Hercules Engine News

By Staff
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Webster magneto system.
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E Model Hercules 1 HP with the Webster IA magneto.

20601 Old State Road Haubstadt, Indiana 47639

On November 22, 1920 the corporate structure at Hercules
changed. The various companies (The Hercules Buggy Company, The
Hercules Body Company, the Hercules Gas Engine Company, The Indiana
Color and Varnish Company, the Hercules Wheel Company, The Hercules
Power Plant, The Hercules Surry and Wagon Company, and the Hercules
Carriage Wood-Stock Company) were merged into the Hercules
Corporation. It was also about that time that Hercules became
involved in the refrigeration business too.

The E model gas engine era started coming to a close late in
1921. In an eight year span, some 220,000 E models had been built
along with several thousand D models and Thermoils. This figures
out to be around 30,000 engines per year. Before the move to
Evansville from Sparta, Michigan in late 1913, less than 3 5,000
engines were produced during the four years there.

Interestingly, production of E models did not end abruptly when
production of the F models began. A study of serial numbers of
known engines would indicate that both models were co-mingled for
several thousand. The production of Jaeger engines also began
toward the end of the E model era. They had the same dimensions and
appearance (except of color) of the 1 HP Economy engines, but they
were rated at 2 HP and had no model letter on the tag.

There were several changes in engine design on the F model. The
most noticeable would be the use of the Webster 1A and 2C magneto
system. It is shown in the accompanying illustrations. This magneto
system apparently was not too satisfactory. Many F model engines in
the field have either refitted to the older Webster magneto system
or updated to the Wico high tension system. Observation indicates
that very few other engine manufacturers switched to this new
Webster system.

On all Hercules brand engines the flair on the hopper lip was
eliminated. The small block engines had several other design
changes. The main bearing mounts were changed to flat from the
slanted design. Not only is the flair eliminated on the small
Hercules hopper, the whole hopper is moved to the rear about of an
inch. The small size Economy hopper is redesigned to a longer shape
with a smaller opening. The oiler is relocated from behind the
hopper to a pipe down through the hopper opening.

It should be pointed out again that these changes do not occur
abruptly at some given serial number, but they seem to be phased in
over several thousand engines. There are a few F model engines with
some E model features and vice versa. These changes start occurring
around 255,000 serial number.

The 2 HP Economy is rerated to 3 HP with the bore increased from
4 inches to a 4 inches. On all 3 HP size engines the oiler is
relocated to a hole just behind the large hopper opening. Other
than the ignition system, the larger size engines remained
virtually unchanged.

The F model era was short giving away to the FW (G) model
beginning March 1, 1923. Over 25,000 F models were built, primarily
in 1922.

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