An Uncommon HERCULES

By Staff
article image
Hercules 1 HP model SK engine

20601 Old State Road, Haubstadt, Indiana 47639

The engines built by the Hercules Gas Engine Company are
considered rather common, yet even among the common, there is the
uncommon. One such case is the Hercules 1? HP model SK engine.
There were about 40,000 of these in the regular hit and miss model
S built from 1925 to 1929, but to find a 1? HP model SK throttling
governed is unusual. I learned about such an engine three years ago
when friend George Cad-dick gave me a copy of a 1927 Hercules
manual in Spanish. The 1? HP SK was pictured on the second page. I
have collected data on about 700 Hercules built engines, but only
one 1? HP SK has shown up. I was lucky to purchase it at the 1988
Tri-State swap meet at Portland, Indiana. It was badly rusted with
a few parts missing. Fortunately, the necessary throttling governed
parts were still there and nearly intact. The side rod was rusted
so badly that I cut it into three pieces with side cut pliers to
remove it. The water-cooled head was cracked and had a big chunk
out of it. Two valve stems were sticking out of the head, but when
the head was removed no exhaust valve or stem was found inside.

After disassembling it I transferred the head, fuel system and
governor to a disassembled hit and miss engine and had the thing
running in four days. On the SK, the head studs, side rod and valve
stems are ? inches longer than those on the regular S model.
Restoration was begun in January 1989 and finished in March.

From 1925 to 1929, Hercules also built a 2? HP model SK, but
none have yet been located. The 1? HP SK was exclusive with the
Hercules brand. It was not offered in the Economy, Arco or Jaeger
brands.

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