26/10/20 Magneto Condensers
Glen L. Schuekr, HCR 2, Box 88, Friona, TX 79035 sent us a very detailed letter on the above subject, and we have elected to use the majority of it herewith, since it explains many of the factors involved with magnetos.
The capacitance of the condenser needs to be matched to each coil. You need to find a capacitor as close to the original capacitance as possible. Any condenser would work, but to prevent excess point arcing it needs to be matched. When you achieve a clean break at the points more current can be induced through the coil, for more output at the secondary, for more spark. The condenser stores the induced surge of energy and discharges back to the primary when the circuit is broken. If the condenser is not matched, it can cause premature failure. That causes leakage, which will then cause a reduction in coil output. Moisture, temperature, voltage variations, and age all combine to affect condenser leakage. There is always a small amount of leakage present in a condenser, though it is not visible unless you are doing testing in a reduced light. Eventually, factors affecting leakage can come together, causing a failure. This may happen sooner rather than later if the correct capacitance is not used. I sometimes get in some new old stock condensers that will all test bad and leak because of their age. I also am not sure about what voltage rating of capacitor to use, but believe you should measure this by the type of magneto. Most early mags did not produce as high a voltage as the later ones, or the industrial styles. So, it would make sense to use a higher voltage rating on the later magneto condensers. I have been using capacitors of the 250v to 400 volt rating with no problems. Usually when you go to a higher rating the physical size of the condenser increases, and this can lead to problems. Most magnetos are rated at 10 to 30 kilovolts (kv) maximum output. A special voltmeter must be used to measure this voltage, but its cost limits to test labs, and similar situations. Some magneto companies recommended the use of a special ammeter to test for rated output. Some also recommend an oscilloscope for trouble shooting. I find the simple test stand and coil-condenser tester to work the best for me, along with the experience acquired over time. You can run a mag on a tester and look at the points while it is running. If you have a lot of blue arcing, and adjusting, filing and cleaning of the points doesn't help, you have a condenser that is leaking. Sometimes though, a condenser will test good on the stand, and while running there will be no blue arcing, but it can still be bad and cause problems. I had an irrigation mag condenser that tested good in every way on the bench. However, when the mag was installed on the engine it performed well until it warmed up, and then it would start to miss. This sounds like a coil problem, but it was not. The condenser was replaced, and the problem was solved.
26/10/11 Empire Engine Colors I would guess that PPG 13594 Blue might be about right for the engines from Empire Cream Separator Co. Mike Persenaire, 875 Etnyre Terrace Road, Oregon, IL 61061.
Among the several letters received on the above, we got one from Paul Detloff D.V.M., Rt. 3, Arcadia, WI 54612. Along with his interest in gas engines, Dr. Detloff also publishes the Cream Separator News, a little journal dedicated to enthusiasts of this equipment. Doc Detloff also sent us a copy of his little book, A Million Miles on Back-roads , a book of 88 poetic thoughts that have passed through the mind of a practicing dairy veterinarian from the hills of rural western Wisconsin. In reading through it, many of Doc's tales bring back pleasant and unpleasant memories of those good of cow milking days!
Paradox Engines Thanks to Allan C. Hoover, 2133 Fourteenth St., Peru, IL 61354 for sending along the patent drawings on the little Paradox engine we talked about in the past few issues. We reproduce it here (Photo 26/12/44) for your present reading interest and your future model making pleasure.
26/9/2 Green IHC LA Engines Brian E. Hepperly sends us this photo of a 1937 IHC LA engine, s/n LAA 25637 which had a red flywheel, red belt pulley, and the remainder of the engine was green, just like the old IHC Type M engines. Brian bought this engine from the original owner, and he said it was that way when he bought it new. Brian used DuPont Dulux 546-D which appears to be a very close match. Brian's address is 859 Morning Glory Lane, Beloit, WI 53511.
26/9/21 Unidentified Outboard Several people wrote to tell us that this is the power head from a Johnson 5 HP outboard, a design that was used from about 1939 up to about 1950. We also received the following list of the Johnson outboard serial numbers:
Note: We also received a nice letter from Frank J. Burris, the man who originally asked for the identification of this engine. He reports that he received a great many letters, and wishes to thank everyone for their help!
This issue closes out the twenty-sixth year of continuous publication for GEM. In thinking about the past year's events, we often went back to the question asked of us more than any other, 'Don't you get bored to death answering the same questions, month after month, and year after year?' We'd be a little less than honest if we didn't flat out tell you that sometimes it gets a bit tedious when we constantly tell people the correct color for a John Deere E engine or a IHC LA model. However, it's a bit like any other task in life, there are also the good points that far outweigh the daily tedium. One of them is that rarely does an issue go by in which we don't hear of a new engine, a new tractor, or some piece of equipment that few people know about. We also must tell you that it's enjoyable reading your letters, but on the other hand, we're not so good at getting them answered on a personal basis. There simply aren't enough hours in a day or days in a week. That's why we prefer if you send your inquiries direct to GEM. That way they keep a photocopy and send your letter on to me. Then, if anything goes astray, we can get things straightened out. Also, if you can minimize your phone calls, it will be appreciated. We greatly enjoy getting on the gabber, but most days of our week are involved in this work, and come evening, we like to set back, drink a cup of tea, and be an absolute dolt! Keep those letters and articles coming...we've plowed a lot of ground over the past quarter century plus one, but there's still a lot more to go! See you next month!