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National Transit Engine


I have recently purchased a National Transit vertical 2 cycle engine. I have many questions, but I don't remember them all at the moment. I think the engine is mostly complete, it didn't come with the oil pumping unit or water hopper. Here's my questions.

1. Was there a factory water hopper that this engine had? Or should I just build one.
2. Can anyone help identify the year by the serial number?
3. 2 of the glass tubes in the oil pump were cracked/broken. What has anyone replaced these with? They are under pressure, because oil is pumped via every exhaust stroke.
4. Do I need a propane accumulator to run this? It is currently hooked right up to a regulator that will screw into a tank.
5. Who else has one of these? Anyone know how many were made?
6. I believe there should be some kind of packing/lining in the hot tube. Apparently they used to use asbestos. I wouldn't mind staying away from it.
7. If you have any other information on it, I would love to learn more.

Thank you!!


Andrew Mackey

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You could try and go to a good welding shop and see if they have some thin high temperature sheilding. looks like fibreglass but is more heat resistant. You dont have to have it for the hot tube to work, it keeps some of the heat off the chimney. As for the accunulater - you may get away without it, but the engine probably would run better with one. Basicly, an accumulater is a low pressure reservoir that can supply a large volume of low pressure gas quickly. Area wise, about the size of a 5 gallon bucket. What is the diameter of the gas inlet to the mixer on the engine?

As for the oiler glass - pyrex should work, the problem is finding the right length and diameter. you might try Lee pederson, a sponsor here on the stak, he has a lot of sources.


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I have one of these....built like a BSH. On pix 1 on the left side where the patch is there should be threaded holes in the cylinder casting to mount a magneto like a Wico OC or L1. For the sight glasses, just measure OD and find some generic glass tubing on eBay or similar...cut to length. As far as I know these made in the late teens...someone correct me if this is in error. An accumulator would help; mine is about a quart sized. Cooling can be a simple thermo-syphon tank When you get this running be VERY careful not to have too much oil feeding it; it will actually atomize + burn in the cylinder and it will try to run away. PM me for a sales brochure I got graciously from the Drake Well museum staff and digitized.
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Mine is missing the oiler tank. Does anybody know of one that would be available? Paul Gray had some suggestions on making one but I haven't tackled it yet. Bill Klein