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Hit & Miss Gas Engine Discussion

New project came home today 12HP Fairbanks Standard


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  #1  
Old 08-09-2013, 10:50:07 PM
Chris Steffen Chris Steffen is offline
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Photo New project came home today 12HP Fairbanks Standard

Well after a long search and quite a logistical challenge my new project made it home today. I had started somewhat looking for a type N about a year ago. In the process I ran across a few but they were either sold or above my price range. I was after a project more than anything but I was willing to take what I could get. About a month ago I took a shot in the dark and sent an email to a few people on the internet. I actually got a response but it was an NB (very nice engine) but in the end not exactly what I was after. I received a reply about a week after I had sent one from a fellow staked telling me of a Fairbanks N that he knew of not far from his house. I called him and he explained that a gentleman had one for sale and he gave me his number. I called the guy and after talking with him he did in fact have a larger Fairbanks on his property. He wasn't sure exactly what model, could not send pictures, and could not find a serial number. Communication was somewhat difficult, but after he explained various parts of the engine I was fairly confident what he had. The price was reasonable enough that I put the check in the mail and took the gamble. I was not going to be able to get up to Montana to get the engine for quite some time. Skip Landis offered to help me out and I can't thank him enough. Skip was able to go to the property and winch it onto his trailer. Getting it to Northern Ca. proved to be quite the challenge. Fastenal was helpful but they were not willing to ship. When I told them the size and weight, the phone went silent and the response was "oh s*%t" ! After about 20-30 phone calls I found someone who was willing to get it down here. Lucky for me a buddy of mine has a large fab shop and he received it for me. Turns out the engine is actually a "Standard" not an "N" according to the serial numbers and it has the hot tube boss. Looks like around 1905. The engine is actually in fairly good shape. It is going to need an overhaul though. It has a loose flywheel and some not so original parts. Some of the original parts have been ground off. My goal is to put it back to original condition. And no, Im not going to paint it. I will update pics as I move forward, my dad and I are excited.
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:29:27 PM
LCJudge LCJudge is offline
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Default Re: New project came home today 12HP Fairbanks Standard

Very nice engine. One that size will really run nice. I would label the engine as an "N" rather than Standard (although it doesn't make much difference). I've never seen a Standard with the coarse tooth cam gear. That's usually the easiest way to tell if an engine was built with the Standard label or as an N. Other than the gearing, most other parts are interchangeable unless it's a very early Standard (1897 or earlier).
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:41:34 PM
Chris Steffen Chris Steffen is offline
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Default Re: New project came home today 12HP Fairbanks Standard

The cam gear threw me off as well. The serial number is in the 43000 range which makes it 1905. I don't think they made the N until 1906 or 1907. It also has the hot tube boss which is broken off but I don't think the N had the boss. I could be wrong but either way glad to have it.
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:45:25 AM
Skip Landis Skip Landis is offline
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Default Re: New project came home today 12HP Fairbanks Standard

Chris, so are you a happy camper?
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:35:37 AM
Greg Best Greg Best is offline
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Default Re: New project came home today 12HP Fairbanks Standard

Very nice engine,great patina, on a side note what are you calling the hot tube boss? I have a 1907 with the studs for the chimney and place for the hot tube but the area for it is rough cast, was their a piece that went between the chimney and cylinder or was the chimney ground to fit?
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:42:26 AM
Chris Steffen Chris Steffen is offline
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Default Re: New project came home today 12HP Fairbanks Standard

Skip....absolutely. Serial #43736. below is where the chimney should go. It looks like someone filled it somehow or another. Tag says torch ignitor, but could be a repro for all I know. I looked at a few pictures I have from Coolspring and the one they have in the annex building (same size, same engine)has the same broad tooth gear and it has a chimney. So with all that said, who knows? Either way, still excited...
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:27:25 PM
LCJudge LCJudge is offline
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Default Re: New project came home today 12HP Fairbanks Standard

I've had some N's (1909 vintage) that had the hot tube boss on them. I've always suspicioned it was an option and some folks just thought they had to have a hot tube. (you know, that dern battery could give out!).

Another thing I've found out that happened on a lot of the FM engines was retrofitting different cylinders when work was performed on them. I had an 8 here several years ago that was at the very end of the N production. However, the cylinder had the hot tube boss. There was two sets of SN's stamped on the cylinder, one that would have been a 1901 vintage and the other (which had a letter prefix) would have been a 1912 vintage. When chatting to a FM expert he explained that when engines were sent back to teh factory for rebuild or someone ordered a rebuilt cylinder that FM would exchange cylinders.

Its sort of like what is done now on return of cores for starters, alternators, etc. FM would take the worn out cylinder, bore it, fit a new piston and rings and then when someone wanted an engine rebuilt the cylinder would be ready to place on the base. The cylinder that came off would be bored and the process repeated for the next engine.

I mention this because this can create a vide variation in engine features such as the hot tube boss. Its all FM either way and in my book, the Standards and N's are some of best out there.

One other thing I should mention. I had a 15 N here one time that had the hot tube chimney on it but no hot tube boss. I know it was original as I had a picture of the engine taken in 1930 and the chimney was on it then. I thought that possibly the purchaser wanted a chimney and the dealer added it. ???? Its just something else that adds a bit to the mystery.
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:42:41 PM
Chris Steffen Chris Steffen is offline
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Default Re: New project came home today 12HP Fairbanks Standard

That probably explains why the head has a different number c3924
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:11:37 PM
YoloYoyo YoloYoyo is offline
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Default Re: New project came home today 12HP Fairbanks Standard

Glad to see that you found what you've been looking for. As for the hot tube/Standard debate I kind of go by the gear teeth rule of thumb that Tommy mentioned in an earlier post. I have and 8 hp N hoist engine that came from it's original location and it has a hot tube but is definitely a 1908 engine based upon its matching serial numbers. However the original cast plate does not have the words "Torch Igniter" cast into it. It does have the coarse teeth. One other idea that I think is a possibility is that as models change sometimes parts are left over so that there may be some engines out there that are comprised of some older parts in order to use them up, or again as Tommy mentioned above sometimes customers just preferred the Torch Igniter and they tried to please them.

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Old 08-10-2013, 03:03:46 PM
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Chris Austin Chris Austin is offline
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Default Re: New project came home today 12HP Fairbanks Standard

Csteffen, the engine you have pics of at Coolspring belongs to me. It is a 1905 model. If I can be of any help dont hesitate to ask.
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