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Antique Gas Engine Discussion Meet collectors of hit and miss engines, ask questions about collecting, restoring and showing antique flywheel engines.

Antique Gas Engine Discussion

Fairbanks Morse Z


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  #1  
Old 03-08-2014, 07:34:37 PM
thiggy thiggy is offline
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Default Fairbanks Morse Z

I have had a throttle governed 1 1/2 Z for about a year and I have not ever got it to run more than one or two feeble coughs from the muffler. It has excellent compression and both valves seem to work smoothly. I have what I believe to be a pristine (distillate) carb and fuel tank. I finally came to the conclusion that my R magneto was working sporadically, at best, so I sent it to Adrian's Magneto service. I now have a great mag with a consistent hot spark, but still I have not been able to get the thing to run. It fires most every time I pull over the flywheel, but does not seem to even try to give the piston a shove. I am wondering if it is possible that the spark or valve timing is out of kilter, even though I have the marks on the three gears aligned with what seems to be the factory timing marks? For instance could the mag be aligned with the cam mark, but 180º off? Or in like manner, could the crankshaft gear be 180º off while still meshing with the factory marks? I have too much $$ and time in this one to recycle it into a bathtub!! Help!
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:52:57 PM
John Savot John Savot is offline
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Default Re: Fairbanks Morse Z

Make sure the valves have the correct springs, the intake will be much weaker than the exhaust. My engine is a hit and miss and for it to run properly I cut 1/2 of a coil off the intake spring, tried it then cut another 1/3 off several times untill it now runs good. I was surprised at how little compression on the spring is required.

John
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:54:35 PM
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David M. Lyon David M. Lyon is offline
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Default Re: Fairbanks Morse Z

Study this chart carefully and apply any corrections required. Who says those timing marks are factory? ....Disregard them and set it up from scratch and it SHOULD run.

http://www.smokstak.com/gallery/show...?i=11424&c=204
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:54:48 PM
34 40 34 40 is offline
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Default Re: Fairbanks Morse Z

Have you tested / verified compression (in pounds) ?? Do you have the booklet for the care of this engine? It shows how to set timing but I'll try to describe it..

There is a line on the flywheel (same side as carb) and that needs to align with the joint where the 2 case halves come together.. on the compression stroke. Then you can look through the hole (after removing the threaded plug ) to see the marks on the gears, they should be in alignment.

Also, on mine I had a devil of a time getting it to start until I replaced the check valve at the bottom of the fuel pickup tube.

Lastly, I grew tired (quickly) of hand cranking so I whipped up an adapter for my 1/2" drill so I can really spin it over while I place my hand over the flutter valve to add some choke action. Once it's been run, it'll start easy even days later! Hope this helps..
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:18:05 AM
ScooterBob ScooterBob is offline
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Default Re: Fairbanks Morse Z

34 40's reply I believe refers to the ZD model (saltblock) engine. Since you mention a Distillate mixer, I don't believe you have a ZD.

If you have an open crank, atmospheric intake, engine, (ZA,ZB, dishpan) then please refer to David Lyon's posted diagram.

If it is an open crank, then set your ignition problems aside for a bit, and get your exhaust timing corrected first. As the diagram shows, the valve should start to open about 35 degrees before the bottom of the power stroke, and should remain open throughout the entire exhaust stroke, until about 5 degrees after TDC just into the intake stroke.

Once you have proper exhaust timing, then work on timing the mag to fire about 20 degrees before TDC of the compression stroke.

Hope this helps, and if your still having trouble, please show us exactly what engine you have.
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:49:15 AM
beezerbill beezerbill is offline
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Default Re: Fairbanks Morse Z

be sure the inlet valve is opening - you should be able to see it open some (it might even chatter a bit) as you turn the engine through the inlet stroke. The spring should be light enough that you can push the valve open with one finger, and the valve should not be the least bit sticky in its guide. Remember that this valve is open by suction alone. Also, verify that the plug is in good shape and gapped correctly.
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Old 03-09-2014, 04:39:26 PM
thiggy thiggy is offline
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Default Re: Fairbanks Morse Z

Thanks for all the replies. Mine is an open crank machine. I just checked the compression using an undersized compression gauge which I had to wrap with tape to get a seal in the large sparkplug hole, therefore there might have been a bit of leakage. However, it did show just over 50 psi. The intake valve does suck in as I rotate the crankshaft. I will try to adjust the exhaust per David's instructions. My question still stands if it is possible to have timing 180º off even if marks are properly aligned?
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:27:48 PM
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David M. Lyon David M. Lyon is offline
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Default Re: Fairbanks Morse Z

180 degrees doesn't matter with an atmospheric intake and a rotary magneto. Just set the crank throw and the cam nose up at 12:00 O'clock, adjust the exhaust valve, find the hard spot on the mag and install it so that it fires at around 20 degrees advanced on your particular engine, and be sure to do these steps in this order. If you follow the chart, the engine has compression, and it is getting fuel, it'll run!

P.S. ....Be sure to invest in a new 5 dollar spark plug.
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:32:25 PM
Bob Thompson Bob Thompson is offline
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Default Re: Fairbanks Morse Z

I was able to start mine for the first time today and managed to flood it badly right away. After disconnecting the brass fuel metering device and draining the excess fuel I pulled it through with the fuel line disconnected and it ran perfectly for about 2 minuets just on the excess fuel in the bottom of the carburetor. After reconnecting the fuel line it needed to be choked almost completely to run at all and ran very poorly. My thinking is the fuel metering hole is way to small. Does anyone know what size that hole is supposed to be?
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:58:57 PM
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David M. Lyon David M. Lyon is offline
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Default Re: Fairbanks Morse Z

I would blame a clogged fuel strainer or dirty check valve before the fuel orifice size. .....I am assuming yours is a hit & miss version with no needle valve adjustment.
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