The Hercules Engine News

| December/January 2000

  • Fairbanks Morse

    Dave Babcock

  • Fairbanks Morse

20601 Old State Road Haubstadt, Indiana 47639

The story of the resurrection of 1? HP model E Hercules #148306 that was built in mid-1918 continues. The task to reassemble the engine to running condition began. It might be well to point out that returning it to running condition is just that. To restore everything to near original tolerances and operating condition with all the proper parts and paint finish is another matter.

Since the parts order and the new piston rings had yet to arrive, the piston was not removed from the cylinder. The rod and main bearings were adjusted to the point that there was just enough loose play to ensure that there was space left for the grease in the bearings. The side rod itself and the roller were in good condition, having apparently been replaced at some time in the past. The side of the block where the side rod rubs was well worn so a thin metal shim was made to go between the governor bracket and the block to provide a new wearing surface.

The governor spindle pin was worn off until it was about even with the end of the governor shaft. Since there was no spacer washer between the governor gear and the bracket, it only made the speed control problem worse. This allowed the detent blade to stand well out from the side rod and the detent block. The governor balls must fly way out to cause the detent to latch and the engine must run rather fast for all this to happen. A new pin about ? inch longer was made and a spacer washer was added. This allows the flyballs to move only a short distance before they will cause the pin to make the detent latch. This is a big aid in slowing down the engine speed, too. A new pivot pin was also made for the detent blade holder and the detent finger. That eliminated a little more of the loose play.

The igniter was checked to see that the insulated electrode was not grounded and the points were cleaned up. After the magneto was added and adjustments were made, it appeared to produce adequate spark when tripped with the hand lever.

After finding the lost valve, the head was reassembled using the old springs and new head and igniter gaskets were cut. Now it was just a matter of putting the pieces back together. The head and igniter gaskets were coated with grease to soften them a little and to make it easier to remove the head or igniter if it should later become necessary. The head bolts were tightened to 60 pounds and later retightened.