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Fairbanks Morse Sheffield 40b Restoration

wise65vw

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Since you don't see these every day, I figured I'd show off the Fairbanks Morse engine I'm restoring for a Sheffield 40b railroad heavy section car. The engine was complete when I started, the car itself was pretty banged up. I'll just stick to the engine on here unless someone wants me to post some pics of the car as work on it progresses. I started with a complete teardown and cleaning, and have been working toward reassembling it entirely, although I'm not quite finished with it. The cam followers were the only real problem on this thing, as all four were frozen in the cast iron top of the block. A little heat and some penetrant and all was well.
 

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wise65vw

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So after pretty much everything was cleaned, I covered it in rust converting metal primer (great stuff). The next step was to use some high heat paint from Napa to brighten up the exterior. I was hesitant about using white at first, but I'm quite happy with the results, even if they don't last more than a month. I eventually mocked up most of the engine with the pushrods n' such test see how everything went together. Until I finish the magneto, I won't be able to bolt the top down.
 

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Mitch Malcolm

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Age
65
Last Subscription Date
01/14/2020
Interesting pictures I have one also what carb is on yours mine is missing? Thanks, Mitch :)
 

wise65vw

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As far as original specification goes, the Sheffield manual lists the engine as having a 1" diameter Mac carburetor. However, I have never been able to find one on the internet. The car I'm working on has a "New Holley"model 730-a (also impossible to find online). I've also seen them with Zenith carburetors. Basically, anything with the right flange size could be used. Updraft, manual choke...it doesn't need anything fancy. Also, the intake manifold is actually threaded together at the carburetor flange, so it can be rotated to accept a different style if necessary. Hope that helps!
 

wise65vw

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...And today I finally got the rest of the new hardware for the magneto. Gotta love shiny clean stuff. I do still need to repair the grounding spring on the points cover, though.
 

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wise65vw

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I forgot to mention that the original Mac carburetor was a model 700-F, in case you were wondering Mr. Malcom.
 

Dwayne Fuller

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
Thanks for all the photos. I have an engine like that and it is missing the mag. Any ideal where I can source a mag? What is the model/number of the mag?
 

wise65vw

Registered
As far as the mag goes, it all depends on whether you have an engine with mounting holes for a Splitdorf mag (four holes directly in the top of the case), or for a more modern unit, like a Fairbanks-Morse mag with automatic advance/retard and an impulse drive. The latter is obvious as it uses a pedestal that rises a few inches above the pushrods. If you're looking for a Splitdorf, I'd try finding a Dixie model 40, Aero model 246c or similar. Something with either a two or four spark plug distributor cap. If you get one with four, just ground the two unused ones. If you have the other style, any two-cylinder mag with an impulse drive should work. Another giveaway is that the splitdorf units were driven with a rubber coupling between the mag and the gear shaft. The attached picture shows the latter style.
 

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wise65vw

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So after a number of unsuccessful start attempts, I finally realized that the magneto needed a recharge. Not having the materials or time to completely start from scratch, I cheated and gutted a little Craftsman welder for it's transformer. I cut two sections out of the core and wired the two coils in series. Worked better than I expected, as the engine fired up on the first try afterwards! :D
 

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wise65vw

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Thanks! Also, how did you get the video to open in your post? I haven't gotten the hang of it yet.

---------- Post added at 11:16 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:13 AM ----------

Oh, and Dwayne, if you could post an image of your engine, I could probably figure out which mag you need.
 

wise65vw

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I've decided to just start posting my progress on the car as a whole instead of just the engine, since the two are inseparable. I've got to get the upper frame finished off and build the brake shoes and linkage before I can actually start on the major woodwork.
 

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I like oldstuff

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Last Subscription Date
11/09/2015
Nice project and I look forward to seeing it out cruising.
In the meantime get some mufflers on it. That thing is obnoxious!
 

wise65vw

Registered
The big open building doesn't do much to soften the sounds this thing makes. I'm actually restoring this car for a friend, and as such he wants it as original as possible. Also, if you think it's loud now, you should wait for me to post up the slow-mo video I shot of it today,! :D

And here it is, shot from my fancy new Iphone 6at 240fps:



http://youtu.be/wk0cyQ6vvm0

Wish I had other engines as mechanically fascinating as this to take slow-motion video of...
 
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