Reflections

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26/9/44
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26/12/44

READERS WRITE

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:

1922

506

3930

1923

39314

7500

1924

75014

20,000

1925

20,001

30,559

1926

30,560

44,977

1927

44,978

65,524

1928

65,525

96,408

1929

96,409

120,000

1930

120,001

152,777

1931

152,778

161,326

1932

161,327

167,430

1933

167,431

208,583

1934

208,584

219,371

1935

219,372

232,156

1936

232,157

252,675

1937

252,676

283,888

1938

283,889

315,166

1939

315,167

355,971

1940

355,972

397,900

1941

397,901

439,206

1942

439,207

460,782

1943

460,783

491,736

1946

491,737

538,800

1947

538,801

614,514

1948

614,515

698,874

1949

698,875

787,023

1950

787,024

869,939

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!

A CLOSING WORD

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!


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