38/5/1: F-M Type N Q: I’m hoping you can
help us out with the knowledge you have on Fairbanks-Morse engines.
I have a 1900 4 HP Fairbanks-Morse Type N, serial number 12612. We
are restoring it and would like to find out what the original color
would be. We have found some red on the bottom of the platform, but
we don’t know if that is the color of the whole engine. Peter
W. Tuttle, 403 Water St., West Branch, IA 52358, (319)
CH. Wendel responds:A:
That’s not a real easy one to answer. The very early ones were
a greenish black, very very dark. Then for a short time, especially
on the verticals, they used red. At the very same time, many of the
engines were a very dark green, but not so dark as earlier. Finally
with the ‘Z’ engines came the familiar green. However in
1930, about the time the ZC came along, it changed again, at least
for awhile. A lot of the paint was bought on contract, and there
wasn’t much of this color matching. Green was about three
shades; light, olive and dark. Now we have a little handheld device
that spits out a color number after three samples!
38/5/2: Engine Trio
I’m looking for information on three different engines. The
first is a Homelite military generator, and I’d like to know
when it was made, horsepower rating, etc. The second is a 1929
Fairbanks-Morse Type H 750 watt 115 volt generator. Are there any
more of these out there? This is the only one I’ve ever seen.
Finally, I’m looking for information on a marine engine that
belongs to a friend of mine. I can’t find a name on it, but it
has a Krice Model G carburetor, a Detroit lubricator (number
12692), a Mloberdorfer (?) water pump, the number 1608 on the front
of the block and the number 012S1433 on the cylinder. Dan Zumstein,
1615 Schaller St., Janesville, WI 53546.
I would like some information on this engine. It is a Briggs
& Stratton Type FH, serial number 38684. It has no flywheel and
the crankshaft has no keyway cut in it, only a governor housing and
a pulley. The engine originally had a kick-starter (which is gone).
It’s a HP engine and has a 2-inch bore. Any information on this
engine, and the whereabouts of a kick-starter, would be welcome.
Jim Fisher, 2048 Webb St., Stockton, CA 95205-3237.
38/5/4: Horse-Drawn Mower
A neighbor recently got a horse-drawn mowing machine that has us
scratching our heads. Each part appears to have what I’d call a
stylized German cross cast into it, along with a part number, but
there is no brand name anywhere on the machine. The casting numbers
Axle: AB 1188
Cutter guide: A 1166
Cutter bar bracket: AC 1221
Pittman shield: AA 1165
Knife guard: AC 881
Does anyone have any idea who made this? Barry Mugglin, 630
County Route 4, Central Square, NY 13036.
38/5/5:John Deere Model A
Help! I have a John Deere Model A tractor with the thermosiphon
cooling system. The radiator core is completely shot, and all I can
find are the small automotive style cores. Does anyone know of
anything else available? John J. (Jim) Wohlfeil, 6040 Eldridge
Drive, Waterford, MI 48327-2630, (248) 681-0808.
38/5/6: Alpha Engine
I have an Alpha 3- HP engine, Type E391, serial number 80332,
made by the De Laval Company in Peterborough, Ontario. I would like
to know what the original color of this engine was, what it might
have been used for and any other information you or your readers
might be able to supply. Steve Wattenbarger, 430 Highway 11, Rising
Fawn, GA 30738.
38/5/7: Geiser Engine
The Charlton Park Gas & Steam Club is looking for
information on their sawmill steam engine. It is a Peerless
stationary manufactured by Geiser Manufacturing Company,
Waynesboro, Pa. The serial number is 15116. We are told it is 75 HP
and I measured a 16-inch stroke. It has a trace of very dark green
paint and yellow or gold pin stripping. Would anyone know the exact
paint color we should get to paint it? We would also like to know
the bore diameter and the year of manufacture. Does anyone know how
many pounds of steam this engine was designed to run on to produce
75 HP? Is there any literature available on this engine? We would
appreciate any information. Lloyd Merchant, 7526 Windsor Hwy.
Dimondale, MI, (517) 646-2626
38/5/7: Stewart Little Wonder
I have subscribed to your magazine for about a year and it is
great. I have an engine that needs to be identified, and I need one
part for it to be complete.
It’s an air-cooled, single-cylinder engine with a 2- or
2-1/8-inch bore. The flywheel is 10 inches in
diameter. It has a Bosch magneto with the dates ‘Oct 17, 1905
Oct 24, Oct 6, 1908’ on the tin plate that covers the magnets
on the magneto. The part I need is the cover that goes over the
points to the magneto, or if nothing else a good picture of the
cover so I can machine one. You can see there is a wire clip that
holds it in place.
Also, if anyone has any literature on it I would very much like
to get a copy. Mark Richey, 644 Del Prado Dr., Boulder City, NV
8900. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
A: Your engine is a Stewart Little Wonder,
built by Chicago Flexible Shaft Co., Chicago, Ill. We ran a picture
of one of these engines in the March 2003 issue under the heading
‘Unidentified Engine.’ At the time we failed to notice what
it was. Numerous readers jumped in to clue us in and, justifiably,
chide us for not recognizing the engine. With any luck one of our
readers can help you find the cover you need.
38/5/8: Railroad Scooter EngineQ: I wonder if someone out there in engine world
can help with some information on an engine that, among others, was
a favorite of mine as a farm boy in the 1930s on the eastern shore
At that time one of the important freight and passenger tracks
of the Pennsylvania Railroad ran from Philadelphia down the eastern
shore to Cape Charles, from which the railroad operated both
passenger steamboats and a tug/barge fleet across the mouth of the
Chesapeake Bay. Maintaining the track was very important and the
local repair crews, which operated from the little town near our
farm, were responsible for some miles of track in each direction.
The fascination for me was the railroad ‘scooter’ they used
to tow the tool car, and I’d like to know more about the engine
they used. In the last 10 years I have seen two of these engines in
private collections as well as one complete scooter, but alas, I
was always without camera.
The scooter engine was a large, heavy, air-cooled opposed
two-cylinder with exposed pushrod/rocker operated overhead valves
and a magneto atop the crankcase. The flywheel face was a
completely smooth surface against which a leather-rimmed wheel on a
square shaft could be loaded and moved radially for speed change
and reverse. I have made a working model of this engine from
memory, but still know nothing about the real engine.
I have been told this engine was made by Fairbanks-Morse and was
also used in a truck. Perhaps you can correct or verify this and
perhaps someone can tell me where I can see one or get a picture. I
am interested in the internal parts and the lubrication system –
maybe someone out there has had one apart?
H.B. Upshur, 1620 Herron Lane, West Chester, PA 19380, (610)
A: We’re not sure what the engine in
question might be, but you might want to look at the photo we ran
in the November 2001 issue on page 22. That engine belongs to C.H.
Wendel, and reader Chuck Rhodes, Collinsville, Ill., identified it
as a Buda. Further, Chuck said he had heard they were used in
trucks. Chuck sent some old catalog cuts of the engine, which we
ran in the January 2002 issue on page 6.
38/5/9: Acme Oil Field Engine
I have an Acme sucker rod oil field engine that I am restoring,
and I would like to know what year it is, what color it should be
and what its horsepower rating is. There is nothing on the tag,
which is on top of the cylinder towards the head. It is serial
number 719 and has an 11 -inch bore and an 18-inch stroke. Any help
Jerry Fastenow, 906 22nd St., Spirit Lake, IA 51360.
38/5/10: United cylinderQ: I
have a 2- HP Type A United engine, serial number 204681. First off,
did they ever build United engines in Lansing, Mich.? Second, my
engine had an IHC two-bolt mag, and I know the IHC mag was wrong. I
have a four-bolt mag and gear, and I also have a 1- HP JD mag. My
question is, when did United use a two-bolt mag and when did they
use a four-bolt mag? I’d also like to know when the United was
made. Bruce Dixon, 8880 Hartel Rd., Grand Ledge, MI 48837.
A: Assuming your engine is tagged United Engine
Co., United did indeed operate out of Lansing, Mich. However,
United did not build any of its engines. It started in 1911 as
United Manufacturer’s Association, Jackson, Mich., and moved in
1912 to Lansing, in the process changing its name to United Engine
Co. It’s thought that early United engines were built by Gilson
Manufacturing, Port Washington, Wis. After 1912 they were built by
Associated Manufacturers, Waterloo, Iowa.
A Closing Word
As many of you know, C.H. Wendel is still recovering from the
stroke he suffered last year, and we’ve kept his column
running, waiting for his eventual return to these pages. The point
of this is simply to let everyone know that Wendel is not, with
rare exception, presently answering reader queries. We’re
trying to fill in during the interim, but not surprisingly
we’re missing some answers Wendel could recite with ease.
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
Vintage 1920’s South Bend Catalog
Pages from a 1920’s vintage South Bend catalog give instructions for mounting con-rods in a lathe and boring the bearing.
Low-Tension Ignition System
Bringing some understanding in a nontechnical way as to how the simple battery and coil and the low-tension rotary magneto ignition systems work.
Weidenhoff Model 818 Magnet Charger
David Cave creates his own documentation through this internal and external examination of his Weidenhoff model 818 magnet charger.