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
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
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
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
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
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
25/1/55 Stover Q. What is the year built of a
Stover engine, TB269473? Bob Broome, 25 Washington St., Mendon, MA
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
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
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
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
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
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 8×4
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
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
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,
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
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