Readers' Engine Questions
As we write this column in early January, some areas of the U.S. are having heavy snows, while here in Iowa there has been virtually none. On a December day when the temperature was down to about 50 degrees in the shop, we had a visitor to look at the engines. We didn't really think it would start, but on a whim we decided to crank the 6 HP Lister. Lo, and behold, it started right off! We think that is quite a credit to those engineers of long ago, given the fact the Lister has likely reached the age of 60.
Thus far we have had a good response to our Germany 2002 tour. We'll have to start closing things up for the tour by early April, so for those who have procrastinated, please send along your deposits. As we have noted before, the tour will be limited to 40 people.
We're busy at several projects. First of all, we noted in the last issue that our book, American Gas Engines is being taken out of print by Motorbooks. Hopefully, we will be able to keep this book alive with a different publisher. Since there are a lot of engines that never made it into the original book, we have looked at different ways to bring this additional material into print. We've got some ideas about this, including a revival of our old Power in the Past series that would include much of this material.
We're also getting things organized for our magneto and carburetor book. Actually, it will be an ignition and carburetor book, since we plan to include sections on hot tube systems, the Hvid oil engine design, and other styles. Then, we have a lot of material on Witte engines, and will be compiling a nice book just on Witte.
We've had a real interest in diesel engines for many years. See the query below from our friend Larry Hughes. Here is an engine we have never seen or heard of, and one that is probably quite rare. Perhaps Larry's query and pictures will provide some answers.
37/3/1:Unidentified Diesel Engine
Larry Hughes, 12403 E. 34th Ave., Tacoma, WA 98446-3123 writes: 'This diesel engine was made in Long Beach, Calif., about 1941 or 1942 with the hope of selling to the U.S. Navy. It was rejected because it was too heavy for the horsepower it developed. The engine has no name or casting numbers. I would like to know who built the engine and any information I can find regarding it. It has been run some, and someone has put on a ring gear and starter. All replies will be answered.'
37/3/2: Small Crawler Tractor
'See the photo of a small crawler tractor I want to restore. There are no markings to identify either the machine or the engine. It has six-inch tracks and an overall machine width of 35 inches. The engine is a single-cylinder, air-cooled model, and the transmission has only forward, neutral and reverse positions. Steering is by friction clutches, and the blade is manually operated. Any information on this machine would be greatly appreciated. 'Colin Williamson, 30 Jackson Road, Middleburg, PA 17842. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
37/3/3:Junkers Diesel Engine
Q: See the photo of a Junkers single-cylinder, opposed piston engine. I have had some fuel problems, and a local injector company has been helping me to get it going. I am in need of information on the fuel and air systems for this engine. My engine is a marine model built in the 1930s. Any help would be appreciated. David Milholland, 15668 Yokeko Dr., Anacortes, WA 98221.
A: You also give the name-plate data: Um(drehung) 750 which means rpm, and PS (pferdestarke) which means horsepower, in your case 25 horsepower. At one point we found an instruction manual for our 12-1/2 HP Junkers. It is in German and that is no particular barrier to me, but it was a very poor photocopy from a very poor original. Thus, we don't have much. We have learned that these engines are very touchy about air bubbles in the secondary side of the pump, and found a check valve by taking the little pump unit up off the governor. Only by actually lifting this up out of the housing could we get rid of all the air bubbles, and it took two or three times before we got rid of them all so it would govern properly. The lesson, of course, was to never run it out of fuel. In searching through Germany we found there are very few of these engines left over there. Most of them were run to death, so there are very few of them in good running condition in Europe.
The Junkers opposed piston design was developed by Hugo Junkers, and it was far ahead of its time. There are striking similarities to the Fairbanks-Morse OP engines, although F-M never claimed this to be so. During WW II the factory was annihilated, and German production of this engine came to a virtual close. These engines were very popular in Europe - we even saw a French version of the Junkers OP engine nicely adapted to a Fordson tractor.
Assuming that the engine has good compression, and that the injection components are in good condition, we suspect trapped air bubbles are largely responsible for your problems.
37/3/4: Sandow Engine
Q:Recently I acquired this 6-1/2 HP Sandow engine made by Sandy McManus at Waterloo, Iowa. It is painted blue, and also has the tradename on the side of the water hopper. It is belted to a Buckeye pump from Mast, Foos & Company of Springfield, Ohio. Are the colors correct? And when was it built? Edgar Cassell, 2956 N. Wilson Ave., Decatur, IL 62526.
A: Your Sandow is painted the correct color, comparable to DuPont BS915, along with the yellow lettering. Sandow was operating in the 1912-1915 period. By the way, some of the Sandow engines had gold lettering, and some were yellow.
37/3/5: Jaeger Mixer?
'Can anyone tell me the make of this mixer? The engine is a Hercules-built, and had green paint and a Hercules decal. Upon closer inspection there was blue paint beneath, which would lead me to think it is a Jaeger engine, and probably also a Jaeger mixer. My wife and I bought our first piece of old iron in September 2001, and now we have 10 engines. Any help would be appreciated.' Jim and Janna Yost, 12668 Hull Rd., Cltica, OH 43080.
37/3/6: Roto Spader
'See the photo of a David Bradley Roto-Spader (sold by Sears & Roebuck). I haven't found any information at all on this unit. Please contact me if you can supply any information or help.' Gregg Simpson, 4271 Rutland-Dunn Rd., Oregon, WI 53575.