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Oil city half breed info

David A.

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
04/10/2019
anyone have build and or repair info on the spo co cylinders on oil city beds? cyl # 1882 bed # 281, thanks in advance
 

Russell Walker

Sponsor
Last Subscription Date
08/25/2019
David I also have a spoc 25 hp. info is very scarce/Hens teeth. The best info I have found is going to coolsprins and Portland Show and swap meets. and watch and take notes. while your at one of them join the OFAS. find the engine that most looks like yours and ask questions. most people will be glad to talk to you. Some of the people are pretty tight lipped. you would do good I think to get pics. of your Engine and systems concerning you and post here. people here respond well to pictures as you can see by your times viewed. are your Flywheels welded on or not? do you have it running yet? thank you. Russ.
 

Andrew Mackey

Moderator
Last Subscription Date
05/14/2017
I wrote an artical on the restoration of a 20 HP OCSP for the gas engine magazine, starting in Sept 2009. It ran for 6 issues! What are you looking for? Info about South Penn is scarce. i can give you a breif synopsis about the engine here. Oil City Boiler Works built steam engines in the mid to late 1880s. the largest problem with a steam engine is fuel. After a while, it becomes impractical to transport fuel to the boilers. In most cases, natural gas flowed from the wells unchcked - it was wasted back when the engines were installed. Someone got the bright idea to convert the engines to internal combustion and use that wasted fuel as a power source. It was cheaper than replacing the entire engine. in the 1890s, along comes South Penn, who began making these conversion internal combustion cylinders and related parts (cylinder, piston, valve work and flywheeels) to convert the steam engine to internal combustion. After a while, South Penn also began making their own engines as well. The Oil City engines retained the steam flywheel on one side, and the South Penn engnes had 2 heavy flywheels. Both engines looked similar but the SPs didnt have the OIl City markings on their beds. Although not positive, I think South Penn made engines into the 1920s. The NJAEMCs engine was built around 1880 by Oil City as a steam engine and was converted after 10 years to IC, Via a South Penn conversion.

About 80% of the half breed engines have had the steam flywheel welded to the crank! This is due to the nature of the power inpulse to the crank. On a steaam engine, it is a push in both directions. With the conversion, it s a sudden impact. That sudden impulse tended to cause the keway in the steam flywheel to waffle the keyway and cause the flywheel to distort and become loose. The simple field fix was to gas weld the flywheel to the crank. The SP heavy flywheel didnt have that problem, it was made of a harder more resiliant metal. The year we purchased the engine, I attended the Coolspring show, which had featured the South Penn engines. There were 8 of them there and only 2 didnt have welded flywheels! I believe Coolspring has one on permanant display at the museum.

Read my articla in the GEM, you can get back issues or read it on line at their site. Oil City/South Penn Cross Breed Engine. Read the internet version, it is un-edited (better).

On my engine club's engine, we use a Powell Boson 1 quart oiler. We use SAE 50 oil for all oiling, The wells on all bearings are stuffed with cotton dryer lint as wicking, to within 1/2" of the top of the depression. The cotton waste is then soaked with the SAE 50 oil. On each run, all bearing wells are filled with SAE 50 oil. The oiler is set at 1 to 11/2 drips a minute for each inch of piston diameter. In our case, about 10 to 12 drips a minute seems to work OK.

The engine will not run off a regulator directly. We use a grill regulater and an accumulater (storage tank if you will) and our engine will work OK off a 100 pound propane cylinder. A grill cylinder is too small to provide enough gas to properly run the enginne. A 40 pound cylinder will work for a short time before 'freezing' - the point where the liquid gas no longer gives enough vapor to supply the engine due to evaporative cooling.

As you are a new owner, dont hesitate to ask questions here. If you need more detailed info, contact me with a PM here on the Stak!
Andrew
 

David A.

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
04/10/2019
Thank you for your response, I was looking for any history of this specific eng, cylinder and bed combination, I have owned and restored (mechanical only) a few of these and info is very scarce, I always like to get as much historical info as possible to stay with the engine , I'll find your article , I am sure it will enlighten me on some of the pecularitirs of this engine , Thanks again, Dave
ps, please excuse my spelling
 

Andrew Mackey

Moderator
Last Subscription Date
05/14/2017
It is very hard to trace the engines history if you do ot know the previous owners. in our case, the engine the NJAEMC owns came from Tom Schoolcraft, who personally removed it from a well in Fargo WV. The original owners told him when the engine was built and its history. It began life as an actual steam driven engine, used to drill 5 wels. it was run on wood for 10 years, until al the trees within 10 miles had been cut down, and the cost of transporting wood to the boiler became prohibitive. Thus the conversion to IC with the South Penn conversion. In actuality, South Penn's conversion was made by license to Bessemer. The actual link between the 2 companies is lost thru time I believe. Sorry I cannoot help you much beyond that. If youback trace owners, that may help.
 

Skidmore

Registered
Last Subscription Date
01/24/2016
They were made in Clarksburg WV. Halfbreed conversion cylinder with a very heavy single flywheel and clutch. Still several in the WV Hills
 
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