Ignition System for a 6 HP Fairbanks-Morse

| December/January 1992

8204 Gordon Lane Hermitage, Tennessee 37076

Being a newcomer into antique gas engine collection and repair, I would like to share an idea about an ignition system for a Fairbanks-Morse. My first engine was a 1? HP Hercules with a Webster low tension ignition. When I found the engine, it had been buried in the ground approximately 20 to 25 years. After 6 months of work, it is restored and running properly.

I have a particular interest in old engine ignition systems. I bought a 6 HP Fairbanks-Morse with the ignition missing. After some phone calls, I found out that it was supposed to have a magneto with a flipper actuated by a roller sticking out of the cam gear.

Not knowing what it looked like, I saw a picture in Hit and Miss Enterprises' catalog. Seeing that it had springs to impulse it like the Webster ignition impulses, was enough to start the wheels turning in my head.

I first played with the ignition button on my gas grill. I had decided that even though it might work, it would not be dependable. I found a chain saw with solid state ignition. Temporarily hooking up rubber bands to the flywheel to impulse it, I found out that it would not turn fast enough to produce a spark.

Looking around some more, I came across a Homelite XL12 chain saw. It had points and a condenser in it. After hooking up the rubber band again, I got a spark when impulsing it by hand. I knew that I was on the right track.