Having just returned from a week at the Midwest Old Threshers
Reunion at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa the Reflector finds himself covered
with paperwork in making the copy deadline for this issue.
As a representative of Stemgas Publishing at the Old Threshers
Reunion, we were pleasantly surprised at all the people who stopped
by, if for no other reason, than to wish us well. That alone was
very gratifying to the Reflector, and your thoughts have already
been conveyed to the entire GEM staff!
We continue to make progress on the paint color guide, and urge
you to continue sending us color chips or color numbers that you
have on hand. Quite a number of people left information with us at
Old Threshers, and with any luck, we’ll have a listing ready
sometime this winter. Either GEM will publish this list as part of
a regular issue, or possibly it will be printed as a pocket
The quality of engine restorations seems to improve each year!
Although we have not attended a large number of shows this year,
the 500+ engines on display at Mt. Pleasant revealed some very nice
restorations of some very nice engines. Also, the color photographs
coming into the GEM office indicate some long, hard hours of work
in many of the restorations.
Now to the questions for this month:
20/9/1 Q. Mark Serfass, 1533 Mt. Eagle PL,
Alexandria, VA 22302 is looking for information on a Merkel Motor
Wheelliterature, instructions, parts, etc.
A. For those not familiar with the Motor Wheel
design, see American Gas Engines, page 65 for an illustration of
the Smith Motor Wheel as built by Briggs & Stratton. The Smith
is somewhat different than the Merkel, although the purpose is the
same. Mr. Serfass also sends some detailed information on Messinger
Mfg. Co., Tatamy, PA. After getting additional photographs, we hope
to publish this article in its entirety.
20/9/2 Q. Mr. Arthur L. Crabille, 2704 Sunshine
Drive S., Lakeland, FL 33801 sends a photo (20/9/2A) of his
Cush-man 12 HP, 2-cylinder engine. This is a Model E 35 U engine
with s/n A 56296, and rated at 1000-1300 RPM. It uses the same
governor as the Model C, 4 HP style. Photo 20/9/2B illustrates Mr.
Crabille’s Model ZZ Briggs marine engine of 1941, while to the
right appears his 5 HP DuBrie (1923) marine engine. This engine
uses Ford Model T piston, rod, camshaft bushings, main bearing
caps, riming gear, and carburetor. Mr. Crabille would like to know
why the Cushman used the long shaft extension.
A. The Cushman crankshaft was apparently
equipped at one time with a clutch, probably of the same general
design used on the 8 HP, 2-cylinder Cushman design. The length of
the shaft and location of the keyway would seem to indicate this to
20/9/3 Q. I have a Cletrac DG, 6-speed crawler
tractor. It used an iron nameplate, and the letters are rusted off.
Is the serial number stamped on the frame so that I might determine
the age of this tractor? Edwin H. Bredemeier, Route 1, Box 13,
Steinauer, NE 68441.
A. Although we would guess the serial number to
be stamped on the frame, transmission case, or some other location,
a quick look through our files fails to give specific
20/9/4 Q. Can anyone help me with a Lauson
Model W6112 HP engine? Frank]. Soden, 94 Davis Road, Doylestown, PA
A. Several GEM advertisers have literature
and/or parts for the Lauson engines. Likewise, some of our readers
may be of help.
Q. What is the difference between the
Massey-Harris Colt, Mustang, and ’22’ tractors? Stanley
Byerly. (812) 347-2186.
A. Our letter from Mr. Boyerly has only the
phone number, but no address. First of all, the Model 21, Colt
tractor was built during 1952 and 1953. Available in either
tricycle or adjustable wide-front design, it was equipped with a
124 CID L-head engine with 21.6 max. corrected h.p. A 3-point hitch
and a hydraulic system was available. The 140 cubic inch Mustang
carried 23.91 maximum corrected h.p., and was available with gas or
distillate manifold. The Model 23 Mustang was built during
1952-1954. Massey-Harris Model 22 tractors were available in
standard-tread or row-crop design as well as gasoline or distillate
models. Production began in 1948 and ended in 1953. This model
carried a 140 cubic inch engine with 23.91 maximum drawbar
20/9/6 Q. Donald L. Smith, 1649 Hwy. 212 South,
Laurel, MT 59044 recently retrieved this 25 HP, 2-cycle engine. The
flywheels are 63 inches in diameter with a 4-inch face. They carry
casting numbers R15785 and L15785. With this limited information
can anyone tell us the make and model?
20/9/7 Q. I have a 2 HP Economy engine with a
dry head. Also have a 2 HP model with a wet cylinder head, the 2 HP
model appears to be older, but has a higher serial number than the
2 HP model. I also have a Tom Thumb engine with number G’6527.
Is this the serial number, and if not, where is it located? Is
there a way to determine the correct paint color for these engines?
jack L. Wadsworth, 264 W. Pamela Road, Arcadia, CA 91006. (818)
A. To our knowledge, no serial number lists
exist for the Economy engines. However, some manufacturers had a
habit of jumbling the numbers to confuse the competition. Whether
Economy did this, we do not know, but we DO KNOW that Witte, as an
example, was notorious for shifting numbers by several thousand,
even within the same year and model. Quite honestly, we are not
sure whether the Tom Thumb carried a shop number at all, but the
‘G’ prefix definitely indicates a part number. Regarding
paint colors, the Reflector hopes to complete an index on the
subject by this winter. One thing is sureno matter the make, air
cooled cylinders should always be painted aluminum to help
dissipate the heat!
20/9/8Marion Dirks, RR 1, Box 85, Greens-burg,
KS 67054 would like to see some articles on the Avery tractors in
future issues of GEM. (Note: The Reflector will be happy to
work with anyone out there having some Avery literature, photos,
history, etc. who would like to submit an article on the
20/9/9Stiles Bradley, Box 25, Pavilion, NY
14525 sends a photo of his incomplete Lazier engine, and would like
to correspond with anyone having one of these engines or literature
on same so that he might make the missing parts.
20/9/10 Q. Harold A. Stupp, RR 1, Aurora, NY
13026 has a New Way engine, Model GHA, s/n 1214also a New Way Model
EH, s/n 1776. He would like further information on these
A. Neither of these engines are illustrated in
American Gas Engines, and the Reflector was in fact, unaware of
these models. Perhaps someone else can help the cause. No serial
number listings for these engines are available.
20/9/11R. V. Burton, 3816 Findley Road,
Woodbridge, VA 22193 requests information on a Racine-Sattley
engine, 3 HP, s/n 1701. Specifically requested is approximate age,
magneto equipment, actual builder, original color. Also, Mr. Burton
would be happy to hear from any gas engine clubs in his area.
20/9/12 Q. Regarding the Thieman tractor, ]ohn
Thumma, RR 2, Box 73, Laurens, IA 50554 writes that his was
equipped with a Ford flathead V-8 instead of the usual Ford Model A
engine. Although some literature indicates that this and other
engines could be used, we need more data on just how to go about
it. For instance, the standard Model A radiator had but two
openings, while the flathead V-8 required four.
A. The Thieman tractor remains for the
Reflector one of the most interesting and innovative attempts at
making a tractor out of an old car. In fact, the Thieman was
probably one of the most successful in terms of its usefulness.
Perhaps someone has some detailed information on this interesting
tractor that they would share with both Mr. Thumma and the
Delco, Spark Coils, etc.From Jack Daniel, 2229 E.
Morton St., Tacoma, WA 98404 we finally learn that he originally
sent in the Delco material incorrectly ascribed to Gene Brandt.
(See page 7 of the September, 1985 GEM). Mr. Daniel goes
on to note that he has a sizeable group of manuals he can photocopy
for those needing this information. The list includes: Delco Pump
Repair Parts, 1945; Delco 600 watt Service Parts Catalog; Atlas
Cyclohm Generator Unit; Tiny Tim Battery Chargers and Light Plants;
Homelite Instruction and Service Manuals; United States Motors,
Oshkosh, Wisc. Electric Light Plants; Several Onan Manuals. These
are available on a photocopy basis at a price to cover my
Mr. Daniel is also in need of information on a Myers
‘Bulldozer’ pump, and wants to know if it can be operated
at a pressure as high as 110 PSI.
In additional comments, Jack notes that many people test
magnetos or coils by holding the wire inch or more away from the
engine to determine whether there is fire. Doing this endangers the
coil, since to arc a gap of .030′ requires only about 2000
volts at normal atmospheric pressure. To arc a ‘ gap requires
about 12,000 volts.
Note: the Reflector has noted the same thing, and urges readers
to observe the same caution. A good coil or magneto will rupture
its own coils if the leads cannot jump the gap, or if the wire is
simply disconnected. Most magnetos are equipped with a built-in
safety gap to prevent this, but spark coils usually do not have
this feature. Prestolite Company builds a tiny unit resembling a
spark plug, except that it is equipped with an alligator clip to
attach to the engine block, with the electrode uniformly gapped
about . 200′. If the spark jumps this gap at atmospheric
pressure, there is every likelihood that the problem is not in the
ignition system. Another point when using a Ford Model T spark
coil, it is necessary to use a 12 volt battery. These coils were
designed for 9 to 18 volts, not 6 volts, and under good compression
there simply isn’t enough voltage to cross the gap. A final
comment Mr. Daniel’s offer to photocopy his materials at cost
is considered a service to GEM readers, and should not be construed
as plugging a commercial venture.
Duro Paint ColorsGlen R. Swenson, H.C. RR2, Box 492,
Bovey, MN 55709 writes that the Duro cylinder and attachments are
silver (Krylon Hi-Heat Aluminum, # 1401 or # 1402). The base and
other parts are White Truck Gray, DuPont Centari 29547.
20/3/12 Epoxy Resin Myron Korsmeyer, Box 153,
Lucas, KS 67648 offers some valuable advice concerning the use of
1. Epoxy resins are TOXIC! Don’t breathe the fumes,
and if any should catch fire, DO NOT BREATHE THE SMOKE!
2. Do not allow epoxy resins to remain on the skin.
‘Quick-Set’ epoxy has a period of chemical heating and can
cause severe burns.
3. Allowing epoxy to remain on the skin allows some of
this material to be absorbed into the body. This temporarily
immobilizes the body’s ability to absorb calcium. Repeated
contact can even be life-threatening!
4. Marine-type epoxy resin is impervious to solvents, but
other types eventually turn into a gummy mess. Now to various
paints most of the old enamels contained either lead or silica.
When baked, the silica provided a deep, glassy effect. Much the
same effect can be otained using DuPont Centari or similar enamels.
Even the metallics can be used effectively. First you need a GOOD
paint gun, an air pressure regulator, and a moisture trap. To get
the life and glow of the metallic but not the glitter, use only
20-30 PSI at the regulator and practice at various settings on your
paint gun to get the rate and pattern established. The low
regulator pressure permits the metallic itself to recede into the
paint, thus giving the glow without the glitter. This also cuts
down on the dusty overspray problem.
For Fairbanks-Morse green, we use B8152AH (Code 4J) Dark Spruce.
Associated Red, 5229 AM Bright Red (Code 3 or 2). John Deere Green
262A. IH Blue 45765AH. McCormick-Deering 8-11792G Dark Jade Green.
These are all DuPont Centari numbers.
20/7/2 T. L. Smith Co.Brad E. Smith, 7574 S. 74
St., Franklin, WI 53132 writes that this company built cement
mixers at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The plant closed about 3 years ago.
They probably purchased their engines (most likely from
20/7/7 Warehouse Scale Several readers gave us
information on the warehouse scale. These excellent photos
illustrating this unit were submitted by Bob Calhoun, 309 Decatur
Road, Marquette Hts., IL 61554.
Norbert Keeley CastingsIn the September GEM appeared a photo
showing a scale model Fairbanks-Morse Eclipse Pumper made from
Norbert Keeley castings. Several readers asked us for more
information, and several people wrote that these castings are
available from: Norbert H. Keeley, 901 Mulberry St., Perrysburg, OH
43551. We understand however, that blueprints are NOT
A CLOSING WORD
Although the Reflector’s book American Gas Engines Since
1872 probably covers the majority of stationary and portable
engines built in North America it becomes increasingly obvious that
a great many more are yet to be discovered. As an example, our
week-long stay at the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion yielded a
number of photographs to us by collectors from all over the U.S.
and Canada. As time permits, this material will be appropriately
filed for future use. Several people stopped by the Stemgas stand
to give us original and reprinted literature on several different
gas engine and tractor companies. These materials are in constant
use for continuing research, so we wish to publicly thank everyone
who stopped by with new information. In addition, we wish to thank
all who stopped in with words of encouragement, or even a simple
‘Hello.’ Your message has already been delivered to the
entire Stemgas staff!
The purpose of the Reflections column is to provide a forum for
the exchange of all useful information among subscribers to GEM.
Inquiries or responses should be addressed to: REFLECTIONS, Gas
Engine Magazine, P.O. Box 328, Lancaster, PA 17603.