Letters & Miscellanies

Kurz & Root, Fairbanks T, Stewart Little Wonder and More on 8PLVG

| May/June 2003

  • Bulls Eye

  • Stan Matlowski's original cooling tank
    Stan Matlowski's original cooling tank for an early 2 HP Fairbanks-Morse T.
  • 8PLVG

  • Bulls Eye
  • Stan Matlowski's original cooling tank
  • 8PLVG

Kurz & Root

Regarding query 38/3/2 on page 4 of the March issue of GEM:

Kurz & Root evidently built generators for quite some time. I wrote an article for GEM (see October 1993, page 26, 'One Man's Junk ...') that covered a Kurz & Root generator I recovered. The unit was manufactured by U.S. Motors, but had a Hercules BXB engine mated to a Kurz & Root generator. The generator had its own ID plate with detailed information, which is included in my 1993 article.

I believe Kurz & Root is no longer in business. U.S. Motors may have been a descendant of Universal, or perhaps a competitor, but it seems to be quite a circumstance that they share the same town of origin, Oshkosh, Wis. It would appear Kurz & Root built units to be mated to whatever engine the manufacturer of the outfit chose.

Andrew K. Mackey 26 Mott Place Rockaway Boro, NJ 07855- 3022

More on Kurz & Root

Kurz & Root Co. of Appleton, Wis., certainly did manufacture generators. I was in their facilities in the early 1980s, and at that time they were building AC generators, mainly for military contracts.

I believe they got their start building DC light plant units and then turned to building AC generators during World War II. I have contacted some fellow co-workers for information, and if I find out more I will pass it along.

Dave Strasser Wausau,WI strasser@g2a.net

Fairbanks-Morse Type T

In regard to question 37/12/1 on page 4 of the December 2002 issue:

I have a 2 HP Fairbanks-Morse Type T that still has original paint. My engine is dark red, almost maroon in color. There is no trace of black on the block or the fly wheels. I also have the original cooling tank, which is about 4 or 5 feet tall. It is galvanized with black lettering. On the tank it says 'Jack of all Trades' Fairbanks-Morse and Co.

The serial number plate on mine is square, not round. The plate says 'Touch Igniter 2 HP,' with no serial number or rpm filled in, and it has patent dates from 1892 to 1907. It should be noted that all Fairbanks-Morse engines prior to 1906 came with both hot tube and electric igniter.

I call this my 'coffee pot Fairbanks,' because when I bought it the cooling tower was a commercial coffee pot. I would welcome hearing from fellow Fairbanks owners.

Stan Matlowski 118 Hunlock-Harveyville Road Hunlock Creek, PA 18621 smatlowski@yahoo.com

Bovaird & Seyfang

After reading Chan Mason's article, 'A Working Oil Lease in 2002,' in the March 2003 issue, I felt I could add some interesting facts about the Bovaird & Seyfang engine featured in the article.

According to the original Bovaird & Seyfang test card in the archives of the Coolspring Power Museum, this engine was tested using a brake for a period of six hours on March 11, 1925. It was noted the test was okay. This engine was sold to the Linwood Oil Company and shipped Sept. 1, 1925. As I understand it, the engine was brought in from another location.

The engine was tested as a 25 HP model fitted with an 11- by 14-inch cylinder. Mr. Zetler must have kept the original name tag when he changed the cylinder, as a 30 HP cylinder would have had a 12-inch bore. Referring to the test card, the engine was fitted with a 1-quart Powell Boson cylinder lubricator and both Wico and hot tube ignition. Additionally, the flywheels must have been changed at some time, because the engine is now fitted with the lighter, 900-pound fly wheels and it was tested with 1,200-pound flywheels. Also, the original iron disk intake valve has been replaced with the newer strip valve design.

The power is a single disk design manufactured by Oil Well Supply. I encourage readers to keep sending in articles of historical nature.

Michael Fuoco 656 W. Washington St. Bradford, PA 16701

Stewart Little Wonder

This is in reference to the unidentified engine, query 38/3/4 in the March 2003 issue of GEM. The engine in 38/3/4 is missing the base, carburetor and fuel tank, which are one unit. For ignition, these engines used battery and buzz coil, or, at extra cost, an Elkhart magneto. The standard battery/buzz coil ignition was housed in the cast iron base.

I have one of these engines with the Elkhart magneto, and it is painted a deep blue, similar to the one in 38/3/4. The base, crankcase and flywheel are blue, and the cylinder, head and related parts are aluminum in color

Dick Hamp 1772 Conrad Ave. San Jose, CA 95124

More on Stewart

A big thank you to Gas Engine Magazine for your help identifying my engine that appeared in the March issue, query 38/3/4. The engine is, I now know, a Stewart Little Wonder made by the Chicago Flexible Shaft Co., Chicago, Ill.

As of this writing I have been contacted by 24 people from 16 different states. Everyone was very friendly and eager to give helpful advice and information, even people who wanted to buy it from me. When information is needed, the combination of GEM and its faithful readers creates an immeasurable resource for people like myself. I am confident that I will get the information necessary to make or acquire the parts I need. Again, thank you.

Marty Lukonen 5724 4th Ave. SW Watertown, SD 52701

8PLVG and Propane Regulators

I wanted to share a couple of photos of 8PLVG taken after its arrival in Berryville, Va., on Jan. 18, 2003. It arrived a little worse for the wear, as it got covered with road salt during the trip. It was supposed to have been covered with a tarp for transport, but wasn't.

8PLVG at the Shenandoah Valley Steam and Gas Engine Assoc. grounds in Berryville, Va. Club officers John DeBoskey (left), Steve Giles (center) and Wayne Godlove (right) show the donation check from the ASME Southern Tier Section and Region III office that made the purchase possible.

Some research by a colleague has disclosed that this engine, serial number 8AZ100, was the only PLVG to have been built using the same frame and frame top as the integral 8LVG engine/compressor. The other five 8PLVG engines were built with a shortened frame, frame top and crankshaft, so this engine is a 'one of a kind' in that respect.

Regarding Warren Fricken's question in the March issue of GEM, query 38/3/10:

Warren is correct that a negative feed or 'zero governor' type of gas regulator should be used to control the flow of propane gas to the engine's carburetor. This type of regulator stops the flow of gas until a vacuum signal is applied at the outlet port. Venturi vacuum, developed in the carburetor venturi in proportion to airflow through the venturi, is used as the fuel flow signal. Generally, the negative-feed regulators for venturi carburetor service are set for an outlet pressure of negative -inch water column. Accordingly, the carburetor venturi must be sized to develop a negative -inch water column signal. If an existing venturi is too large to develop the signal, partially closing the carburetor choke will usually result in sufficient air pressure drop through the carburetor to establish the required vacuum signal.

On smaller engines I like to use an Impco (formerly Garretson) S-2 two-stage regulator. A two-stage unit incorporates a primary regulator, which reduces the tank gas pressure to a low positive pressure upstream of the zero governor. Unfortunately, production of the S-2 was recently discontinued. The S-2 features an external adjustment of the lock-off setting and can be made very sensitive, such that it will allow gas to flow at negative -inch water column. However, it is important to remember there should be no gas flow from a negative-feed regulator in the absence of the vacuum signal. Impco (Garretson) also produced a model SD zero governor that has the external adjustment feature. The SD requires a separate primary regulator. Presently, Impco offers a model 50E (formerly the Beam 50E) two-stage unit that is intended for small engine use. The 50E does not have an adjustable lock-off feature. With any of these regulators a needle valve, ball valve or gas cock is installed in the fuel line between the regulator and the carburetor for adjustment of the air/fuel ratio.

Mac Sine 13 Main St. Lawrenceville, PA 16929 tmseas@epix.net


Sue Weaver wrote in to let us know the date she gave in her show report covering the Western New York Maple Festival in Franklinville, N.Y., was incorrect. The correct date for the show is April 26, 2003.

Also, Gary Treible wrote in to let us know the David Bradley Internet site has changed its web address. The new address is: www.davidbradley.net

Send letters to: Gas Engine Magazine, 1503 SW 42nd St,Topeka, KS 66609-1265; rbackus@ogdenpubs.com


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