Facts and Fun

By Staff
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Courtesy of Mr. Al Lietzow, Warren Western Reserve High School, Warren, Ohio 44485.
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Courtesy of Glen Shotten of the Warren Tribune Chronicle, Warren, Ohio 44485.
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Courtesy of Mr. Al Lietzow, Warren Western Reserve High School, Warren, Ohio 44485.
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Courtesy of Mr. Al Lietzow, Warren Western Reserve High School, Warren, Ohio 44485.

Students at Warren Western Reserve High School Warren, Ohio

The hobby of restoring gas engines has quickly gathered momentum
in the shop at Warren Western Reserve High School. Our Power
Mechanics instructor is Mr. Preston Foster, whom many of you know.
The interest in gas engines began with Mr. Al Lietzow, our Graphic
Arts instructor. (Refer to GEM, Vol. 5, No. 3, May-June 1970 for
Mr. Foster’s story on how it began.) Mr. Lietzow’s hobbies
are varying but the 3 hp. Fairbanks-Morse ‘Z’ engine which
he brought into the Power Mechanics shop is the one which has
aroused the interest in gas engines at Western Reserve High School.
Mr. Foster has now become addicted to these little gems and his
interest along with that of Mr. Lietzow’s in the restoration
and preservation of these engines and Early American farm culture
is now spreading here at school. Through the opportunity of working
on engines which were obtained by and belonged to Mr. Foster and
Mr. Lietzow, we became involved and decided that we would like to
become engine owners and collectors ourselves.

Mr. Lietzow and Mr. Foster were only too happy to have us
accompany them to various shows this past summer. As we attended
more and more shows, our interests grew rapidly, and before long,
the hunt for our own engines was well underway. These searches were
as unique as the engines themselves. Garry’s 1? hp.
Fairbanks-Morse, Type ‘Z’ engine was found in a hayloft, in
a rickety, old, dilapidated, run down, reasonable facsimile of a
barn. Not being fully prepared to remove this engine from the
hayloft, we were forced to resort to the equipment and facilities
at hand which consisted of our muscle power and one questionable
rope. While the engine was being lowered, Mr. Lietzow suddenly
yelled, ‘the rope is breaking!’ When Mr. Foster heard this,
he immediately grabbed the end of the rope nearest to him, but Mr.
Foster soon realized that he made a mistake in that he had grabbed
the broken end of the rope. Therefore, Mr. Lietzow was left with
the entire weight of the engine balancing precariously overhead.
Luckily though, Mr. Lietzow was able to bring the engine down,
somewhat under control, by himself.

Group at Trumbull County Fair — kneeling, Mr. Preston Foster.
Standing left to right: Ron Van Horn, Tom Jones and Garry

Tom’s engine, a 1? hp. Jaeger, came from Burrough’s Used
Farm Machinery in Zelienople, Pennsylvania. His engine was passed
over many times because of its roughness and because it was buried
in mud up to its hopper. Now that it’s restored though, one
would never know it.

Garry Keefer and restored ‘Junk’ — 1? hp.
Fairbanks-Morse, Type ‘Z’.

Ron Van Horn with his Maytag.

We have had many educating experiences with old gas engines. For
instance, Garry has learned that after repairs have been made, and
when initially trying to start the engine that unpredictable things
may happen. Like kicking back, bouncing around and even trying to
set one’s pant leg on fire when the cantaknerous engine
backfires. Garry is now ‘chief of our fire brigade’ for
when trying to start an engine, Garry is now on the spot with his
fire extinguisher. Also Tom has learned how to properly crank an
engine after a somewhat painful experience during which he had his
face slightly redesigned temporarily by a flying crank. Tom is now
one of the most careful and chicken-spined engine crankers we have
ever seen.

Also this past summer we had a very rewarding experience when we
displayed some engines at the Trumbull County Fair. This held a
special significance because this was the first time that such a
display was ever held at the Fair. We and three other local
collectors (George Bunting, Dick Grimes and Carlos Chamberlain)
even received recognition in our local newspaper.

Next summer we hope to learn many things and see a lot of
different engines as we plan to display our engines at as many
shows as we can attend.

Besides our restoration of the engines, Mr. Lietzow and Garry
Keefer in our Graphic Arts department have reprinted many of the
gas engine manuals and operating instructions which you, yourself,
may have read.

Mr. Lietzow and Mr. Foster aren’t the only ones whose
interests have rubbed-off on other people. Since our discovery of
the fun one can have with gas engines, another student at our
school, Ron Van Horn, has made the step-up to owning his own
engine. Ron is also a Power Mechanics shop assistant. With Ron as a
start, we hope to encourage many more students in gas engines.

Tom Jones and his 1? hp. Jaeger.

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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines