How I Restored My 6 HP Model Z Fairbanks-Morse Kerosene Engine

By Staff
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Sandblasted before restoration with bad valve guide in head.
2 / 3
Second phase of restoration.
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The finished product, with new trucks made from scratch.

Rt 2, Box 325 Crawfordsville, Indiana 47933

First of all I was in Kentucky visiting my wife’s aunt and
uncle. We happened to go into an old shed which had this 6 HP Model
Z and a saw mounted on two long skids. It was set up for pulling to
the woods for use. It was free and not stuck, with a large amount
of dirt and dust on it. I asked my wife’s uncle what an engine
like that would be worth. He said about $5.00. I gave him $5.00 for
the engine and told him the next time my father-in-law came down
with his pickup truck, I would take it home. That’s how I
became the proud owner of the Model Z.

It did run. I played with it until the magneto went bad. I was
cutting wood with it when it quit. It ran for a long time off a
battery and coil set up. I decided it was time to quit fooling
around with all the necessary items to get it to run. I sent the
American Bosch oscillator type magneto to Branson Enterprises of
Illinois for repair, and they did a good job. Now it fires real
good and runs like a top, all except a small ball check gas line
valve problem, which I will master one of these days.

I took the head off first, because the exhaust valve guide was
worn real bad. The valve stem was 7/16 diameter. I went to an auto
shop and bought a 7/16 replace able auto guide. Then I had the head
put on a lathe face plate and bored the bad guide hole to the same
size of the outside of the replacement 7/16 valve guide which was
press fit. I put Locktite cleaner on it first, then Locktite
pressed it into place. The valve itself was worn. I had it welded
with hard surface rod. Next, I had the valve put in a lathe and
ground down to 7/16 .437 thousandths and it works perfectly. The
new guide was made of cast iron and the valve was repaired of a
hard material. The combination works real good together. The engine
cuts wood now with plenty of power for recovery in cutting large
wood or crowding it faster if the wood is in pole length and ready.
It is really faster than a chain saw. I have a saw with a rocking
table, pretty fast that way. I run the engine about 400 R.P.M. with
a 12′ pulley on the engine and 6′ on the saw that turns the
saw, probably at a good R.P.M.

I hope this information helps some of you readers. This will
work on any head type engine.

These pictures are a start to finish project which turned out
OK. When I put the engine on trucks, I did not know 900 lbs. could
be moved so easily.

I used two different kinds of enamel paints (both work). DuPont
Deluxe #776700 Fairbanks-Morse, and Dupont Deluxe #547280 Ford
Green. They are both the same shade of green.

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