One project that has been rattling around in my head is to build a horseless carriage replica. I want wooden spokes, not bicycle wheels and tires. It has to have tiller steering. The one area that I am most undecided about is the engine. I don't want a lawnmower motor, that looks like a lawnmower motor. I'm wondering what kind of engine can be modified to look "period correct". Anybody else got ideas?
I wonder if the Curved Dash Olds might be the right choice.
I have worked that same puzzle many times and not come up with a solution. It is a Grand idea.
I gave this some thought a few years back and felt like the Cushman 4 H.P. grain binder engine might be the right one. It would have somewhat the right look and the right sound. Maybe under powered. Cushman also made a two cylinder 8 H. P. version but I think the single sounds better. Take a look at a few of them on you-tube.
If I recall correctly, my subscription of Popular Mechanics magazine laid out plans for building a Curved Dash Olds replica. My belief is that was in the latter 1950's or even in the early 60's. If someone does know how to research for this, please let us know about it. Just wishing I had kept those old issues... (But then too, I wish I was 21 again.) Thanks.
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Found this site for a reference. Might help?
I have a 1922-23 2-cyl horizontally opposed Autocar truck engine,missing manifolds and ignition but looks very restorable. Should be a good dependable motor with reasonable power. Does have the flywheel and turns over a ways. Have been asking $1250. Holler if interested.
Some where lost in the vast collection of paper I have are the plans that were sold by PM. It would have been late 60's or early 70's when I got mine. I think it was called the Dalton or very close to that.
Gary Hammond who posts here builds some impressive horseless carriage repilcas.
I've built a few lol! PM me and I'll try to help. I've used 13hp gas engines, a 3cyl Kubota diesel, and a Ranger running chassis for a '32 Indy Ford roadster I'm building now. Gary
I just might have that issue of PM, or another. I'll have to check later today. This morning it's 12 degrees out, so it's probably 6 degrees in my garage. The owner of our local Oldsmobile dealership, that I worked for, had a curved dash Olds replica that was built and sold in the late 50s or early 60s. It had a Cushman kick-start scooter engine. The kick-start pedal stuck through a slot under the seat and could be "kicked" from the drivers seat. The owner passed away several years ago, leaving his daughter with the business. I recently talked to her and found that the replica car has been sold. A local junkyard owner/operator, now deceased, had an opposed twin engine on display for years that he believed was an early airplane engine. I always thought that it was more likely an early car or truck engine, because it appeared that no, or little effort was made to lighten the engine. It was all cast iron except maybe for the carburator. It probably got scrapped when he died.
Gary H, does the green wagon still steer by pivoting in the center or turn at the spindles?
Is it a converted from horse drawn?
I vaguely remember that PM article as well.
I wonder if an older Vespa motorscooter 2-stroke would work? It wouldn't have the period sound, but it does have a built-in kickstarter and transmission. Any semi-modern motor will be a much higher rpm engine then one of the period in question. I think if it's the sound you're after, you are pretty much stuck with finding a vintage engine; if it's just looks, you most likely could disguise an older snowblower engine as what you want. I had a 60's-vintage Simplicity snowblower that had an 8 hp Briggs & Stratton one-lunger that would probably do the job.
A small air-cooled engine from the Hit & Miss era would be a good choice such as a Ideal, Bluffton or an Associated/United.
They are plentiful, you can still get parts for them and the have the right "look".
I would favour the Associated myself- I've had a few and they always start easily and run very nice.
These engines are light-weight (comparatively....) and could be adapted to a horseless carriage with a little ingenuity.
PLUS you can't beat the sight of those dual spinning flywheels hanging down under the buggy!
Why not just buy the real thing?
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1909-Sears-Model-J-Buggy-Original-MGM-car/282798513438? _trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D49452%26meid%3De3d8c2f b466b4601913eedf4904f4b07%26pid%3D100678%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D282798513438& _trksid=p2481888.c100678.m3607&_trkparms=pageci%253Aa8360778-f2f2-11e7-b863-74db d18062e3%257Cparentrq%253Acbfee40d1600aa472cd699c6ffe00088%257Ciid%253A1
Tommy it turns by tiller down the shaft to a shaft mounted pitman arm that is attached to each homemade spindle by tie-rods and ball tie rod ends. The original 1897 was based on a horse-drawn trap. Mine is a replica, modern made and scratch built in my basement.
All plywood and paint sticks, painted with acrylic enamel. A full sized replica is a lot of work. The Florida-made CDO replicas are 1/2 to 3/4 size. Mine are all full sized.
My CDO, full sized. 13hp gas engine
I'm sure someone can tell what motor is in this "Franklin copy" through the grillwork.
OHV Briggs & Stratton
Looks like a Honda Predator knock-off purchased at HF.
Briggs and Franklin? Looks like the B&S motor on my snow thrower...
I think I will start my horseless carriage build by taking an opposed twin Briggs engine and seeing how "old" I can make it look. I think unshrouding it and reshaping and adding and/or removing cooling fins would disguise it a lot. I might add a belt driven fan or two, if needed. The existing flywheel could then be covered to disguise it. A fake or non-functioning magneto, with the plug wire routed through it would help with the deception.Things like drip oilers, even if dummies, could be added to make it look 100 years older than it is. I love the looks of the glass ball oilers Mr Ford used on the Quadricycle. I wonder if anybody reproduces them? If not I can fake them with the right size Christmas tree ornaments! Intake and exhaust systems could be changed to something more "period correct". The last time I bought JB Weld I bought the large tubes. Maybe it's a good thing I did. Some nuts "glued" in place could make the cylinders appear to be detachable from the block.
How do you suppose I can make aluminum parts, like an engine block, look like cast iron? I need to change the texture, in appearance anyway. This project is going to take some serious thought. Here goes.
I have never understood why someone would go to the effort to build a very nice looking replica of a curve dash olds only to have it sound like your lawn mower. Why not get a older type of engine similar to a hit and miss and do some engineering to make it work.
I've met the owner of the Olds for sale, I was wearing my MTFCA t-shirt at church a couple of years ago and a man came up to me and asked me if owned a model t. He owns the Olds and several other brass era cars if I remember correctly. He came over and gave Carl (1911 touring) a quick check for me before I started driving it.
We have a hydraulic power unit for underwatr drilling here and the engine used is about a 14 hp single cylinder tecumpsa.
What I wouldn't GIVE to have a curved dash Olds!
Of course right now what I wouldn't give to GET OVER this $#@! flu!!
Some folks with plenty of money to pay for them then screw them up buy the FH Briggs engine from about 1930 and make a "hit and miss" engine out of it with dual flywheels.
You can convert most Briggs to hit and miss,I am sure there is articals online how to do it but it would require some machine work to open the exhaust valve with a governor mechanism.
saw it done to old low value horizontal shaft engines for conversation pieces.
Being I do lawnmower repair I have helped a couple folks out over the years with transmissions to use in these buggy's. Most prefer the Hydro-static drive because they can operate it with a lever and start off smooth and slow without jurking the passengers neck loose.
I would build 1 but I can't keep enough health and steam to finish real cars!
Another idea i guess would be use a golf cart drive system to a dual chain drive straight axle with Curtis controller and such.
Tommy, McMaster Carr supplies a number of visible oilers.
I have had the opportunity to check out a couple of opposed twin Briggs & Stratton engines without tearing mine down, yet. I believe that I can make one look pretty much period correct for 1908-1912.The original shrouds have to go. For cooling a 6-8 inch fan will be used on each cylinder. I think they will be driven, off the crankshaft by a belt similar to an old sewing machine belt. The top mounted, horizontally mounted flywheel can lose it's fins, which are plastic. A wheel like a valve opening and closing wheel can be mounted on top of the remaining flywheel , possibly to be used to crank the engine, or a pair of gears used underneath to start the engine with a crank handle. The now exposed coil can be hidden by a box, maybe made of sheet brass, to look like a magneto. An older looking carburator will be used, since it will now be in plain view. I would like to find the right paint to make the carb look like brass.
For the drive I will use the system like Snapper riding mowers used for years. They have a disc mounted on the crankshaft and another that contacts it at a different point to choose the ground speed. When the second, contact driven disc moves past the center point the machine moves in reverse. I will build my engine and transmission first and the start on the rest of the car. Any suggestions and ideas will be welcome. Thanks.
Hit & miss engines are not great choices due to their design intention of running a constant speed, unlike an automobile. A throttle controlled engine is much better (similar to the old McCormick Deering engines). Loosing that "lawnmower" sound is also a concern to me. By playing with exhaust systems & flywheel weights you can get them to sound better. The yahoo group "horseless carriage replicas" is a great place with a lot of great people. Lots of resources listed there too.
Mike, I'm glad you mentioned the exhaust sound. I have thought about that too. I wonder if two different size outlets for the two cylinders would create a more realistic sound?
A couple hints on the opposed briggs engine,The coils are known to overheat in stock operation. So whatever you do,make sure the coils get plenty of cool air!.
The failure of the coils is typically indicated by the engine running fine until hot and becoming hard to start or not at all. If still running when hot the engine will have reduced power.
Be sure also your fan system gets to the "top" of the head as the shrouding directs the air around all those fins as well as the fins visible on the cylinders.
I'm still planning my horseless carriage build and I saw these at the flea market this morning. They look like they would make good pedals or control levers to me. They are actually pedals off of an antique organ. The patent dates are 1912.
How about a 2 cylinder opposed Maytag engine? These are not as common as the one cylinder but they are a neat little engine
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Those are upright piano pedals. The left pedal should be on the right and the right on the left.
The fact is that REPLICA cars are just that, a reasonable-looking facsimile of an old-time vehicle. As far as engine sound it doesn't mean a thing to the folks who have enjoyed viewing and riding my replicas over the years. I have yet to run into a person at a show or parade who was around when these types of cars were new. lol I wanted my 1910 REO truck replica to sound different so I installed a diesel engine in it for FUN. The 13hp OHV engines work great, they are dependable and cheap. They are large enough to sound all right. I built all these vehicles to suit ME....and I would advise any of you to do the same, as you will never please some folks anyway. Please YOURSELF. Best of luck to all. Gary
Every Model T is a horseless carriage,
If you want an antique car get a Model A.
I built all these vehicles to suit ME....and I would advise any of you to do the same, as you will never please some folks anyway. Please YOURSELF. Best of luck to all. Gary
Good advice that Gary :-)
I don't believe a Maytag, even a twin, would be able to haul my 235 lb butt around. I think they make 5/8 HP if I remember correctly. A friend of mine had an old barn find bicycle with one and it was very weak.
I'm still planning to use the Briggs opposed twin that I have. I want tall skinny wheels/tires and tiller steering. It will look like a Sears or IHC buggy.
"Why not buy the real thing?" That real thing linked to above sold for 16,000 +. Reason enough.