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Root and Vandervoort 12 HP Portable Engine Restoration

Jeff Wahl

Subscriber
Age
41
Last Subscription Date
10/02/2019
Still Out There - 12 HP Root and Vandervoort

On Dec 30th, my father Tom Wahl and I left Northern Virginia and headed for Atlanta, Georgia to retrieve a large Root & Vandervoort engine that we had puchased over the holidays. We left at 6am, stopped near Richmond to borrow our friend Martin Reed's more heavy duty trailer, and arrived at our destination around 6pm. Traffic was light! Unfortunately it was too dark already, so we grabbed some dinner and got some much needed sleep.

On Dec 31st at 7:30am, just as light was coming up, we arrived at the engine site. The first 4 pictures below are of our walk to the barn along a freshly cleared path.
 

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Jeff Wahl

Subscriber
Age
41
Last Subscription Date
10/02/2019
Re: Still Out There - 14 HP Root and Vandervoort

Here are some pictures that better represent the space where this R&V engine was perserved. When the barn collapsed, thankfully the wheat thresher supported the roof and protected the R&V. I asked my friend where is the best place to look for engine parts in an old barn. He told me to check the walls! What walls...:shrug:
 

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Kevin O. Pulver

Email NOT Working
Age
54
Last Subscription Date
02/14/2020
Re: Still Out There - 14 HP Root and Vandervoort

Thanks for the pix! So what's the rest of the story? How long did you know about it, and how did you find out about it? I know you didn't spy that one driving by on the highway!:brows:
Kevin
 

Jeff Wahl

Subscriber
Age
41
Last Subscription Date
10/02/2019
Re: Still Out There - 14 HP Root and Vandervoort

And finally, the R&V loaded on the trailer and ready for home. We left at 9:30am and were home by 8:30pm, no traffic at all, beautiful weather to drive in! Dad then went to a neighbors house for a New Years eve party to watch the ball drop. I went home and dropped on my bed, what a trip! But it was a fantastic end to the 2011 year!

This R&V engine has 52" flywheels, a 30" clutch pulley, a 18" regular pulley, and cart wheels with a 6" face. Based on a 1909 catalog, the measurements match a 14 HP R&V. This is a volume governed R&V engine with a full side-shaft. This portable unit is of a hopper cooled engine, with a factory cylinder plate and cooling tank replacing the water hopper. It is probably of vintage 1910 or later. It is possible that the HP for the hopper cooled engines was rerated at this time. I would be interested in specifications from a 1910 or later R&V catalog if anyone has one.

Happy New Year and will be posting more pictures in the new year! Jeff
 

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Jeff R Parks

Registered
Last Subscription Date
09/16/2016
Re: Still Out There - 14 HP Root and Vandervoort

Jeff,

Congrats on your find, looks like a super nice original piece. Looking forward to seeing more pics. of it and maybe some video of it running.

Thanks for sharing, you deserve it.:):)
 

Chris J

Registered
Last Subscription Date
01/01/2012
Re: Still Out There - 14 HP Root and Vandervoort

GREAT AMAZING FIND!

Congrats, I must say that this is what dreams are made of!

Keep us posted on how the progress goes! Will you be going back for the Thresher and such?
 

specfour

Registered
Last Subscription Date
01/01/2012
Re: Still Out There - 14 HP Root and Vandervoort

Wow, what an awesome find!!! I sure hope somebody is going to save the thresher and the other equipment around there. I think I saw some parts to a sickle mower in one of the photos as well. How did you find it????

Andy Luder
 

John Merry

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
01/11/2020
Re: Still Out There - 14 HP Root and Vandervoort

Jeff--you found a hens tooth--a needle in the haystak. How many more rare ones are out there--anybodys guess. It's a big country with lots of hidden places. Bet your heart was pounding the first time you saw it. Find some more--this is what makes SmokStaks the best.
 
Age
50
Last Subscription Date
10/02/2010
Re: Still Out There - 14 HP Root and Vandervoort

If no one chimes in before, I will dig out my catalogues and parts books tonight and see what I can find on your engine. Peter Lowe who runs the R&V register should have some info as well.
Patrick
 

Skip Landis

Sponsor
Last Subscription Date
05/06/2019
Re: Still Out There - 14 HP Root and Vandervoort

what a great story & documentation! I have an original R&V booklet, but it only shows pushrod engines up to 12 hp. the 12 has 40" wheels. skip
 
Last Subscription Date
07/30/2014
Re: Still Out There - 14 HP Root and Vandervoort

Congrats!!! NOW for the 63 dollar question!!! Is it to fixed up as a show piece, or left in it's working clothes???
 

Barry T

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
03/23/2019
Re: Still Out There - 14 HP Root and Vandervoort

Outstanding find Jeff!

From the catalog research done for the R&V Expo 2010 show, I can offer the following info to help establish manufacture date and horsepower. R&V first offered the sideshaft as a hopper cooled model in 1911. Starting in 1912 the screen cooled models used the same cylinder with a flat plate cover. For a given model code (serial number prefix), the flywheel diameter, horsepower, and RPMs changed several times during the production run of sideshafts. The 12 HP R&V sideshaft had 52" diameter flywheels in 1911-1912. In 1913 the 12 HP size changed to 46" flywheels. Based on this info, would say your engine is a model code "T", of 12 HP at 275 RPM, likely from 1912.

R&V made sideshaft engines from 1899 - 1918, the only engine style made for their entire engine production run.

Is the nameplate missing? The serial number should be stamped on the engine also.

Thanks for sharing your find. We all dream of finding an engine like this one out in the wild.

Barry
 

Mike Monnier

Hoarder
Age
43
Last Subscription Date
12/18/2019
Re: Still Out There - 14 HP Root and Vandervoort

What a great find!! That's better than any fireworks or champagne to roll over the calendar. Happy New Year to you and your dad Jeff!
 

oldironcollector

Registered
Last Subscription Date
10/23/2016
Re: Still Out There - 14 HP Root and Vandervoort

Whattt!!!! from my backyard:eek: Come on you gotta give us the story!!!
 

Mike McKnight

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
03/20/2020
Re: Still Out There - 14 HP Root and Vandervoort

Man what a nice engine, what a find, and what a way to start off the New Year! Congrats! Am also interested to hear about the thresher, looks like that's a real nice old machine. Hope someone will pull the barn off of it and save it.

Mike
 

Jeff Wahl

Subscriber
Age
41
Last Subscription Date
10/02/2019
Re: Still Out There - 14 HP Root and Vandervoort

Thanks for all the nice replies!

Due to our family's interest in R&V engines, I replied to a SmokStak thread looking for info on this engine. I was informed the engine was for sale and the rest is history. Rather than a find, it kind of fell in my lap. Huge thanks to Adam, Will, Tommy and Martin for their assistance and generosity!!!

I don't think I'll be making the long trip back for the other machinery. The thresher was in rough shape with a broken axle due to the roof caving on it. In general, parts where all over and I wouldn't even know what was missing. Would be neat to have with the engine if they were closer!

Barry, thanks for the info! Tag is missing, where would I find the serial #? All the literature we have is 1909 or earlier. The flywheels/clutch/face of the cart wheels match the 1909 14 HP R&V, but the diameter of the cart wheels match those on the 1909 10 HP R&V. So I thought it might be around a 12 HP, but would like to confirm!
 
Re: Still Out There - 14 HP Root and Vandervoort

Jeff, Nice find. What is the diameter of the cooling tank? Did you find the original screen? I have a large original RV screen may fit you engine. Let me know. Wayne Walker Kansas Collector.
 
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