Hey Porter!

By Staff
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'Somehow, these bearing bosses (arrow), found on each side of the engine, are used to locate a PTO. '
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'Although very similar in appearance to an engine built by Air Cooled Motor Co., owner Frank Gassett isn’t convinced that company made this engine. '

Recently, I acquired an air-cooled, hit-and-miss engine, but
have not made a positive identification as to its manufacturer. It
has a brass plate attached to the upper cylinder skirt, but no data
is shown. Looking in C.H. Wendel’s American Gasoline Engines
Since 1872
makes me believe it’s a W.F. Porter, as most engine
features are identical to the photos herein.

The engine is heavy, weighing in at about 600 pounds. Cylinder
cooling fins are few and spread apart, which no doubt necessitated
the belt-driven fan. There are five cylinder barrel fins and five
diagonal cylinder head fins. I didn’t see any wear patterns that
would indicate a cooling shroud was ever used. Cylinder bore and
stroke is 4-1/2 inches and 5 inches, respectively, and the
crankshaft journal diameter measures 1-1/2 inches. The flywheels
are 20 inches in diameter and have a width of 2-1/8 inches. The
belt pulley diameter is 12 inches, and width is 5 inches.

The base and cylinder are cast as one, and there are two bearing
bosses located below and to each side of the cylinder skirt, which
allow a transverse-mounted idler shaft to rotate for a PTO.
Embossed on the fly-wheels is “BE1,” and the main bearing caps read
“B3.” The engine is equipped with a Lunkenheimer carburetor and
buzz coil/spark plug ignition. The fuel tank is cast with the
base.

I have talked with several people who have some knowledge of
this type of engine, and all say it was built by Air Cooled Motor
Co. of Lansing, Mich. This may be true, as many components shown in
Wendel’s book of the engines manufactured by Air Cooled Motor Co.,
Original Gas Engine Co. and Ideal Gas Engine Co. (apparently all
are related) are similar to those on my engine. One person advised
that his similar engine has “Air Cooled Motor Co.” embossed on the
flywheels, but mine lacks this feature.

I believe my engine was manufactured early in the 20th century,
as the main castings are very heavy and crude. I also believe
whoever built my engine must have built the W.F. Porter engine
also.

I can’t honestly say I restored the engine, but parts and
repairs were made to bring it to a state of good running condition.
The cam gear lies under the crank gear, and as a result of worn
main bearings, the two gears were bottomed. The crank gear was
constructed of bronze and was worn beyond use as a result of the
bottoming. So, a replacement was cut. Two fan blades were missing,
so I had a four-blade fan assembly cut from stainless steel sheet
metal at the local technical school’s machine technology
department. I poured new main and rod bearings with help from my
best friend, my wife, Nyoka. The green paint I used is the result
of finding traces of old green paint under the accumulation of oil
and grease while cleaning.

I would’ve thought starting would be a problem, as the
carburetor sits far below the intake port. Not so. In fact, I had a
severe flooding dilemma, but installing a fuel shutoff valve
between the fuel tank outlet and carburetor inlet rectified this.
Opening this valve prior to starting for only a few seconds, then
returning it to the “off” position, allows just enough fuel to
enter the mixer for an easy start. After start up, shifting the
valve to “open” maintains continuous operation.

Hopefully some of you Gas Engine Magazine readers have
knowledge of the history, have collected technical data or just
know interesting information about this engine and are willing to
contribute. Most importantly, I would like to know the
manufacturer, approximate year it was built and the horsepower
rating. It would also be interesting to learn how the two bearing
bosses were utilized for a PTO.

Contact gas engine enthusiast Frank H. Gassett at: 156
Kelley Bottom Road, Oglethorpe, GA 31068; (478) 472-8894;
fgassett@alltel.net

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