California Pioneer


| April 2002



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6 hp Bean engine

Don 'Wiley Coyote' Wiley of Riverside, Calif., describes his Bean engine as 'kind of a rare bird.' He bought it 10 years ago at a Branch 30 swap meet purely to keep another guy from taking it home.

Today, though, the rarity of the Bean, which Don thinks probably was made in the 1920s or '30s, makes .him happy he indulged in its purchase.

'Out here,' he notes, referring to California, 'I only know of one other in existence, and it's not in very good shape.'

What is common and called a 'Bean' in California are spray pumps used in citrus groves. The Bean Spray Pump Co. of San Jose built high-pressure sprayer rigs that growers have been using for more than 100 years.

The Bean engine originally was made to power these high-pressure rigs, Don says, but most of those rigs ended up being equipped with Novo engines. He speculates that's because the Bean engines proved too costly to build.

'This engine is really overbuilt,' he says. 'Most (engines) are more like a tea kettle, but this is a closed system, like a car. They spent so much money on them, the engines weren't economical.'