Looking for Clues to Unknown Engines
At the recent Old Threshers Reunion at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa we met the new GEM editor, Richard Backus. We spent an enjoyable day together, and we're confident that Richard will be doing a nice job for us. You will also notice some changes to GEM, although they will be conservative, and aimed primarily at making the magazine easier to read. Richard tells us (we're stealing his thunder) that in the next few months the classified section will be revamped with sections dealing with various aspects. That way we won't have to scan the entire want ad section looking, say, for lubricators.
We also met several of Richard's colleagues at Ogden Publications and admire all of them for their enthusiasm and insight. We're sure you'll be hearing more about the various aspects of the new publisher within the next few months. Meanwhile, we urge you to support our new editors and hope you'll give them a chance to strut their stuff as they endeavor to reinvigorate the magazine. Oh yes, ye olde Reflector plans to keep up with the Reflections column in the foreseeable future.
This year marks the first time in nearly 40 years that the Reflector didn't setup a book and merchandise stand at the Old Threshers Show! Despite cautions that we would be bored to death, it was actually quite a pleasant experience to play with engines, visit with literally hundreds of different folks, and have the chance for an occasional break during the day. Thanks to everyone who stopped by!
We're also planning our upcoming Germany/Switzerland Tour. As this issue of GEM goes to press, we don't have the final itinerary, but hope to take care of this in a couple of weeks. Plans are for the tour to fly from Chicago to Zurich and from Frankfurt to Chicago, leaving in early July. It will be 16 days, including air time, or about 14 days on foreign soil. We're trying to incorporate a rally or two into our schedule, but it is a bit early to have the 2002 rally dates. However, we plan to start our tour in Zurich, spending a few days in Switzerland. Then it is on to Germany where we have assembled what we call 'the best of the best' in museums, private collections, and a bit of culture as well.
A number of good friends in Germany are working on details of the tour. As with our tour to Australia, the 2002 Germany tour will be limited to 40 people, and per our advertisement, reservations will be made in the order received. Oh yes, and the usual question is whether we'll see some 'iron' every day? Yep, there will be some iron almost every day, with the Deutsches Museum in Munich being one of the highlights. We read somewhere that if you spent one minute looking at each exhibit in this huge complex, it would take something like 18 years to see everything.
Ye olde Reflector is still actively collecting diesel and oil engines, and has just acquired a Bamford vertical diesel, as well as a Lister diesel. The latter is fairly common, but is a nice running engine. The Bamford is a four-cycle but has no cams. The valves are operated by a peculiar and unique pushrod coming from the depths of the crankcase. Through a linkage system on the side of the cylinder head, this single rod operates both valves. Perhaps we can provide further details in a coming issue. We now have a fair number of diesel and oil engines, with a favorite being our single-cylinder Junkers made in Germany back in 1933. But then, we also have a couple of IHC Mogul engines, which stand at the top of the heap in our estimation, as among the finest engines ever built (we'll probably hear some rebuttals to that statement).
This month we begin with:
36/11/1: Fairbanks-Morse Q: Tom Stoskopf 2449 Fairview Ave., Waverly, IA 50677 has a Fairbanks-Morse 8 HP Type N engine, s/n 113439, and would like to know the proper color and when it was built.
A: The engine was built in 1912, and was likely comparable to DuPont 74713 Green or Sherwin-Williams 4811 Green. Very early F-M engines were a blackish green or greenish black.
36/11/2: Rivett Lathes Regarding the Rivett of 36/8/7, Doug Elliott sent us a nice letter. Doug resides at 1801 Hwy 128, Philo, CA 95466. He reports that for those with internet access, go to www.lathes.co.uk, scroll down the list to Rivett and click on your model. Tony Griffiths of England has a wealth of data, photos, instructions, etc., on all types of lathes, including the Rivett. Since this is slow to download, you may want to spend the $25 for his two-CD catalog to run your own. If you do not have internet access, drop Doug a line with the model number and any other data and he will send you copies of what he has (we're sure you'll send along a modest stipend to at least cover paper and postage). Doug sent along some very interesting data on the Rivett Company and its eventual demise in the 1970s.
36/11/3: Fairbanks-Morse Type Y Q: I have just bought my first big engine. It is a 25 HP Fairbanks-Morse Y, Style H engine with center injection, s/n 401111. What is the correct color? I have many questions and would like to contact other owners, especially of the 25 HP model. Zach Nagel, 20 Redwood Ct., Lafayette, IN 47905.
A: Your engine is of 1919 vintage. According to company records, the first center-injection engine was built with No. 444633 of 1920. We think there is a good chance that your engine was retrofitted with the new style cylinder head, probably in the field. The color often appears as black, although it seems that this was actually black with a hint of blue. Sometimes they have appeared in a gray finish, but this was probably at the request of the original purchaser, at least for the earlier engines. Our book, Fairbanks-Morse 1893-1993, carries lots of pictures and information on these engines. It is available from GEM.
36/11/4: Information Needed Q: Cleo Philbrick, 110 W. Purdue, Enid, OK 73701, sends along several photos for which he would like information. If you can be of help, please contact him directly. The first is shown in 36/11/4A and 4B. Cleo writes: 'I bought this engine at auction. It looks like a Waterloo (Boy) but has a barrel governor with dogs in it. The bore and stroke is 3x5-inches. Any information on this engine would be appreciated.' In photo 4C is shown a Windolph Model C crawler. 'It uses a two-cylinder Wisconsin engine. I would like to hear from anyone having any information on this tractor.' Photo 4D shows an engine of unknown make. 'There is no nameplate information. It has a 3x3-5/8 -inch bore and stroke, and uses a Webster magneto. Any information would be appreciated. '
A: The engine in 4A and 4B is undoubtedly of Waterloo origin. However, it could be a kissin' cousin of the Waterloo Boy, since quite a number of different, but similar engines came from Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company. Can anyone be of help on this one? The Windolph C and several other of their models are illustrated and described on page 505 of the Standard Catalog of American Farm Tractors, available from GEM. These are fairly scarce, and we have it that a mint copy of the Model C might sell for $4,000. These tractors were built in the decade of the 1950s. Regarding the unidentified engine of 4D, check the Webster magneto bracket number. Then refer to Wendel's Notebook and the listing of magneto bracket numbers. That might give you and instant clue as to the identity of the engine. This book is available from GEM.
36/11/5: Unidentified Engine Q: See the photos of an old engine I discovered in my neighbor's back yard. There is no nameplate, but s/n 50007 and 5 HP is stamped in the housing. The flywheel is 14 inches and is screwed onto a 1-inch threaded crankshaft. The output shaft has a rubber-coated wooden pulley. Any information would be appreciated. Ernest C. Mills, PO Box 118, Howley, Newfoundland, Canada A0K 3E0 .
36/11/6: Fairbanks-Morse Q: I recently acquired a 3 HP Fairbanks-Morse Z engine. At least, that's what the decal says. There is no nameplate. The hopper is tapered from the cylinder to top with an oval opening. The back cover is cast iron and has the appearance of the back of a frog. There is a speed lever on the upper left of the cover and a dipstick at the rear of the engine. It is equipped with a F-M J magneto. The serial number on the rear of the hopper is very faint. Any information would be appreciated. Joseph L. Betz, 3581 Falmouth Drive, Library, PA 15129.
A: A photo or two of your engine would be most helpful in identifying the specific model. If your engine isn't correctly identified with the above description, we would suggest this method, since it would likely give you the information you seek.
36/11/7: Racine Sattley Marion Brock, 2619 Bernhurst Drive, Knoxville, TN 37918, sends some photos of a Racine-Sattley 5 HP model, showing the governor mechanism and how it is arranged. This is their 3-speed arrangement.
36/11/8: Water Rams Ray Webb, RD1, Emlenton, PA 16373, sends along a photo of an unidentified water ram. It has no name, but is entirely workable. He would like information on how to properly pipe it up. If you can help, please contact Ray at the above address.
36/11/9: Stewart Flexible Shaft Engine Rich Howard, Sarpy Rd., Hysham, MT 59038, would like to hear from anyone having a Stewart Flexible Shaft engine made by Stover. His is s/n KA166082 (1925 vintage). Rich is looking for any information on these machines. If you can help, please let him know. There are a surprising number of these machines to be found in Australia.
36/11/10: Unidentified Engine Tim Nolting, 2457 S. Lemons Rd., Vincennes, IN 47591, sends along several photos of a big three-cylinder engine and pump along a levee. It is an 18-inch pump. Although the engine has been badly cannibalized, perhaps someone might be able to identify it. We'd guess that this big three-cylinder engine sounded mighty nice pulling that big 18-inch pump!
As is our time-honored duty, we again remind you of draining those engines and tractors before Jack Frost appears! Aw, we know we drained everything, or did we forget to take out a vital plug or petcock? Well, there's no use lying awake on that first cold night with visions of freezing water pushing and expanding those metal parts into unrecognizable junk. Over the years, several people have written us saying they were glad they caught our warning here in GEM. Last winter a fellow wrote us. He told of how he read this little article, and was ABSOLUTELY SURE that all the engines were drained. Then he remembered how he was interrupted with a phone call, and never got back to the shed that day. The evening he received GEM he read about frozen engines, and decided to go check (just for safety). So with a jacket, cap, and trusty flashlight he checked his engines, and guess what? There, off in the corner, was an engine that was overlooked, and still holding plenty of water for a heap big freezeup!
Some collectors use some permanent antifreeze, and that's okay, but don't leave it in the engine for years and years. Harmful substances will tend to pit the iron. Dump that stuff out every year or two and put in a fresh batch. By the way, be careful in disposing of old antifreeze. It causes mortal illness in adults, little kids, cats, dogs, and other living things.
We're excited about a new era for GEM! We think that over the next few months you'll be seeing some new and interesting changes to the magazine, and we're happy to provide whatever information we can. See you all next month.
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.
At the Sheppard Annual Tractor Reunion, which was held in Bluffton, Ind., the weekend of August 10-12, a very valuable notebook was lost or stolen. This notebook, belonging to Lynn Klingaman, contained many one-of-a-kind letters from the R.H. Sheppard Co. to Lewis Zettlemoyer, a dealer. Also included in the notebook were numerous manuals and literature concerning Sheppard equipment. Sheppard enthusiasts as well as the owner are concerned about the loss of this valuable resource. This letter is to ask you to use your resources to aid in the recovery of this notebook. A reward is being offered for its return. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.
If any readers have information about this notebook, please contact Clifford L. Martin at 458 CR 1302, Ashland, OH 44805, or Lynn Klingaman, 6775 N. Etna Road, Columbia, IN 46725.