Reflections

A BRIEF WORD


| June/July 1988



Sun Power Engine

23/6/1A

Bill Vawter

Having attended or participated in a great many shows over the past twenty-five years, the Reflector is well aware of the sheer boredom in answering spectator questions like, 'What is it?' or 'What did they use it for?' These questions and others of a similar nature come up almost constantly. For those of us so fortunate as to be completely familiar with the evolution of engines and tractors, these questions seem silly and ludicrous. After all, we think, how could anyone NOT know what these engines were used for!

Perhaps the difficulty lies in part with what the Reflector perceives as a faulty introduction of the internal combustion engine to our youngsters. We haven't done a great amount of checking on this, but our initial reaction is that virtually nothing is taught in our schools nowadays about when or how the internal combustion engine was developed-not even the most basic and fundamental concepts. Curiously however, students generally learn some rudimentary things about the development of the sewing machine, the cotton gin, or the electric light bulb. To our estimation, the internal combustion engine should be at least on a par with the above items.

Given this general lack of knowledge about the development of internal combustion engines, it should not be at all surprising then that a great many people ask the question, 'What does it do?'. Having virtually no knowledge of what these huge engines are all about, the neophyte is often bewildered by the gigantic flywheels, or the huffing and chuffing noises, followed by an occasional bang. For the Reflector, answering questions that seem so simple that they should never be asked often is a trying experience, especially at a show that runs for several consecutive days. Perhaps the old adage of patience being a virtue applies here. If no one else educates our younger generation on even the basic points of vintage engines, who will take up the hobby? Answering some questions now, and trying to motivate others to join our hobby will help perpetuate a rich historical legacy.

23/6/1 Q. Can anyone identify the engine in this photo? It has a 31/25 inch bore and stroke. It appears to have been painted blue. All part numbers have a 'G' prefix. Bill Vawter, RR I, Box 78, Louisa, Virginia, 23093.

A. We looked at quite a few different engines, including the Sun-Power, but so far we cannot identify your engine.

23/6/2 Q. Gary Pegelow, SI W25765 North-view Road, Waukesha, Wisconsin, 53186, sends along an article in the March 10, 1988 issue of Machine Design. This article, entitled 'Bad Bolts Are Still Flooding the Country,' begins by stating, 'The editorial in our November I2 issue was a cry of alarm over the fact that counterfeit Grade 8 bolts have infiltrated the supply pipeline in the United States. The problem is serious when an engineer is designing for rigorous service involving high stress or high temperature.'