| September/October 1981

  • Fairbanks morse engine

  • Fairbanks morse engine

Mt. Gambler, South Australia

Restorers have a kinship the world around. This article is reprinted from New Zealand Vintage Farming, with permission of Michael Hanrahan, editor. The editor's office is at Ashburton, R.D. 2, New Zealand.

It was a fine Saturday afternoon while out collecting old bottles that my first was found. Standing in an old shed, near where once stood a house, was a strange, rusty looking beast with two spoked flywheels and a little purple glassed oiler. Scraping away several layers of dried grease and rust revealed the heavy cast letters: FAIRBANKS MORSE, 1A, Eclipse, Pat. Mar. 17.14.

The motor had me intrigued, so I went to see the owner who didn't want to part with it, so I let it stay and went on bottle collecting and forgot about the rusty engine in the shed.

It was almost a year later that the owner rang me and jogged my memory of it. He was cleaning up and was going to throw the motor in the rubbish. Luckily he had remembered that I had wanted it, and said I had better remove it if I still wanted it. My father and I went out next day, loaded the engine, and took it home.

The clean up operation soon unveiled some interesting facts; a large crack in the water jacket (this obviously is why its use was discontinued), the crankcase, idler gear, and plate, and conrod had been welded up, due I think, to the motor having thrown a rod some time ago.