Letters & Miscellanies
Fairbanks-Morse Piston Rings
In regard to query 39/5/7 in Flywheel Forum in the May
2004 issue about piston ring retainers cast into
Fairbanks-Morse pistons: It is very important that they be retained
and used, if the engine is to retain compression.
The purpose of the protrusions is indeed to keep the rings from
rotating in the ring grooves. On the horizontal engines, especially
in the larger engines with bores over 4 inches, the rings will tend
to rotate. This results in numerous problems. First, if the ring
ends are all in alignment compression can escape the combustion
chamber. Secondly, The escaping gases will create hot spots in the
cylinder, drying the oil and creating more wear on the cylinder.
Finally, blow-by pressure will blow the oil supplied by the oiler
for the piston and wrist pin back into the oiler -or worse, out the
vent and onto spectators and the engine. The oiling to the wrist
pin on the FM engine is marginal at best, and a loss of oil will
quickly lead to bearing failure at the wrist pin. Insufficient oil
on the rings accelerates wear, resulting in deterioration of
compression, and it all just snowballs.
The FM 6 HP engines also have locaters, and one I owned had the
locaters filed off. The wrist pin failed three times in four years,
the rings twice. All four times the piston was removed, and all the
rings had rotated to ends-up position. It wasn’t until I worked
on a second 6 HP that I saw what was missing from my engine. By all
means, keep the retainers.
The ends of the original rings were cut at a slant, and retainer
grooves were cut into the bottom edge of the ring. On straight-cut
rings, I ground a groove into the ring, approximately 3/4-inch from
the ring end to help preserve compression. I hope this helps.
26 Mott Place Rockaway, NJ 07866, mackmotr@aol. com
The Fairbanks-Morse engine in the April 2004 Gas Engine
Magazine is definitely a Model M Waukesha. I once had a small
generator with an FM tag on the diesel engine that drove it, but
the engine was an Onan.
I retired as service manager for a Waukesha distributor after
almost 40 years servicing Waukesha engines. I have a great deal of
Waukesha literature, and I am glad to share.
Ralph Olmsted, 120 Guadalajara St., New Iberia, LA
Money-making IHC 6 HP M
This is the only engine I have that has made me money: Cars have
hit it two times – it’s my best engine! It’s a 6 HP M. It
froze and busted too badly to run again.
Jerry Ellison, 549 Ray Ellison Road, Vilas, NC 28692
A few years ago, a monthly called Skinned Knuckles ran
a series on different kinds of rust cover paint – i.e. Rustoleum,
Corrless, POR, etc. It was very interesting to watch the progress
of this project: some worked, some did not.
I wish GEM could do a project on different rust-stopping films
that we could spray or brush on our finds until we are able to
start work. We need a product that will cover and protect every
part -front, back, top and bottom.
I have tried WD-40: it works for a while and then is gone.
Linseed oil is messy, but works better. When I retired from the
Navy, we had a product called Fluid Film. It seemed to work well. I
think this would be a great project that would help all of us,
since we buy more than we can fix and some units sit for years!
Just an idea, hope you can help.
Bill Irwin, 1706 Brush Creek Road, Glade Valley, NC 28627
Great idea, Bill! We’ll certainly kick it around. In the
meantime, we’d like to hear feedback from readers on Bill’s
idea, and maybe even get new suggestions along the same lines. –
Send letters to: Gas Engine Magazine, 1503 S.W. 42nd
St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265; firstname.lastname@example.org
Wajax High-pressure Pump
About 1997, I attended the January swap meet at Avon Park, Fla.
While walking the many rows of goodies, I saw this interesting but
odd-looking engine. The owner was from Canada, and we had a very
nice visit discussing what turned out to be a portable
high-pressure pump designed for fighting forest fires.
We had a lengthy discussion about the pump and what it was
worth. My plan was to leave early Saturday morning, so I packed my
truck Friday night, leaving enough space just in case we agreed on
a price. We did, and I now own this Wajax high-pressure pump
powered by a water-cooled two-cylinder, two-stroke engine.
With the information on the brass tag and the help of a computer
friend, I was able to locate the factory, Watson Jack Hopkins Ltd.
of Montreal, Canada, which is still in business.
I called the plant, talked with the manager and gave him the tag
information. He identified the unit as a 1940 emergency forest fire
pump. During our conversation, I asked if an owner’s manual was
available, and his secretary found the only one. She faxed the
complete book, page by page.
I found the engine to be in very good condition, and the
high-pressure pump was perfect. The engine runs great and with a
good spark. Because it is water-cooled, I only run it for a couple
minutes at a time.
But this high-pressure, water-cooled pump rig is difficult to
show-and-tell, so with my wife’s blessing I made a glass-top
table using the pump as the base. It is now displayed in my
sun-room overlooking Lake Gaston in beautiful North Carolina.
N.E. Vandeveer, 247 Pineview Drive, Henrico, NC 27842
Dedicated to the women at Flywheeler Park:
By Dot Vandenbergh
38 U.S. Highway 51, Pana, IL 62557
I’m a Flywheeler and proud to be,
I love the grounds, most precious ‘My Tree.’
Uncle Sam and flowers, farm fish flying high.
Bring smiles and good cheer as folks walk by.
They tell me they’re anxious to get through the gate,
To see me and ‘My Tree’ they can hardly wait.
Things to look at and reminisce about.
Sometimes seeing something they can’t live without.
Loving every show, I give my all,
Dressing ‘My Tree’ for a Flywheelers Ball.
Now, you might think ‘it’s only a tree,’
Gee, Dot, how great can a tree be?
Health problems limit some ladies walking,
The guys go to the field and leave them here talking.
We all got acquainted, they leave with a smile,
Yes girls! Coming to Flywheelers is very worthwhile.
Let it be heard! We have girl things like these:
The women’s building, Red Hot Foxy Flirties and Mad Hatter
And, God willing, ‘My Tree’ and me.
Old Photograph of McCormick Deering-Binder and Farmall F-12
McCormick-Deering binder and Farmall F-12 fill out the scene in this old photograph.
In Memoriam of Howard E. Pray
Remembering Howard E. Pray, member of the Antique Engine & Tractor Assn. of Geneseo, Ill.
What Year Is This Reeves & Co.?
The Pottsville Historical Museum in Merlin, Ore., is looking for more information on their Reeves & Co. steam engine