Readers' Engine Questions

| March/April 2002

  • Compressor
  • Compressor
  • Sachs Motor
  • Fairbanks-Morse Desk Set
  • Sattley Model Engine
  • Canadian-built Fairbanks-Morse Engine

  • Compressor
  • Compressor
  • Sachs Motor
  • Fairbanks-Morse Desk Set
  • Sattley Model Engine
  • Canadian-built Fairbanks-Morse Engine

A Brief Word

37/3/7: Help Needed

Q:See the photos of a compressor(?) that has the head missing. There are no markings, and the nameplates are also gone. Any help would be appreciated. Don Kerbaugh, 1315 Greg St., Suite 112, Sparks, NV 89431.

A: You have a large compressor of the 1920s or 1930s. We're sure we have seen this design before, but it would take some intensive work to determine the make. It is a shame that the front head is gone! If anyone can help, please contact Don at the above address.

37/3/8: Bluffton Engines

'I have a 1 HP water-cooled, horizontal Bluffton engine with a three-inch bore and stroke and 12-inch solid flywheels. Should the crankcase cover have any provisions for a breather? What was the original color of the engine? I would like to correspond with anyone who has one of these engines. It is very similar to the small air-cooled Ideal/Bluffton engines, except for the solid flywheels and the small water hopper for cooling.' Jack O'Leary, 651 Onion School Rd., Mt. Joy, PA 17552.

37/3/9: Sattley Engine

'See the photo of a Sattley Model N2B engine marketed by Montgomery Ward & Company, s/n 54095. We have no information on this engine, such as when they were built, the correct color, or operating specs. Any help with this engine would be greatly appreciated.' Jim and Ray Harry, 1901 Tellcamp Rd NE, Olympia, WA 98506, or email me at:

37/3/10: Delco Questions

'I have a Delco engine with no generator. It was made by Delco Appliance Corporation, at Rochester, N.Y. I would like to know why the points stay closed for two cycles. It seems like it would be an awful drain on the battery. The cam is o.k. It is cut half way around so the points are closed one full turn of the flywheel. The engine is an upright like a Briggs & Stratton, points are on the outside of the engine, and no magneto in the flywheel, making it battery ignition. Any help on this engine would be greatly appreciated.' Jerry Lester, 645 Freedom Rd., Freedom, NY 14065.

37/3/11: Sachs Motor

Q: The carburetor is causing trouble on my Sachs motor -F&S, made in Germany. It is a one-cylinder, 2-cycle air-cooled of about 1 HP. It floods. I have cleaned out the carburetor and installed a new filter in the fuel line. If anyone has any information on this engine I would appreciate it. Douglas Poor, 12058 Adams, Yucaipa, CA 92399.

A: We would suggest that if there is a float and needle, this is where it is leaking. We have found that on small engines, especially, they can look clean and bright and still leak. They can also be very difficult to reseat, even with the finest of lapping compound and the greatest of care. It is also possible for a gasketed joint to be leaking somewhere, or there could be a tiny crack some place.

37/3/12: Fairbanks-Morse Desk Set

Q: Here is a picture of a desk set that belonged to my father when he worked for Fairbanks-Morse in the late 1920s. The set is apparently made of pot metal and is about six inches long overall. There are two groves for pens or pencils and a 'well' at one end for an eraser. The bottom of the well has the F-M trademark of a scale weight, and along the front of the base it says, 'Model of 136 HP Diesel Marine Engine.' On the back edge of the base it says, 'World's largest manufacturers of diesel engines.'

I was wondering if anyone has ever seen one of these before and if anyone has any idea about which model engine is represented. I have looked all through Wendel's book on Fairbanks-Morse and cannot find any model that looks like it might have been the prototype for the model. Thank you. Jesse Livingston Troy, TN

A: It is a Model 33 FM diesel, and shown on page 97 of my book Fairbanks-Morse 100 Years of Engine Technology. These engines were first introduced in 1925 and were built as late as 1958. The 33F16 was built in styles having 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10 cylinders. Cylinder sizes included 10-1/2 x 12-1/2, 12 x 15, 14 x 17 and 16 x 20 inches.

37/3/13: Canadian F-M

Q:I have a Canadian-built Fairbanks-Morse 1-1/2 HP Z engine. Unfortunately, the serial number is missing some numbers and only shows C2 - - 78. The middle numbers are missing. Any information on when this engine was made and the correct color would be appreciated. At the same time I got the engine I also bought a Fairbanks-Morse pump. Any information on the age of this pump and especially a owners manual or other documentation would also be a great help. Tony Gaydon, 553 Southwind Rd., Comox, BC, Canada, or you can e-mail me at:

A: Little is known of the Canadian Fairbanks-Morse operation. When it was closed down it appears that all the records were destroyed. Engines made there have a different set of serial numbers, according to information we got at F-M Beloit Works several years ago. The pump was built in the 1920s and 1930s, but we have no specific information as to its age.

37/2/4 Update

In the February edition we ran a photo of a 'semi-turbine' engine described in Dyke's Motor Manual in 1915. This issue we have the description of the engine for those interested.

'This type of engine is in no way related to a gas producer, but will be described in this section. It is a new principle of engine.

'The use of kerosene in this engine is not governed by the ordinary carburetor, but is handled somewhat on the European plan of injecting it into the cylinder in the shape of a heated spray by means of an oil pump.

'The turbine flywheel exhaust means the muffling of the discharge on the periphery of the flywheels, and does away with the muffler entirely, utilizing this power without undue back pressure.

'There are five cycles of operation, consisting of first, the explosion; second, the exhaust -direct on turbine flywheel on two-cycle principle; third, scavenging of the dead gases through secondary valve - four-cycle principle; fourth, suction of new charge; fifth, the compression.

'By this method there are two distinct discharges, one giving momentum or power to the flywheel, the other scavenging the cylinders. The exhaust loss in the average internal combustion engine amounts to 43 percent of the energy of the fuel it is claimed, and the builders of the semi-turbine engine claim to gain one-half of this on the flywheel muffler, thus practically doubling the efficiency of the engine - which ordinarily is 22 percent - or giving a thermal efficiency of about 43 percent.'

A Closing Word

The other day we ran across the little book we picked up when we were at the Deutsches Museum in Munich. The book doesn't begin to illustrate all the wonderful exhibits there, especially some of the fine engines that are on display. In the same box of miscellaneous things was a book on the Auto+Technik Museum at Sinsheim. Now, we'll allow there aren't loads and loads of engines at this place, but they make up for it in other displays that boggle the mind! Then a couple of days back we got an e-mail from our friends at Stuhlingen telling us that our summer tour to Germany is welcome to stop there. This despite the recent passing of our friend Roland Porten who assembled this grand collection. Despite the fact that much of Germany was severely damaged or destroyed in WW II, it is indeed amazing that so many treasures have survived.

C.H. Wendel is a noted authority on antique engines and tractors. His books constitute a vital reference resource for collectors and hobbyists. If you have a query for C.H. Wendel, send it along to Gas Engine Magazine, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265.



Gas Engine Magazine A_M 16Gas Engine Magazine is your best source for tractor and stationary gas engine information.  Subscribe and connect with more than 23,000 other gas engine collectors and build your knowledge, share your passion and search for parts, in the publication written by and for gas engine enthusiasts! Gas Engine Magazine brings you: restoration stories, company histories, and technical advice. Plus our Flywheel Forum column helps answer your engine inquiries!

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