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Generators & Motors General Discussion Antique Generators, Light Plants and Old Electric Motors: Questions and answers about restoring and showing old power generation systems.

Generators & Motors General Discussion

Wisconsin VE4 Questions


I just stumbled onto a Wisconsin VE4. Other than recognizing it as a Wi. V-4, I don't know much...

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  #1  
Old 03-02-2005, 12:22 AM
WilsonsK WilsonsK is offline
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Default Wisconsin VE4 Questions

I just stumbled onto a Wisconsin VE4. Other than recognizing it as a Wi. V-4, I don't know much about them. It is loose and has nice blue spark although the the fuel systme/carb is a gooey mess of rust and old gas that I need to get cleaned up. There is one cylinder with a stuck exhaust valve that I am soaking for the time being. I was told it ran about five years ago and has sat since then. The stamped numbers on the data plate are:

VE4 3 X 3 1/4
226490 75132

Can anyone help with the date of manufacture?
Can it be retroed to electric start?
If it cannot be converted to electric start, if I run a starter with a belt, is there a problem with the starter spinning all the time when the engine is running (the starter motor already has a 2 inch pulley on it, was thinking a 12" or 14" pulley on the output end of the crank)?
Any tips on proceeding are more than welcome.
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Old 03-02-2005, 01:36 AM
Jim Rankin Jim Rankin is offline
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Questions

I think you need a starter with a drive which disconnects the belt pully from the armature like the old CAT pony motor starters did. Think how fast that starter will be spinning when you rev up the Wisconsin. The armature will probably come apart.

How about a belt with a manual mechanism to slacken and tighten it like a clutch. Where can you get a belt drive starter?

Jim
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Old 03-02-2005, 12:03 PM
WilsonsK WilsonsK is offline
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Questions

I thought about that, I guess I was applying the starter/generator logic to it. I have thought about just making a pivoting mount with a handle to tighten the belt for starting. There are also clutch roller bearings that only grab in one direction and free wheel in the other. The parts to covert to the right starter and flywheel would be the best, but I don't know if that will work. I also see that mine has a plate where the oil filter would go, can this be change to a filter adapter?
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Old 03-02-2005, 08:04 PM
jdunmyer jdunmyer is offline
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Questions

Many years ago, I adapted a Corvair starter to a Wisconsin V4. Bolted the flex plate (auto transmission) to the large V-belt pulley that I had on the output shaft and fabbed some sort of adaptor to hang the starter off the engine block. I don't remember any more details, sorry, but it did work well.

At the time I did it, I had a 9" lathe and welding equipment, but no milling machine, so it wasn't too complicated.

<<Jim>>
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Old 03-02-2005, 10:21 PM
WilsonsK WilsonsK is offline
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Questions

I am open to ideas like that. I have access to a 16" Southbend and a Bridgeport if neccessary. I have been looking into clutch bearings available from McMasterCarr that grab in one direction and freewheel in the other up to 11,000 rpms or so. One of those combined with my starter motor could work with a belt. The starter motor I have came with another treasure which was a home made ice auger. It has a 3/8" shaft with a sprocket on it now. None of that matters until I get it running, though. I went out and sprayed more liquid wrench on my stuck valve. I'm not ready to tear into this thing whole hog yet. I have a John Deere 140 tore apart that I want to finish first.
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Old 03-02-2005, 11:00 PM
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Questions

You need to start going to farm sales, I bought a VE4 that was stuck for $15.00. Looked as it had been outside for many years. Had a starter , Flywheel and front shroud that still were good. I no longer crank mine by hand. Farm salvage yards also may have used parts. Run a add on Barnsale here also. good luck ,Tom
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Old 03-02-2005, 11:36 PM
WilsonsK WilsonsK is offline
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Questions

Yes I do. This whole thing is new, but I'm learning as quick as I can. So does the starter bolt to the back of the fan shroud? I don't see anything on the block that looks like it would mount a starter. My fear was that non elcetric start models couldn't be retrofitted.
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Old 03-03-2005, 12:17 AM
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Questions

The shroud has a plate spot welded to it where the mounting holes are. There is a rear brace that fits on a taped hole near the pto end. If you want a photo ,send me a e mail and I can get one for you. I haven't tryed photos on this board yet, may be easy now. Before they were to large. Tom
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Old 03-03-2005, 12:20 AM
L.R.Evans L.R.Evans is offline
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Questions

You will need the backing plate behind the flywheel as well as the flywheel. The flywheel has the ring gear on it. Other than that everything will work. Note: Make sure you have .004" valve stem to guide clearance on all your valves. In doing so, you will always be able to start this thing when it is hot. Years ago, farmers used to have these engines on balers and combines. The engines were just put away when they were done with them. Over the course of the winter and following year the engines usually ended up with stuck valves or pistons if water got in them. At the time when auto machine shops done the valves over they didn't allow enough clearance and if you stalled the engine when it was hot you might as well go sit under a shade tree for several hours because the valves would stick open when you cranked the engine over. (clearance is valve stem to guide not valve lash). I've done many of these engines over and have never had problems starting them when hot, even won bets on starting them. If you need part numbers for the parts, I have a substantial parts book on all the old Wisconsin engines. The original ones with starters also had charging systems, but some of these parts are no longer available. I just use a battery for starting and charge it with a charger when necessary.
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Old 03-03-2005, 12:51 PM
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John Ledbetter John Ledbetter is offline
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by L.R.Evans
You will need the backing plate behind the flywheel as well as the flywheel. The flywheel has the ring gear on it. Other than that everything will work.
Many years ago, before the Hit & Miss Flywheel bug got to me, I bought & restored Wisconsin engines as a hobby. and as stated, many of the parts from different models were interchangable. This picture is from my woodspliter engine, which I installed with the starter from a different model. As Mr Evans said, there's not much to it. I changed the flywheel and shroud and installed the end bracket to hold the starter in place. If you use the hand crank, be sure everything is clean & free. They have a habit of hanging up.
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Wis.jpg  
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Old 03-03-2005, 01:13 PM
WilsonsK WilsonsK is offline
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Questions

That's good to know. I put a classified out there looking for starter and flywheel. I don't really care about charging right now either, just don't want to crank.
I have one stuck valve now that I am soaking through the spark plug hole. I have been avoiding removing the heads because of posts regarding frequent head bolt breakage. There is one bolt broken already and has obviously been that way a long, long time. I would like to see it run a little before I tear it apart. I am hoping I can soak the valve with liquid wrench (couple shots a day,through the sparkplug hole down the open valve port) and nudge it free though the hole. All the other valves appear to be moving the way they should.
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Old 03-03-2005, 06:14 PM
WilsonsK WilsonsK is offline
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Questions

One of the other questions I had was if I could put and oil filter adapter on or not. I am assuming that the block off plate can be replaced with a filter adapter.
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Old 03-03-2005, 08:20 PM
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilsonsk
One of the other questions I had was if I could put and oil filter adapter on or not. I am assuming that the block off plate can be replaced with a filter adapter.
Yes, The filter is a bypass filter not full flow . VF4 parts also will work . ( 1/4 larger pistones) . If you half to take off the heads , a hammer and punch on the head bolts help jar the rusted threads. There were later E and F's with different manifolds and internal parts, Starter and flywheel will also work from them.
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Old 03-04-2005, 03:08 PM
WilsonsK WilsonsK is offline
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Questions

VE4 3 X 3 1/4
226490 75132

Can you tell me the year of manufacture? I will remember the head bolt trick. I know I have one broken already and the hole is flush with dirt and rust, looks like it has been broken for a long time. I am hoping there is enough to get a hold of. Any tricks for the removal of the broken one are welcome. I have had pretty good luck in the past. The latest trick I tried was heating the bolt and surrounding area an then touching and ice cube to just the bolt. I did this tree or four times on two 3/8 bolts broke off in and aluminum thremostat housing and they came right out. I also had heated and sprayed WD-40 on them a few times as well.
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Old 03-05-2005, 11:12 PM
L.R.Evans L.R.Evans is offline
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Questions

Year of manufacture is unknown. You might try contacting Wisconsin Motors direct for that info. In regards to the broken bolt, if it is up near the centre of the "V", you may have to drill it out with a carbide bit. Had one this past summer that had 6 broken off across the top. Apparently the heat had hardened the bolts and there was no way they were coming out, The hole was drilled out to take a 3/8" helicoil. Be careful when tapping so you do not break the tap! You can use the head for a guide to drill the hole. As far as trying to get the valve loose without pulling the head, I would forget about that idea. Just don't quit shaving while you are waiting for it to become loose. I've done many of these old Wisconsins and when the valves are stuck, brother are they stuck! Even had them pull the guide out of the head. Quickest way is to pull the cylinder off and undo the valve keepers and press the valve out of the cylinder. This way you can get it running sooner. Cheers, Larry.
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Old 03-06-2005, 12:02 AM
WilsonsK WilsonsK is offline
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Questions

Well, the valve came loose with the head still on this morning. I poked at it with a tool for removing door panels which was angled just right to push on the center of the valve and I whacked it once with a small block of wood. I had to turn the motor over and then push it back down (only had to whack it the first time, could just push it down after that) half a dozen times and then it moved on it's own. I sprayed more Liquid wrench in and craked the heck out of it with the plugs out and it is moving free now. I had to go so I haven't messed with it any more, but I'll put the plugs in tomorrow and see what happens. I'll have to tackle the head bolts sometime soon. I've done some exhaust manifold bolts that way. I have had a couple that I managed to drill straight and centered with the tap drill size and the tap cleaned out the old threads.
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Old 03-06-2005, 07:59 PM
Zira Zira is offline
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Questions

You asked earlier about the year of manufacture, it was made in March, 1954.
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Old 03-06-2005, 09:20 PM
jdunmyer jdunmyer is offline
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Questions

If you remove the head that has the broken bolt, it's easy to remove the bolt. Get a nut that's one size larger than the bolt, slip it over the stub, and weld it on. Let the weld cool, and remove the bolt with a wrench on the nut. You can do this trick with the bolt broken flush, or even a bit below flush.

I have NEVER had this method fail, and I've done it a bunch of times, on broken bolts down to 1/4" in size. I've often had the weld fail and had to try again, but the bolt has always come out. The heat expands the bolt, breaking the rust free, so it comes right out when cool.

<<Jim>>
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Old 03-06-2005, 10:32 PM
WilsonsK WilsonsK is offline
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Default Re: Wisconsin VE4 Questions

ZIRA, thanks for the info on the year.

Jim, thanks for the tip. There looks to be more than enough to do that with.

I shot a little oil down the cylinders and cranked some with the plug wires off. The oil seemed to raise the compression as now I could hear the carb huffing and when fully choked I have gas running out where the air cleaner connects. I had the carb off and had all passages clear but I don't seem to be pulling anything into the cylinders. I am still some what leary of cranking for real (spark plug wires connected). I only go from 6:00 to about 10:00. I've heard all the horror stories about cranking. Any tips there are appreciated as well.
I will pull the carb off again and give it a better going over and try again.
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Old 03-07-2005, 12:34 AM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: Wisconsin VE4 Questions

Do not use ether to try and start the V series engines! When replacing the heads, 1) Lube the bolts with Neverseize Hi Temp. 2) Torque in stages - 10 inch-pounds, 20 inch-pounds, and final torque specification, following recommended tightening sequence. 3) Re-torque after 5 hours running time(loosen, lube, and re-torque bolts, one at a time ,in the proper sequence, to final spec), to prevent head gasket failure. 4) Make sure the engine runs slightly rich at full speed. At top speed, open high speed fuel needle until black smoke appears, or the engine double strokes. Turn the fuel needle in just until the engine runs smoothly, and there is no more black smoke. The Wisconson V series engines have a tendency to melt heads if the engines are set up too lean! . 5) If the engine has an impulse magneto for ignition, make sure it is working. The V engines will break your arm if the impulse is frozen up! .
Andrew
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