A Battery Eliminator for an Economy

By Staff
article image

8204 Gordon Lane, Hermitage, Tennessee 37076

After building the magneto for a Fairbanks Morse (published in
December 1992 issue), I acquired a 5 HP Economy with a low tension
igniter on it for the ignition.

When the engine restoration was completed, it was set up to run
on a battery and coil.

At one of the shows, I recalled seeing an engine running on a
low tension magneto driven from the flywheel. Wanting to duplicate
this principal, I recalled some years back that I had experimented,
using an automotive heater motor for a generator.

With a trip to the local parts store, I asked for a 12 volt
heater motor with a 5/16 inch single shaft,
permanent magnets in the fields, reversible with an insulated
circuit. He came up with a Bravo U208919.

After racing home and hooking up the motor in a drill, my son
cranked the engine while I held the drill and motor. Bingo! I hit
pay dirt. Now, to fine tune the project.

The 5 HP Economy has 28′ flywheels. After making some
voltage to speed measurements, a 2′ rubber wheel from a roller
wheel castor was selected to drive the motor. This would put out
the necessary voltage at low speeds.

The mounting bracket was made at an angle to the flywheel to
conserve space. The rubber wheel was turned down to 1 inches to
give a wider surface for better friction.

For a coil, several were tried. A coil in a 6 volt Ford starter
relay worked best.

Some linkage was hooked up from the push rod to the heater
motor. This will hold the motor away from the flywheel, releasing
it when it fires (like to see things move plus saving the motor

It has worked out well.

The magneto supplies enough voltage to start easy using the
engine crank and idles well at slow speed. For more information,
write to me.

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines