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1905-08 Tubular Con Rod, Adjustable (Length) To Adjust Compression--WhatGasoline/Kerosene? Engine??

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A 4Cyl inline engine, cyls cast separately, 1905-08 period rated by seller 70HP (no typo) has a tubular connecting rod that the brochure says is adjustable to adjust compression, so I assume would have to be adjustable as to length, something I can't recall ever hearing of altho, admittedly, this period outside my experience.

Please don't tell me everyone used them.

Five mains

Remy type S hi-tens mag gear driven

Kingston carb

Brass gears pump, all pipes/fittings brass (I assume water pump??)

Oiling "automatic splash and force feed oiler" (does that mean oil pump or something earlier??)

Oddly, while the engine is desc as gasoline, the brochures Fuel Supply and Fuel Consumption paragraphs each use the word "oil" once, as if those paragraphs were copied from a brochure of a Kerosene version and they didn't get all the "OIL" references changed to "gasoline"??

It was on a 1908 piece of unconventional farm eqpmt that didn't sell, apparently from an established engine mfr'r of the period.

If the above doesn't positively ID it, a good pic and more info is on the "Sageng Thresher" thread on smokstak (sorry, never learned how to link).

My apologies for not putting this in the Tech forum; I thought more eyes would see it here--the people involved've been trying to ID this engine for years.

Any comments appreciated!!! Many thxx!!! Bud

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Never heard of adjustable con rods but it would make sense to make an engine adjustable to burn gas or kerosene. Or at least, it is one of those things that would make sense to someone at the time, before anyone tried it.

In those days gasoline was not available everywhere but kerosene or lamp oil was. And, kerosene was cheaper. They still make a cheap low grade gas for farm machinery. In England they had TVO or tractor vaporizing oil which was next thing to kerosene.

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LAYDEN: The pix/info isn't mine; I'd link to the smokstak thread if I knew how. I'll see if I can get the owner to post here. I'm not familiar enough with that period engine to know if the desc in the manual/brochure is a then "modern" engine or someones wishful thinking, but we'd appreciate your opinion.

RUSTY: I thought perhaps an adjustable con rod, to adjust compression, might've been something I'd missed about older engines, or that it'd be such an oddity it would easily ID the engine.

Reportedly there were only 21 of these thresher units built--apparently too far ahead of its time per comments--but they're all long gone, and we don't even know if the engine illus in the brochure was actually the engine or engines actually installed or someone's prototype or ideas...the descendants of the inventor are trying to ID the engine in the manual/brochure...

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I have heard of adjusting compression for low grade fuel, by putting a plate between the cylinder block and crank case. This was on motorcycles and early cars with cast aluminum crankcase and separate iron cylinders. Adjustable con rods would be another way to get at the same thing.

It is hard to believe anyone actually tried this. I can see where someone would think of it but I would have expected them to think better of it before they went to work and built one.

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Kevin W advises on the stak site that the Witte engine used such a system, the wrist pin connection being threaded.

However, the Witte was/is a one cyl farm work engine (variously called hit-n-miss, hopper cooled or flywheel engines--my apologies to enthusiasts, these are outside my experience).

This still leaves the question of whether this arrangement was ever used on a production inline engine similar to the one pictured/described in the Thresher brochure..

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You guys need to look up MARINE rod,,,I have an early Locomobile engine of that configuration,, It was used on good size ships too,,,

The lower end of the rod comes to an upside down T ,,,And the lower bearing,is approximately a square block of bronze with the hole ,002" larger than the crank,,

The bearing block bolts to the rod,,,

IF it fails,,meerly unbolt the bearing block and substatute the spare one from spares,,

Now you will see that is no problem to put a spacer between the block and the rod,,

These were called MARINE rods

AND this system avoids the ridge at the top of the cylender,,being a problem when you want to go back to hi comp',,

The 6cyl engine I saw was a 5x7,,,6cyl,,nice engine,,

Beautifully made,,,Cheers Ben

Look for OLD books,,,theres lots of good stuff gettin thrown out,,

Watch for "History of Motor Racing,,/Rose,,covers 1895-1908,,out of print for 50years,,

I'm looking for info,,Saurier,,Swiss,,Air start before 1905-1910,thereabouts

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CBEN09: Many thxx for comments; this sounds like real progress. The illus of the bottom end of the rod does--to me, at least, being unfamiliar with most marine engines--seem to have an oddly heavy squarish look.

The illus of the engine (post #3 on the stak site is the best illus) did bring a marine engine to mind, but I assumed that was because most of the inline multi-cyl, cyls cast separately engine illus's I remember seeing were mostly marine...

Did you eyeball the engine pic and the rod illus (post #12 on the stak site)? We'd appreciate your opinion as to whether the engine looks familiar.

Again, many thxx for the help!

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Hi all,,Before I forget again,,,

Pierce Great Arrow was individualy cast cyl,,,along with Thomas [5,5x5,5 I think]

Pierce made a 24-28,,,28-32 and a 65hp,,5x5." i think at the early days,,

They are all rare enough that I am not suprised you havent seen under the hood,,

Geo Donald had a Pierce '06 tourer,,Rod had a 06 with a e/x Panhard-Levassor rear-entrence

closed body,,and Al Garganigo had a 65hp he or dad had bought from the original owner

which later on we discoverd was Jim Whittall's grandad,,Jim had a 26 Packard tourer

when he was at Harvard,,,Later was head of Mystery Hill [pre] historic site dates to Stonehenge,,In Salem Nh,,,

Leo Warillas Thomas was in process of restoration,,all individual cast cylenders,,

Does anyone know anything of the Pierce-Boutin [boat ??] engine,,

I had one once,,4cyl Single overhead cam,,,like a pint size Liberty eng'

All for now Ben,,

oops,,Also check Van Blerk,,,and Murrey-Tragurtha,,,,,

Edited by cben09 (see edit history)
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The brochure states that it's "our 70 HP engine", meaning that the threshing machine company itself may have manufactured it....as shown in the illustration, it's definitely outfitted for commercial use, with a flat pulley to run a flat belt drive (actually, "flat" pulleys work best when slightly crowned, as the belt will center itself, against common sense the belt will seek the high spot as it goes around the pulley).....

If the connecting rods were indeed adjustable, remember that by moving the piston up or down, it's also changing the maximum cylinder volume, not just the compressed volume, so it gets a little confusing thinking about the overall compression ratio...

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TRIMACAR: Many thxx for comments. Good thinking on the "...our 70HP engine...", except for the background:

Halvor Sageng was, of all things, a missionary, apparently interested in farm/ag concepts because of background or personal inclinations; at any rate, the Thresher he designed was a great leap forward--quite possibly too much of a leap--as it didn't sell. Reportedly only 21 or so were built over several years, no known survivors.The operation does not seem to've been more than moderatly financed, and none of the bios, trade journal pieces of the period etc mention Halvor or his Threshing Company being involved in anything remotely resembling engine development. (Bankrupt in 1912; yes, descendants are trying to find if there was inventory of what sold at Receivers sale--maybe some engines?).

The Thresher was a remarkable advance in technology, and I'd assume that if Halvor or anyone associated with the operation had developed a new engine it would've been ballyhooed in the Company ads and trade journal pieces as well as mentioned in his bios/later farm magazine pieces about his Thresher.

Halvors Thresher was the first to be self-powered/self-propelled (others were run by belts from separate tractors/motors). I'd assume he'd want a known, reliable engine in it, so purchasers wouldn't be presented with both a revolutionary new Thresher powered by a new untried engine.

But--who knows??

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A hi compression engine/w/less volume will have the cylender pressure fall off sooner,,

One reason these old lo compression engines have such a nice lo end torque,,and not a sudden

torque,,,on glare ice up a shallow hill,,keep the throttle open and retard the spark,,the power being "softer'' will not break loose as soon,,Ive gotten out of some nasty spots with a Packard 6 this way,!!

Is it possible that this power plant could be belted to a sawmill or other,,so that it could be a universal power around the farm,,A portable power off season was valuable,,

Re the Marine rods,,,,

There was more value to being able to fit a rod bearing and have it running by 7;30 am

than for variable fuel,,tho a sawmill uses lots of fuel,,steam boiler is better here,,,

Variable fuel is good talking point for salesman,I think,,

A big engine at above idle will last longer,,Talk to the Pierce-Arrow boys,,

About the only thing I can think of that would kill one of these engines would be to forget to close the oil leavel petcock,,,Been there done that,,,,still got the McCormak 22-36,,,P-300

rod that got replaced,,,sawing lumber and only took out 1 rod,,

I cant seem to open those Smokestack pages,,any chance they can come over,,,

All for now,,,Cheers Ben

ps,,,The long belts used are to tension the belt,,by weight,,,

Around 1800--2000feet per min the belt will lift off [going around the pulley]]

Use 2 ply belt,,,,longer,,,,the stores here still sell MOXIE,,!!!,,

Warning,,,,,,do NOT buy or restore a hay bailer,,,,there is NO AAA for brok bilers,,,Ben

Did I ramble too much,?,,,Much of this is no longer inna book,,,,,cb

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LOL... No AAA for Broken Hay Balers... I like the old T-14 John Deere myself. We also had a JD 336 on the farm that bailed over 500,000 bales. I still have a 1924 15-30 McCormick Deering in the shed. Forunner of your 22-36/P -300 power unit. Thanks for the Memorys cben09. You and I could talk about this stuff for hours. Dandy Dave!

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