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Antique Gas Engine Discussion

fairbanks help.

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Old 03-28-2005, 05:40:01 PM
RMiller RMiller is offline
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Default fairbanks help.

I would like to thank the people who gave me information on my governor problem with my fairbanks.I took the cover off and the spring steel throttle arm was not were it was supposed to be.It should have been pushing against the govenor rod but was not.It is easily corrected.While I had it apart I noticed that the governor spring on this thing is really stout so I am going to see if I can find something a little softer.This is a 3hp fairbanks with closed crank ,style C.Serial number says it is 1931.Type r mag,800rpm.It has 16" flywheels.The flywheels and rpm strike me as being strange.Older 3hp fairbanks had 22" flywheels and ran about 450 rpm.Later ones had 19" flywheels and ran about 650 rpm.Did they make 2 types of 3hp motors?Is this something they tried and then replaced?Was this an option?I saw one once at a show.What do I have here?Anyone have any information I sure would appreciate it.I have some info on fairbanks but not alot and they do not mention it.Thank you.
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Old 03-28-2005, 08:19:36 PM
Joe Morris Joe Morris is offline
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Default Re: fairbanks help.

It sounds like the engine you have was the one most commonly used on oil field engines. They had small. but very heavy Flywheels. Joe Morris
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Old 03-28-2005, 10:04:56 PM
Allan Wright Allan Wright is offline
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Default Re: fairbanks help.

According to a manual that I have a ZC-52 (3hp - 800 rpm) has 15 3/4" diameter flywheels. It looks like someone installed ZC-52 flywheels on your 3hp Z style C engine. I have never seen a ZC-52 with a model R mag and I think they were made well after 1931.
3hp Z style C's were 3hp at 800 rpm.

Allan from Texas Snow yesterday and 76 degrees today.

Last edited by Allan Wright; 03-28-2005 at 10:16:27 PM.
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Old 03-29-2005, 07:56:04 AM
RMiller RMiller is offline
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Default Re: fairbanks help.

I checked the serial number again.At first it looked like it began with 76 now it looks like it might be 77.What is the best way to get the governor spring out?
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Old 03-29-2005, 09:46:45 AM
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David M. Lyon David M. Lyon is offline
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Default Re: fairbanks help.

The governor on the enclosed Fairbanks uses LEFT HAND threads...It should simply unscrew from the gear and separate so you can remove the spring.

David M.
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Old 03-29-2005, 10:59:57 AM
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Elden DuRand Elden DuRand is offline
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Exclamation Re: fairbanks help.

I ground off a couple of turns from the compression spring that fits inside the governor shaft on the ZC-52 I'm running on my Hoyt-Clagwell butt buggy. The reason I used a grinding wheel is that I wanted to keep the end of the spring flat and square so it wouldn't rub in the bore it fits inside of. Be careful to not overheat the spring and draw the temper!

This modification lowers the top speed to just a little over 500 RPM, which is fast enough for shows.

If I want to go back to 800 RPM, all I gotta do is order a new spring from Jimmy Bell, Hitnmiss, etc. and I'm back to stock.

Take care - Elden
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Old 03-29-2005, 11:21:29 AM
KidDynamo KidDynamo is offline
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Default Re: fairbanks help.

They had more than two types of 3 hp Z's, for sure. Not all the ZC's are alike either. Wendel's Fairbanks 100 years, etc says that the 3 hp Z model C came out in 1928, the early ones have a crank in the flywheel. His picture shows one of these and says that the crank was discontinued in 1929 and that the standard mag was the RV-1, but the picture shows an R magneto!

The early crank covers have a cast mounting "pad" for the RV-1 (and R..??) magneto. The later ZC's just side bolted a Fairbanks Type J magneto on them; no "mounting pad" on the casting. I have one of each type. While the Type J magneto isn't as old and glamourous, it is probably one of the most dependable magnetos I've encountered.

The 800 rpm is correct. Ratings were certainly changing as the rpm went up. One might note that the 3hp ZC crankshaft is only 1-1/2" diameter which is what early 1-1/2 hp engines used. The ZA 3 hp crank is 1-7/8" diameter, I believe.

My early ZC with the crankhandle is missing it's magneto; I have an "R" magneto and no RV-1 magneto, hmmmmmm.....guess which direction I'm heading. Now I guesss I'll need to get the correct gear for the R and RV-1 magneto. Does anyone know what I need? Does this gear use an impulse mechanism??
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