Stories

Ottawa Detent Modifications
This document shows how I modified the detent (magneto trip) mechanism on my Ottawa to make it run better. The original Ottawa part had an adjusting nut to change the timing of the spark. Mine did not, it had some adjustment at the eliptic mechanism on the timing gear, but nothing near the spring which trips the mag like it should have (according to the manual). I've always had trouble making this engine go and it had a bad habit of changing its timing while it was running (with expected results). The timing could change because there was a cotter pin which when the arm compressed the spring would bend.

To remedy the problem, I took the detent arm off the engine and cut a 7/16th inch thread along the thick part of the arm to a point just after the cotter pin hole. I then threaded on a 7/16th nut which (not knowing the technical term) is like a castle! Thanks to Dave Croft who told me this is a Castellated nut. This will allow me to use a cotter or mechanics wire to secure the nut and stop it moving. With this arrangement the spring is now always under some tension meaning the detent has to move much less to trip the mag.

The Ottawa has a lever just under the mag which alters the detent timing by about 5 degrees for each notch. I was told that the first position is for stop (and the mag cannot be tripped in this position). The second position was for run, the third for start and the fourth unused.…

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Ottawa Disaster
I really get the impression that this little engine does not want to be brought back to life. You may remember that I had to machine a new journal for the wrist pin in the small end of the conrod. I remembered this morning that I still had the old conrod and it was in my storage shed. I went out there and hunted through boxes until I found it. I checked it with the wrist pin, and yep, perfect fit!

I drilled out the retaining pin in the old conrod and pressed out the journal - actually it was very easy to get out. I then crushed the existing journal metal in the current conrod and removed it. I did this to save the pin because it is cast in place out of bronze. I filed down the pin enough to make it possible to get the new journal in. I opened up the conrod end with a small jimmy bar slightly. I located where the pin would be on the journal, and enlarged the existing hole so it would fit over the existing pin. I then pressed in the journal - right in easy, the pin and hole lined up and click it was home. So far so good. Next I drilled the oil hole (the old one was slightly offset to the hole in the conrod I'd just put it into.…

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Ted has written many articles for Steam and Engine, this time he has excelled himself and sent me a host of pictures of some engines (and cows) from various locations and times of Ted's life. They are not presented in any particular order. The description and comments for each one are Ted's. The photos and text are © Copyright 2000 Ted Lee.

Read more: Ted Lee's Engines around Queensland

This is Doug Waggonner's story of rescuing a Superior Oil Engine from is resting place of some 80 years. Doug submitted the article for us to enjoy - thanks mate - all the best to you, your crew, and of course, your engine - enjoy it! This article including the photos is © Copyright 2003 Doug Waggonner all rights reserved.


What a crew!!...after about 7 hours of cussin' and discussin' we FINALLY got the superior out of the power house. From left to right. Chuck and Willy from Turner Wrecker service. Without there help this would not be possiable, and i cannot thank them enuf! There theres my wife Michelle who must have a ton of patience to put up with me and my "Engins". Then there me, Tyler and Mike, Tony ias the one behind the camera. And a very special thanks to Tony and Mike.


The Superior in its shed where it has rested for the last 80 years or so...


The bull wheel the Superior drove.

OK, we finally got the skids loose, all the gas lines out of the way. So as we crossed our fingers we started to winch it out!


Well Shit!  The engine isn't wanting to cooperate. This is what happens when to door is too narrow and the engine is trying to come out sideways!!


You can see Willy looking at the problem. And thinking, "Well this is ANOTHER fine mess you have gotten me into".....now what?? 
We ended up pulling the engine out, along with part of the wall....opps:o)


After about 7 hours we finally have it outside.


We got it up onto Willys truck. Kinda overloaded,,,,we weighed the Superior at a truck stop on the way home...it weighs 8,880 lbs.!!!




The way it looks beside my house....heheheheee....makes a nice yard ornament don't ya think?? After a week or two of removing and cleaning the valve cages the Superior lives again. And as a total suprise to me, it makes hardly any noise at a slow rpm. The neighbors probally can't hear it run.

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Ted Lee's Engines around Queensland
Ted has written many articles for Steam and Engine, this time he has excelled himself and sent me a host of pictures of some engines from various locations around Queensland. They are not presented in any particular order. The description and comments for each one are Ted's. The photos and text are © Copyright 1999 Ted Lee.

Read more: Ted Lee's Engines around Queensland