REFLECTIONS

AN OPENING WORD


| April/May 1988



Detroit engine nameplate

23/4/30A Photo by B. Pump

B. Pump

This past month's mail brought in a couple of letters critical of the Reflector's comments on engine operation at shows back in the December, 1987 issue. The criticism seems to be back on our comments regarding smoke and exhaust noise, with one writer asking the Reflector whether we were running an engine show or a Sunday School picnic?

Ye olde Reflector takes the blame here for not stating our case as well as we might have in the first place, so : let's put it as clearly and succinctly as possible. Let's set up a little scenario-Here's some big, scruffy old engine, barely able to run, but still managing to wheeze its way along, albeit with considerable soot, smoke, and oil. Now this grand old nondescript engine has no exhaust pipe whatever, and the gaping hole in the side of the cylinder head is aimed right at the aisle way where the spectators walk by. Along comes a citified pair, overwhelmed by what they see, and having no idea at all of what they are seeing, or what will come next. This pair is dressed to the hilt, she in her $250 designer creation, he in his $400 suit straight from Hong Kong or wherever. Just as they walk by the old nondescript, smoke-belching, oil-spewing engine she gives out a bang, with our citified couple catching the full charge of oil and soot. After the smoke clears, chances are fairly good that somebody will be buying this couple some new (and high-priced) clothes. Worst of all, this couple, and probably most of their friends, will never again have anything to do with a gas engine show.

While written as a 'worst case' scenario, the Reflector is sure that this has happened more than once at the steam and gas engine show. The point is this-and we probably did not state our case in sufficiently rigorous terms-a simple dose of common sense could eliminate, or at least minimize, these occurrences.

As we stated previously, a few exhibitors seem to relish the assembly of so-called resonators to the exhaust, making it even louder than it ordinarily is. Now that's fine for a while, but it gets tiresome after listening to it for a show of 4 or 5 days. The same thing holds true for some of the two-cycle engines using oil in the fuel. Either through actual intent or through their own ignorance, some exhibitors seem to think more is better. Many show veterans can recall seeing such exhibitors with a whole litter of these 'little smokers' all doing their stuff and creating an immense cloud of white smoke.

The Reflector doesn't by any means hold to the idea that our old engines should sit around at a show idle, but in fact, the opposite is true! We think that exhibitors should have their engines running every day. But again, we stand in defense of our previous statements-we don't think it shows any professionalism in our hobby to choke spectators and other exhibitors with clouds of dense smoke that are completely unnecessary. Likewise, we can see no evidence of common sense in placing an engine's exhaust so that it blows right out into the spectators or other exhibitors. If not the problem of smoke and oil, then consider that a youngster or oldster standing at eye level with the exhaust could be gravely injured by a piece of flying carbon coming at an eye with dynamite force! Once again we state our case... be careful! Be careful not just for yourself, but be careful for others. Care, courtesy, and common sense- the three C's will go a long' way toward making our hobby even better than it is today!

23/4/1Q. I'm new to the gas engine hobby and would like to know the color of the following engines: Empire, by Empire Cream Separator Co.; Hired Man, by Associated Manufacturers; and Perkins Windmill Co., Model H. Also need information and some dimensions for an Aeromotor pumping engine-mine is missing some parts. Paul W. Hartman, Route 2, Box 236, Rocky Fork Road, Smyrna, Tennessee 37167.