20601 Old State Road, Haubstadt, Indiana47639
There are many questions that get asked in the process of restoring and rebuilding of engines in the Hercules family. Here are a few of them.
A reader built a cart for his Hercules engine using the information given on page 28 of the October 1997 issue of GEM. His question was, 'What color should it be painted?'
There are only a few colored illustrations to go by in the literature. Apparently the cart frame and axles were red with green wheels to match the engine color. Some would say that the wheels should be black. For an Economy engine cart, the frame and axles are red and the wheels are black. What shade of red is used? Make it simple. Go to the local True Value hardware store and get X-O Rust #T-5 IHC Red.
The writer of a recent letter told about his model T Thermoil engine. In his concluding remarks he said in effect, 'I guess that the color is red like the Economy engines.' Here is where the surprise comes. The original paint color on them was sort of a lime-olive green. A friend suggests that Musk Green as used on 1972-74 Fiat cars is a good match. I had some parts from a 5 HP #935 and they were a green color. All of the later model U and UA Thermoils were red.
A recent phone caller was looking for the governor spindle for a 6 HP model CA Sparta Economy. He had the part but it was broken. Those parts are rather hard to find. I suggested that he braze the old parts back together.
That brings up the brazing subject. I've seen a lot of brazed gas engine parts. Many are very poorly done without proper fit-up or without proper preparation. The first thing to do is to fit the broken pieces together and then make some kind of setup to hold them in proper position. The next thing to do is grind away enough metal at the break to make a place for the brazing to fill in, leaving just enough of the broken edge to properly mate the parts. Enough heat is needed to make the parts red where the brazing is to be done so that the brazing rod will flow when melted into the prepared area. This really oversimplifies the whole thing, so good luck.
In our hobby we get concerned about proper paint color, striping, decals, carts, oilers, parts and many other things. But, ours is a simple hobby.
Just recently I fell heir to a lot of model T Ford books, literature and Vintage Ford magazines. In scanning through several pieces of the material, it became apparent that there is a lot of controversy when it comes to restoring one of those things with all things being proper for the year and style. Henry Ford didn't make it any easier because parts were mixed and matched during yearly changeovers, and parts from one supplier didn't necessarily match those of another one. Sometimes a particular part was painted and at other times, it wasn't. This even included the whole engine at times.
I know it isn't Hercules news, but there are a few other Ford things to throw in. A 1919 directory of farmers for the county I live in lists some 1,300 farmers. Of that group, just over 500 of them have cars. Guess what? Slightly over half of those cars are Fords.
Here's a final Hercules problem. It seems that several people are looking for the fuel mixer for the 9 HP Hercules model EK throttling governed engines. Now that is a hard part to find for a large size engine. One person is even looking into having new ones cast. Add to that the cost of machining, the fuel pump, pump lever and fuel valves and it looks like an expensive undertaking. But, as many of you will agree, oftentimes just the sense of accomplishment makes it all worth it