Fairbanks-Morse Z Farm Team Resurrection

1917 3 HP Fairbanks-Morse Z and its companion Typhoon pump get a new lease on life

| October/November 2012

  • Fairbanks-Morse Z
    1917 3 HP Fairbanks-Morse Z and its companion Typhoon Power Pump get a new lease on life. 
    Photo By Brian Edgerton and Les Fossum
  • Upside Down Fairbanks-Morse Z
    The Fairbanks-Morse Z was upside down and nearly buried in the sagebrush landscape. Being upside down may be a result of the fuel tank salvage and may have saved the hopper from the typical freeze-cracking seen on many engines abandoned to the elements.
    Photo By Brian Edgerton and Les Fossum
  • Uncovering a Fairbanks-Morse Z
    Fred Allport and Bill Poole uncover and roll over the newly found artifact. Everything was rusted and packed with soil. The oiler, crank guard and fuel tank were missing. 
    Photo By Brian Edgerton and Les Fossum
  • Well-Weathered Fairbanks-Morse Z
    The well-weathered “Z” unloaded and clearly showing the ravages of 65 years in the elements. Note the “grade line” across the centerline of the engine indicating the depth of burial of the engine when found. 
    Photo By Brian Edgerton and Les Fossum
  • Cylinder Block and Piston Firings
    Repeated firings of the cylinder block and piston were required to ultimately loosen the firmly frozen piston. A mixture of diesel fuel, brake fluid and gasoline was used to allow a long burn for each heat session. 
    Photo By Brian Edgerton and Les Fossum
  • Fairbanks-Morse Typhoon Pump
    The Fairbanks-Morse Typhoon pump was discovered in the sagebrush near the Model Z engine. Parts and pieces scattered nearby included the accumulator tank that was broken from its base flange. 
    Photo By Brian Edgerton and Les Fossum
  • Freeing Frozen Piston
    Freeing the frozen piston also required numerous maul strikes on a hardwood post — sized to fill much of the cylinder bore against the piston face — here carefully administered by engine enthusiast Rick Thurman. 
    Photo By Brian Edgerton and Les Fossum
  • Freeing a Stuck Piston
    Free at last! The longfrozen piston and connecting rod successfully released from the cylinder. The piston and con rod are proudly shown off by Rick. 
    Photo By Brian Edgerton and Les Fossum
  • Reassembled Typhoon Pump
    The restored and reassembled Typhoon pump body.
    Photo By Brian Edgerton and Les Fossum
  • Disassembled Typhoon Pump
    The disassembled FM Typhoon pump showing the original connecting rod and piston assemblies cut in two pieces to allow unit takedown. Also shown are the newly machined aluminum piston and brass connecting rod prior to reassembly.
    Photo By Brian Edgerton and Les Fossum
  • Running the Team Dry
    After mounting and aligning the restored engine and Typhoon pump on the single hand truck, the team was run dry. A ratio of approximately 10:1 is noted between the engine and pump, the latter cycling at approximately 40 RPM. Pulley alignment was carefully set using a large metal straightedge and levels. The truck was fabricated from a laminate assembly of red oak and hickory with period iron wheels. 
    Photo By Brian Edgerton and Les Fossum
  • FMZ engine
    Detail of the FM-Z engine showing re-created, historically correct hand truck “Z” graphics. 
    Photo By Brian Edgerton and Les Fossum
  • Hand Truck Pump Graphics
    Detail of the Fairbanks-Morse Typhoon pump showing re-created hand truck pump graphics. 
    Photo By Brian Edgerton and Les Fossum
  • Don Trupp
    Don Trupp spends some quiet time with the old engine/pump assembly he worked as a young boy on his father’s farm in the 1930s. Don said everything sounded and ran just like he remembered. 
    Photo By Brian Edgerton and Les Fossum
  • Successful Fairbanks-Morse Z Restoration
    Les Fossum (left) and Brian Edgerton after successful wet operation during the local Play Day and Apple Pressing on September 24, 2011. This was an exciting and emotional moment to finally see the old “Farm Team” resurrected and working in unison again after more than 65 years being buried in the desert.
    Photo By Brian Edgerton and Les Fossum

  • Fairbanks-Morse Z
  • Upside Down Fairbanks-Morse Z
  • Uncovering a Fairbanks-Morse Z
  • Well-Weathered Fairbanks-Morse Z
  • Cylinder Block and Piston Firings
  • Fairbanks-Morse Typhoon Pump
  • Freeing Frozen Piston
  • Freeing a Stuck Piston
  • Reassembled Typhoon Pump
  • Disassembled Typhoon Pump
  • Running the Team Dry
  • FMZ engine
  • Hand Truck Pump Graphics
  • Don Trupp
  • Successful Fairbanks-Morse Z Restoration

1917 Fairbanks-Morse Z
Manufacturer:
 Fairbanks, Morse & Co., Beloit, Wis.
Year: 1917
Serial number: 225401
HP: 3
RPM: 500
Bore: 4-1/2-inch
Stroke: 6-inch 
Ignition: FM Model R, modified from original igniter configuration

1917 Fairbanks-Morse Z and farm team restoration

My wife, Deb, and I have been hosting an apple pressing bee (aka apple squeezing or cider pressing) at our hobby farm in Idaho Falls, Idaho, each autumn since about 1995. Over the years it has continued to attract many local residents and antique farm equipment aficionados from throughout the area. Featured in this annual pressing is an 1859/60 Emery Brothers (serial no. 311, Albany, N.Y.) cider press retrieved from my grandfather’s farm in Vermont, powered by various stationary engines I’ve restored over the years.

I’m usually busier than a fox in a henhouse during these cider pressings and don’t get a chance to mingle with all the participants, let alone enjoy the homemade baked goods and hand-turned ice cream served during these events. However, late in our September 2009 Apple Pressing I was approached by an elderly gentleman named Donald Trupp, who complimented me on all the restored and popping farm engines and then noted that his father had abandoned an old engine behind their farm near Rexburg, Idaho, after post-war electrification. He asked if I would be interested in retrieving this engine to restore. Needless to say I was interested, exchanged contact information and said I would be up to his place the next day (always strike while the iron is still hot!).

Buried treasure

The following day, I, along with my cousin Fred Allport and friend Bill Poole, met Donald and his wife, Jean, at their Rexburg farm. After a brief walk through their back “bone yard” we found the long-abandoned engine upside down, half sunk into the dry sagebrush landscape. Once dug out and turned over it was immediately recognized as an early Fairbanks-Morse Model Z, converted from igniter to plug. Other than a missing oiler, gas tank and rear guard, it was complete.



We took the opportunity to scour the adjoining iron artifacts scattered across the sagebrush and located a nearby Fairbanks-Morse pump. Further scouting located the broken accumulator tank and various pieces of the old pump. Mr. Trupp noted that the engine and pump had worked as a team for many years in the 1920s and 1930s, pushing water 150 feet from the nearby Teton River canyon up to a wooden water tower used for irrigation. The following week, with permission, these artifacts were retrieved with the help of my friend and fellow iron enthusiast Garry Anderson and brought to my shop in Idaho Falls.

Putting ‘er back together

Although the original engine was relatively complete, the 1917 Fairbanks-Morse Z restoration took almost two years with help from fellow engine enthusiast Rick Thurman and friend Les Fossum. After 65 years in the desert, the Z was virtually a solid piece of rusted iron; the piston, valves, gears, thumb screws, and all bolts and nuts were firmly frozen. Both engine and pump were taken to the shop of retired machinist Les and there the restoration saga began.

SD
1/9/2018 5:58:35 PM

I got a pump i found in oysterville historic town in wa state. Matches your in pictures things missing from it but a lot there.


SD
1/9/2018 5:58:33 PM

I got a pump i found in oysterville historic town in wa state. Matches your in pictures things missing from it but a lot there.