Readers' Engine Questions
38/12/1: Query of the Month -Pontiac Gas Engine
At last summer's engine show in Portland, Ind., we ran into engine collector David Akridge, owner of the Pontiac engine shown here. David, who bought the engine at the spring swap meet in Portland, doesn't know much about the engine, and he'd like to find out more about the company and his particular unit.
The nameplate identifies the engine as a product of Pontiac Tractor Co., Pontiac, Mich., but provides little other information. There's no serial number stamped on the plate, nor is the engine's horsepower stamped on the plate. There was a Pontiac Tractor Co. in the tractor business from about 1917 to 1919, but whether that same company produced this engine is unknown. Very little is known about these units -they're not even mentioned in C. H. Wendel's American Gas Engines Since 1872 - and we can't find any mention of the make in back issues of GEM. The gentleman David bought the engine from suggested it was largely original, but it's clearly been repainted at some time. Interestingly, at least two other Pontiac engines were at the show; one on display and another for sale in the swap meet area.
The engine has some interesting features, most notably a cast iron pipe running horizontally through the hopper. David says it's been suggested that this pipe could have been used to pre-heat pesticides for spraying. David says the pipe is plugged at both ends with a cork stopper and is rusted out inside the hopper.
Another curious feature is the engine's spring-loaded crankcase breather, just visible at the right rear of the crankcase. David runs the engine with the breather cap barely lifted off its seat (supported by a toothpick inserted between the cap and its seat), since crankcase pressure bubbles up through the cylinder oiler if he doesn't.
David thinks the engine is about 1 HP, and he says it's equipped with a Model T piston and carburetor, with ignition supplied from a Model T buzz coil. It's a quality unit, and David says 'whoever built this did a good job. I'd say they were 10 years ahead of their time.' If anyone knows more about this engine, contact David Akridge, 168 N. Skyline Drive, Louiseville, KY 00229; (502) 957-3541, and please drop us a line here at GEM, as well.
38/12/2: Unidentified Engine
My father bought this engine in Iowa in the early 1970s, and it has been sitting in a shed ever since. I believe the engine came from Norway, as a local museum was once interested in it for their Norwegian collection.
The base is approximately 40 inches wide, the flywheel is 3 inches by 30 inches, and the whole unit is about 69 inches tall. The numbers 1504 and 1505 are cut in two areas on top of the cylinder. I can't find any other identifying marks.
My father said a blowtorch firing on a stud that extends into the cylinder chamber ignited the fuel charge. Thanks for any interest and assistance in identifying this engine. Jim Richardson, P.O. Box 52, Harpers Ferry, IA 52146.
38/12/2B: Ignition side of engine. The box and its fitting constituted a blowtorch, which heated the rod just above it to ignite the fuel/air mixture.
38/12/3: Sickle-Bar Mower
Q: Last summer I purchased an old Jari sickle-bar mower that had been sitting outside for a long time. After replacing a rusted-out v-pulley, fitting a new drive belt, cleaning the carburetor and replacing the points and condenser, I got the machine running -Jari sickle-bar mowers shake quite a lot when running!
Now I have a question: Looking in the gas tank, I found something that looked like fiberglass insulation (about two hands full). Did the manufacturer install the substance in the tank, or did the owner of the mower have a good idea?
Finally, thanks for going back to the old cover on the Gas Engine Magazine. It keeps the magazine clean and is good for taking notes on articles in the magazine. Robert Doss, 5950 Wilson Drive, Huntington, WV 25705.
A: We can't for the life of us imagine why you'd want to stuff fiberglass insulation into your gas tank. Sounds like it just found its way in there and stayed.
38/12/4: Novo Engine
Q: I have a Novo air-cooled engine, and I would like to find a manual or a copy of a manual for this engine. The serial no. is BA-232063. It has a Fairbanks-Morse magneto, Type J, no. A730889, and it's equipped with a Zenith carburetor. Is this original equipment for this model? The tag lists the bore and stroke at 2-7/8-inch by 3-1/2-inch. Horsepower is not given.
I am new to the hobby and a novice when it comes to engines, so any help I can get will be appreciated. Roger Noethling, 590 Phillips Circle, Antioch, IL 60002.
A: We can't find much information on your engine. It's possibly a Model A air-cooled, which were built from 1936 to 1939, but that's only a guess. Air-cooled Novos are quite rare, and we've never seen or heard of anyone who has manuals for them. With any luck, a reader might be able to help you out.
The equipment fitted to the engine sounds right for the time period, and depending on rated speed, we're guessing your Novo is about a 3 HP engine. If anyone knows more, please contact Roger at the address given, and also drop us a line here at GEM.
38/12/5: Montgomery, Ward & Co. Engine
Q: We purchased this engine at a farm show, and I have never seen one like it before. The nameplate says it was manufactured by Montgomery, Ward & Co. and shows serial no. E2J33355. It has a two-speed pulley, and the fuel tank is built into the heavy, cast iron base. Any information would be appreciated. James O. Haugen, 204 Andrea Circle, Buffalo, MN 55313-1238.
A: We aren't sure what you have. Air-cooled engines sold by Montgomery, Ward & Co. in the 1930s were built by Nelson Bros., but yours doesn't look anything like those engines. The style of the engine suggests it was built after World War II, and possibly even in the 1950s.
38/12/6: 2 HP Associated
Q: I have a 2 HP Associated gas engine, but I have very little knowledge about it. Showing serial no. 348404, I was told it was made about 1918. Any bit of information on the history of Associated gas engines and particularly my engine would be more than welcome. Courtney Boell, 20470 S. Sprague Road, Oregon City, OR 97045.
A: Associated Manufacturers Co., Waterloo, Iowa, had a pretty good run in the stationary engine business. You might want to check out C.H. Wendel's Power in the Past, Volume 1, which focuses on the history of Iowa-based engine and tractor manufacturers, including Associated. The book is $12,50, and it's available here at Ogden Publications by calling (800) 678-4883.
38/12/7: Waterloo Engine
I have a Waterloo engine that is equipped with mounting lugs on the back of the base and has an extra crankshaft gear for mounting and driving a pump jack. I would like to hear from anyone who has such a pump jack and pictures of it. Donald J. Hahn, Keokuk-Washington Road, Keota, IA 52248; (641) 636-2156.
38/12/8: Elgin Hafa Hors
I've been in the old iron hobby for eight years now, and I have restored about 13 engines and several other machines. I am currently working on an Elgin Hafa Hors engine for my wife. I have no other literature for it. The engine is nearly complete, but I think the carburetor needs work as I think it's missing a oneway valve (reed or check). Does it need one? I can't find one anywhere, nor can I find evidence of one. Where does it go?
The body of the carburetor is cast brass, one piece. There are two cylindrical sections side-by-side, connected by a small passage. One section has an outlet passage and a needle valve on the opposite side. This section also has an adjustable, spring-loaded intake damper (like that on a Fairbanks-Morse Z or IHC M). The other section has no cover, no threads for one and is a rough cast. Is this a priming cup? Does it need a cover? I tried turning the engine over with fuel, both in the tank and in the 'priming cup.' The piston got wet, and so did I when the fuel was drawn in and then blown back out at me. Can anyone help? Does anyone know what this engine needs? Also, does anyone know what the correct color is? Thanks. David Cox, 268 Tunis St., Ingersoll, ONT, Canada N5C 1W7.
38/12/9: Kinkade Garden Tractor
I recently acquired a Kinkade garden tractor, serial no. 402L3030, and it needs a complete engine overhaul. I would appreciate any help I could get finding parts and any other information on this tractor. I also need info on a Kinco sickle-bar mower. Thanks. Howard Ray Hinshaw, 408 Hinshaw Lane, Belvidere, TN 37306; (931) 967-2006.
38/12/10: LeRoi Engine
I recently bought a LeRoi hopper-cooled engine, serial no. 7756. The magneto is not the original, but it does work. I'm looking for any information anyone might have about the engine. Paul Voss, 14242 Carol St., Holland, MI 49424, or e-mail: email@example.com
38/12/11: Unidentified Engine
This interesting engine was on display at this summer's engine show in Portland, and its owner, Gary Shonk, is curious if anyone can shed any light on its history.
A single-cylinder vertical, it features twin flywheels mounted inboard with the connecting rod running in the small space between the two flywheels. Governing is hit-and-miss, and a buzz coil fires the engine's spark plug. The engine's design is very efficient, with a separate casting for the base, cylinder support and cylinder. The engine is fitted with a small, flat-faced belt pulley. Gary has shown the engine around, but to date hasn't been able to ferret out any information on it. If any one knows anything about this interesting engine, please contact Gary Shonk, 9709 Sarracenia Road, Moss Point, MS 39562, and also drop us a line here at GEM.
Have an engine question you can't answer? Send your questions, with photos when possible, to Flywheel Forum, Gas Engine Magazine, 1503 S.W. 42nd St.,Topeka, KS 66609-1265, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org