information on Witte engine records. Be sure to copy this information into your 'Engine Important Book' ...
23/12/1 Mr. Thomas Johnston of National Oilwell reports that he has been promoted to plant manager at their Garland Works plant, and has received permission of the company to transfer the records along to his new location. Therefore, when requesting information on Witte engines, contact: Mr. Thomas G. Johnston, Plant Manager, National Oilwell, Garland Works, P.O. Box 469011, Garland, TX 75046-9011.
23/12/2 Q. We purchased the engine shown in the photo on the previous page. It has 6o inch flywheels and a piston of 9? inch diameter. Clarence Criswell, Box 709, Lamar, SC 29069.
A. The fuel pump is a major clue- this engine is a Stover.
23/12/3 Q. My father and I recently acquired the engine in the photos (23/12/3A and 3B). The plate reads: Duplex Manf'g Co., Gasoline Engine Department, Makers of Portable Stationary and Marine Gasoline Engines Superior, Wisconsin Serial No. 61276, 385 rpm, 4 hp. Any details on this engine will be appreciated. Greg H. Dubay, RR #1, Box 163, Maroa, 1L 61756.
A. While not stating 100% accuracy here, we would however suggest that this one was actually built by Field &. Brundage. A comparison of this engine with the one shown on page 172 of American Gas Engines would certainly support our case, especially because of the peculiar rocker arm design. We're not sure of the manufacturing efforts of Duplex, but feel quite certain that if in fact they built any engines, they were few indeed. Many different times we've noted that companies offered an engine under their own name, even though the engine actually was built by someone else.
23/12/4 Q. What is the D.C. resistance of the secondary winding of the ignition coil on a Maytag Twin? Tad Drogoski, 507 Coal Valley Road, Jefferson Boro, PA 15025.
A. Since your question is technical in nature, perhaps someone experienced with these coils can supply the answer.
23/12/5 James Tomasetti, 91 Cedar St., Holliston, MA 01746 has just' acquired a Coldwell Cub with two cylinders. He will be most happy to hear from anyone able to offer information on this model, and will answer all letters.
23/12/6 Q. I acquired a Dixie gas engine at the Portland, Indiana show. It has no nametag, but has 'Dixie' cast into the side of the cylinder. It is two-cycle design with a 3 5/8 inch bore. Any information at all will be appreciated. Richard P. Glass, 5812 E. 300 S., Hartford City, IN 47348.
A. From the name alone, we aren't familiar with this engine. A photograph would be most helpful.
23/12/7 Q. What can we use on cork floats to keep them from getting heavy? Homer E. Adams, 917 S. 1st St., Oskaloosa, IA 52577.
A . Shellac will no longer do the job- it uses alcohol as its solvent, and the new-fangled gasolines with ethanol promptly dissolve the shellac from cork carburetor floats. Therefore, something new must be found that is impervious to attack. We've heard that aircraft-type slushing compound is a solution, but we would rather hear from our readers experienced in this matter- there may be several different methods of elminating this problem.
23/12/8 Q. Can anyone supply information on a Caterpillar '10' High-Clearance model, s/n PT3923. It has 24-inch rear sprockets and 17? inch front idlers. There is a 24-inch clearance underneath. Can someone advise the proper color, striping, lettering, etc. for this tractor, also the year built of same? R. E. Palmer, 6930 Forest St., Commerce City, CO 80022.
23/12/9 Q. I'm restoring a Fairbanks-Morse Model Y, Style H oil engine, 15 HP @ 400 rpm. So far I've found a little help but need more information to get it running. How much compression must it have to run? It is called a moderate compression engine. Does that mean it does not need as much compression as today's diesels? Are there any parts suppliers around? An owner's manual would be helpful. Would appreciate anyone who could guide me in starting up this old engine again. Ron Martin, P.O. Box 621, Weaverville, California 96093.
A. Fortunately, there are a fair number of Model Y FBM engines around, so we hope you hear from someone with the information you need. One note-you may not need piston rings. The engine has probably been sitting around for a long time and this piston has become very dry. The rings are likely to be stuck in the grooves also. Getting everything freed up, cleaned out, and lubricated again will probably make a lot of difference. Gasoline engines of the 1930's usually had a maximum compression of about 120 psi, while the diesel engine used a compression of 450 to 510 psi. At 500 psi the final air temperature of a diesel engine is about 910 degrees F. Since fuel oil will self-ignite at about 680 degrees F., it is obvious that the oil engine used a compression pressure approximately halfway between the gasoline engine and the diesel. Some assistance was rendered by the 'hot plug' or other device in the cylinder head. It retained a far higher temperature than the remainder of the cylinder, and the injected fuel was usually aimed at this 'hot spot'. Once the engine was warmed up, the cylinder air temperature was sufficiently high to maintain self-ignition. The design looks to be relatively simple, but in fact required years of research to perfect.
23/12/10 Q. I have recently acquired an Onan electric plant, Model W3M. It appears to have been built for use by the U.S. Military around 1940. Any information will be appreciated. David Proehl, HC02 7581 Palmer, Alaska 99645.
A. Possibly some of our readers have just the information you need, or perhaps you might be successful in contacting Onan Company directly.
23/12/11 See photo given below of a General Engine Co. engine built about 1949. This one is a Model D, Type 21, s/n 21721. It was made in Franklin Park, Illinois. Any information at all on this engine or General Engine Company will be appreciated. Clarence M. Hager, Box 42, Dovray, MN 56125.
23/12/12 Q. I have been fortunate enough to recently acquire a 5 HP York engine manufactured by Flinchbaugh Mfg. Co., York, Pa. Although it is fairly complete, I am having trouble getting information, as these engines are fairly scarce here. So, I am hoping that through your column I might be able to get in contact with some other York owners to gain the necessary information.
We have also come across a Bullseye (we think) as shown in the adjacent photo. These are very scarce here, so we would appreciate any possible information from your readers. Richard Peachey, 119 Middle Street, Glenroy 3046, Victoria, Australia.
A . The engines noted in your letter are scarcities here in the U.S. as well! We would guess that only a handful of York engines still exist, with the statistics faring little better for the Bullseye. You are indeed fortunate to have these very rare engines, and we certainly hope there will be those in the American brotherhood who can supply the information you need.
23/12/13 Q. I have an Associated magneto that needs to have the magnets recharged. Is there anyone in the Omaha, Nebraska area capable of doing this work, or could I do it myself? J. D. Franzen, 11501 Shirley St., Omaha, NE 68144.
A. We would guess the Omaha area to have a number of automotive electric shops, one of which surely should still have a magnet charger. Although it's possible to do this job in the home shop, we're not sure it's practical unless you have the necessary equipment.
23/12/14 Q. What is the year built, and any other information on the following engines: Mall Tool Company, Chicago, Illinois; 3 HP @ 3000 rpm, 4-cycle, s/n 103429. Fairbanks-Morse 4 HP, Series A-10, s/n AA73816C. David Adams, 1109 Columbia Avenue, St. Cloud, FL 32769.
A . We have no information on either of the above engines.
23/12/15 Q . What is the year built, plus any other information, paint color, etc. for the Olds engine in the photos below? The nameplate reads: Seager Engine Works, Type No. 2, Lansing, Michigan. H v/d Ven Onderststraat 32 5988 EC, Helden, Limburg, Holland.
A. We doubt that precise manufacturing dates will be possible to obtain. However, we are confident that some of our readers might be able to help you with specific problems. Hopefully, some of them will be in touch with you soon.
23/12/16 Q. See the photo below of an engine I recently swapped for three prime lobsters. The original paint appears to have been blue. Any information or identification will be appreciated. Paul Korell, Box 252, Winter Harbor, ME 04693.
A. The rocker arm design and the fuel pump design lead us to conclude that this engine is indeed an Alamo.
23/12/17 Q. I've just purchased the 10 HP PAGE , riding tractor shown in the photograph below. However, information is needed on the proper color scheme, approximate date built, etc. Also, I'd like to hear from anyone with a serial number list or model list for the Silver King tractors. Roy D. Holler, 3838 South 80th St., Franksville, Wisconsin 53126.
23/12/18 Q. Would like to hear from someone with information on a Fairbanks-Morse 1? HP 'Z' engine, s/n C2654o. The nameplate reads: The Canadian Fairbanks Morse Co. Made in Canada. This engine uses the American Bosch AB-33 magneto. Philip Van Wyck, Box 194-A, Landgrove, Londonderry, VT 05148.
A. The existing FBM serial number lists cover the 'Z' engines built in the U.S., not those built in Canada. Establishing a manufacturing date for this Canadian-built engine is thus restricted to a generality rather than in specific terms. On page 76 of our title, Power in the Past, Volume 2: Fairbanks, Morse & Company we noted: 'In late 1919 the Model Z Plugoscillator was discontinued, and in its place the American Bosch AB-33 Ed. I magneto was used. .. The AB-33 was used on the 1? HP size until early 1924 when it was replaced with the AB-34 magneto.'
23/12/19 Q. I have a 1947 Allis-Chalmers G and a 1930's (?) Simplex garden tractor. Since I got your magazine I got an old Iron Horse 4-cycle washing machine motor going, and today bought a Titan 6 HP engine which is complete except for the rod cap. Will I have to get one made by a machine shop? Eddie W. Wells, PO Box 1069, Wise, VA 24293.
A. For many collectors, two-thirds of the fun is in the chase! It's oftentimes quite a challenge to find some missing parts, and quite often it is necessary to borrow a part to use as a pattern. All these possibilities notwithstanding, there's always the drawing board. For the Reflector the drawing board has many times consisted of a piece of steel, a soapstone, and the acetylene torch. After some appropriate whittling by this process, it was possible to get down to some serious machine work. If the rod cap isn't available from someone who might have an old one or be making replacements, it shouldn't be terribly difficult to build another.
23/12/20 Hal Dunbar, 2390 Sunset Lane, Adrian, MI 49221 would like to hear from anyone owning a Jacobson Sturdy Jack hopper cooled engine. He needs the correct color scheme and other restoration information.
23/12/21 Q. I own three hit-and-miss engines and would like to know when they were built. They are:
Stover CT-2, s/n TB249121 Fairbanks-Morse, 6-7 HP 'ZC' s/n 881998 Fairbanks-Morse s/n 595562. Charlie McCreason, Route 12, Box 520, Salisbury, NC 28144-8290.
A. The Stover was built in June, 1937. Your 6 HP FBM is a 1948 model, while the latter engine was built in 1924.
23/12/22 Q. Can anyone help with information on a D.T. Bohon, 7 HP, s/n 3784? Built at Harrodsburg, Kentucky. Would like to know anything at all about the engine, including the proper color scheme, when built, etc. John Bean, RD 1, Box 404-], Coopersburg, Pennsylvania 18036.
23/12/23 Q. I recently acquired a 15 HP marine engine made by Roberts Motors, San-dusky, Ohio. Any information will be appreciated, including proper color, etc. S. Coles Roberts, Rt 4, Church Road, Vincentown, NJ 08088.
A. Except for an illustration on page 424 of American Gas Engines, we have no additional data on the Roberts engine.
23/12/24 Q. We have a Stover 1? HP 'K' s/n 181708. Along the bottom of the engine are raised numbers as follows: 5555F and S-2926. What is the significance of these numbers, and also, what is the correct color scheme? Clarence Hickman, P.O. Box 318, Liverpool, Ohio 43920.
A. September 8, 1926 is the date your engine was built. It should be finished with the dark Brewster green combination given in the paint color schedule of the September 1988 GEM.
23/12/25 Q. I'm looking for information about the Fordson crawler conversion in the accompanying photograph. It was built by Hadfield-Penfield Company, Bucyrus, Ohio. They were well known for their half-track conversions for the Fordson, but this one is a full-track model. Several unusual features include steering levers, spot turn brakes inside rear drums, and a single idler in the middle of the track. My students in my auto mechanics class are about one-half way through a restoration. I certainly would like to hear from anyone with information on this unit. The Connecticut Yankee, Ed Bezanson, 85 Dayton Road, Waterford, CT 06385. (203) 442-5182.
23/12/26 Q. Edward Williams, P.O. Box 468, Woodstock, New Brunswick, EoJ 2Bo Canada asks if there is any generalized method of determining the age of an engine.
A. For a few makes, serial number lists still remain, so dating can be done with great accuracy. Unfortunately, most such records were long ago destroyed. All that remains is some scattered data, and for some companies, barely any information can be located. Oftentimes it is necessary to act as a detective, following various clues, such as old magazine advertisements, writeups in local history books, and the like. There simply is no generalized method- there are far too many parameters!