Fairbanks Morse engines

Fri Oct 08, 2004 11:29 am

we just received word that we can begin removing the two 1938 fairbanks morse engines, headed for permanent display at the Zagray Farm. we've been a bit worried all summer that the contractor would get cold feet, the engines being on a construction site and all. big smiles, now :) :)



Fri Oct 08, 2004 11:52 am

:) Hey, I like them, They are pretty neat. What was there purpose where they are?. My first guess would be that they are turning generators. :roll:

Fri Oct 08, 2004 12:11 pm

Now there's a cub re-powering project that will require some thinking! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Fri Oct 08, 2004 1:32 pm


these engines are at a reservoir and were installed as a back-up power source for fire control pumps. you are correct, that unit that Ed is looking down on (in the 4 cylinder pic.) is a DC generator. The voltage i'm unsure of, but there is a 16 foot control panel set-up that's going with us too. We have no plans at the moment to use the generators, other than reinstalling them on the engines for display/running.... but who knows. our first task is acquisition, the second getting a building erected, then we can think about operating the units.

Fri Oct 08, 2004 3:35 pm

Thanks for the info Art. You guys are in for one BIG project removing & resetting up those babies. Let us know when you start & how its going. Those kind of projects always peak My interest. :P

Fri Oct 08, 2004 7:00 pm

They look like they have been very well maintained. Good Luck with your new project. And keep us posted with progress! Bigdog, Maybe we could talk George Willer into building a GIANT CUB using the four cylinder :D

Sat Oct 09, 2004 8:52 am

Maybe we could talk George Willer into building a GIANT CUB using the four cylinder

Might have to beef up the front end a little :lol: :!:

Tue Oct 12, 2004 3:51 pm

update: pictures from monday and tuesday...now that's a muffler :!:


go to http://www.qvea.org/member%20photos/fairbanks800/

Tue Oct 12, 2004 4:19 pm

I am having trouble picturing in my mind how you are going to do this job.

Tue Oct 12, 2004 5:06 pm

John *.?-!.* cub owner Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 5:19 pm Post subject:


I am having trouble picturing in my mind how you are going to do this job.

John; that fellow standing there watching the muffler onto the trailer is a rigger i've known most all my life, and one of the best. removing the engines will be done using an 80D northwest crane with a short boom on it, operated by it's owner doing what he's done all his life. the contractor is going to remove the roof of the building (building will be demo'd after we recover the engines) after we do as much dissassembly as possible, and then we will put the 80D in place to do the lifts. the 4 cylinder is estimated at 20 tons. the northwest can lift 32 tons up close but cannot travel with more than 15. so, we'll pick and swing onto a lowboy trailer. oh, and there are at least 3 club members with 35 ton or larger lowboy's capable of hauling this load.
if we decide it's not feasible to use the 80D, due to moving it or something, then we will use Marino Crane service, located in my hometown, but known worldwide. they just moved power generation equipment headed to mississippi. the trailer used to move it the 15 miles to the dock had over 200 tires. 4 sets, each individually steered. some machine, huh?
An added bonus..the owner of the construction company used to run an 80D Northwest and is throwing his construction team into this salvage effort! we hadn't expected so much contractor help.
it is, though, an ambitious project.

Tue Oct 12, 2004 5:51 pm

Art, that's some impressive machinery!! I'm gonna have to come down some day to play in your sandbox!! :lol:

Tue Oct 12, 2004 6:02 pm

artc wrote:
Maybe we could talk George Willer into building a GIANT CUB using the four cylinder

Might have to beef up the front end a little :lol: :!:

Sorry, but I don't think so.

More than 50 years ago (1952) I worked near a pair of engines driving alternators. A 4 cylinder Atlas and a much larger 6 cylinder Superior whose only purpose was to generate the necessary power to start some big motors without paying the high penalties for power factor correction. The biggest motor was running a jaw crusher and was rated at 300 HP.

I know there are many larger motors, but these impressed me as a kid.

I really liked the bark from the stacks.

The neighbor across the fence had 3 of the Superiors in their engine house. These companies are long gone, but the one with the 3 superiors donated the land where we have our home show to the park district.

Now, that Superior would be better suited for an M. :lol:

Tue Oct 12, 2004 8:28 pm

Art, do you know if Marino was the company that delivered and installed the new generators to the Taum Sauk power plant near Ironton, Mo. 2 or 3 years ago?

Sun Oct 17, 2004 11:59 am

John: don't know if it was Marino Crane or not, but those guys have some serious hardware. trouble is, it's gonna cost us, if we use them.

oct 17 update: we have had guys on site all week including a dozen on saturday. the engines have been rotated to TDC (each cylinder) and filled from there with some #40 non detergent oil from the farm. all lines, water piping, heat exchangers, have been removed and the engines covered with heavy tarps. We placed the steel catwalks on top of the engines on blocks to protect the motors from falling debris. the building will now be removed from around the engines.

the rigger has explained the lift technique. remove a piece of the housekeeping skirt (under the engine flange) so a jack can be positioned either side (or 4 points, if necessary). jack and block till clear of the mounting bolts. install bolts and lifting eyes at those sites (8 locations on the 4 cylinder) set-up the cables and spreaders to the lift point and call the crane.

this is of course after the generator and flywheel has been removed from each engine. but he explained that to me also. simple, once someone gives you the basics.

it will be 2 weeks before we do the actual lifts. The rigger says we've done the hard part already, the prep work :) i'm not ready to concede that point, but 100 percent confident that the plan is workable, safe, and will preserve the engines.

will update

Mon Oct 18, 2004 11:33 am

Lordy I can see what you are doing. I worked on the Dew Line extension into the Alutian Islands in 1959 60. We had 4 humongus White Superiors at each site. The main site at Cold Bay had 5. You stood on the floor and could barely reach the top if you were tall and stood on tip toe. Each cylinder had its own seperate head. These were air start and one would not crank if the fly wheel was in a certain position. We eventually decided that it was a problem of a crack in the cylinder liner of #3 cylinder. We removed the head from it and you could put your head in and look. Sure enough it was cracked in such a way that starting air was getting into the wrong clyinder as well as the correct one. We jacked the old one out and put the replacement into the walk in freezer to shrink it. Worked good after that.

If there are any spare parts be sure to get them too.