LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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Dick Flodder

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Utility tractor project poses several questions

I have an International 300 utility tractor, which is propane powered. It has a large cross-mounted propane tank on it. The propane carburetion system has the name 'Ensign' on it, and the regulator is 'Impco Mod. - J.' I would like to know whether someone has a manual or any information on this system and whether it is a factory-offered system or an after-market conversion. I also would like to know where in west-central Florida or eastern Tennessee I could get the original fuel tank inspected and recertified, as it may need new fill fittings and a gauge.

I also would like to know whether International actually built a 300 grove tractor or whether those tractors were conversions by independent companies. I have an identification plate on the sheet metal that I can't read, but I think it is for the sheet metal company, which incorporated the stock rear fenders as part of the grove sheet metal, doing a factory-looking job. The picture of the tractor is with the side, top and fender skirts removed. Any help would be appreciated.

- Ken Sheren, 12906 Oakwood Drive, Hudson, FL 34669; (727) 863-4116; e-mail: fltntoybarn@msn.com

Anybody know the story on Electric Wheel wagons?

I have a wagon manufactured by the Electric Wheel Corp. of Quincy, III. The model number is 500J, serial no. 48803. I made a body for it, but I would very much like to restore it. Any help would be appreciated.

- Charles Jones, 473 Glen Terrace Road, Auburn, GA 30011;  e-mail: frmlichr@aol.com

Continental engine query

I would like some information on a Continental four-cylinder engine that was used in a No. 50-T baler and a No. 52R combine, made between 1944 and 1952. I plan on restoring it. Thank you.

- Loyd Froning, 107 Short St., P.O. Box 486, Hazleton, IA 50641

Unusual engine baffles experienced collector

While reading the July issue of Farm Collector, my thoughts wandered to a gas engine I once owned, and I wondered if any readers might know something about it. Here's the story: Upon returning to civilian life after four years as a bomber mechanic during World War II, I took over the family construction business. Among the equipment we owned was about a 1919 Fordson tractor, a tree sprayer on rubber, powered by a small 'make-and-break' engine, and a Jaeger one-sack concrete mixer on steel wheels.

The mixer was powered by a 6-hp 'make-and-break' engine with a Jaeger nameplate, but the parts of it were identical to the parts of a Hercules engine. My father bought the mixer much used in the early 1930s, so I have no idea of its real age. It had a cylindrical mixing drum, a cable-hoisted skip for loading and a water tank with a valve that could be adjusted for the proper amount of water for each batch.

Sand and gravel were delivered to the skip with wheelbarrows, a bag of cement added, and the hoist raised the skip until the load slid into the drum. Most of the time the engine fired about every 10 to 12 revolutions, but when lifting the skip it hit every time. I found out that the engine was rated for 250 rpm, but anytime we ran it at more than about 150, the whole mixer jumped around. To empty the mixer, a chute was tilted into the drum. We found the wheels made grooves in blacktop streets, so unfortunately we junked it for scrap iron, along with the tree sprayer and the Fordson tractor - including its extra-wide, flat roller wheels.

I have seen a great many gas engines at these gatherings, but I have yet to see one with the unusual rod bearing oiling system of the old mixer engine. Only the bottom half of a grease cup was set into the big end of the rod, as is quite common. But, a bracket attached to the engine held a bent metal strip in a sort of inverted U shape. Suspended between the ends of the U was a piece of what appeared to be a strip of kerosene lamp wick, which might have been a model T Ford clutch band liner. Oil dripped from a standard oiler onto the strip, set up so that as the crank came around, the edge of the topless grease cup scraped along the wicking, which picked up some oil each revolution. We replaced it with a cap on the grease cup and grease.

I'm wondering why this wick arrangement was used instead of a grease cup or oiler, and if it was factory-made or added later. Also, does anyone know anything about the history of these old machines?

Any information on the mixer engine would be appreciated.

- Stuart L Faber, 5512 Evergreen Ridge Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45215; (513)821-0943; e-mail: stuartlfaber@msn.com