WHAT IS IT?


| October/November 1989



Hit & Miss Governed Engine

1908 Devon Road, Williamsport, Pennsylvania 17701

A few years ago I acquired an engine that has no nameplate, which was one of several I had purchased from Bill Debolt. Bill is the 'bolt' of Star bolt Engine Supplies of Adamstown, Maryland, the well known supplier of gasoline engine parts. Bill is no longer a part of Star-bolt and he and his son, Paul, are now the operators of Debolt Machine of Baltimore, Maryland, who manufacture and sell the Witte and Perkins model gasoline engines. When I acquired the engine from Bill, it was in pieces and I bought it with the usual reservation that it would turn out though there were several missing parts. This spring the engine was assembled by master mechanic and engine collector, J. P. Hackenburg, of Montoursville, Pennsylvania, and much to my amazement, only one part was missing. The only part that should have been in the tin bucket that the small parts were in was the 'spark saver'. This engine carries no nameplate, is one that neither I nor anyone I know has seen before and carries its serial number (5093) on a boss on the top of the water cooled head. I have been told that it is an Ohio engine made in Sandusky, Ohio (the manufacturer of heavy, fine side shaft engines). I have no reason to doubt this identification. In establishing the make of any unmarked non-common engine, in my opinion, it is imperative that the identification be documented by some tangible evidence in the form of a comparable engine which carries an original nameplate, a parts list, operating instructions, advertising, etc. Many engines have been identified by other means and then later it is established that the identification is wrong. The real vice that occurs from this is that the wrong identification gets into print and therefore is accepted as fact. The resultant confusion is most times very difficult to untangle.

What I am really looking for is someone who can from the description of this engine and from the attached photographs provide me with a picture of an identical engine with an original nameplate or an advertisement, parts manual or operating instructions for an identical engine. I would certainly appreciate hearing from anyone who can assist in this search or provide a lead which, if developed, would establish a positive identification of this engine.

The important features of the engine are as follows:

It is hit and miss governed and has high tension ignition. It is a push rod engine with a 6 inch bore and a 7 inch stroke. The flywheels are heavy and 28 inches in diameter. Calculations suggest that it is in the 4-6 HP range.

The engine has several distinguishing features. The mixer is located on the underside of the liquid cooled head and has no needle valve in the mixer. The needle valve is in the head and feeds fuel directly into the intake valve chamber and is controlled by a brass hand wheel. The fuel is raised from the in base gas tank to the needle valve by intake suction assisted by a check valve located at the outlet of the gasoline tank (see photograph number one).