The Fuller & Johnson Model N & K Engines

1 / 11
Courtesy of Verne W. Kindschi, Route I, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin 53578.
2 / 11
Courtesy of Verne W. Kindschi, Route I, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin 53578.
3 / 11
Courtesy of Verne W. Kindschi, Route 1, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin 53578.
4 / 11
Courtesy of Verne W. Kindschi, Route 1, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin 53578.
5 / 11
Courtesy of Verne W. Kindschi, Route 1, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin 53578.
6 / 11
Courtesy of Verne W. Kindschi, Route 1, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin 53578.
7 / 11
Courtesy of Verne W. Kindschi, Route 1, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin 53578.
8 / 11
Courtesy of Verne W. Kindschi, Route 1, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin 53578.
9 / 11
Courtesy of Verne W. Kindschi, Route 1, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin 53578.
10 / 11
Courtesy of Verne W. Kindschi, Route 1, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin 53578.
11 / 11
Courtesy of Verne W. Kindschi, Route 1, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin 53578.

Route 1, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin 53578.

This is another in a series of short articles about the Fuller
& Johnson Company and the engines they built. This particular
article will be concerned with the F & J Model N and K engines;
also, will give a little information about the F & J 32 Volt
light plant.

As most GEM readers know, several years ago I obtained the
original records of the Fuller & Johnson Company of Madison,
Wisconsin. Since then I have become interested in the company and
the various engines built by them. Therefore, I have been doing
some research trying to learn more about them.

In an earlier article I covered the double efficiency F & J,
which was their first hopper-cooled engine. These were very heavy
and were well built engines. However, to meet their competition
they had to build a lighter and less expensive engine to market.
Thus, they came out with the Model N engine, and later the Model
K.

The Model N engine actually came out on May 8, 1912, starting
with about Serial No. 7800. These first ones were called the
Peoples Price engines. It was first called the Model N on June 20,
1913. Basically, the Peoples Price engines were just like the Model
N except the flywheels were heavier and had the bolted hub on them.
The People’s Price engines were built in 1?, 2? and 4

HP sizes. The VA HP is the only one which was different from the
cype N. These were really quite different–anyone who has one is
fortunate as they are real old and few were built. They began to
call these Peoples Price engines the Model N, and they were
available in 1?, 2?, 4, 6, 8 and 10 HP; some of the sizes coming
out at different times.

F & J introduced the Model K in May, 1913. Model N means the
engine is a hit and miss gasoline engine; Model K means it is a
throttling governor engine, burning kerosene. Apparently there were
a very few exceptions to this in the early Model K engines–a very
small number of these used a hit and miss type governor. I would
imagine they learned very early that this was not efficient, as
unless they were run under heavy load they would not run hot
e-nough to burn kerosene efficiently.

By July of 1913 all these engines were listed as N’s and
K’s. In 1914 F & J introduced the largest size N engine
that they ever built–a 12 HP. These were also built in the Model
K.

Until 1914 all the large engines (10 HP and over) were double
efficiency sideshaft engines. In 1914 F & J introduced the
Model K in sizes 15, 20 and 25 HP. These were built quite
differently from the smaller Model K engines. They were very
heavily built and had a vertical flyball governor, rather than the
horizontal flyball governor the smaller ones had. As of this time,
I have recorded only one of these–it is a 20 HP portable, S. No.
54492 owned by Donald Wittenburg, Middleton, Wis. This engine was
shipped from the factory Nov. 16, 1916.

All other Model N and K engines, except the 1? IIP Model N, used
a horizontal gear driven flyball governor. The 1? HP had the
governor weight in the flywheel. The smallest Model K engines were
the 2? HP. The other sizes of Type K engines corresponded with the
same sizes of Model N engines. In fact, the basic engine was the
same. They used the same basic block, ignition, etc– only changed
the carburetor and governor systems.

Most Model N & K engines were equipped with igniter
ignitions. The early engines were equipped with 5 dry cell
batteries and a low tension coil. In a-bout 1916 the low tension,
gear driven magneto was put on at an extra cost. During the first
years a low percentage were shipped with magnetos; however, by
1920, fifty per cent were and by 1922 about ninety percent were
shipped with magnetos. F & J used several different
mags–Sumpter, Elkhart, Split-dorf, Accurate and even the Wizzard
Oscillation Magneto was available.

The large size Model K, built in 15, 20 and 25 HP. Note the
large upright flyball governor behind the flywheel. These were
built quite differently from the smaller Type K. The F & J
sawrig outfit with a 9 HP. Model N engine mounted on it. These were
built using the Model K, also looking much the same. These were
available with a choice of three different tables on them.

A 9 HP. Model N on a portable horsedrawn outfit. The Model K was
also mounted on a truck like this. At bottom is the F. & J. No.
15 light plant outfit. F & J built only the engine–Western
Electric built the generator.

A very few Model N & K engines, at the very end of their
production, were shipped with a Wico EK magneto and spark plug. I
have a 9 HP K which was shipped with a Wico EK. Then, also, there
are a few F & J N’s and K’s a-round which were shipped
with an igniter–later having a Wico Conversion Kit put on. These
kits were available from F & J and also from Wico. Wico sold
these kits to fit almost any make engine, making it possible to
convert them from ignitor to their Wico EK and spark plug
ignition.

At the very end of the year of 1919 F & J speeded up all
their engines 50 RPM and rerated the HP, except for the 1? HP Model
N. At this time the 2? was changed to 3, the 4 to 5, 6 to 7, and
the 8 HP changed to 9. At this time the original 10 HP size was
dropped.

In 1923 F & J came out with the Model NA. Just what the
difference was between the N and NA, I have not been able to see or
find out. The Model NA was built in 3, 5, 7, 9 and 12 HP.
Apparently they built the Models N and NA at the same time. The 1?
HP was never built in the NA.

In 1924 F & J built a new type engine which was a 2? HP, and
was called the type N. This engine was later given 50 RPM more and
was equipped with a Wico EK mag and spark plug–it was the popular
3 HP Model NB. These new type engines had a wide-crowned flywheel,
the governor weight was in the flywheel. They had a much smaller
base and ran much faster. These NB models came out in 1925 and at
the same time the Models N, K and NA were dropped. In the future I
plan to write an article about the NB and later hopper-cooled
engines.

F & J built about 58,000 Model N & K engines in all and
about 2,000 NA engines. These N and K engines were accepted very
well. Having talked to many fellows who bought them new, I have
heard only praise about them.

The oldest Peoples Price engine I have on record is No. 7826, a
4 HP, which was shipped May 27, 1912–now owned by Lynn
Grotophorst, Sauk City, Wis. The oldest Model N I have recorded is
a 2? HP S No. 11787 owned by Clarence Brenengen, Galesville, Wis.
This was shipped July 7, 1913. The oldest K I have recorded is S
No. 12400, shipped Nov. 20, 1913, and is now owned by Alvin W.
Buller, Aurora, Nebraska. This is a 2? HP engine with a hit and
miss type governor.

I will not go into too much detail a-bout the F & J 32 Volt
Light Plants. They built two sizes of these–the Number 8 and the
Number 15. The 8 was a smaller outfit with about a 2 HP engine–
the 15 was larger with a 3 HP engine. I have one of the Number 15
in my collection. To date I have not seen an 8, except in the
instruction book which I have for them. F & J built the engines
and assembled the whole outfit. However, the generator part was
built by Western Electric. Parts of the control panel were built by
General Electric. These outfits were sold under the F & J name
and also under Western Electric name. Mine had just a F & J
decal on it and had a Western Electric plate on the generator
cover. As far as f know, F & J didn’t ever put their tag on
them, so I’m unable to look these up, as to manufacture date.
In general appearance they look somewhat like a Delco Plant, but
are larger and much heavier. They were all throttling governor and
were; able to burn kerosene, as well as gasoline. These light
plants first came out in 1924.

I have had an original part and Instruction book for the Model
N, 3-5-7-9 and 12 HP, reprinted. This is reprinted just like the
original and 1 sell these for $2 each, Postpaid. Also, I have had
reprinted a F & J catalog which was originally printed in 1919.
This 40 page catalog shows pictures of all their engines, including
the N, K, pump, sawrig and others, along with many other
accessories. It gives specifications, weights and prices of them.
These sell for $2.50.

The original F & J Trademark decals for the water hopper are
still available at $1 per set of two decals. I might say again, the
original color for F & J was a green, like the present day New
Idea Farm Implement Green. Striping was done in yellow and the
skids and wood battery box were red.

Anyone interested in knowing when and to whom their F & J
engine was shipped may send me the Serial Number and Model, if
known, and I will look it up in the records. I will then send this
information to you. For this service I charge 50? for the first
engine and 25? for each additional one.

At top is a Model N with a magneto ignition. At bottom is a 3
HP. Model N engine mounted on a hand cart.

The Peoples Price engine. Note that the flywheels are the only
noticeable difference from the Model N. Typical Model K or kerosene
burning, throttling governor engine. The basic engine was the same
as the Model N, except for the fuel mixer and the governor
system.

The F & J Model N with the full-cast base. All the early
N’s were this type. Later they were available either this way
or on the shorter base with skids under it.

A Model N with battery ignition. This is probably a 4 HP. Some
had a full cast-iron base and others were slide mounted like this
one. Lower picture is the typical 1? HP. Model N. Note the governor
weight in the flywheel.. Only the 1? HP. had this type of governor
system–the larger engines used a gear driven flyball type. This is
one of the later engines–the earlier ones had a narrower flywheel
with a larger diameter.

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines