| September/October 1971

80 hp Engine

Lloyd McGowen

Route 4 Easley, South Carolina 29640

The air lever was pushed forward and the large 12 in. piston started its drive down and the 6,800 lb. flywheel was making its first 360 degree turn in 15 years. As No. 2 cylinder came up on compressor stroke, a large bellow of dark gray smoke shot out of the 12 in. exhaust stack that extends 20 ft. upward. The big F.M. 80 hp. 300 rpm, two (2) cycle full diesel that was made in 1926 and weighs 14 ton was coming to life. Not having ever heard or seen one of these old monsters run this operator really didn't know what to do or expect. As the cylinders started firing and the exhaust stack bellowing smoke, I didn't know whether to shut the fuel off and run, or stick with the engine until the governor took over and she could level out; for some reason I did make it through the initial start and soon the big explosion turned into a beautiful smooth sound.

This engine was used near Greenville, S.C., to run a cotton gin and sawmill and was operated until 1955. This writer really gained some valuable experience during the engine moving operation and form building for the foundation. This experience was really helpful when I moved the next two (2) large engines home.

My second experience with a large engine was a F.M. 37? hp. 300 rpm, semi-diesel, single cylinder that weighs 9 ton, including flywheel and exhaust. This engine has not been mounted on its foundation yet, but I hope to do so this summer.

At left is a 1926 80 hp. 300 rpm. full Diesel, two cycle. At right is a 3 hp. Fairbanks-Morse engine.

My third large engine is a F.M. 9 hp., semi-diesel, horizontal type, twin cylinder, 2 cycle which weighs 11 ton. I have corresponded with a lot of old timers who said they never knew that F.M. made a horizontal diesel this size. I am sorry I can't supply you with a picture at this time, but the engine is still in the building where I bought it and there isn't enough distance around it to get a good shot.