Stationary Engine List

Governing Speed: Part 1

| May/June 2002

Stationary Engines

In the early months of the year, 'cabin fever' often strikes the Stationary Engine Mailing List on the Internet. Subject matter goes wildly off topic and tempers have been known to fray. This year, however, we have enjoyed some of the best discussions seen for a long time, including discussions on the correct way to lift an engine, pouring babbitt bearings and making hopper gaskets.

While 'talking' via e-mail about what people like to see at shows, the subject moved from displays and the engines themselves to how they should be run. Before long there was so much information flying back and forth around cyberspace that even by keeping to the most relevant and informative mails I found myself with an article too long for a single issue of GEM. So, here is Part 1 on the governing of stationary engines. Enjoy!

One thing to keep in mind when belting your show engine up is whether you have a constant or variable load on the engine. If you have a constant load, your hit-and-miss engine is going to be hitting all the time, same as a throttle-governed engine. In other words, your hit-and-miss engine that usually coasts for long periods between firing will not be coasting anymore.

It's my understanding that if a hit-and-miss engine hits all the time it will damage the engine. If it hits all the time you need a bigger engine.

I do know that a larger hit-and-miss engine will latch up on the governor even if it is under a constant load. My 5 HP Economy would hit all the time when we belted it up to several implements. My 9 HP Galloway would not. Perhaps someone with some old literature can shed some light on this discussion.

That is not to say that hit-and-miss engines would not do the work they were rated for or that running them at their rated speed and work load would cause damage. It is simply and correctly saying that any hit-and-miss engine pulling a load that does not allow the Governor to function is an engine that is being asked to work above and beyond it's designed rating, and it will soon suffer from such use.