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Ford Industrial Governor


New member
I have a 1971 172CI Ford industrial engine on an Asplundh chipper JEX series. I cleaned carb and performed a tuneup. When I crank engine, it idles and revs up without a load. When I engage the clutch, adding a load, engine bogs down severely. I pull the choke and engine eventually gets RPM back up to speed. I see the governor arm move a lot toward the rear of the engine when the engine bogs down and dies.

Several attempts to engage clutch and add a load caused engine to die. Some attempts, I engaged and disengaged the clutch many times until machine reached running speed.

Am I supposed to use the choke in this manner? Can someone explain how this system is supposed to work?

On one attempt, at high throttle, the governor arm slowly moved and lost power. When I lowered the throttle slightly, all seemed to run very well.
This is my first experience with this setup. I would appreciate some guidance on how to properly setup and run this unit.



The governor is to keep the engine running at the speed you set it. You should have a knob or lever to set the governor to idle the engine or run it a governor ed speed. When the governor is set at full speed and no load, the throttle in the carburetor will be almost closed. When you put a load on the engine, the throttle plate in the carburetor will open up and keep the engine running at the same speed.

Tracy T

a picture of your engine would help, i have been into several ford tractor engines but they may be setup different than yours. I can tell you the fords that i have owned and worked on are cold natured and will kill the engine until they are warmed up. try warming up the engine for say 15- 20 minutes before putting a load to it and see what happens.


New member
From your description it sounds like the governor is working fine. But needing to choke it to get it up to speed says the carburetor running lean. Especially if you need to use choke after the engine is fully warmed up.

You might be lucky and have a carburetor with a high speed mixture adjustment. If so opening the high speed adjustment screw a turn or more may solve the problem.

However it's more likely the carburetor needs disassembly and a good cleaning - especially if the engine has been sitting unused for an extended period.


eMail NOT Working
Gary... I've got the 192ci larger brother of your chipper motor in my Hyster H50H, and I'll drop in my notes accordingly:

Mine has a velocity governor... that is... not centrifugal... it has a gadget between carb and manifold that has a secondary venturi, and when airflow through that venturi hits a certain point, it forces the main throttle plate closed.

This doesn't have any direct bearing on what's causing yours to NOT show power, but just an FYI... the 'velocity governor's function is solely to keep the engine from overspeeding... it doesn't try to 'maintain' speed.

Now... my 192 has a centrifugal advance on the distributor... and mine is a Mallory (actually, a really nice distributor) that I've fitted with a Pertronix Ignitor and a matching coil... excellent combination.

When I acquired my 192, it had a blown gasket between cyls 2 and 3... which is typical for this family of engine- they tended to trap steam in that area and cause local distortion which caused the head gasket to blow. Along with that, was worn out valve guides, boogered valves, weak springs, and basically gone valve stem seals. I had the head resurfaced, got good gasket, a complete valve job, etc.... and I checked the deck for flatness... I cleaned up just a little spot between the cylinders that had been eroded a little, and put in a really good gasket with serious fire rings.

The bores on my 192 were clean... the big and small ends were seemingly tight, but the iron pistons HAD lots of hours on 'em. They fit the top surprisingly well, but halfway down were a wee sloppy in the bores. I didn't worry about it, as it had fairly good compression, and equal at all cyls with the new head in place.

Getting it timed and tuned to run well was NOT what I'd call an 'easy' task. Most of this can be taken as academic, as industrial engine applications are NOT automotive... the concept of tuning is entirely different, as their operating range, duty cycle, and desired response character is totally different from say... an automotive environment. It took lots of fidgeting before I got it to perform 'well' (the Hyster's driveline is not particularly 'efficient').

Concurrent to the prior note, MINE is cold-blooded... I gotta start it, and let it (and the H50H's hydraulics and transmission) warm up a LOT before thinking of asking the engine to do any other work... matter of fact, if I just TOUCH the throttle until it's warmed substantially, it falls on it's face.

And once it's warm, it runs better... but that's not to say it is a particularly effective motivator of a 10,000lb lift truck. It's a dog. A pooch. It's so weak, that it's barely strong enough to smell bad if a skunk were to die under the hood. It's so weak that if it had a pallet of beef were on the forks, a bottle of lame horseradish sauce would scare it away.

The GM Iron Duke 181 is at least TWICE as strong as my 192, and from the guys I know that've worked on 'em, mine is considered a 'strong' runner... so I suspect from that, that they generally weren't high-output mills.

If you work on yours much, look at the cooling system modifications that involve drilling a cooling bypass hole in the head about middle, and threading in a hose fitting... I did that with my 192, and it has not had problems overheating since...