A BRIEF WORD
Now that we are well into winter, collectors everywhere are busily at work getting more engines restored. We are certain of this, because of the large amount of mail coming in this month.
It is hard to believe that some 25 years ago when the Reflector first got serious about gas engines, this hobby was considered offbeat to say the least. Our first engine was a 6 HP John Deere on factory trucks, with clutch pulley, and in running order. Its fault was that the top of the fuel tank had rusted enough that oil got into the fuel, creating all sorts of problems. Since the engine only cost us $5, we traded it off in short order for a 5 HP Economy engine it too was subsequently traded for something else.
Although the recent decline in prices generally has made our personal collection go down in 'book value', the decline has perhaps jolted collectors into reality once again. Granted, the very rare engines still command exceptional prices, but the ordinary garden variety engines have returned to values that make it possible for almost anyone to enjoy the hobby of collecting and restoring old gas engines and tractors. For this writer, there has been a unique thrill to completely rebuilding a vintage engine, bringing it up to or beyond original specs, painting it up again, and listening to it once again come back to life. We hope all of you can have the same pleasure we have enjoyed from our hobby.
The December GEM illustrated what can happen when an engine catches fire. Take heed! Carry a fire extinguisher; don't leave your engine unattended; and never run your engine if there is fuel leaking someplace. So, please be careful!
Although somewhat belated, the Reflector wishes each and all of you the Best for the New Year, 1986.
21/2/1 Q. The adjacent photograph (21/2/1a) illustrates a 4 HP engine built by Hercules Buggy Company, Evansville, Indiana. Although this engine is very similar to both the Hercules and the Economy, the specifications are different. This unit has a 5 x 9 inch bore and stroke, 28 inch flywheels, and a 2 inch crank. The 4 HP Economy uses a 4 x 9 inch bore and stroke, 1 inch crank and 26 inch flywheels. Is this engine an early Hercules, and if so, how old might it be? The engine had traces of red paint compared to the green color indicated in your column previously.
Also, we have a Wonder engine (21/2/1 b) with the nameplate reading: Waterloo Cement Machinery Corp'n., Waterloo, Iowa USA. What is the proper color for this engine, approximate year built, etc.?
Lastly we have a small Earth Master tractor and would like to know when it was built, color, etc. Jim Schifferer, 9445 Parris Gap Rd. S.E., Turner, OR 97392.
A. First the Hercules by Hercules Buggy Company. Referring to American Gas Engines page 226 it will be found that this firm bought out the old Holm Machine Co., Sparta, Michigan in 1912. Since the 1915 Hercules catalog shows the streamlined engine with a new hopper design and other modifications, it appears obvious that production of the flattop hopper design lasted only until 1915. Likewise, there seems every possibility to the Reflector that these early models were indeed red rather than the deep green that Hercules used. The whole arrangement was rather complicated Hercules was in the vest pocket of Sears & Roebuck and produced their Economy engine line (which by the way was painted red). In addition, Hercules also marketed their own line concurrently. From what we have seen, the fancy Hercules decal did not appear until at least 1915.
Now to the Waterloo Cement Machinery Corp'n. To our knowledge, their Wonder engines were built by someone else as long as they produced cement mixers. That someone else seemed to vary, depending probably on who came in with the lowest quote. For instance, Novo, Fairbanks-Morse, Fuller & Johnson, Nelson Bros, and others are known to be floating about with the Wonder nameplate. Your photo (21/2/1b) sure looks to us like a Three Mule Team from Associated Mfrs., Waterloo, Iowa.
Earthmaster tractors were introduced shortly after World War Two by Earthmaster Farm Equipment Co., Burbank, California. The venture was brief the 1953 Farm Implement News Buyer's Guide lists 'No Repairs', indicating that Earth master had already come and gone.
21/2/2 Q. Brian Friedrichsen, RR 1, Box 233, Huron, SD 57350 inquired regarding the proper color etc. for a Wade dragsaw. Also requested is information on a very early Hercules engine using battery ignition.
A. The Wade was built at least into the 1940's, but we confess that we do not have the proper color scheme. It lurks in memory however, that these little two-cycle engines used a fair portion of Ford Model T parts. Perhaps the preceding entry might be a good starting point on the early Hercules ignition system.
21/2/3 Q. Can anyone give us further information on the WARDS tractor illustrated? It 15 of about 1950 vintage, with a tag reading: Lowther Company, Joliet, Illinois. How about proper color, years built, type of engine, etc.? Elden B. Woodford, Marathon, Iowa 50565.
A. During the late 1940's and early 1950's a whole spate of look-alikes were spawned, bearing various names. These included the Wards, Custom, Lehr's Big Boy, and a few others. Somehow or other these were all connected. Shallow research hints that the various models followed one another, nearly concurring with a constantly changing locale. Our recollection is that a Chrysler industrial engine was a major feature, along with an automotive-type rear end. Also in our recollections, red seems to be the predominate color scheme. Since we have no specific literature on the many-faceted adventures of the Lowther Company, we cannot tell you for sure about the specs. However, by the mid-1950's the entire operation was shelved.
21/2/4 Q. Mr. Isaac Geer, 947 Colonel Led-yard, Ledyard, CT 06339 inquires concerning his Leader tractor built at Chagrin Falls, Ohio. It is a Model 49-D. Reference to this tractor is found on page 179 of American Farm Tractors. Mr. Geer also comments that he has been informed that certain Farmall tractor gears will fit this machine. If so, what gears and from what Farmall model?
21/2/5 Q .From the state of Hawaii comes an interesting letter by Charlie Fitch, Box 68, Pearl City, HI 96782. So far Mr. Fitch has not found any fellow collectors in his state, thus his plea for help to GEM readers. His collection includes a Worthington open-crank 2 HP kerosene model; a Stover CT-3, s/n TC-238510; and a Cushman Cub R-20, 3 HP model.
A. We can tell you for sure that the Stover CT-3 was built September 11, 1936. We suspect the Worthington is of the 'W' series and built during the 1920's. The Cushman R-20 probably got its. birth during the late 1920's. Since Mr. Fitch is virtually a one-man show on Oahu, perhaps some of our readers might be of further help.
21/2/6 Q. M. J. Sarwas, 6940 Oakhill Road, Clarkston, Ml 48016 needs information on a Model T Little Jumbo engine by Nelson Bros. Data is required on the magneto and trip mechanism, proper color, and other restoration information.
21/2/7 Q. We need further information on a Friend engine beyond that given in American Gas Engines. Ours has a 4 x 4 inch bore and stroke, uses a Champion 25 spark plug, Schebler updraft carburetor and bears s/n 1028. Any information will be appreciated. Ron Weiner, 4928 Oak Leaf Ave., Carmichael, CA 95608.
21/2/8 Q. Loren Steiner, 5973 Mt. Eaton Rd., Orrville, OH 44667 would like to hear from someone in the John Deere Two-Cylinder Club. Also desired is data on an Associated 4 HP with battery ignition.
A. We don't have the address of the Deere club, but certainly one of their members should be in contact with you upon hearing of your interest. The question on the Associated is more difficult to answer. Those with the 'underside' trip date generally prior to about 1917. It would seem that this date is usually accepted as the introduction of their overhead trip mechanism. Beyond that, their engines were apparently available with either magneto or battery ignition during most of their production as a purchaser option, and this, even though Associated built their own rotary magnetos.
21/2/9 Q. May we hear from anyone with a Rumely OilPull stationary power unit. Ours is 45 HP, s/n 14, Type RS, 540 rpm. We would like to know about proper color, year built, etc.
Also would like information on a 5 HP Kraker-Jack built by Smyth-Despard Co., Utica, New York, s/n 10.
Have found a Dart Blue J tractor and need further information on this one too. Harry Cook, 1724 Hillcrest Drive, Wilson, NC 27893. Ph. 919-243-4042.
A. Although the Reflector is aware of Rumely building their tractor engine as a stationary power unit, we have little specific data on these.
With serial number 10, the Kraker-Jack obviously must have been one of the very first of these engines built. A 1925 advertisement constitutes most of what we have found on these engines, with our assembled data shown on page 473 of American Gas Engines.
The Dart Blue J is one of the Waterloo-built tractors. Dart Motor Truck Company at Waterloo was the firm in which Bill Galloway of mail order fame had a financial interest. Their attempt to enter the tractor market through this door was brief at its best. The book Nebraska Tractor Tests Since 1920 indicates that this unit was submitted under Test No. 38 of August, 1920. For reasons unknown the Dart was withdrawn. This withdrawal, like many others occurring through the history of the tests should not necessarily be construed as manifesting a serious defect in the tractor. A guess might be that Dart, being in serious financial difficulties at the time, might have aborted prematurely.
21/2/10 A month or so back, the Reflector received a nicely done paint color chart from Jim Durham, Box 42, Liberty, KY 42539. This gives a big boost to the whole scheme of assembling a paint color guide. Once a plan is devised whereby the comparable colors might be accurately reproduced, then we will have crossed another hurdle toward completion of this project. Achieving this goal has become somewhat more difficult for ye old Reflector than previously imagined!
21/2/11 Q. Waldo Esterline, 6508 Old Clifton Road, Springfield, OH 45502 would like to correspond with other owners of an Avery 25-50 tractor.
21/2/12 Q. What is the year of manufacture for a R & V 1 HP engine, s/n AL36942? What years was the wide front end available for the A-C 'WC' tractor? Tom Stoskopf, Waverly, IA 50677.
A. Accurately dating the R & V engines is very difficult since no company records exist, and since their advertisements do not lend themselves very well to identification by their perusal. Judging from the information on page 435 of American Gas Engines, it would appear that R & V engine production ceased for all practical purposes in 1917. We will have to confer with A-C for a determination, but it appears that the adjustable wide-front axle could be retrofitted, basing this conclusion on their Master Parts Book.
21/2/13 Q. We have recently acquired a Case 15-27 Crossmotor tractor, s/n 24520. Knowing little about it, we would like to know whether any of the parts are interchangeable with the later 18-32 Case. Would like to correspond with someone having one of these tractors, as we plan to restore our model. Larry McKenzie, 613 Cook, Lewstown, MT 59457.
A. Since all indications are that the 18-32 rating came from raising the rated engine speed, we would guess that many parts would interchange. Not having the required parts manuals, we hope that one of our readers might have access to this information and be willing to share same.
21/2/14 Q. Carl Cassel, 643 W. Preno Rd., Lin-wood, MI 48634 is the proud owner of the Maytag-powered garden cultivator shown in an adjacent photo. Information, copy of the owner's manual or anything else of help will be greatly appreciated.
21/2/15 Q. Harold Penny, 25 Rand Rd., Villa Park, ZL 60181 sends us a letter regarding the method of placing 'For Sale' ads in GEM. To paraphrase Mr. Penny's letter, 'If it's for sale, put a price on it.' In addition, give the address, phone number, and hours to call. If you are going to be gone, let someone else know the price and other information so that a caller can get some idea on the first call, rather than two or three calls later.
A. The Reflector concurs! Over the years we have concluded that a small minority of advertisers have used the For Sale section as a medium whereby they might determine the top dollar for a specific item, never really intending to give a prospective buyer the right of passage to begin with. Beyond this, we come to the defense of advertisers to a certain extent, since in some cases the seller really does not know the value, especially with estates and similar situations. All in all, we believe Mr. penny raises a valid point. As a seller, give interested parties the same courtesy as you would expect were you the buyer!
21/2/16 Q. Raymond Urton, Box 86, Syracuse, KS 67878 inquires about the proper paint colors for the Neward engines and the United Type A engines.
A. The Neward was sold by Montgomery, Ward & Co. but we have never seen a color illustration of this model, nor have we seen one still about. The United was a deep red, comparable, we believe, to DuPont Dulux 93-1863-H.
21/2/17 Q. Harvie Danielson, RR 2, Miltona, MN 56354 needs information on a Standard garden tractor with a riding attachment.
21/2/18 Q. Michael Schaffer, 2171 Settlement Rd., Monroville, OH 44847 writes that he has a 1935 F-12 which he plans to restore and repaint, but has been told it would lose value by being repainted.
A. Although we don't wish to become a partisan here, it is our opinion that a good restoration would enhance the value of the tractor. After all, if the next guy wants it rusty, strip it down to the old weathered finish and be back to the starting point.
21/2/19 Q. Daniel Orr, 2540 Oak Spring Road, Matthew, NC 28105 needs information on a Nelson Bros. Little Jumbo engine.
21/2/20 Q. We would like to obtain information on the 'All American' garden tractor, including a copy of the instruction manual etc. Roy Gray, 13816 Belmont, Grandview, MO 64030.
A. A quick check of the FIN Buyer's Guide fails to give us any data whereby we might help you directly, so we hope some of our readers can give an assist.
Q. What is the correct paint color for a Fairbanks-Morse 'Z' engine? Harry W. Steiss, RD 2, Box 744, Danville, PA 17821.
A. Although the Reflector has used DuPont 93-72001 on several engines, it is not an exact match, with the original color being slightly darker, and bearing a slight bluish cast. So far we haven't figured out a way to obtain the correct shade except for a home brew formula.
21/2/22 Q. Bill Kessler, 12700 Alameda Dr., Cleveland, OH 44136 writes that although he is a newcomer to the hobby, he has acquired a Fairbanks-Morse 1 HP 'Z' engine plus a Jaeger 3 HP model. Since Mr. Kessler notes that his knowledge of these engines is limited, he would appreciate talking with anyone that could be of help. His phone is 216-238-8689.
A. We suggest also looking through GEM and contacting some of the firms and individuals offering reprints of early catalogs, instruction books, and similar items.
21/2/23 Q. T. Bassaro, 1 Aunt Patty's Lane West, Bethel CT 06801 would like to have maintenance specs on a Model X512 Iron Horse engine built by Johnson Motor Co., Waukegan, IL. Specifically he would like to know the proper point gap, plug gap, and similar data.
21/2/24 Q. We need Help! We have a Fairbanks-Morse 16 HP 2-cyl diesel generator. The Model 48 engine is really a Sheppard Model 13 diesel. It is coupled to a Kurz & Root 12.5 kva alternator. Letters to these companies indicates that it was built in the late 1940's. No parts information is now available.
The pistons are stuck. We have moved them up to remove the rings but cannot get to the wrist pin or remove the piston as the crank end of the rod is much larger than the cylinder sleeve. There must be a way to remove the piston, connecting rod, and cylinder liner without splitting the all-cast iron crankcase. I need how-to information or a manual on this engine.
(See my ad in the 'Wanted' section.) If we ever get the engine running we will need information on wiring in a voltage regulator for 115-230 volts. Any and all information will be greatly appreciated. Robert Strong, 1314 Sunrise Dr., N. Ft. Myers, FL 33903.
21/2/25 Q. Luther Benfield, Box 26, Crossnore, NC 28616 needs information on the Bohon engine illustrated in this column. The nameplate reads D. T. Bohon Company, Harrodsburg, KY.
A. The Reflector pronounces himself ignorant of this one it is not even listed in the Company Directory of American Gas Engines.
21/2/26 Q. Our DeLaval Alpha 1 HP engine is complete except for the ignition system. The tag reads: DeLaval Alpha, Type KE 171, Speed 525, s/n 58345, DeLaval Pacific Co., 61 Beale St., San Francisco, Ca. Would appreciate any information, photocopies, etc. that might be of help. William Lambi, 2218 W. Parb Ln., Othello, WA 99344.
21/2/27 Q. Orval R. Albrecht, 2011 Deer Park Blvd., Omaha, NE 68108 asks the age of his 1HC 1-2 HP LB engine, s/n LBA82892, and would like to find decals for it.
A. Company records indicate your engine to be of 1944 vintage. The decals are available from several GEM advertisers.
21/2/28 Q. Duane E. Caldwell, 512 W. Madison, Owensville, MO 65066 writes regarding the age and proper color for a Twin City 17-28, Model TY tractor, s/n 30676.
A. Your 17-28, s/n 30676 is of 1934 vintage, but we cannot tell you the precise shade of gray.
21/2/29 Q. Bruce Wittren, 104 East C.R. 150 South, Valparaiso, IN 46383 needs assistance in restoring a Cushman Model C vertical engine, s/n 34151. He is a relatively new member of the gas engine fraternity.
21/2/30 Q. What are the ages of the following engines: Ottawa Log Saw, s/n C21879; IHC LA engine, s/n LAA36022 and another LA 1327. Also where can I find further information on these engines? Dennis Voigtman, Box 50, Murray, NE 68409.
A. We cannot give the precise age of the Ottawa, but it would appear that the LAA36022 dates to 1937, and the LA1327 is of 1935 vintage. Several GEM advertisers offer instruction manuals and other information on these engines.
21/2/31 Q. Rollin Elmore, Tiskilwa, IL 61368 asks the age of an Ottawa drag saw, 6 HP, s/n 11875. Also would like the correct colors for same, and needs information on the ignition system.
A. The Ottawa engine was finished in red, with the log saw frame and parts being finished in green. No information seems to be available on the serial numbers.
21/2/32 Q. We acquired this little engine a short time ago but have not been able to identify it. It has U-1, U-2 etc. for casting numbers, has a 3 inch bore, hit-and-miss ignition, and uses a single flywheel weight. Bill Trotter & Sons, 34 W. Euclid Ave., Barron, WI 54817. 715-537-5228.
21/2/33 Q. William Rogers, Independence Lane, Hannacroix, NY 12087 inquired whether it is better to drain engines when not in use, even during the summer months as a means of preventing further rusting or deterioration of the cylinder and jacket?
A. Assuming normal tap water that is neither alkaline nor acidic in content, we doubt it makes much difference. There is no doubt that a certain amount of corrosion occurs with water present, especially at the water line. This is due to excess oxygen in the water rising to the surface and remaining there for a time. Since oxygen is corrosive, a certain amount of damage could occur over time. From a practical standpoint, we doubt this would have any appreciable effect for years and years.
21/2/34 Q. Thomas B. Morrison, Supt., Buffalo Bill Ranch, State Historical Park, RR 1, Box 229, North Platte, NE 69101 writes that he is restoring a Gee Brothers Ice Harvester as built by Homer H. Gee & Company, Lyons, Michigan. It is equipped with a New-Way Model CH engine, 5 HP, s/n C-7032. Mr. Morrison would like information regarding the proper color of both the engine and the machine.
A. Seldom does one hear of an ice saw nowadays! Should any of our readers be able to assist in this noble project, kindly contact Mr. Morrison.
21/2/35 Q. We (my boys and I) found a 4 HP Worthington engine s/n 37300. It is like the one pictured on page 566 of American Gas Engines. The magneto and a few other parts are missing. At the time we were living at 11,000 feet altitude in the Andes mountains and found it would not run on kerosene but only on gasoline. What is the purpose of the water line from the cylinder to the carburetor? Where might we obtain more detailed pictures of this engine in order to fix the fuel pump etc. Of course no parts are available here in Peru. Tom M. Pace, Casilla 50, La Molina, Lima 12, Peru S. A.
A. Mr. Pace's interesting letter also stated that they have been Baptist missionaries in Peru for 17 years now, tinkering with old gasoline engines in spare time. To answer one question, the water line from jacket to carburetor is for the express purpose of adding water to the air-fuel mixture, thus minimizing pre ignition when using low-grade fuels such as kerosene. With no load or light loads, water was usually not required, but under heavy load, pre ignition could get bad enough to rupture the head gasket. Hopefully, some of our readers might be able to supply some photos of their own Worthington engine or give proper dimensions of parts to Mr. Pace.
21/2/36 Q. James & Alex I. Puskas, RD 2, Box 327, Somerset, NJ 08873 inquire as to how one might make a crankcase vent to keep a John Deere Model E, 1 HP engine from forcing oil out around the magneto.
21/2/37 Q. Our 5 HP Hercules engine shown in this column contains the following name-plate information: Loane Engineering Company, Manufacturers & Distributors, Machinery & Repairs, Baltimore, MD USA. As this company is obviously a jobber, we would like to know any dates that Hercules sold these engines to Loane. Is there any way to date the engine? It used an old style Webster magneto. Also what does it mean to 'start on compression' when talking gas engines? Peter Himmelheber, Box 71, Route 1, Leonardtown, MD 20650.
A. Determining just when Hercules sold these engines to Loane is probably impossible, as is an exact manufacturing date for the engine itself. Regarding the 'start on compression' phrase, this is old parlance. Especially on larger engines, the ignition was left off at first. The engine was primed with gasoline, after which it was pulled through compression once or twice by hand to vaporize the fuel. Right after pulling it over top dead center it was allowed to coast to the end of what would be the power stroke. By turning the engine backward rather quickly, and simultaneously tripping the igniter while getting off the flywheel, the engine would 'kick' and with any luck would be off and running. Getting all this done, and getting it done safely took a certain amount of skill. With large engines, a so-called march starter was often used that accomplished the same purpose. On bringing the engine back up against compression, the starter was activated to obtain the first explosion. Our experience has been that ordinary kitchen matches now available are unsatisfactory.
21/2/38 Q. Howard Weidenbach, Box 696, Parkston, SD 57366 inquires regarding the proper paint colors for the Best 60 crawler and the Best 2-Ton model. Since his town is celebrating their Centennial in 1986, he would like to hear from anyone having this information.
21/2/39 Q. I have a Monitor 8 HP engine of the heavy pattern type as shown on page 45 of American Gas Engines. When were these engines made, and what was the proper color? We have never seen the 11 or 15 horsepower heavy pattern Monitor engines. Would like to correspond with other Monitor owners or anyone that can give us this information.
21/2/40 Q. Jesse Livingston, Rebel Supply Co., RR 2, Box 118, Troy, TN 38260 unites that he is restoring a Fairbanks-Morse 2 HP Jack-of-all-Trades engine. He is convinced that the original color was definitely red, but is unsure of the proper shade. Also required are the proper dimensions for the cooling tank.
A. We are always open to learning new things. Lest it sound like we doubt Mr. Livingston, we don't it would insult one's intelligence to argue that he doesn't know red from green. What we are saying though, is that this is the first time we ever heard of this particular FBM model being finished in anything but their usual green that's almost black. Wish we could help, but for this one we must appeal to someone out there in engine land. Presumably, one of the early FBM catalogs might give the proper dimensions for the cooling tank. Kindly let Mr. Livingston and the Reflector know what transpires regarding the proper color of the above engine.
21/2/41 Q. What is the proper color for the New Sattley 1 HP engine as it is illustrated in Instruction Manual G-72 available from Stemgas Publishing Co.? Lawrence A. Wilson, 12609 Petersburg St., Chester, VA 23831.
A. We believe these engines were of the typical dark green color used on the late model Sattley engines as sold by Montomgery Ward. We would judge it to be comparable to DuPont 7498 Fleet Color, available in either Alkyd or Acrylic Enamel.
Mr. Wilson also encloses two photos (21/2/41 a &b) of a Carter Mud Pump equipped with a Fairbanks-Morse engine. After doing some research, Mr. Wilson sends us the following history of the Carter Company:
Carter Company is still in business, but no longer builds mud pumps. I did correspond with Ralph B. Carter, Jr., the founder's son in 1976 and he gave me some details of the firm.
In 1920, Ralph Carter had a contracting business for the design and installation of water supply systems and wells. Owing to poor service from the available de-watering pumps, he designed and built his own, sub-contracting the patterns, casting, and machine work. Assembly took place at his store located at 152 Chambers St., New York City. One of the first six pumps eventually came under ownership of AT&T. They were so impressed that they asked Carter to build pumps for them. Carter accepted their order, then removed to Hackensack, New Jersey and went into the manufacturing business.
The business thrived under Carter's direction, but in 1961 he sold out to W. O. Boshen. So far as is known, Boshen is still in business.
20/9/2 DuBrie Marine Engines Arthur L. Crabille, 2704 Sunshine Drive S., Lakeland, FL 33801 sends an interesting letter on the DuBrie engine. In a communication from C. L. Cawood, Styring House, Pockling-ton, Yorks., YO4 2TS England Mr. Crabille has learned that the DuBrie was sold in England under the Amanco name, the Continental arm of Associated Manufacturers, Waterloo, Iowa. Amanco also sold the Associated and Walther engines, as well as the Panther marine engine. The latter was built using many Ford Model T parts. If anyone can provide more information on the whys and wherefores of these engines, kindly contact Mr. Crabille, Mr. Cawood, or the Reflector. Mr. Crabille kindly included several photocopies, but these would not reproduce again for use in the column.
In a recent issue, discussion was made of the Manitoba gas engines. Judson Tracy, Box 356, Carrington, ND 58421 kindly forwards extensive data on these rare birds, and includes several photos of same. His personal collection includes a 7 HP, 8 HP, and a big 17 HP Manitoba. The latter has a 9 x 12 inch bore and stroke.
Mr. Tracy researched this company and learned that it was incorporated in February, 1903 under the name of Manitoba Wind Mill & Pump Company Ltd. On May 15, 1912 the name was changed to Manitoba Engines, Ltd. The Company was listed in the City Directory of Brandon, Manitoba as late as 1917.
Mr. Tracy also includes some other interesting details on Manitoba, but due to the length of this month's column, his report is somewhat abbreviated. Kindly contact Mr. Tracy for further details, enclosing a self-addressed stamped envelope. Mr. Tracy would like to correspond with the parties purchasing the hot air engines Lot 139 and Lot 141 as he purchased Lot 140 at the recent Henry Ford Museum sale.
20/9/p.4 Spark Coils On this subject, David L. Wadsorth, 336 Barnum St., Dundee, MI 48131 inquires about the voltage required to arc a .030' gap under compression
Vol. 5 of Automobile Engineering published in 1931 by the American Technical Society gives a chart showing the various voltages required. The top end of the graph indicates that about 16,000 volts is required to jump a 0.020' gap at 100 pounds compression pressure.
Right and Left-hand Walking Plows
The December issue, page 23, photo #6 shows right and left hand walking plows, with the writer asking the reason for this. Well, a letter from E. L. Rumrill, 682 Skitchewaug Trail, Rt. 2, Springfield, VT 05156 tells us that the farmer went to one end of the field with the right hand plow, swapped plows and returned to the other end. The Reflector hasn't figured out all the logistics of this operation yet, but that's OK, we still have a lot to learn! Mr. Rumrill would like further info on the Fordson tractor, December issue, page 24, photo #5.
20/8/4 A. W. Gray's Sons J. Reid Lassetter, 504 Thomas Dr., Rossville, GA 30741 sends us a photocopy of the repair book for these engines, asking a number of questions about the company that the Reflector cannot answer. Perhaps some of our readers might have some detailed history on the company they would share with us.
Back in the December issue the question was raised on proper color for Cletrac. Donald C. Knauff, RD 1, Lake City, PA 16423 writes that he has restored his 1938 Cletrac Model E '38' using DuPont 017-DH orange, stating this is supposed to be the exact color. He goes on to say that it looks the same, since he used to run one of these as a young man.
Taylor Vacuum Engines
The December issue had a query for information on Taylor Vacuum engines, and the Reflector did not make use of the printed index of back issues! D. T. Kedinger, RR 1, Hwy 103, Oakfield, WI 53065 writes that the Mar-Apr 1980 GEM has a lot of history on this particular firm. We also gather that Mr. Kedinger might be able to help interested Taylor owners with information, etc. on restoration of same.
20/9/p. 4 Spark Coils The Reflector caught some static (pun intended) over his comments regarding the use of a 12-volt battery on Model T coils. Philip DeJarlais, 620 Dayton Road, Champlin, MN 55316 commented that the Model T so-called magneto was really an alternator and the frequency varied with the engine speed. As the frequency increased the reactance of the coil primary increased so that while there was an increase in voltage a degree of regulation was provided. Under these circumstances, Mr. DeJarlais suggests that the 9 volts AC was about equal to the 6 volts DC from the battery.
Dick Day, Heritage Engine Collection, 6 Windward Drive, Severna Park, MD 21146 also comments in this regard, urging the Reflector to greater technical accuracy. Aside from the Model T coil, Mr. Day properly points to the method of lifting an engine shown in a recent issue. When lifting an engine by its flywheels, do not chain between the two rims without putting a block of wood between them. Otherwise it is fairly easy to permanently spring the flywheel rims out of alignment. An excellent point!
Beyond that, Mr. Day points out the Reflector's error when stating that 'in case of a Ford Model T coils it is necessary to use a 12-volt battery.' His letter goes on to say that the 6 volts DC from the battery was about equivalent to the 9 or 10 volts from the so-called magneto. Operating at a higher DC voltage simply eats up the points sooner, and if a Model T coil will not operate properly with 6 volts DC, then either the coil or the points are defective.
The Reflector concedes that the comments regarding the Model T coil were committed to print with haste, and we all know the old saying about that. Getting technical, the Model T magneto with its so-called alternating voltage constantly reversed the voltage through the points, thus providing the polarizing-depolarizing effect that minimized point erosion. The Reflector also concedes that for most engines, particularly of hit-and-miss design and using fairly low compression pressure will operate nicely using a 6-volt battery. The rub comes when operating a very high compression engine under load, such as the Cushman design. For too many years now, the Reflector has used an 8 HP Cushman on a flour mill. The ignition is set up using half of a Model T coil box for easy interchangeability. These engines have very high compression, and when operating under a heavy load, the little 8 HP would start bucking almost invariably using a 6-volt battery, and regardless of the coils pushed into the box. Switching to a 12-volt battery eliminated the problem completely. Thus, whether it's the right way or not, we have found a cure for the problem, and present our solution as a possible cure for others with the same difficulty.
This month's column is one of the longest we have had. Likewise it includes a substantial number of photos. Reader response to various questions and comments has improved substantially over the past year.
Particularly in this issue we have had some extensive comments on past issues. We thank our readers for writing and sharing their ideas with us. The Reflector makes no pretense of being an engineer just barely a mechanic! Thus, we appreciate your letters and comments.
The purpose of the Reflections column is to provide a forum for the exchange of all useful information among subscribers to GEM. Inquiries or responses should be addressed to: REFLECTIONS, Gas Engine Magazine, P. O. Box 328, Lancaster, PA 17603.