Readers' Engine Questions

| March/April 2003

A Brief Word

Many of you have asked about C. H. Wendel's recovery since his stroke last May, and if he'll be coming back to these pages. Charles' recovery is coming along well, and he says he's looking forward to returning to his regular duties at GEM once he's back in form. We're hoping that will be at some point late this spring.

On that note, Charles makes a brief appearance this issue, answering a reader's question about a rare model of Fairbanks-Morse single-cylinder engine. So rare, in fact, it didn't make it into Wendel's exhaustive history of Fairbanks-Morse engines, Fairbanks-Morse, WO Years of Engine Technology. We'll start with that query and Charles' response:

38/3/1: Unknown Fairbanks-Morse Q: I have recently acquired a Fairbanks-Morse vertical diesel engine. It has 10 HP and 1,200 rpm stamped on the nameplate, which further identifies it as a Model 36A 4-1/4 S. The engine appears to have originally been sold through Dixie Mill Supply Co., Port Allen, La. I am looking for information about this engine, such as what was it used for, how many were made, the year it was made, what color it should be, etc. Charles Klein, 104 Gall Road, Columbia, IL 62236, (618)281-5064, ore-mail:

C. H. Wendel Responds: The 36A was one I missed. It didn't show up on the Fairbanks-Morse master list, so I assumed the model number was never used. Later on I discovered I was wrong, and I now have some information on the Model 36. We know that very few were made, and those were during the early days of World War II. Production probably ended due to the war. The Model 36 was made in one-, two-, three-, four-, six-, and eight-cylinder models. It could be mounted on skids, steel wheels, rubber tires, or a motor truck. The one-, two- and three-cylinder sizes could be furnished with a hand crank. All others were air or electric start.

38/3/2: Universal Motor Co. Q: I live in Australia, where I collect and restore antique engines and equipment. My latest acquisition is a rare DC generator. It is fairly bulky in comparison to Australian- or English-built generators. The identification plate reads:

Made for Universal Motor Co., Oshkosh, Wis., volts: 40; rpm: 975; serial 5855; by Kurz & Root Co., Appleton, Wis.

Kitty Waldrop
7/13/2009 7:58:25 PM

I need an instruction manual for a 1905 Fairbanks Morse 25 HP engine, any suggestions as to where I could find one? or information on restoring one?