317 W. Lincoln Avenue, McDonald, Pennsylvania 15057
Fascinated by steam and gas engines since childhood, I have attended as many shows as possible, dreaming of the day I would have an engine of my own. Two years ago those dreams became reality and grew to be an obsession when I got my first engine, a 4 HP Holland Vertical. This type of engine is seldom seen, so I will try to pass on as much information about it as I possibly can.
When I acquired the engine it was still belted to a force pump and lag bolted to a rotten-but still massive!-oak plank. Loading this unit into the truck in one piece was accomplished by lifting the pump end onto the tailgate, then sliding the whole thing into the bed using the muscle-power of four people. When I got home it became obvious that to get the engine in the workshop it would have to be removed from the plank and strapped to a dolly. Even with the help of a sturdy dolly, the friend helping me and I were amazed at how top-heavy the engine was to move. However, with care and great effort we got it safely into the shop.
In my spare time I used a needle sealer to clean all the cast iron parts. I found this sealer restored the iron's appearance and removed most of the pitting. After the dirt and grease were cleared away, the engine was disassembled to check the parts for wear. It became obvious that the Holland Engine Company (of Holland, Michigan) purchased many of their parts from the Ford Motor Company. The piston, rings, and connecting rod were all marked Ford, and turned out to be Model T parts. After making many inquiries I learned the valves, valve springs, spring retainers, solid tappets, manifold glands, gland rings, and Holley Model N H carburetor were also Model T Ford engine parts. None of the parts showed any signs of excessive wear. Even the cylinder bore measured straight and concentric within +0.0002' -0.0000', a tolerance that is evidence of skilled machinists and design foresight we seldom see today!
The original steel fuel tank was not salvageable, so it was replaced with a copper tank that I hand made to the exact size and shape of the original. There were leaks in the radiator that I repaired, and the magneto was missing so I had to locate a magneto that would fit. A new 3/8' round leather belt was located to drive the fan.
The engine was given several coats of paint, matching the original color with True-Test Nile Green XO-19, IBM No. 378 851.
Speed on the engine is adjusted with a thumb screw and wing nut at the end of the governor shaft, and movement of the governor arm throtles the carburetor to maintain constant speed, so it took only some minor tinkering to have the engine operating smoothly and ready for the local shows.
Since most of the summer was gone, I was only able to exhibit my engine at the Tri-State Historical Steam Engine Show, the Hickory Apple Festival, and at the Northwestern Steam Engine and Old Equipment Fall Fling Show. My only problem now is how many engines can my wife Diane and I take to an engine show with only one pickup and a trailer?
SPECIFICATIONS 4 HP Holland Upright 1909-1927?
Bore-3 3/4' Stroke-4' Displacement-47 cu. in. Overall height-35' Dry Weight-400 lbs. Magneto-Wico impulse, driven at crankshaft speed Radiator-McCord honeycomb type Spark plug-Champion A-25 Lubrication-2 qt. oil sumpsplash lube with oil slinger Carburetor-Holley model NH Governor - Centrifugal, mounted within flywheel Main bearings-Brass sleeve type 4' wide Connecting rod-Lower end babbitt, brass sleeves on wrist pin Piston-Cast iron Rings-2 compression, 1 oil control (each ring is 4' wide) Fuel capacity-1? gal. Color-True-test nile green XO-19, IBM #378 851