Over the past thirty years that this writer has been involved with vintage engines, one of the most vexing problems is that of a troublesome igniter. The problems almost always have their root in excessive wear of some parts, improper springs, and worn trip mechanisms.
Stover was one of the first builders to use an outboard bearing on the igniter shaft-this eliminated most of the problems with the igniter shaft binding in the body and causing sluggish action. Some builders weren't very careful about the type of seat they used on the moveable igniter shaft either, so that before long there was considerable compression leak-age past the shaft. This eventually loaded the shaft with carbon deposits, making the shaft work poorly if at all.
If there is compression leakage past the igniter shaft, then it may be necessary to re-machine the shaft back to its original dimensions. This will probably necessitate the addition of weld or bronze to the low spots. After returning the shaft to its original specs, then go to work on the hole-it may require that you bore it out and install a small sleeve of the proper size. After all this, it will be necessary to grind the seat on the igniter shaft to the seat on the inside of the igniter body. Many times this can be achieved by lapping, but occasionally it is possible to do at least a portion of the work in the lathe, saving an awful lot of hand work. Regardless of the methods used, the igniter shaft should have no appreciable play, but must have no drag at all-it has to be free! Furthermore, the mating faces of the igniter shaft and the inside of the igniter body must be absolutely gas-tight. This can be determined by pouring some gas onto the joint. If there is no leakage, the gas will remain there. Usually the return spring on the igniter has a fairly open wrap so that it can also function as a compression spring. It will exert a slight outward force on the igniter shaft, thus holding it tightly to its seat.
24/2/1 Bull Pup engine
Q. I would like to correspond with anyone owning a Bull Pup engine, 1? HP built by Bates & Edmonds Motor Company, and sold by Fairbanks Company. Joe Morris, 112 Irwin Road, Powell, TN 37849.
24/2/2 Monitor engine
Q. Can you furnish the date of manufacture for a Monitor engine, Type VJ, 1? HP, s/n 47503? Built by Baker Mfg. Co., Evansville, Wisconsin. Jesse Bandy, 406 N. High St., Paris, 1L 61944.
A. No serial number information available.
24/2/3 Buffalo engine
Q. See the enclosed photos of a two-cylinder, 2 HP Buffalo engine. It is much like the one shown on page 72 of American Gas Engines. Mine is missing the carburetor and manifold, so I would like to find a picture or drawing of it so that I could fabricate what is needed. Any information will be appreciated.
Ed Strain, 400 2nd Ave. NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
24/2/4 Witte log saw
Q. I have a Witte engine, B-2158 which is on a tree and log cutting rig. Can you give me the following information or tell me where I might secure it: model number and horsepower. Mine needs a magneto and mounting bracket.
Emil F. Sgheiza, 70 San Benancio Road, Salinas, CA 93908.
A. Since there are numerous copies of this machine still in existence, particularly in the Midwest, we hope that some of our other readers can come to your assistance.
24/2/5 Jaeger engine
Q. I have a Jaeger gas engine which my son and I found many years ago in a farm field. We are having the crankshaft repaired, but to put the engine in working order we need a lot of information. Is there anyone with a manual for this engine so that I have any chance at all of getting it restored? Since I am new at restoring engines, any information and help will be greatly appreciated.
Warren A. Jochem, 53 Montague Ave., West Trenton, NJ 08628.
A. Although we have no literature on the Jaeger, we presume that something surely must exist among our readership. Thus we are hopeful that someone out there will help things along for you. Welcome to our hobby-we hope you find it to be educational and enjoyable.
24/2/6 22-36 McCormick-Deering
Q. I have a 1930 McCormick-Deering, s/n TG135620M. What is the 'M' suffix on the serial number? The decals say '15-30' and the information tag says '15-30' but goes on to state 22 drawbar and 36 brake horsepower at 1050 rpm. Should the decals be replaced with 15-30 or the 22-36 style? Also, when was the color changed from gray to red? Jim Wilson, RR 1, Ainsworth, IA 52201.
A. Already in 1929, IHC called this tractor the 'New 15-30'. See Nebraska Tractor Tests Since 1920, Test No. 130 and Test No. 156. This will indicate that the earlier style used a 4? inch bore, while the later one carried a 4? inch bore. IHC continued this 15-30 designation, even though the tractor might just as well have been rated as a 22-36. It is rumored that this all had something to do with export duties that were levied on the basis of horsepower, and it was to the company's advantage to keep this figure as low as possible. We don't know what the 'M' suffix means. The red color was adopted in October, 1936. Your tractor was probably sold as a 15-30, but we'll stop short of telling you which decals to use for sure.
Q. Can anyone identify the engine in the photo? It is of two-cycle design, uses a brass carburetor, but has no name or numbers. It is about the size of a vertical Maytag. Some have suggested that it is a Little Major.
Kenneth Ryan, 126 N. Fairview Ave., Dover, OH 44622.
A. Page 96 of American Gas Engines illustrates the Little Major by Chicago Flexible Shaft Co. Note, however, that these engines all appear to be of four-cycle design. We question whether this one is a Little Major.
24/2/8 Ottawa Log Saw
Q. Wendell Allen, RR 3, Box 383, Eldorado Springs, MO 64744 would like to get photocopies of any available setup and operating information on the Ottawa Log Saw.
24/2/9 Farmall Cub
Q. I have a Farmall Cub with Fast-Hitch. It is s/n 156232. Can anyone advise the month and year it was built? Also what type of engine-it uses a distributor. Any information will be appreciated.
Meryl Burgeson, 11045 Puesta Del Sol, Oak View, CA 93022.
A. Your Cub was built in 1952 but we can't tell you for sure about the specific engine type.
24/2/10 Novo engine
Q. I recently acquired a 3 HP Novo engine. It was on a cement mixer. The brass nameplate is gone, so there is no evidence of a serial number. The magneto was a Wico AX, which slightly resembles the Wico PR. The magneto is actuated differently from anything shown for the Wico EK, or from the Wico PR. A second camshaft is geared 1:1 to the regular engine cam. A floating cam is used, obviously to permit advance or retard of the spark. Since much of this mechanism is either broken or missing, I would appreciate hearing from anyone with information that would help. I'll be grateful to hear from you.
Richard K. Brehm, 22 Tyler Road, Lexington, MA 02173.
24/2/11 Acme gas engine
Q. I would like to correspond with anyone who has an Acme gas engine made in Toledo, Ohio by Acme Sucker Rod Company. It was also known as the Jones engine with a serial number under 279. Or a Jones engine with a serial number higher than 1907 and anyone who has a Jones 32 HP crosshead, or a 40 HP. Also a W.A. Jones Foundry & Machine Co., North Ave. and Noble St. Chicago, Illinois, horizontal tank cooled gas engine, also a Model V-S Kerosene, Fuel Oil, or Crude Oil Vertical tank cooled oil engine. Made in 4 sizes, 4, 7?, 8 and 15 HP sizes. R.H. Stein, PO Box 319, Pemberville, OH 43450.
24/2/12 IHC 10-20 Titan
Q. I'm restoring a 10-20 Titan tractor of 1918 vintage. What is the proper color of gray for this tractor? I've written several decal suppliers, but they send me numbers for the 10-20 and 15-30 McCormick-Deering tractors, and even these numbers do not correspond. Can anyone advise for sure the proper color scheme?
Robert L. Helstedt, 432 20th St. NW, Minot, ND 58701.
A. Mr. Helstedt notes in his letter that he has the paint color schedule found in the September, 1988 GEM, but it does not include the color scheme for the Titan. That is because we've never been able to determine the proper colors. In fact, it seems to us that the early Titan tractors may have actually been lighter in shade than the later ones. Perhaps some of our readers can square this problem once and for all.
24/2/13 Engine nameplates
Q. We've heard that Engine Services Co. is no longer making reproduction name-plates. Has someone succeeded them, or is there anyone also making reproduction nameplates?
John Pribbenow, RR 2, Box 209, Verndale, MN 56481.
A. Since we do not know the status of the above organization, its successor, or any other company offering this service, anyone with information might be so kind as to drop a line to ye olde Reflector.
24/2/14 Majestic engine
Q. Ed Minnick, RR 1, Box 140, Bain-bridge, IN 46105 would appreciate hearing from anyone with information, paint color scheme, etc., on a 3 HP Majestic engine.
Q. See the photo for a small two-cycle engine I have not been able to identify. The piston is about 1 inch in diameter.
Lawrence Howington, 13880 Greenland Avenue, Uniontown, OH 44685.
24/2/16 Fay & Bowen
Stan Mc Alister sends along some photos of an extremely scarce Fay &. Bowen engine. Note the complicated and unique igniter operating system in Photo 16A. Stan is president of the Front Range Antique Power Association, and hopes they will have this engine running at their 1989 show. You might contact Stan at13553 West Virginia Drive, Lakewood, CO 80228.
Q. See the photo of an Oliver Cletrac I purchased last year. It is powered by a Hercules JXO six-cylinder gas engine. Overall it is in very good condition. Since I am interested in learning more about it and also the Hercules engines, I will be happy to hear from anyone with information on these tractors.
Steven Courter, 11910 Drew Road, Alto, MI 49302.
A. There's been an immense amount of interest in Cletrac tractors during the past few years. We're not sure if there is a tangible reason for this, but we commend all those who have decided it's time to preserve these interesting tractor models.