• If you like antique engines, vintage tractors or old iron, please register and join us. When registering, please provide your CITY and STATE as your location!

Fairbanks Morse Z 1 1/2 HP Ignition Help

Dustin D Ehli

Subscriber
Age
35
Last Subscription Date
12/20/2019
Hello all i am in the process of fixing up a Fairbanks Z 1 1/2 HP home light plant. At the molment I am working on making a new braket for the camshaft and govenor because mine is broken. Next I need to grind the valves and weld a crack in the head.
My problem is I am missing what I think is the ignition plunger. If anyone knows information about the entire ignition system it would be greatly appreciated.

By the way there is a tin box mounted on the side of the water hopper but i haven't looked inside it yet. i have the parts with the contact and the shims and the insulator i am just missing the plunger and was wondering how it all works and what voltage it runs at.
Thanks again. Dustin
 
Could you post a picture of the entire engine and the area where the missing part is? That would go a long way in helping to identify it...there are a lot of Fairbanks people on this site. Any questions regarding the electric portion of your unit would find answers on the generator section of the site. Those guys REALLY know their stuff!:)
 

Dustin D Ehli

Subscriber
Age
35
Last Subscription Date
12/20/2019
Thanks Guys. I don't have a digital camera but by uncle does so it may take a little while for me to get some photos like maybe a few weeks but they will be coming.

Thanks, Dustin
 

BobRR

Registered
Are the flywheels solid? If so it is called a dishpan. Since it has a tin box(battery &coil box) on the side.This engine uses a model t coil. You can run it on ether 6 or 12v. It is a hit&miss engine?. Contact Hit&Miss ent.in ohio,Site sponser. They have the bracket for the mag and most likly any other parts your missing.Also ck. the thread about 2hp.Open crank engine. There are some picts. there that should be about the same as your engine.The earlier dishpans were 1.5hp and then rerated to 2hp..E-mail me and will send you a copy of the factory starting inst.BobRR
 

Dustin D Ehli

Subscriber
Age
35
Last Subscription Date
12/20/2019
Guys it has spoked flywheels and it is throttle governed the tag says 1 1/2 HP at 500 rpm. there is no magneto that i know of. there is just the ignition plunger that i am missing so i have to make one also, then there is a box on the side of the hopper with some wires on it. I haven't opened it yet to look inside.
I am almost done making a new braket for the camshaft and govenor out of steel, might finish it tomorrow but i have to wait until i go home on the weekends to work on the engine.

Thanks for the help, Dustin.
 

Dustin D Ehli

Subscriber
Age
35
Last Subscription Date
12/20/2019
I may have forgot to say that this Fairbanks is part of the 32V home light plant and it is mounted on a cast iron base with the generator.
Dustin
 

David M. Lyon

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/12/2020
The light plants used the voltage from the battery to fire the coil...The "plunger" you speak of is what the exhaust push rod slides into, then rides the cam follower to actuate the valve and also to fire the coil...The cam has a dimple on it that lets the plunger move backwards toward the cam and when it does it makes contact with the ground contact to the coil and fires it...It is the same plunger used on the dishpan hit & miss engines if you can find one some where..Otherwise, they are NOT hard to make if you have access to a small lathe. but you'll need a sample to work from:rolleyes: ...Should be someone in your area that you could borrow one from to go by.

David M.:)
 

Joe Morris

Registered
It sounds like there has been some " Home rigging " done to this engine some where along the line and over the years. You discribe it as a throttled engine yet you state that it has a tin box on the side of it with wires and has spoked flywheels. This is called a battery box and was standard equiptment on a Hit and Miss engine with dishpan/solid flywheels. I may sound a little dense, but what are you calling a plunger. Is it a part of the exhaust valve pushrod? If it is throttled and has the original mixer on it will have two needle valves and a resevoir in the mixer that has a lid on it . This was filled with gasoline to start up and warm up the engine to run on kerosene. If it has NO needle valves it is a hit and miss mixer on a throttled engine .The mystery deepens each day. Joe Morris
 

Dustin D Ehli

Subscriber
Age
35
Last Subscription Date
12/20/2019
Guys it has the carburator with the two needle valves and the rod from the govenor runs to the throttle valve in the carb so it is throttle governed and all of the engine appears to be original. I just got my homemade cam and govenor bracket on the engine and everything lines up nice. now i just have to weld a crack in the head and put it all together and see what happens.
The tin box on the side of the water hopper contains only a ford buzz coil and no batteries the box is only big enough to hold the buzz coil, it looks to be in good shape so i hope it works.

One last thing is i am having trouble finding a spark plug. do you guys know who makes them yet or the part numbers for them it is the 1/2 npt.

Thanks, Dustin
 

David M. Lyon

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/12/2020
The generator engines WERE throttle governed, and unique, because they used the ignition trigger identical to the hit & miss type governor They used a Ford coil that got its voltage from the bank of batteries that the generator kept charged...That's why the small tin box with only the coil in it...It didn't NEED any batteries in the box!:rolleyes: I don't know how you are going to trigger the coil with a home made governor bracket, 'cause that is where the "plunger", the insulators and contact point are mounted...I don't have a photo of the setup on this computer, but I can e-mail a picture tomorrow morning from work.

David M.:wave:
 

BobRR

Registered
I have question what color is it if still barn fresh?The reason I ask is I read that all the coil fired f&m are red??BobRR
 

KidDynamo

Registered
Last Subscription Date
11/10/2018
BobRR said:
....The reason I ask is I read that all the coil fired f&m are red??......BobRR
Not so, as said previously, IF you consider the generator set in the above link. I love that gen-set but I'm not ready for the price and location. It is a real beautiful unit! What I don't know is the output )voltage, amperage, ac or dc)
 

Joe Morris

Registered
David M. Lyon said:
The generator engines WERE throttle governed, and unique, because they used the ignition trigger identical to the hit & miss type governor They used a Ford coil that got its voltage from the bank of batteries that the generator kept charged...That's why the small tin box with only the coil in it...It didn't NEED any batteries in the box!:rolleyes: I don't know how you are going to trigger the coil with a home made governor bracket, 'cause that is where the "plunger", the insulators and contact point are mounted...I don't have a photo of the setup on this computer, but I can e-mail a picture tomorrow morning from work.

David M.:wave:
Mystery solved 'Joe Morris
 

Dustin D Ehli

Subscriber
Age
35
Last Subscription Date
12/20/2019
Thanks for all the info guys. lots of the original paint is missing but the engine was the dark green color from what paint i can still see on parts of the flywheels and the water hopper and even though my govenor and cam bracket was homemade i had the broken original one to use as a template and the new one mounts exactly like the original. i mounted the casting that holds the govenor arm and the contacts for the plunger on my new bracket just like it was on the old one so all of this will work like it was supposed to. it is now made out of iron instead of the cheap pot metal that breaks if you look at it wrong.
Thanks for all the help guys

Dustin:)
 

Joe Morris

Registered
Joe Morris said:
Mystery solved
This odd ignition system on this engine helps to explaine why Wendle once remarked that to list all the different styles and designs of F.M . engines they produced would take up most of the Big Yellow book. David Lyon has a good point on the difficulty he will probably encounter in makeing the pushrod / plunger as he referrs to making contact with the electrical contacts to time the engine as to when it fires. On a standard, original, hit and miss dishpan this can be a very sensitive operation to get right. So with a home built cam gear bracket it will be even more difficult. Too many shims and it wont fire at all, too few and the coil will buzz all the time This ignition arrangement helps me to see that after fooling with these old engines for many years I still learn something new every day. And it a good hobby with a lot of good honest people in it. Joe Morris
 

BobRR

Registered
I think if you wanted to collect only one brand of engine fairbanks would be a good one as long as you had a VERY big building to put them in!!:D Bo0bRR
 
Top