Picture Perfect: Moore Engine

An Iowa engine collector falls for a Moore engine at first sight.


| September 2016



Benner

Travis Benner with his rare 4 hp Moore engine. The line also included 2-1/2 hp and 7 hp engines.

Photo by Bill Vossler

Just one look, and Travis Benner was hooked. After seeing an illustration of a Moore engine – the Sure Cool – in C.H. Wendel’s American Gasoline Engines Since 1872, the Blue Grass, Iowa, engine enthusiast knew he wanted one for his collection.

“I saw this odd engine that was hopper-cooled with a screen cooling tower on top of it, with an eccentric-driven pump that pumps the water up to the screen cooler. That intrigued me,” he recalls. “I wanted to look into that."

Manufactured by Moore Plow & Implement Co., Greenville, Michigan, the Sure Cool may have been Moore’s way of differentiating the engine in the marketplace. “The manufacturer probably hoped it would be unique enough to help them grab their share of the engine market,” Travis says. “When buyers saw it, they probably thought any potential heating problem was automatically solved. The engine would stay cool and wouldn’t overheat when run hard. That new cooling feature could be enough to catch the eye of a comparison shopper, who might think it represented a real leap in technology."

Unusual cooling system

The most unusual feature of the Sure Cool Moore engine is its cooling tower, which sits on top of the hopper. A pump on the side of the hopper pushes water up a pipe to the top of the cooling tower, where it dribbles down the screen and falls back into the water hopper. Water circulated over the vertical screen helps increase heat exchange. “

Moving water that cascades down is cooled faster than if it’s just in a tank,” Travis says. “Root & VanDervoort, Famous and O.S. Kelly also used a screen cooling system with some of their engines, but none of them had a screen cooling system sitting on top of a water hopper.”

Travis hasn’t seen any Moore engines at shows, but he has run across a few photos and illustrations. “I thought they were all hopper-cooled with the screen tower at first,” he says, “but then I saw a few that were tank-cooled.”