The Reflector Stands Corrected on the Titan

| November/December 1968

625 Secor Ave., Forest City, Iowa 50436

(From I & T, May 21, 1963)

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM IMPLEMENT & TRACTOR. COPY RIGHT 1968 IMPLEMENT & TRACTOR PUBLICATIONS, INC. (Rodney Hill thought this column called' 'Reflections' written by the late Elmer J. Baker, Jr., would be of interest to the GEM readers and wrote the Implement & Tractor company and asked for permission to reprint. We hope you enjoy it -- Anna Mae)

In the Feb. 7 issue, the Reflector uttered some admiring remarks about the Titan 10-20 and its contribution to power fanning history. But a faltering memory led us to say that the Titan had no carburetor or spark plugs. We were correct about the former and in error about the latter, and we stand corrected by W. R. Peterson, who writes on the letterhead of the Peter son Mfg. Co., Plainfield, Ill. To quote the appropriate portion of his Titan recollections:

I am impelled to challenge your statement that the Titan 10-20 had no spark plugs or carburetor. True, it had no carburetor, but it did have spark plugs; big outsize critters of a size that I have seen nowhere else, but spark plugs nonetheless. It also had a good high tension magneto, KW by name, with an impulse coupling for easy starting and safety. This impulse coupling worked with marvelous efficiency until the magneto became saturated with lube oil that worked up through the joints in the crankcase. When this happened the magneto armature would drag so that the impulse coupling spring could no longer drive the armature in its properly timed orientation. Faced with this condition, there were but two choices open. One could either disassemble the mag and wash it out or build a fire under it to make the oil let go of the armature. The Stanolind lube oil that we used in those days was only a few SAE numbers (unheard of in those days) below that of light axle grease. In cold weather we had to store a supply of the oil in the house so we could pour it into the Madison-Kipp lubricator.

It was easy to become a tractor ex pert in those days, since no one else knew anything about tractors either. I had the opportunity to drive a Mogul 8-16 a few hours on a road oiling job; at night when no one else wanted to work. Based on this 'experience,' I went out and got a job from a farmer who had just bought a new Titan 10-20 (with spark plugs). He started the Titan for me and showed me how to adjust the mixing valves for kerosene and water and sent me to the field in high gear to plow clover sod, with the suggestion that I should shift into low gear when I got to the field, since the tractor would not be able to pull the plow in high gear. When I got to the field I did not have the courage to ship out of high gear for fear I would be unable to find low gear, so I proceeded to plow in high gear until noon. When I returned to the house at noon the boss was so impressed with my skill that he gave me a raise right then. And so are experts made.