Notes and Responses From Readers
464 S. 5th St. Sebewaing, MI 48579
A note on the discussion in the February SmokStak column on why a twin-cylinder Maytag wouldn't spark:
None of the fellows making suggestions mention checking the magnet in the flywheel. I had trouble with one of my Maytag twins and found that one end of the magnet was dead. I recharged the magnet, and my Maytag started fine. I check the magnet by pulling a flat blade screwdriver across the ends of the magnet. If I get a strong pull on the screwdriver, I consider the magnet okay.
I also found another problem with one of my Maytag twin engines that wouldn't spark. The man I bought the engine from said the magneto fired well before he took the engine apart, but when he got it back together it would not fire. After checking the engine over, I found the insulation broken off of the wire coming out of the bottom of the coil. It was up against the ground wire, causing a dead short. I taped the wire, put the engine back together and the magneto fired fine.
Thought you could use this in your magazine. The engine is a 6 HP Bohon with 5--inch bore, 10-inch stroke and 37-inch flywheels, sold by Bohon at Harrodsburg, Ky. The serial number is not stamped on the tag. I would like to thank Wade Homes for installing a sleeve and bushing, and for welding. Dave Guelda, 1351 Texas Ave. Louisville, KY 40217
Melvin Fox restored this garden tractor, which appears to be a Kinkade, but doesn't know when it was built.
Here is my latest project. It sat on my bench for two years. The mag was stuck so I sent it to a shop that just about destroyed it. Be careful who you send your parts to. I finally figured out how I could hold it on the machine as the brace was stripped and cracked. I have to use a battery and coil now.
This machine was made by the American Farm Machinery Co., Minneapolis, Minn. Any idea of when? To have one rare piece is nice, but I have several. Melvin A. Fox, 16791 Hudson Rd. Milton, DE 19968
(The American Farm Machinery Co. was in business from the 1920s through the mid -1950s, and this unit was part of their Kinkade garden tractor line. Do any readers know more about these little units and how to date them? - Editor)
The elusive belts have been installed on the 11 HP riding mower mentioned on page 4 of the April 2002 issue of GEM.
This Wizard mower turned out to be a Model GLS 7115 A48, not a GLS 115 A48 as stated on the identification tag. I have heard of such things happening, but have never encountered this before.
It seems Western Auto was owned at least in part by Sears for awhile, and they have since gone to tire sales only. If anyone out there in engine land has an owner's manual with a parts list for either of the above models it would be much appreciated. This mower carries s/n 407 LI 622. As we all know, sometimes the simplest projects turn out to be the most frustrating and expensive. David Mozol, 213 Mozol Lane Oden, AR 71961
Fairbanks Co. sign found by reader Richard Bouma. The engine in the upper left-hand corner, second from left, appears to be identical to one owned by Gordon Hawk. Gordon asked for information about his engine in the April 2002 issue of GEM.
I saw Gordon Hawk's letter in the April 2002 issue of GEM in Reflections concerning his Fairbanks Co. engine that may be a Blakeslee. I was very surprised to see the article, because I had not heard of either the Fairbanks Co. or the Blakeslee engine until this last winter when I was with my wife's family in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.
Whenever we go up to see them there is a series of antique and junk stores that I do not miss. In a store in Surrey, B.C., I found a porcelain sign, which is shown in the picture I'm sending you. All of the white areas of the sign are raised up from the dark blue and the sign is completely porcelain. There is some damage in spots that can be seen in the picture, but basically the sign shows seven different engines that the Fairbanks Co. apparently handled at the time the sign was made. I have no idea as to the date of the sign, and the store where I purchased it had no information. They had bought it in a lot of items brought in from the U.S. It is very apparent by the engine in the upper left-hand corner that your engine was very definitely handled by this company.
I hope this may shed a little more light on the Fairbanks Co. and your engine. Again, I was very excited to read the article in Wendel's column because it gave a little history to my sign. If you have any questions concerning the sign, please feel free to contact me. Richard E. Bouma, 855 W. La Deney Dr. Ontario, CA 91762 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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