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Happy 104th Birthday!

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by IronMonster, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    Happy 104th birthday to my dads 40HP Fairbanks take apart gas engine! This has been an ongoing project for him for the last 3 years or so. When he got it it was a rusted mass of iron. It was flown out of the mountains of California in 2009 by helicopter, one of only a couple large take apart's known to exist. The engine was built so it comes apart into bits that weigh no more than 300 pounds so it could be packed into the mine on mules. Its been a labor of love for him to bring this monster back to life and he finished it up just in time for its 104th birthday! This is one of many of his large Fairbanks collection that encompass engines ranging from 1/2 HP to 60 HP. He also has many large tractors and engines from other makers.

    Some pictures along the way.

    http://s822.photobucket.com/user/hi...40hp Fairbanks Morse Take Apart?sort=3&page=1

     
  2. nwo

    nwo Southern Oregon Well-Known Member

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    It is amazing to me that it is so quiet.
    What did the engine do, exactly?
     
  3. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    This engine was used to run an air compressor at a hard rock mine to run the drills but generically at mines they where used to run stamp mills, line shaft equipment and even the winches to drag the ore carts in and out of the mine. Engines like these where real common, although this is not a common engine :)

    They where huge displacement, this one is in the neighborhood of 2200 cubic inches, The bore is something like 12 inch.

    Engines like this where extremely reliable and can run for decades with minimal maintenance. They are also remarkably efficient and had an insane amount of torque. If it was under load it would be firing on every revolution and be quite a bit louder.
     
    BoonDocks36 likes this.
  4. oli700

    oli700 Rogue Valley Well-Known Member

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    Way cool
     
  5. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    Amazing.

    Two questions...What is the large rusty-ish can on the floor...a muffler? What is the source of the water draining into the funnel towards the end of the video...condensate?

    Keith
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2015
  6. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    When I was a kid, a next door neighbor rebuilt a 1932 Cadillac Town Car from the ground up.
    It was found in an old Eastern Oregon barn and the V16 engine was located up in an old mine shaft 40 miles away.
    When I first saw the pile of junk he had to work with I thought he would never get it to run, let alone win a Concourse De Elegance 1st prize.
    Three cheers to your old man for his hard work.
     
  7. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    Many of those old, rare car restorations are amazingly painstaking and require huge amounts of skill and time. I have a friend who builds antique cars for a living. In the 20 years or so I have known him he has built less than half a dozen cars. The last one he completed was a rare Simplex Speedcar roadster. He started with most of a engine and part of the transmission and over about 8 years hand built the rest of the car. There are no parts, matter of fact the particular car he was working on there was no known surviving example. They used pictures and other similar Simplex roadsters as examples. I know many of the steel parts they had cast several times before they found a foundry who's work was up to snuff. They even had some cast in Australia. He also built a 1903 Cadillac and is currently working on a Pope. The only other Pope of the style he is restoring is in the Henry Ford museum.

    One day I went to visit him while he was working on the Simplex. He was making the little brass hood that goes on the bulb on the dash (a big flat dash with 4 gauges and had a single bulb above it all to illuminate it.) He shows me the little part which looks like its worth no more than thirty cents. He starts by showing me the first set of custom dies he made to form the hood, then the second set when it did not come out quite right and then the final set that nailed it. I bet he spent three days making that little part. When you are doing that kind of work though "It takes what it takes" if you are going to do it right. Amazing attention to detail.



    I tried to look around on the internet to see if I could find a finished picture of the car he built and I cant find one but it is similar to this.
    DSCN1700-900x600.jpg
     
  8. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    Video of them starting it.

     
  9. BoonDocks36

    BoonDocks36 Oregon, in the boondocks Christian. Conservative. Male.

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    The Hit and Miss Engines are used all over India, and in fact, last I heard, they still have a company building them...

    They can run on what most would consider totally unusable fuel, dirty, watery, whatever...

    There life span is compareable to Nothing else, all fall short... What they lack in Fully tuned steady RPM, they make up by forever doing there work.

    I was at one time, considering the Purchase of an Indian Hit or Miss, just for above reasons!

    Great to see one in a video!!! And American Made!!!!

    philip
     
    Sgt Nambu likes this.
  10. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    Built and used when men were men and still had most of their fingers.

    Keith
     
  11. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I think these thing could be like fire arms....You get one and it's so cool, [why I'm not sure it just is], and then you need another one! And so on.


    If you want to see a bunch of these hit/miss engines "The Great Oregon Steam-up" in Brooks Or. is a must see. There are hundreds of old engines, steam tractors, out boards, the truck museum, Caterpillar museum, a fully operational steam powered saw mill, huge flea market etc. We don't miss it. If it weren't close to me, near Salem, I'd make a three day-er of it and camp on the grounds.
     
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  12. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    Agree'ed The Steam up is a must see for anyone who has an interest in old mechanical things. My dad has a big engine on permanent display in the "big engine building' and I try to attend most years. Its always a fun time.
     
  13. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Do you know which one it is, and does he go down there and run it? I've pretty much got pics of every one in there. My favorites are the giant twin Western that says it was in Socal with a twin, pumping water 24/7 for irrigation up 'til 1973. I try to be in there when they start those, that's the most exciting part. I'm a gear head at heart I suppose.

    Mike
     
  14. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    The big Fairbanks winch engine, its on the north side in the middle section.