A Compression Experiment

| September/October 1966

John Deere with Iron Wagon

Courtesy of Mr. Robert Gray, Eldora, Iowa.

Mr. Robert Gray

I have been in the engine inline for the past twenty-three years, handling tractors, portable, stationary and marine engines. I now own and operate a motor boat, stationary engine, natural gas and steam tractor. 1 have never been held up very long without being able to locate the trouble.

One time when I was traveling agent for a machinery company I installed a 12-horse power engine and buhr mill near Olive Hill, Kentucky. About six months afterwards I was called from lluntington, West Virginia, by the local agent to come and see what was the matter with the mill engine. When the engine was installed 1 put in a set of six large wet batteries, these being what the company furnished at that time. On my arrival at Olive Hill the agent said that the batteries were in good shape but I told him 1 wanted some dry batteries to take with me anyway. When 1 arrived I asked the owner what he had done to the engine and ho said he had done absolutely nothing. Upon examination I found that the spark had a very weak red streak, as I call it. I examined the batteries and lifting up one set of plates from the liquid was not surprised to find that the zine had been entirely eaten off and had dropped off into the cell. I put onĀ  the dry batteries and thought all the trouble would then be ended, but when I turned the engine over I found that the compression was no good and that air passed out past the piston as though there were no rings in the cylinder. By questioning I found that the owner had ground the rings. He had taken the advice of an old steam engineer and ground the rings so they were of even thickness all the way around. The result of this was a seven dollar expense for new rings. The yard was full of teams bringing corn to mill and the man needed his power badly, so he asked me if I would not try to make the engine run until he could get new rings. I then tried a little experiment of my own. I procured some flake graphite, Octagon soap and common axle grease. I warmed these to a temperature where they would mix readily. I then removed the piston and put as much of the mixture on it as would stay. I removed the lubricator and substituted instead a hard oil cup. I then started the engine up without any trouble and, as the mill was not heavily loaded, it was able to go ahead and grind corn. We forced the mixture into the cylinder at frequent intervals.

Here is a picture of the little John Deere pulling a little old time iron wagon with an ear of corn on it.

23-36 McCormick-Deering Tractor

This is a picture of my 12-25 Avery.

Here is a picture of a Case tractor on a lowboy owned by Carl Frerichs, Allen. Nebraska. The horsepower of the tractor is 25 x 45.