Weber Engine Saved From Foundry

| February/March 1988

RR #1 Lone Jack, Missouri 64070

My story begins on a Friday evening last January when a friend of mine casually mentioned that he was going to an industrial sale. It was to be held the next morning in an old foundry that had closed down in the early 1960's. 'There will be everything from submarine engines to you name it!' he said. Saturday morning arrived with three to four inches of fresh snow and more in the forecast. My son, Trent, and I calmly ignored the minor 10 wind chill to go 'take a look' at what was there.

When we arrived about half of the 'good stuff' was outside and covered with snow, so we started our search inside. We saw three big diesel engines about ten feet tall, one of which was set up to generate electricity. In another area inside we saw two big flywheels hidden in a pile of plywood. Since there hadn't been any engines listed on the sale bill, I was 'surprised' to say the least. Everyone who passed thought it was an air compressor (since it was almost completely covered up), and there was no name on it anywhere. Ten minutes later after I took 'too long of a look', it was mine. We guessed it to weigh 12,000 pounds, as the flywheels were eight inches wide, five inches thick and sixty-four inches across. I also bid on another four-cylinder Weber vertical diesel and a Fairbanks Morse Hopper Cooled Starting air compressor, but thought my wife would be happier with just one to look at for a while, so I let them both go.

I was about the only one at the sale who collected old machinery so the scrap dealers had the upper hand, and a lot of old stuff was scrapped. I went back and bought a lot more after the snow melted, but most of the Weber spare parts and tools were gone before I found out they existed. A six-cylinder Fulton diesel was scrapped that would have run along with a Cooper Bessemer that needed some work.

A big Cooper Bessemer was dismantled and moved to Kansas along with a generator to furnish power for a factory. I was later given the four-cylinder Weber diesel, which was engine #101, before it's brass tag was stolen. I later traded for the Fairbanks Morse air compressor.

About two weeks after the sale, a man who collected engines of the smaller variety, Jerry Nance; my brother, Brice; and my son, Trent and myself met at the foundry to move the Weber. I learned it was a type 3MB from a picture on page 543 of the Gas Engine Encyclopedia. The weather was perfect, for January, and everything went as smooth as silk. We wanted to weigh it but with only a 12,000 pound license and being twenty miles from a weight station, we decided to go straight home. The three-quarter ton Chevy 4x4 handled it fine until we started up 'Rocky Top.'' About half way up this terribly steep hill, I lost traction. My father-in-law, 'Big John,' (another old-iron collector) tried to help with his 4x4 but we could not move it. He then got his two-ton water truck with six-wheel drive and pulled us to the summit just fine. The engine was not stuck, but the Madison-Kipp lubricator was in bad shape. As you can see from the pictures, even the muffler was a load.