| January/February 1991

By the time this copy reaches you, the 1990 elections will be forgotten, but as we begin this column in late October, the politicians are in full swing, or perhaps we should say, full sling (mud, that is). Yet, with all the faults our system might have, it sure beats the absolute poverty of many other nations. If our every waking day were another battle for survival, we wouldn't be spending much time thinking of our historical past, nor would we be much interested in preserving our little portion of it. So, all in all, we really aren't so bad off as we would like to think sometimes.

Awhile back, the Reflector and a few faithful helpers removed a Fairbanks-Morse diesel engine from a power house at Traer, Iowa. This six-cylinder Model 32 engine uses a 14 x 17 inch bore and stroke. We're happy to tell you that this engine is being installed at the show site of the Macon County Flywheelers at Macon, Missouri. It will be housed inside, and we hope it will be a fine addition to their show. Curiously, there aren't many of the six-cylinder engines left; most of them have been scrapped.

The truth is that there are more one, two, and three-cylinder models left than the six-cylinder style. Rarest of the lot though is the FBM five-cylinder model. Not many of these were built. My big six-cylinder Fairbanks was built in October 1928. It first went to Nebraska, and was then installed at Traer, Iowa in 1960. After operating there for over twenty more years, it was replaced with a modern dual-fuel style. During its career, it once ran for a couple of months on five cylinders. It spun a connecting rod bearing, so it was pulled out, and due to the need for power, the engine was started again on the remaining five cylinders. Everything seemed to work alright, so it was put back on the line, and remained on the line this way for several weeks. I wonder what would happen with some of today's modern engines if we were to pull one piston and try running on five cylinders for a few hours, days, or weeks....

Quite a few people have written ye olde Reflector regarding the progress with the J.I. Case history. We're happy to tell you that it is coming along very well now, and we are hoping it is in print by early summer of 1991. We're also happy to report that we will then begin a comprehensive history of Oliver, Hart-Parr, Cletrac, and related companies.

Out here on the Iowa prairie there's no telling what the winter might bring, so we've winterized all our engines and they'll hibernate until next spring. By the way, have you winterized your engines and tractors? Did you drain the water pump? If it's not already too late, better check for sure!

We begin this month with:


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