Hercules Engine News

By Staff
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Photo #1: An early Hercules Model N as shown in Hercules dealer literature.
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Sometime in the early part of 1923, the Hercules Corporation
introduced the 1-1/2 HP Model N engine. The Model N was a departure
from the typical Hercules-built 1-1/2 HP engines in that it was
lighter in weight than previous engines and it sold for $10 less
than the previous 1-1/2 HP Hercules engines. It was also a
departure from the typical 1-1/2 HP design.

The first illustration is taken from the Hercules News,
a company publication Hercules sent to dealers. The illustration
shows an early Model N. It has no crank handle in the flywheel, it
has the one-piece side rod bracket typical of the early Wico EK
trip mechanism and it has the fuel spout set forward with a
45-degree elbow to miss the flywheel. Although it can’t be
seen, it also has the fuel mixer that is cast integral with the

Photo #2: A later-style Model N showing vertical fuel spout
behind the flywheel. This unit also has the more commong two-piece
side rod bracket for the magneto trip.

The second illustration shows the later vertical fuel spout that
sits in behind the flywheel and the cranking handle in the
flywheel. You can also see the more common two-piece side rod
bracket to hold the magneto trip. Note that no choke flap was

Photo #3: This head-on view (right) shows the side valve set up
and slanted rocker arm used on the Model N.

The third illustration shows the side-by-side valve arrangement,
the slanted rocker arm and the seldom-seen muffler attachment.

Photo #4: This photo shows the governor weight used on early
Model N engines. Note the lack of an adjustable stop on the weight
and the fuel spout just visible next to the crankshaft.

The fourth illustration shows the governor weight that was used
on the earlier N Models. It has no adjustable stop on the weight.
Note the repairs to the detent arm. It also shows the fuel spout
coming up through the crankcase area.

Photo #5: The later-style Model N governor weight with
adjustable stop. This was a problematic design, as the governor
weight had a tendency to knock the arm off the detent, allowing the
engine to run ungoverned.

The fifth illustration shows the later-style governor weight
with the adjustable stop. It should be noted that the Model N was
plagued with troubles. It wasn’t unusual for the governor
weight to knock the arm off of the detent, resulting in the engine
running wild, disassembling as it went.

So far, I have identified 76 of the Model N – 22 of them are
Hercules brand and 30 are the Economy brand. There were apparently
several sold as the Jaeger brand too.

The Model N appeared in the first half of 1923, and production
continued until 1926. However, most were built between 1924 and
1925. The known serial number range is 304,954 to 347,867. Although
there is no good estimate, there must have been at least 5,000 of
the Model N built. The only Sears catalog listing them is the
spring 1924 issue. There is no other mention of them in the
literature that I have seen, and I have only found one reference to
parts for the later version in one manual.

Glenn Karch is a noted authority on Hercules engines.
Contact him at: 20601 Old State Rd, Haubstadt, IN 47639, or e-mail
at: glenn.karch@gte.net

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