Hercules Engine News

By Staff
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20601 Old State Road, Haubstadt, Indiana 47639.

Starting in 1923, the sorting of Hercules built engine models
and sizes becomes somewhat confusing. Beginning on March 1, 1923,
both Jaeger and Arco engine brands came equipped with the Wico high
tension magneto and spark plug ignition system. The small block
Jaeger was rated at 2 HP with no model designation on the tag. The
small block Arco was also rated at 2 HP, but it had model FW on the
tag. This all begins around serial number 260,000. Later in the
year at around 293,000 serial number the small block Hercules and
Economy engines became equipped with the Wico ignition system;
however, they continued to be rated at 1 HP with FW on the tag. The
FW designation also was used on the larger size engines as they
were switched to the Wico system; however, the 5, 7, 9 and 12 HP
sizes used the larger Wico PR magneto rather than the smaller

Parts books make no mention of the FW model skipping from the F
to G model. The short lived G model appeared in 1924 and as far as
your writer can tell it was limited to the Hercules and Economy
brands. There appears to be no mechanical difference between the FW
and G models. The FW model was phased out of all sizes by number

To complicate things further, two new one piece frame engines
were also introduced about this time. One was the 2-2 HP size with
a 45/8 inch bore and 5 inch stroke. The other
was a smaller size 1 HP engine with a 4 inch bore and 4 inch
stroke. Both of these used some parts common to the usual small
black Hercules built engines. These will be discussed in more
detail later on.

When the Wico system was introduced the patent had yet to be
issued on the #2 magneto drive mechanism. The patent wasn’t
issued to Wico until October 30, 1923 and that date is made into
the trip housing casting. The accompanying illustrations show these
first Wico systems used on Hercules built engines. Note that the
side rod brackets are a one piece casting. They were soon
redesigned to a two piece part so that adjusting the timing was
much easier. Several other brand engines besides those built by
Hercules also used the #2 drive.

Around serial number 300,000 several small block Jaeger engines
were built with the spark plug in the head. The magneto bracket was
blank at the normal spark plug location. The exact reason for this
is unknown, but it may have had to do with allowing operator access
due to some particular way the engine was mounted on the concrete

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