A Unique Mogul

By Staff
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108 Purcell Drive Xenia, Ohio 45385. 

Having been an engine collector several years, I am always on
the lookout for those which are strange and different. While
prowling around a secondhand store near home this summer, I spotted
an engine under a bench surrounded by other ‘junk.’ When I
looked closer it turned out to be a 1HP ‘Mogul, Jr.’ These
engines seem to be especially collectible because they were made
only from 1915 to 1917 and are small and easy to handle. After
consulting with my engine buddies, it seemed to be a worthwhile
addition to my collection, in spite of the fact that it had a
strange ignition system, and had been modified to use a spark plug
instead of an ignitor (Picture #1). After some haggling, waving of
hands and head shaking, a price was agreed upon and I hauled it
home. The seller said it was complete and had run.  

The next evening, I called two of my buddies, Dick Durig and Jim
Cline to come over and look at my ‘new’ old gem (and by the
way, help me to get it going). Dick said he had never seen such a
strange ignition arrangement on an old engine (which meant that it
was pretty cobbled up). The picture (#2) shows why. Apparently, a
long time ago, someone had taken an aluminum flywheel with imbedded
magnets like those used on small newer 4-cycle engines, cut off the
cooling fins and mounted it inside the left flywheel. The coils and
armature core were mounted on a bracket under the crankshaft. The
original magneto drive gear on the crankshaft was replacd by a
single detented cam which operates a set of automobile points to
give the proper timing. The whole arrangement is very simple and
efficient. After some point gap tweaking by Jim Cline (the best
mechanic anywhere around here) we choked her and by golly, she
ran!

I have cleaned up the engine and taken it to some shows where it
always gets attention. It may not be a ‘factory original’
restoration, but it sure is different. This ignition system could
probably be added to any small hit and miss to get it running. The
best part is the cost is almost nil, and it doesn’t look too
bad (if you don’t look too close). It always helps to have good
mechanics as friends.

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