Gas Engine Magazine

Fairbanks Morse Found In South Africa

By Staff

3 Bremer St., Tygerhof, 7441, Republic of South Africa.

I spotted the crumbling remains of a Fairbanks Morse ZD whilst
visiting a fellow club member Yuri Peila in Graafwater about 260
kilometers away from my home in Cape Town, South Africa, and
swapped a tractor badge and a couple of engine decals for it. I
really only needed the air valve to complete another ZD no. 892320
that I was restoring.

When I got it home, my son Ryan asked if he could try and get it
going. I figured that because Ryan doesn’t give up easily, I
was in for an afternoon’s entertainment, because the poor
little ZD had no compression, play in the main bearings and
probably hadn’t run for well over the 16 year age of Ryan.
Well, after he had been at it for half an hour, the mean grin on my
face turned to one of pleasant surprise, because Ryan had cranked
it with such determination that it had no option but to start. We
let it run for about half an hour and after shutting it down, we
felt that the compression was returning. Other than a bit of
fettling here and there, we have left the ZD as I found it and
judging by the attention that it drew at its first rally where it
ran the two days without stopping, that’s the way it’s
going to stay.

  • Published on May 1, 2001
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