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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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!