Oil Field Engine News

25 HP Valveless

| August 2007


Scott Van Diepenbos’ finished Valveless engine, painted.

August and September are two active months in the oil field engine hobby, Aug. 22-26, we have the big rendezvous in Portland, Ind., where we will celebrate the seventh anniversary of the society. Then Sept. 13-15, we have the West Virginia Oil and Gas Festival in Sistersville, W.Va., which is a show very well suited to the interests of the oil field engine enthusiast.

I would also like to note that if you happen to see Phillip Sparks of Irvine, Ky., at a show this season be sure to congratulate him on being our 2007 honoree for the OFES Rube Goldberg Award. Phillip is an avid big engine hobbyist and has been instrumental for many years, helping introduce people to the engine hobby.

In other news: Recently we received a nice letter here at the society from Scott Van Diepenbos of Bourbon, Ind., detailing his recent project restoring a 25 HP Franklin Valveless engine.

Scott wrote:

I have a 25 HP Valveless engine I bought in Bluffton, Ind. It belonged to Dewight Gerber; he told me the engine was from Michigan and that it was already off the oil wells when he bought it.

The engine was stored inside and was not stuck but it still had problems. The water jacket was completely full of rust and I believe this build-up came from years of condensation from being in a building without heat. I know everything in my barn sweats several times a year. With the rust like it was, the condensation would stay in the pores of the rust and cold night temperatures would freeze it. This caused cracks in the head and jug just like it would if it had been filled with water.

The first thing I did when I got the engine home was to try and get it running. I found the head was warped from the cracking so I had it surfaced in a flywheel grinder. I made a new head gasket and put the head back on.