A Brief Word

| January/February 1999

  • Fairbanks-Morse
  • Fairbanks-Morse
  • Fairbanks-Morse
  • Syracuse Engine
  • Syracuse Engine
  • Syracuse Engine
  • Delco plant
  • Novo engine
  • Witte headless engine

  • Fairbanks-Morse
  • Fairbanks-Morse
  • Fairbanks-Morse
  • Syracuse Engine
  • Syracuse Engine
  • Syracuse Engine
  • Delco plant
  • Novo engine
  • Witte headless engine

As we assemble this column in early November, a touch of snow has descended upon us here in the midwest, namely, Iowa. We'll grant that you won't see this copy until early December, but if you haven't already, be sure to check those engines and tractors to be sure they are drained. Don't forget little things like the petcock on the bottom of the waterpump.

We're continuing to work on our Standard Catalog of American Tractors, and once again ran across our file on the Ford Tractor Company at Minneapolis. Rated as an 8-16, the Ford of 1915 sold for $350. By 1917 it was rated as a 10-20. Only a few were built, and they were never considered to be a roaring success.

The main problem with the Ford Tractor Company was that newspapers, and eventually the courts, found it to be not quite so reputable as it might have been.

Unfortunately, this situation occurred numerous times in the early days of the tractor industry. Due to the heavy demand for tractors, it was relatively easy to set up shop as a tractor manufacturer, and for those unscrupulous enough to do so, it was also easy to set up one of those pie-in-the-sky companies that offered its prospective stockholders fantastic returns on their money. In these situations, the brokers took most of the money, a little of it went toward the 'factory' and the investors saw no more of their money. By the time anyone got around to complain to the authorities, the money had vanished, as did the perpetrators.

Plans are moving forward on a tour to England for next summer. Right now, it looks like we'll leave somewhere around June 20 for about 15 days. We'll plan on attending the Tatton Park 1000 Engine Rally, and hope to also attend the Banbury Rally. In addition, we'll visit various collections, museums, and other sites. By the time this copy is in your hands in early December, we should have our itinerary well under way. We will only be taking one coach on this and future tours, and that limits us to a maximum of 46 people. How ever, this has its advantages--one of them being that it is a lot easier for ye olde Reflector as the tour host. We'll keep you informed as things come together.

34/1/1 Chain Belt Company Q. I have a small 1? inch centrifugal pump with a one-cylinder air-cooled engine directly attached. The pump has a 'Chain Belt Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin nametag, 3000 gph, and s/n B4027. The pump casting has 'Speed Prime Pump' and 'Rex cast beneath it. Can anyone provide further information on this unit, such as its age, probable use, and the like? Any information would be appreciated. Paul C. Van Sickle, 3672 Porterville Hill Rd., East Aurora, NY 14052. Email. FLOBBLE@GATEWAY.NET

34/1/2 Johnny Boy Engine Q. I have an Associated engine recently imported from the United States. It is a Johnny Boy 1? HP, s/n 259038. Can you provide me the date of manufacture from the s/n? We have no details on the ]ohnny Boy here. Joseph Callow, 4 Meeting Lane, Towcester, Northants, England NN126JX.

A. We know of no serial number lists for the Associated engines. If anyone can provide specific information on the Johnny Boy, kindly contact Mr. Callow.

34/1/3 Fairbanks-Morse 'Z' Q. See the photos of a Fairbanks-Morse Type Z engine with Wico EK ignition. Everyone tells me this is wrong, but I see no signs of the engine ever having any other type of ignition. There are no mounting holes for any other type of magneto. Can anyone provide further information?

Also, can anyone provide further information on the Snapper mower I recently restored? It is from the early 1950s (photo 3C). Walter Headrick, 3601 Old Hwy 100,Tallipoosa, GA 30176.

A. F-M experimented with numerous kinds of magnetos, probably including the Wico EK. We would guess that your engine probably was shipped with the Sumter Plugoscillator, which wasn't the greatest magneto. Somewhere along the line, it could have been changed over using a retrofit kit, perhaps from Wico, or perhaps from Fairbanks-Morse.

34/1/4 Sattley Engine Q. I have a Sattley kerosene engine, s/n 2838 with solid cast flywheels. Can you tell me when it was made and the original color? Is this a hit-and-miss engine? Edward R. Woodley, 710 N McKenzie St., Luverne, UN 56156-1335.

A. If the tag reads 'kerosene engine' it was likely set up as a volume governed engine. We know that the 1? HP size was available in hit-and-miss or throttle governed styles. These engines emerged in the late 1920s. They used a number of Model T Ford parts, including the piston and valves, as we recall. The later ones used dark green enamel similar to DuPont 7498.

34/1/5 Heavy Equipment Website We've learned that there is a new web site for heavy equipment, farm equipment, horses and cattle. The address is; type 'More Info' in the subject box.

34/1/6 John Deere Model E

Q. What is the year built for a John Deere Type E, s/n 356101? Was there any special striping besides the John Deere decal on the water hopper? Bobby G. Burns, 11277 Louisville St., Louisville, OH 44641-9605.

A. Your engine was built in 1943. To our knowledge there was no striping.

34/1/7 Pumps and Hydraulic Rams

Q. In the July 1994 issue of GEM, page 10, you mention a book, Pumps and Hydraulic Rams by Paul N. Hasluck, printed in 1909. Do you know where I might be able to purchase this book if it is still available? Also, can you tell me anything about the Deming Company of Salem, Ohio? I have a No. 3 Deming hydraulic ram which is restored to working condition. David L. Womack, 1001 South 10th St., Gadsden, AL 35901.

A. So far as we know, this book has been out of print for years, but occasionally an antiquarian book dealer might be able to find one for you. Also, it is sometimes possible to find out of print books on the Internet. We have no history on Deming.

34/1/8 Root & Vandervoort I have a Root & Vandervoort 2 HP engine, s/n BL19708, built for John Deere Plow Company, Syracuse, New York. Can anyone tell me 1) when it was built, 2) an instruction manual, 3) a needle valve? Edward Turner, 8294 Halsey Rd., Port Byron, NY 13140

34/1/9 On Using E-mail Robert R. Jessup, Redneck Ranch, PO Box 118, Clarcona, FL 32710 notes that some folks are using only their e-mail address in their queries. This makes it difficult or impossible for those without email to respond. Kindly use both addresses, your e-mail AND your snailmail address!

34/1/10 Fairbanks-Morse Type Z Q. I have a 1? HP Fairbanks-Morse Z, s/n 440684. This engine should be of 1920 vintage. During restoration I located a casting number of 21820 on the governor side of the engine. Can I assume that this block was cast on February 18, 1920? Also stamped on the main journal cap is the number 3RIV. What does this represent? Gary Everett, 15500 Glenwood Ave., Overland Park, KS 66223.

A. The 21820 number could be the date of the casting, especially since most companies left the castings cure for a time before machining them. However, we are totally clueless about the 3RIV number on the journal cap.

34/1/11 Casey Jones Information Needed Q. Does anyone know the color for a Casey Jones engine, s/n 8474? All I can tell is that it is a red color, but I would like to be more specific. Jasper Harmon, 1255 Edmund Ave., St. Paul, MN 55104. Email:

A. We have no paint number information on the Casey Jones. Can anyone help?

34/1/12 LeRoi EngineQ. I need information, preferably an instruction book on a LeRoi stationary four-cylinder engine with a 4?x6 inch bore and stroke, possibly known as a Roiline Model D-382. Any help would be appreciated. R.H. Wenzel, EPC Co., PO Box 5097, Orange, CA 92867.

34/1/13 Thanks! To Gus Simms, 25 N. Front St., Mountaintop, PA 18707 for sending along model information on the Briggs &. Stratton engine line. It is appreciated, and is already in the B &. S file.

34/1/14 Sattley Engine Q. I recently purchased a Sattley 1? hp engine, but would like to determine the correct color and when it was built. Harry Gurr, 17401 Gunn Hwy, Odessa, FL 33556.

A. See 34/1/4 above.

34/1/15 Advance Rumely 30-45Q. My family and I are looking for more information on the Advance Rumely 30-45 models, as well as a troubleshooting manual. Is there an address that can be obtained to write about such a manual? Any help would be appreciated. Dallas Womack, 424 So. 7th, Fairview, OK 73737.

34/1/16 Syracuse Engine? Q. About a year ago I purchased an engine the seller called a 'Syracuse' engine. How ever, all I can find are the marine engines from Syracuse Gas Engine Works. See the photos. Can anyone identify this engine? M. S. Hitchcock, Rt 2, Box 1132, Madison, FL 32340.

34/1/17 Northwestern Engine Q. I just purchased a Northwestern 2? HP engine and would like to know the correct color and when it was manufactured. Any information appreciated. Robert H. Schneider, 2154 Grahn Dr., Santa Rosa, CA 95404-3008.

34/1/18 Adams Road Patrol Q. I have a horsedrawn Adams Road Patrol No. 41 by J. D. Adams Mfg. Company, Indianapolis, Indiana, s/n 884. Can you give me information as to the year, color scheme, or any other information? Dean Mitchell, PO Box 1665, LaFeria, TX 78559.

A. The only thing we have is an approximate color. An old catalog shows the Adams in a Brewster Green, similar to DuPont 2015.

34/1/19 Information Needed Q. See photo 19A of a Witte headless engine, s/n 54413. I would like to know when it was built, along with any other information. Photo 19B shows the remains of a Delco plant. Any information appreciated. Photo 19C is a Novo engine, s/n 21816 with a 33/8 x 4 inch bore and stroke. The tag on the hopper is that of a jobber and reads, John Reiner Co. Inc., Diesel and Gasoline engines, New York. Woody Sins, 3 Edna Ter, New Hartford, NY 13413.

A. Your Witte was built in 1921. A great many engines were sold through jobbers. Some of the larger ones used their own nameplates, usually in cooperation with the manufacturer. Mobiloil for one, had a promotional deal whereby manufacturers and/or jobbers could get a nice attractive plate recommending Mobiloil along with including the company name and having specifications for the engine.



Gas Engine Magazine A_M 16Gas Engine Magazine is your best source for tractor and stationary gas engine information.  Subscribe and connect with more than 23,000 other gas engine collectors and build your knowledge, share your passion and search for parts, in the publication written by and for gas engine enthusiasts! Gas Engine Magazine brings you: restoration stories, company histories, and technical advice. Plus our Flywheel Forum column helps answer your engine inquiries!

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