Engine ID, Pontiac Cooling Systems, and Other Stories

By Staff
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Rather than guess at the engine ID, we'll just tell you. This is a 35-22 2-cylinder horizontal opposed open crankcase gasoline tractor and is a very unusual machine. It was madeabout 1911 by Gould, Sharpley & Muir of Brantford, Ontario.They made horizontal opposed tractors about this time and about1920 made the Beaver, a 4 cylinder vertical tractor with frictiondrive. They went out of business about 1925. Pioneer Museum ofWetaskiwin, Alberta is restoring it. It is radiator cooled. The man at right is holding thecam-shaft. This shaft runs alongside both cylinders. It is drivenby a skew gear and pinion from the crankshaft. On each end are a setof cams that operate the vertical inlet and exhaust valves. It has2 magnetos and 2 carburetors; one gear driven governor governs thespeed on both carburetors. The clutch is in the left pulley on theright side. It is gear driven and has two speeds forward, 2 & 4MPH., and one reverse. It has sight feed oilers and a mechanicaloil pump.
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This is the rear view of an 8-16 hp 1916 Mogul tractor atPioneer Museum in Wetaskiwin, Alberta. Photo day 1966.Courtesy of R. F. Somerville, Haney, B.C., Canada
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Pictured is a 2-cycle Sieverkropp Gas Engine. It was made inRacine, Wisconsin and it runs very well. l own it.

I may be able to help with a “What Is It” engine ID question John Pine asked in the Nov-Dec 1967 Gas Engine Magazine. On page 923 of Dykes Automobile and Gas Engine Encyclopedia,
Preface to the 15th Edition, year 1927, is a picture of the Autocar
Model F and G truck engine. Autocar made trucks (2 cylinder) for a
number of years previous to the printing of my book. The engine as
pictured in the book is water cooled, while Pine’s is air
cooled, but note the similarity otherwise. In other respects the
two are almost identical, even to the mounting feet below the
cylinders. His engine could very well have been an earlier model,
perhaps for lighter duty. I do not know what year the 2 cylinder
trucks were discontinued, but in the truck specifications index
page 966 of my book the only Autocar trucks listed are 4 cylinder.
I notice they made their own motors, and it’s just possible
that if Pine’s motor was not used in a truck it might have been
made by Autocar for some passenger car at some time several years
previous to the 1920’s. I do not mean this as a positive
identification, but you will have to admit that the similarity
(aside from the cooling system) is striking. This is only a clue,
but I hope it will be helpful.

Pontiac Cooling Systems

Many thanks to Rick Jorgensen for his article on the Pontiac
cooling system and the Knight Motors. It’s quite apparent that
I haven’t kept up with the times. I recently noticed that my
step daughter’s V-6 Buick, also a friend’s Ford V-8 station
wagon were using the cross flow principle in their cooling systems.
However they don’t seem to be exactly like the Oakland-Pontiac
system. The radiator on them is apparently filled clear full, while
the old system only was filled to a depth slightly above the top of
the cylinder head, which was about two thirds full, the upper third
being used merely to cool and thus condense the steam. I recall
reading sometime before about General Motor’s vapor cooling
system, and when Pontiac first came out with it I figured that was
it. I know years ago Fairbanks-Morse built a farm lighting plant
using a vapor type cooling system. I don’t know however just what
would be gained by using the cross flow system if you are going to
fill it clear full. Back in those days the styling was high,
narrow radiators, and those with the low L head (Flat head) motors
made a cooling system of that type easily possible.  Today
the radiators are much lower, and along with the overhead valve
motors this doesn’t provide very much difference in height between the

Overland Cars

In regard to the Knight Motors, yes I have suspected that
something of the sort might very well have been the trouble with
them. Another thing, I’ve doubted if it would be possible to get
as abrupt a valve opening and closing with the sleeve system as
with poppet valves. Of course there would be no problem of valve
flotation at high speeds as with poppet valves. Apparently there
were more companies that tried sleeve valve motors than I had
realized. Very good pictures of the Knight motor as well as
description can be found on pages 88-89-90 of the Dykes
. I never saw much of any make other than the
Willys-Knight. A distant cousin of mine sold them as well as
Overland Cars for a number of years. He originally was a Model T
Ford salesman and his brother ran a garage doing most of his work
on Model T’s. He was a great salesman and at one time he had
most of the people in the old home town driving Model T’s. Then
one morning he had a dispute with the Ford dealer and quit the
company. Before night he had secured the Willys-Knight and Overland
agency. He then put the Ford dealer out of business. Their business
dwindled to nearly none at all. He sold those baby Overlands, and
later Whippets and Overland Sixes to people that previously would
have nothing but Fords. He made money at it too, so it wasn’t
necessarily done by large trade-in offers. The baby Overlands were
a good car at the time. I recall one in particular a box-like
enclosed car called the Overland Champion, and as I recall it had
3 doors. One nickname for them that l recall was “Toledo
Vibrators.” Of course, that was before the days of rubber
engine mountings and “Floating Power” which as I recall was
introduced by the Chrysler Corp. in the early 30’s.

Speaking of salesmanship and cars, what with all the model
changes etc., I wonder how many of you have read Vance
Packard’s book entitled The Waste Makers. Most public
libraries are likely to have it, and if you don’t find it
there, it’s available paper bound at most newsstands for
around sixty cents. It’s very good reading indeed, and so are
some of his other books.

Whizzing Bulldog

I recall a rather amusing incident at the Ford garage in the
home town a number of years ago. It was an extremely cold morning,
and when I walked in the front door the entire personnel were
huddled around an old hot air furnace which had been set up to keep
the place warm. It hadn’t warmed up much yet and they all had
their street clothes on. One of the mechanics had a small
Boston Bulldog which was walking around the group, sniffing first
one and then another. When he walked behind the Ford dealer, who
was seated, he sniffed again, then he heisted up a foot and let fly
right on the tail of the overcoat. Every one was busy talking and
didn’t notice it, but having just come in the door I could see
it very plainly. I did not tell him about it, then or ever,
figuring he would find it out soon enough. However I could not help
thinking of it with amusement every time I saw him after that.

Boiler Explosion

There was recently a rather disastrous boiler explosion at the
Reliable Cleaner’s here in Battle Creek on West Michigan Ave.
An old style HRT boiler (The HRT means horizontal return tube, of
the fire tube type) was being fired by natural gas. First hearsay
reports was that it was a gas explosion. However, that was by people
who did not realize that there was a boiler in the place. The
building was entirely demolished and pieces of concrete were hurled
very high. One of them weighing about 30 lbs came down through the
roof of a man’s car, striking him on the head, killing him
instantly. The owner and his wife were badly injured. Several
nearby cars were wrecked and windows blown out at some distance. It
was the boiler itself which exploded, and it was found on
inspecting the ruins, that the owner had removed the safety valve
and had screwed a pipe plug in it’s place. On being questioned
at the hospital he said it needed cleaning and he had removed it
for that reason. He should have left the boiler shut down and not
attempted to operate it without any safety valve, starting it up
only when it had been repaired or preferably when a new one had
been installed. The safety valve is the most important boiler
accessory that there is. Some have said that the boiler was old and
maybe that was the cause of it. However, the fact that it was being
operated without the safety valve and exploded would indicate to me
that the trouble was over-pressure, due to no safety valve and
failure of the automatic controls. He had no insurance, and there
has been some question as to his competency as a boiler operator. I
work in a power house and my boss who has known him for years said
he wouldn’t trust him with a teakettle. There has been some
question as to just what to do with him due to his advanced age and

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