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1920 Fairbanks Morse 37 1/2 HP 2 Stroke Diesel


This is a video I had posted on another site depicting the start up of the 1920 Fairbanks Morse 37 1/2 HP diesel engine (not a model) that runs the cotton gin and bale press at our annual Cotton Ginning Days antique engine festival held each October here in North Carolina. The engine noise at the beginning of the video is the hit and miss engine used to pump up the air tank to 140 psi which then turns the big Fairbanks over to start it. Hope it might be of interest to some here.


If that doesn't work, here is a direct link:

Pretty cool. I enjoyed the video. Thanks for posting it.

I enjoyed the video also.  How does the compressed air starter work?  I wonder if that flywheel was turned on a lathe :)


Lee, once the air tank builds up to 140 psi, there is avalve between the tank and the top of the cylinder that lets the air push the piston down. The piston is cranked over to just past top dead center prior to this of course. You may see some holes in the outer rim of  the flywheel for that purpose si a bar can be inserted to pull it over. There is also a valve in the top of the head to release the cylinder pressure while this is being done. The side of the flywheel is marked so you know where just past top dead center is in its rotation. I assume it was lathe turned back in the day and there is smazingly little runnout to it.



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