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Allis-Chalmers Model E - Modified?

Scott

Registered
Last Subscription Date
03/07/2014
About half way through this youtube video they auction off a model L. Too bad they don't show more of the tractor.

 

Max Cox

Registered
The Laws Railroad Museum has a complete Midwest engine on display. It came out of a 1927 motor rail car.
-Model 399
-68hp @ 1500 rpm
-Gasoline
-4 cylinder, 4 cycle, valve-in-head
-4-3/4 in bore x 6 in. stroke
-425 cu. in. displacement
-Engine Performance
RPM HP Torque
400 17.9 248.2
600 30.3 263
800 43.2 270
1000 54.1 273
1200 61.8 263
1400 67.8 248
1600 71.8 228
-1500 rpm safe speed
-32 volt DC generator
-American Bosch magneto
-Starter motor

It's 32vdc because that was the "standard" for railroads at that time.

There is an operational Midwest engine in a fire truck about 150 miles from me.

I can take detail photos if you need them.

Max
 

Old Scrambler

Registered
Thank you, Scott and Max! The information and links to other sources made available from members of this board is very much appreciated. As we learn more about Big Charlie we are finding that indeed, there are very few of these tractors around. We are just beginning the restoration process and have never done a tractor before.

Yes, I remember dismantling the McCormick grain-binder that produced a few skinned knuckles, and Roger can tell you everything you need to know about a Cummins diesel, or for that matter an F-102 when he was a flight mechanic, but we never had to work on the 15-25 on the farm other than to get him started after sitting in the machine-shed over the winter.

After changing the oil, cleaning and filling the fuel system, filling the radiator and air-cleaner with fresh water, greasing all of the zerk-fittings and checking the air in the tires, it was time to start him up. With the retard set and the throttle at about 1/4, the mag spring was pushed inward and a few pulls on the crank usually had him running at anytime but the first time of the year. That sometimes required a belt and another tractor.

Now that remindes me of the strange trick that my Uncle Milton tried to do when Big Charlie was running the belt to our Case blower. He claimed that he could stradle the twist in the belt and by grabbing and holding the belt right at the twist that he could choke a tractor. Apparently he had been successful at other farms and on this occasion was wanting to challenge Big Charlie. Uncle Milton was a powerful man who worked as a meat-cutter and could handle a side-of-beef by himself. After a liberal amount of belt dressing was applied, he put on a good pair of leather work-gloves and got in position. He told me to advance the throttle to full speed. When he grabbed the belt he held for a second. The motor belched a cloud of smoke but ran on as Uncle Milton lost his grip. This must have been in 1957 or '58 because I remember my oldest brother, Jerome, was then in the Navy, and I was just getting more useful around the barn.

I am thinking that Roger will need a good source for the square-headed bolts that hold the sheet metal and the hex-heads that hold the radiator frame in place. Is there a special supplier besides trying to find them at the local hardware store?
 

Old Scrambler

Registered
Thanks Tony........got a Fastenall just 6 miles away......Roger, if you see this, let me know if you want me to get them, and how many.
 

Pat Reisinger

Registered
Last Subscription Date
12/07/2008
It sure looks like an L 15-25. Midwest engine made in Indianapolis. Same as Huber Super 4 except for casting on valve cover, as far as I know. Roller lifters and HUGE valves and ports. Engine has aggressive induction sizes all the way from big Kingston 1 1/4" carburetor and intake ports through big valves and out the massive header style exhaust ports. Engine was supposedly designed for truck use, which would explain the apparent high rpm (for 1921) design. Mag is usually a right hand rotation Dixie 46 C. Twin shoe expanding clutch like an E. Internal tooth bullgears like an E (but smaller). The Allis Chalmers guys are really into this rare L model. I know Dale Haymaker of Paris IL (by Terre Haute IN) has an L and I'm pretty sure Norm Meinert has at least one. Larry Swenson of Easton, MN is pretty good on all AC's and may even know where to get a set of wheels. You could get new rims rolled and make extensions on your spokes to rivet to the new rims if you had dimensions and a little time. I know the rear rims measure 46" tall and 12" wide and the front rims are 32" tall and 6" wide. The rear lugs are cast iron and the front has a rolled 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" angle iron guide ring. If you were to bore and sleeve the 2 detachable cylinder block assemblies, get someone good like Clyde Hall as I've heard two stories of these getting screwed up at the automotive machine shop, apparently the set up isn't as easy as it looks.
 

Pat Reisinger

Registered
Last Subscription Date
12/07/2008
It sure looks like an L 15-25. Midwest engine made in Indianapolis. Same as Huber Super 4 except for casting on valve cover, as far as I know. Roller lifters and HUGE valves and ports. Engine has aggressive induction sizes all the way from big Kingston 1 1/4" carburetor and intake ports through big valves and out the massive header style exhaust ports. Engine was supposedly designed for truck use, which would explain the apparent high rpm (for 1921) design. Mag is usually a right hand rotation Dixie 46 C. Twin shoe expanding clutch like an E. Internal tooth bullgears like an E (but smaller). The Allis Chalmers guys are really into this rare L model. I know Dale Haymaker of Paris IL (by Terre Haute IN) has an L and I'm pretty sure Norm Meinert has at least one. Larry Swenson of Easton, MN is pretty good on all AC's and may even know where to get a set of wheels. You could get new rims rolled and make extensions on your spokes to rivet to the new rims if you had dimensions and a little time. I know the rear rims measure 46" tall and 12" wide and the front rims are 32" tall and 6" wide. The rear lugs are cast iron and the front has a rolled 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" angle iron guide ring. If you were to bore and sleeve the 2 detachable cylinder block assemblies, get someone good like Clyde Hall as I've heard two stories of these getting screwed up at the automotive machine shop, apparently the set up isn't as easy as it looks.
 

Old Scrambler

Registered
Thank you Pat...........The sources are appreciated. When observing pictures of other L models, the diameter of the pully on Big Charlie appears to be slightly smaller. The higher RPM motor would tend to run a thresher a little faster than the competition. By reducing the pully size, the thresher speed would be slower, but the tractor would have higher effective belt power. Too bad that could not be so easy to change in the tranny or ring-gear to get more speed for field work!

Despite the large valves, Big Charlie was easy on gas. My brother Roger remembers plowing when the neighbor across the road would also plow with their Case. They always had to refuel an hour or so before Charlie needed gas. He also remembers that you had to start turning about 30-feet before the fence came up because because you have to crank the steering wheel a few times before you notice any reaction. You could not use the brakes to help turn because they were linked to one pedal.
 
C

Craig Sneath

Guest
The Laws Railroad Museum has a complete Midwest engine on display. It came out of a 1927 motor rail car.
-Model 399
-68hp @ 1500 rpm
-Gasoline
-4 cylinder, 4 cycle, valve-in-head
-4-3/4 in bore x 6 in. stroke
-425 cu. in. displacement
-Engine Performance
RPM HP Torque
400 17.9 248.2
600 30.3 263
800 43.2 270
1000 54.1 273
1200 61.8 263
1400 67.8 248
1600 71.8 228
-1500 rpm safe speed
-32 volt DC generator
-American Bosch magneto
-Starter motor

It's 32vdc because that was the "standard" for railroads at that time.

There is an operational Midwest engine in a fire truck about 150 miles from me.

I can take detail photos if you need them.

Max
Hi
I have a 1923 Hale Fire Truck with this same engine (Midwest model 399). I would love to talk to somebody at this museum about their engine. Can you give me any contact info? Thanks.
 
C

Craig Sneath

Guest
Hi
This looks just like the Midwest Engine I have in my 1923 Hale Fire truck. What is the Bore/Stroke on yours. I'm currently looking for a replacement piston for my 4 3/4 bore engine. Any help from any 4 3/4 inch engine would be apreciated (as noted parts are very dificult). Thanks Craig
 

Phil Johnson

Sponsor
Last Subscription Date
07/12/2019
The Allis Chalmers Model E has a 4 3/4 " piston. I don't know if the other dimensions would be close or not. I have a couple of used ones available. Piston weight might be critical as it would affect balance to some degree.
 

Old Scrambler

Registered
Hello everyone............its been a while! Roger has installed the new sheet metal on Big Charlie and has displayed him at a show or two with new rubber and rims. He is now working on the motor. One of the pistons was stuck.....but not real bad. The valves and the water-pump were the real problems. Roger is assembling parts and hopes to have the motor running in a few weeks......we'll see......or rather hear!!!

I am reminding Roger to take pics of the engine internals. That head and valve-train are real interesting. Now I need some advice on how to post pics on this message board. I have a few more recent pics saved in my files but am not familiar with URL files....Thanks for your interest.
 
R

Richard Sturdy

Guest
Scrambler, Glad to hear that you are making progress with that L! It will be well worth your while taking a little trouble to get the old girl back into action - Recently I had the pleasure of seeing the only UK example (as reported by David Parfitt earlier in this thread) and there is no doubt that the L is a most attractive model and ultra scarce. Please post ocis when you can.

Tricky Dickie
 

Charlie1925

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
02/03/2020
Here is some of the lastest pictures of Big Charile. We found out that Charlie is an L not a E. We did the cosmetics first and now we are working on the engine. We have been to about eight shows and caused a little intrest. :) One of the shows that we attened was "The Gathering Of The Orange" Fort mead, Flordia in Feb 2011. Hope to see you in Ohio at the GOTO in 2012.
 

Attachments

Max Cox

Registered
I'm glad to see that "Old Charlie" is coming along. When you get him running, make a video - with sound. I really want to hear what that engine sounds like.

The mechanics of that overhead valve arrangement is really interesting. Not having forced lubrication on the top end must have been a real PIA. An ad by Midwest Engine boasted of their "superior vapor lubrication."

Max Cox
Laws Railroad Museum
 

Old Scrambler

Registered
Thanks Max and Allen and others for your continued interest......Charlie1924 is Roger from Georgia. He is getting more computer literate with age! He is planning a trip to Davis, Ill. (Norm Meinert) to get the rods, pistons, exhaust manifold, and the head now that some professional repairs are complete.

Assembly should start early in the New Year with pics (maybe video) !

Merry Christmas Everyone!
 

ihredo4

Registered
I just saw the head for this tractor. Wow what a strange valve train arrangement. Amazing how different ideas were used years ago. I wish I could get Norm to go thru his L and get it restored. I'm an IHC guy but am falling head over heals in love with the green AC's.
 

Old Scrambler

Registered
:O:O Big Charlie is RUNNING! Its been 45 years. Roger used a belt and his WC to get him going at 16:40 today. Same sparkplugs and magneto as when he was parked. A little fine tuning for the carb and maybe a tweek for the timing, but he runs and sounds (straight-pipe) just like we remember. The radiator has a few small leaks so its off to the repair shop. Two small oil leaks on the push-rod tubes should be an easy fix. Lots of green paint but the alloy valve cover is still bright.

Roger wants to thank everyone on this board for their interest and encouragement.....and especially Norm Meinert for his help with the rod that needed a babit repair and his expertise to rebuild the head.

Roger has plans to take Big Charlie to the Plane City, Ohio, Gathering of the Orange in July. The power parade goes down Main Street! :):)

He will post some pictures on the internet and flag them here as soon as he gets his son-in-law over to help with the computer skills.
 
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