Thanks To GEM For Help With Aermotor Restoration

By Staff
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Rare?? Early 1900's single flywheel 2 HP Aermotor restored by Buck Reiley and Larry Alexander, shipped by boat from San Francisco to Port Hartford (San Luis Obispo), then by narrow gauge Pacific Coast Railway to end of line at Los Olivos, CA. Pumped wate
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The authentic 'striker' oscillator magneto built by Jack Chandler of Magneeders.
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Pump jack side with the old wine cask for water cooler that was on it.

P.O. Box 163, 440 Dania Avenue, Buellton, California 93427

I have only been interested in restoration for about three
years, and your magazine is really a ‘GEM’, in a lot of
ways besides its name. Larry Alexander and I have completely torn
apart and restored first a 1929 Model ‘D’ John Deere
tractor, second a 1938 Model ‘B’ John Deere tractor, third
this (1910 or earlier) single Aermotor Pump, fourth we just got a
hold of a 1939 Model ‘L’ John Deere. All of this stuff was
in pretty ‘sad’ shape so we tore it completely apart, with
the help of your Gas Engine Magazine and the ads for a source of
scarce parts. Plus the two cylinder mag and cooperation of the
local John Deere dealer in Santa Maria, California, we were able to
restore these treasures of another era. I’m 75 years old
myself. We would like to share with your readers and our fellow
craftsmen the picture of this old single flywheel Aermotor that we
dug out of an old shed at a railroad pump station at Matties Tavern
in Los Olivos, California.

The history of this Aermotor single flywheel pump set up is
pretty accurate. The round house and water tower (which still
stands) were located at the old Hotel and Stagecoach Stop at
Matties, in Los Olivos, California. The Pacific Coast Narrow Gauge
Railroad was built in the 1860’s and 70’s from Port
Hartford, California (now Port San Luis Obispo, California) for a
distance of approximately 65 miles to the end terminus at Los
Olivos, California. From there the passengers went by stagecoach
across San Marcos Pass to the farthest point of the Southern
Pacific Railroad that reached Santa Barbara, California about 1890.
They thought the Southern Pacific was to cross the Pass at San
Marcos and tie in to the Pacific Coast Railway. The stage coaches
left from Matties Hotel to Santa Barbara daily from 1886 until
1901. Then the Southern Pacific Railroad took another route up the
Coast by way of Point Conception, Azquello and Surf so it bypassed
the original route. The Pacific Coast Railway continued operation
until 1937. Then Alphonso E. Bell bought the right of way. They
tore up the tracks and Speed Kirchoff went to Japan and sold the
steel to Japan for wartime materials. The right of way is now owned
by Union Oil of California.

The interesting thing about this scarce single flywheel Aermotor
is the fact that two of them came by ship from San Francisco,
California to Port San Luis Obispo and by the railroad company to
this terminus at Los Olivos, California. A friend of ours in Los
Olivos located the other one up at Happy Canyon by Figueroa
Mountain about 10 miles from the railroad terminal at Los Olivos.
We figure by the old brochure we obtained from Aermotor and the ads
in it that the vintage of this Aermotor is about 1906?? We used
cutting torches to remove it from a boarded up pump house and took
it from there. The head on the motor was removed and valve guides
bored out and new ones installed. The valves were made in Phoenix,
Arizona. The rings came from Otto Bros. on the east coast and I
went to Carthage, Missouri, and talked to Jack Chandler at
‘Magneeders’ about the oscillator, magneto and ignitor that
he made for us. The small wine cask was what they were using in the
30’s. We had a heck of a time just getting that back in
condition. The pump that you see is original but I took a 3′
copper tube and made a new suction set up on the bottom as it was
pumping from a 6′ casing in the well. We set the stroke at its
shortest point on the adjustable gear at 6 inches so it pumps about
2? gallons of circulating water per minute. It was made to run on
kerosene or distillate. The small gas tank capacity will run it for
about 36 hours or more. It is an 8 cycle so it turns all those
times and then the governor drops the trip and fires the engine.
The cylinder piston pin and piston skirt are all oiled by the
regulated top drip oiler seen on motor. The rod and crankshaft are
open and lubed by a on each main bearing, grease cup on the rod and
oiled rag sump

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