Stationary Engine List


| June/July 2001



Diesel Engine

If there's one subject guaranteed to make people cranky, it's the use of cranks for starting. What started off as a fairly innocent thread soon exploded into a wealth of information on starting engines, safety advice and stories of such blood and gore that I thought it better to save those separately and send them off to a scriptwriter for a new Hollywood violence movie. If I remember rightly, it began with someone asking where he could get a crank for his engine.

I bought one for mine, but everyone has told me to throw it away, as it is a wrist breaker. It is kind of dangerous, as sometimes it will bind and not release when the engine starts.

This is one of my pet hates. Before we start yet another 'Those cranks'll kill ya' session, your post has raised the two most important facets of using these pieces of engine equipment, which if properly attended to will render them relatively safe. Remember, that if the manufacturer supplied a starting handle the engine was DESIGNED to be started this way! Properly used and maintained, the crank handle is no more dangerous than any other piece of engine equipment.

Firstly, maintenance. If the crank handle binds or tends to slip, there is SOMETHING WRONG that needs to be remedied for safe operations. Things wear over time and sometimes newly made replacements aren't always the ideal fit. Make sure the driving part of the crank has good square edges so it won't slip off unexpectedly, and apply a smear of grease to the crankshaft so the handle can be slipped off without binding. If it still binds, find out where the tight spot is and relieve it.

If the engine tends to kick back or is difficult to start, then there is SOMETHING WRONG that needs fixing! The timing may be out or the engine may just want a general tune-up. Either way, it isn't the fault of the crank!

Secondly, technique. Crank starting an old engine is a skill that must be learned. If available, follow the manufacturer's starting instructions. You'd be surprised the number of blokes I've met over the years who were convinced they knew 'a better way' to start their engine than the people who made it!

damfool2
11/9/2017 9:15:23 AM

David E. Rotigel Obituary Dr. David Emery Rotigel, 79, of Bonita Springs, Fla., formerly of Greensburg and Indiana, Pa., died Monday, Nov. 6, 2017. He was born Nov. 10, 1937, in Detroit, Mich., son of the late Joseph and Fern M. Emery Rotigel. He was married to Jennifer Vickers Rotigel, of Greensburg, on Nov. 14, 1981, and they had 36 wonderful years together that included raising six children. Dave enjoyed living in the country and was an avid gardener, house builder, hunter, woodworker and lover of all things mechanical. Dave received his doctoral degree in Philosophy of Education from the University of Illinois. He served as a professor for 39 years, first at the University of Indiana and subsequently at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He was chair of the Foundations of Education Department and coordinator of the Langley/IUP Urban Teaching Center in Pittsburgh. He was an active professional and made many presentations and published many professional articles. Dave was a gifted educator and enjoyed mentoring novice teachers. Dave was a loving husband and father who was very involved with his children and their activities. He served as Packmaster of Cub Scout Troup 212 in Delmont for a number of years and coached his sons' dek hockey and baseball teams. He was also active in the Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education. An active member of the Fort Allen Antique Farm Equipment Association, he enjoyed repairing and restoring antique farm equipment, especially Hit and Miss Engines. He loved attending engine shows all over the country and showing his many engines and tractors. Dave was widely sought for his expertise and experience and was instrumental in several large projects to preserve the historical nature of the equipment he loved. Dave was internationally known and kept in touch with his engine friends around the world. He is survived by his wife, Jennifer Vickers Rotigel, of Bonita Springs, Fla.; children, Seely Emery (Tammy) Rotigel, of Kalamazoo, Mich., David John (Misty) Rotigel, of York, Todd Michael (Tina O'Hara) Rotigel, of Mt. Pulaski, Ill., Pedro Martin (Marisa) Bidegaray, of Miami, Fla., Daniel Leslie (Brigid) Rotigel, of Bonita Springs, Fla., and Michael Steven Rotigel, of North Fort Myers, Fla.; a granddaughter, Sydney Rotigel-Finegan; and a grandson, Pedro Julian Bidegaray. Family and friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, at BARNHART FUNERAL HOME, 505 E. Pittsburgh St., Greensburg. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in the funeral home. Entombment with full military honors accorded by the VFW Post 33 will follow at St. Clair Cemetery, Greensburg.