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Flyball Governor: What do I have?

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Ron Vance

Guest
A couple of years back I bought a flyball governor at a local flea market. This purchase is probably as close as I will ever come to owning a steam engine! That being said, I wonder if anyone can tell me something about it as to its manufacture, or what type and vintage of steam engine on which it would have been used?

The governor is a two-ball design with each being 2-1/4" in diameter.

On one side of the bearing housing for the pulley shaft is a raised "JD4"; on the opposite side is the serial number "230750".

Adjacent to the bevel gears is stamped "400 RPM".

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance for your assistance.
 
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Ted

Guest
Ron, can you post a photo of the governor? It could probably be identified pretty easy from a picture. As for the 400 rpm, governors are rated in rpm and the engine speed is varied by using different pulley ratios while your particular governor always turns 400 rpm.
 
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Ken Majeski

Guest
Most 2 ball governors I am familiar with are Waters, this is the brand name. Are the balls hooked on with 2 half round springs ? I can look at a couple tomorrow and see if any part no's agree. A picture would help....
 
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Allen

Guest
A Gardner may also have 2 balls. I can't help but wonder if he has the whole thing, or just the head? There seem to be a LOT of partial governors floating around out there.
 
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Ron Vance

Guest
Thanks for your replies thusfar on this governor mechanism. Sorry to say that my son has "borrowed" my digital camera, and so am unable to post a photo at this time.

What I have in hand is an assembly consisting of ball counterweights, bevel gears, drive pulley (4" dia. x 1.625" face), throttle(?) arm with a handwheel/spring adjustment, and mounting flange with a .250' dia bronze stem extending through. There is an open oil cup for the pulley shaft rather than a grease cup or sight oiler.

Springs for the counterweights are a flat leaf design x 3 layers thick.
 
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Craig

Guest
The leaf springs tell the story!! I'm almost positive it is a Pickering. Very popular and I have 2 Eagle engines which use them. BUT, Nichols and Shepard also used a governor of that type but I forgot what make!!!)(*&*^R*&*& I can take a look tomorrow, IF I remember.
 
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Allen

Guest
Sounds like the top half of a Gardner (you seem to be missing the valve part), but without a picture I won't hazard beyond a guess
 
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Ken Majeski

Guest
All the Pickerings I have have 3 balls. Pickerings also have the balls in the middle of the thin leaf springs. Seems I remember a Gardener with the 2 balls and the springs below the balls and they are leaf springs. You don't see this type too much on traction engines and they are mostly in the smaller sizes. You would need the valve body if you were ever going to use it but they sure make a nice display. You don't want to know how many questions I have answered about those spinning balls. They used these governors of course on Steam engines and also on some gas tractors and even on some threshing machine feeders. The threshing machine ones didn't have the valve body part of course. They would stop the feeder if the machine slowed down.


Old Junk Page
 
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Kent

Guest
I just looked at my 2 1/2" Gardner and it has the same casting number JD4 but it has 3" balls. let me know if you want to sell it as I need that casting for mine, it has been broke and welded at the base plate.
 
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Ron Vance

Guest
Kent >>>

Thanks for your reply....and thanks to all others as well....sure is nice to become acquainted with such helpful folks. Damned hard to describe this thing without a photo....is like my describing a horse, and you guys visualizing a camel.

Someone earlier had posed the question as to how the ball weights on this piece interface with leaf springs....balls are suspended on the end of the springs.

Sorry to say that the mechanism is not for sale. As I said in my original post, this is probably as close as I will ever come to owning a stationary or traction steam engine. Maybe I can belt this gizmo up to my F-M "Z", and let her fly as a conversation piece.

Ron in NW Indiana
 
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Paul Gov. Man

Guest
Ron You have the top have of a Gardner Governor, spring type. I looked it up in the records and it was shipped out june 20. 1907 1 1/2" plane spring to the Ingersoll Rand Co. I have some of the NOS parts for Gardner Gov. and most of the patterns, & tooling too. Paul pwoodwth@adams.net
 
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Allen

Guest
Gardner parts

How much for a pair of leaf springs for a 3/4"(#192510)? No fellows, it isn't for sale. BUT, I might consider swapping it for a 1/2".
 
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