25/1/44 Magneto Information Q. Some models of the Fairbanks-Morse 'Z' engines use the Bosch AB-33 oscillator, and others use the Fairbanks-Morse Type R rotary magneto. Can you provide some understanding on the differences?
R. N. Holden, 2844 E. 12th Ave., Apache Jct, AZ 85219.
A. The AB-33 Bosch was used on FBM 'Z' engines from late 1919 to mid-1924. Effective with Engine No. 592989 the change was made to the gear-driven FBM Type R magneto. The AB-33 was simply a high-tension magneto with a long arm on its armature. A roller on the cam gear contacts this arm, moving it forward, and simultaneously pulling against a pair of heavy springs. When the roller goes past the tip of the lever, the armature suddenly returns to its resting position, and in so doing the points open and a spark is delivered to the plug. The gear-driven Type R on the other hand, is a conventional rotary style with an impulse built into the armature gear. This provides a hot spark that could not usually be obtained by the slow speed of hand cranking.
Later on, FBM introduced their Type J magneto, and it was used on the ZC models, as well as some of the later 'Z' engines. This magneto could however be retrofitted to earlier 'Z' models, using the J1A2 style. The old impulse and drive gear was used on the new magneto, and other changeover parts were furnished by FBM.
25/1/45 Graham-Bradley Tractor
See photos 45 A, B, and C showing a 1936 Model 503-93 Graham Bradley tractor I recently restored. It was purchased four years ago in Central Indiana. I have the original parts and owners manuals plus the service manuals. In 1939 this tractor, complete with cultivator and wheel weights sold for $1195.50. My brother and I farmed with four Graham Bradley tractors at one time. My nephews still have one of these and it is now restored.
W. Cledus Stites, RR 1, Box 18, Odon, IN 47562.
25/1/46 Lalley Light Plant Q. I am in desperate need of information on a Lalley Light Plant, particularly the switchboard wiring. I'm running it, but it never shows discharge on ammeter with lights or during starting. Reversing battery leads does reverse the ammeter reading during start and run. Any information will be appreciated.
Tom Melville, 6383 Imhoff Rd., Oxford, OH 45056.
25/1/47 Engine Truck Q. I recently acquired this engine truck as shown in the photo, and am curious as to what size or kind of engine might have been used on it originally. It is 7 feet long, and the bolt pattern for the engine is 29 1/4 x 8 inches. Any information will be appreciated.
Robert Hemphill, 140 E. Rosewood, Riacto, CA 92376.
A. We also note from your query that 'Inland' is stamped on the side rails. This means that the channels were fabricated by Inland Steel, and nothing more. Underslung trucks are rather unusual, and while numerous engines were thus mounted, we offhand can think of the Economy and Hercules engines as having a predilection for this style.
Ken Uplinger, RD 1, Box 242-D, Kittanning, PA 16201 needs information on a Sta-Rite 11/2 hp, Type A-1 engine, s/n 3275. Needed are the original colors and other data.
25/1/49 International Hay Press Q. I have acquired the International Hay Press shown in the photo. It may have originally been run with an IHC 6 hp Type M engine. Anyone with literature or information on this machine is invited to contact me regarding its restoration.
Robert T. Prophet. RR 1, Box 37 Firth, NE 68358.
25/1/50 Information Needed Q. Please advise the ratio of oil to gas for a Maytag engine; also the age of an IHC LB engine, s/n LBA 87676 and an Ottawa Drag Saw, s/n TE129l.
David Pirkl, Box 107, Oxford, IA 52322.
A. As previously noted, we suggest starting with a high-grade two-cycle motor oil, using their recommendations as a starting point. Then by a little experimenting, the mixture may have to be altered slightly for best operation. The LB engine was built in 1945-there is no serial number information on Ottawa.
25/1/51 Bean Special Cub Q. I have a Bean Special 'Cub' Model R30B, 4 hp, and built by Cushman Motor Works. Any information on this engine, including paint colors, will be appreciated.
Brian K. Klein, 550 East North St., Georgetown, OH 45121.
25/1/52 Unknown Engine Q. See the photo of an unidentified engine. On the top edge of the cylinder is the number E620. The brass plate says: Bradley-Clark & Co., Northwestern Agents, Minneapolis, Minnesota. A large plate on the base has Simplicity written on it, as shown in the photo. Any information will be appreciated.
Tom McCarty, Box 68,Larchwood, IA51241.
A. See page 548 of American Gas Engines. At the lower left corner, we believe you'll see an engine that might be a match to what you're looking for.
25/1/53 F-M Starting Engines
The recent GEM article on F-M starting engines was most interesting. I happen to have one but mine has Chicago, Ill. on the nameplate. Perhaps it is an older model than the one pictured and described in the article.
When I first acquired my starter engine, I didn't know anything about its purpose. A retired REA line foreman friend of mine gave me the proper input as was described in the article. Does anyone have any idea of the value of these uncommon starters as collector items?
To my knowledge, the Fairbanks-Morse engine facility is now located at Laredo, Texas. I believe their purpose is to supply Mexico with their stationary engines where electricity is not readily available. Even some oil companies, at least in the Southwest, have returned to F-M engines and have replaced their electric motor systems.
Robert D. Seeley, RR 3, Box 176, Warrensburg, MO 64093.
25/1/54 Little Jumbo Q. What is the correct color for a Nelson Bros. Little Jumbo engine?
Larry L. Trammel, 1608 Ferrell Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.
A. We have DuPont 2015 U green as the proper color. This number may be for Imron, but should also be available in Centari.
25/1/55 Stover Q. What is the year built of a Stover engine, TB269473? Bob Broome, 25 Washington St., Mendon, MA 02756.
A. Your engine was built in 1940.
25/1/56 Power Products Corp. Q. What is the year built, and the proper fuel-oil mix for a Power Products Corp. engine built at Grafton, Wisconsin. It is Model AH47, Type H1033A. Any information on this engine will be appreciated.
Richard Voth, 1753 Azalea, Greenville, MS 38701.
25/1/57 Fairbanks-Morse 'N' Q. What is the year built for a FBM Type N engine, 5 hp, and with one flywheel. Would also like to hear from anyone with one of these engines.
William R. Davis, PO Box 769, Mableton, GA 30059.
A. In order to be of possible help, we need the serial number. On this engine, it may be stamped on the end of the crankshaft, and this location may also give the date the engine was built-early FBM engines were thus marked.
25/1/58 Unknown Engine Q. See the photo of an unidentified engine located at a museum at Pleasure Island, up river from Dawson City on the Yukon River, formerly called Moosehide. Does anyone have a clue on this engine?
Vincent Durham, Site 8, Comp 34, RR 1, Sicamous, British Columbia V0E 2V0 Canada
25/1/59 Quincy Engine
John L. Hamilton, 461 Algonquin PL, Webster Groves, MO 63119 sends along some photocopy material on the Quincy engine as built at Quincy, Illinois. This material is much appreciated for the files.
Mr. Hamilton also reports that he is writing a GEM article regarding the Associated 3/4 hp Pony engine, and this will be something to look forward to.
Lastly, John asks if it isn't time for Volume 2 of American Gas Engines, noting that hardly a month goes by without an unknown make or model surfacing. We've been asked this question numerous times, and whenever we go at this again, it will definitely have to be a supplemental volume. The original edition of American Gas Engines came to 584 pages, the maximum capacity of the bindery over at the publishers. Meanwhile however, we'll keep the files open, since there are undoubtedly a great many more heretofore 'unknown' engines to be located.
25/1/60 Coil and Sparkplug Tester Q. I have a K. R. Wilson Model W-49 magneto type, mag, coil unit and sparkplug tester. This unit had some wires missing, and I haven't found anyone who can rewire it. Any literature, information or a wiring diagram would help get mine back in service. It is pictured on page 45 of the 1926 K. R. Wilson catalog.
Russel Noah, HCR2, Box 142, Eminence, MO 65466.
25/1/61 IHC Type M Mixer Q. I have an IHC M engine with the two-needle mixer rather than the more common three needle style. On the right-hand side is a tapered brass plug, and terminating in a handle on the top of the carburetor. The problem is that the fuel runs out of the chamber as fast as it is pumped in, regardless of the position of the plug. On rare occasions it will hold fuel for a few minutes, and then the fuel drains away and no amount of effort seems to help. Any suggestions?
B. J. Langner, 24650 Townsend Ave., Hay ward, CA 94544.
A. We've never worked on one of these carbs, but is it possible to take off the top cover and then keep the tapered plug in place? If it is, then block the valves open so the engine turns easily, and observe what is going on (or not going on). Is the tapered plug valve seating properly so as to hold the fuel up to the overflow port in the carburetor? What about fuel pump capacity and operation? Is the fuel pump delivery check holding, or is the check ball corroded or pitted? We are almost inclined to think that this might be the place to look. In other words, if the delivery check is leaking, even though the suction check is in order, then the fuel will perhaps make its way back via that route. Then too, perhaps some of our readers have experienced problems in this regard and may be able to offer their counsel and aid.
Regarding 24/9/16 in the September issue, we inadvertently put the wrong address to this query. Correspondence concerning the Barnes Pump should be addressed to H. Rossow, PO Box 15, Weston, ID 83286.
24/9/3 Unidentified Drawings
T. H. Krueger, 1615 San Francisco, San Antonio, TX 78201 sends the following in this regard:
The builder of the engine, shown in the two drawings, in September, 1989 GEM on pages 2 and 3 was built by Nelson Bros., Saginaw, Michigan. The reason no builders name, address, etc. is given on instructions that goes with the engine, is because Nelson Bros, supplied their engines, by contract, to about 25 or 30 different machinery manufacturers, for which those manufacturers needed an engine to run their machine, but would not build an engine of their own.
The first engine I bought (from a farmer), was on August 8, 1953 as a beginning collector. Mine was a 5 hp Samsco, contracted for and sold by the local San Antonio Machine & Supply Company; it was built by Nelson Bros.
24/11/5 Leather Belting
During the Depression my father obtained discarded leather belting from the factory where he worked and made his and my shoes. They wore well and were most supple. The use of belting ended with that one experiment, since we left imprints of oil on my mother's linoleum wherever we walked.
A few years ago I read that Marco Polo observed the use of castor oil to keep leather goods from drying out in the Far East. I had been using neatsfoot oil, but its high price and difficulty in locating it caused me to purchase some castor oil at the local pharmacy. I've used it on many items for a number of years. The castor oil cannot be applied directly as it is too thick. My formula is as follows:
Castor oil: 1 part by volume, Water: 9 parts by volume, Dishwashing detergent: 2 drops per 5 fluid ounces.
Put this mixture in a plastic bottle and shake thoroughly, then apply with a 1 or 1 1/2 inch brush. Cover only once and don't worry about the missed spots, as the oil will migrate. If one application isn't enough, another in a few days is all right too. Hang up to dry and the water will evaporate readily. Naturally the temperature has to be above freezing.
Joseph I. Lisaius, 116 Orton Road, West Caldwell, NJ 07006.
24/11/11 Frazer Rototiller
Information on Frazer products is available from
Frazer Farm Equipment Co., 1919-23 S Wayne St., PO Box 391, Auburn, IN 46706.
You may also be interested to know that information on the hobby of old trucks is available from:
American Truck Historical Society, PO Box 59200, Birmingham, AL 35259.
24/11/7 Waterloo Engine?
Although the Reflector noted that the engine referred to was a Waterloo, I believe that it is in fact a Knowlton as pictured on page 256 of American Gas Engines, and also known as an Eaton, as pictured on page 28 of the October, 1989 issue of GEM.
Ed Radtke, 4185 Red Bud Ln., Martinsville, IN 46151.
24/9/12 Alamo Colors
In the September GEM you don't know the right blue color for Alamo-Lindsay engines. The color for a Lindsay is tan, and the color for a Rock Island is about a medium red, only the Blue Line is a dark blue, to match the color of the Empire Milking Machine pump with which it was sold. We bought our outfit in 1924, the blue is about the same as the hood of the Model T.
Many years ago, somebody didn't know what they were doing, and called an engine a motor. An engine has a piston in a cylinder and uses fuel and fire, but a motor needs an outside source of power to make it go.
Raymond D. Wolter, 455 Glen St N., Hutchinson, MN 55350.
A. We've always listed DuPont 93-24590 reddish brown as a comparable match on the Rock Island engines.
24/7/25 Sparta-built Economy
An old Sears-Roebuck sales magazine makes it apparent that some Economy engines were indeed made at Sparta, Michigan.
No. 474510. 2 hp Economy Gasoline engine and Equipment with 8x4 inch pulley. Shipped from our factory at Sparta, Mich. Shipping wt. 525#. Price $42.95
No. 47A4600. 2 hp Economy Gasoline Engine and Equipment with 8 x 4 inch pulley. Shipped from warehouse near you, as explained on page 24. Shipping wt. 525 #. Price $45.45.
The advertisement is in color and shows the pin striping on all the engines. It gives the dimensions of the trucks as well as complete spec on each engine.
A gear-driven Elkhart magneto was optional on the 1 1/2, 2, 4, and 6 hp Economy engines, and was standard on the 8 and 10 hp models.
Anyone desiring more information may write, sending an S.A.S.E. and 25 cents per page to be copied. Stanley Schroeder, RR 2, Box 122, Bloomfield, NE 68718.
Perhaps Mr. Schroeder might be inclined to loan the colored illustration to GEM so that it might appear in full-color in a forthcoming issue.
To Thomas E. Gipson, 202 Mary Sharp Drive, Decherd, TN 37324 for sending along a photocopy of a 1914 IHC Os-borne catalog. As you may already know, much of their line was identical to other machines in the IHC line, Os-borne being but one of several different companies functioning under the IHC corporate umbrella. Due to pending antitrust actions in the courts, IHC was forced to operate in this manner for a number of years subsequent to its formation in 1902.
Tom Thumb Model
See MM-1 for a photo of my 1/2 scale model of a 1908 IHC Tom Thumb, s/n V-2557. Don Weinbrenner, Rt 3,Box 38, Hillsboro, KS 67063.
We've seen Mr. Weinbrenner's model at the Mt. Pleasant Show, and it is a real beauty!
Scale Model Balers
Thanks to Ed Bredemeier, RR 1, Box 13, Steinaur, NE 68441 for sending along MM-2 illustrating a small model hay press built by a gentleman at Brownstown, Indiana. It makes bales that are 1 1/2 inches square.
Photo MM-3 is submitted by William Lee, Box 113, Wyano, PA 15695. It was built from plans shown in the Home Shop Machinist Magazine, but twice the size. This engine has a 2 inch bore and 2 3/4 inch stroke. The engine base and hopper are 1/4 inch steel plate, the flywheels are cast iron, and come from an old vacuum pump. By adding wood to the outside diameter and modifying it somewhat, I was able to use it for a pattern for the flywheels with which the engine is now equipped.
A Small Pump
Ed Linderman sends MM-4 illustrating a small pump he built, but he didn't forward any dimensions regarding this model.
Ed says he has an engine that has to be rebored and sleeved, and cannot find a source for sleeves, or for that matter, someone to do the reboring. If you can be of help, contact Mr. Linderman at PO Box 65, Irons, MI 49644.
The Tail End
Occasionally a person sits back in the easy chair and reminisces about days gone by. The other evening, we were thinking about an old neighbor from many years ago, who we will leave unnamed. Goodhearted to a fault, he nevertheless was a caution around machinery, and I suppose it could be fairly stated that his mechanical abilities were on about a par with Great-grandma Twittle. One time we went over there to deliver a boar pig-a nice registered Duroc, and here was the neighbor getting ready to use the John Deere A. He checked the oil, and finding it a little low, he scurried about the shed looking for more. Finding none, he walked over along the wall where sat a couple of partially filled buckets of previous crankcase drainings together with a nice coating of dust, and even some small bird feathers. Deciding that this foreign matter really wouldn't hurt anything, he proceeded to pour in some of this goo until he was satisfied that the Model A had enough oil. Surprisingly, the old A ran on for years and years after that incident. Had I ever tried a stunt like that, my father would probably have started by booting my rear end halfway over the barn, and besides all that, the tractor would have probably shelled out the bearings within an hour. Yet for the old neighbor, such things were commonplace, and still he never seemed to have many serious breakdowns. We've never figured out why, unless the old-time engines were designed to handle more abuse than those of the present. Regardless, we'll never forget those fluffy little feathers being poured into the crankcase of the old John Deere A.