I did a little research on the Fairbanks Morse engines and they have a interesting history.
The 2 HP Fairbanks-Morse Model Z engine with the solid or “dishpan” flywheels is one of the most common and available engines, as they were produced in large numbers and were very reasonably priced. The 2 HP Model Z was produced in four configurations: The hit-and-miss engine equipped with simple carburetor and magneto; the throttle governed engine with magneto that was designed to run on kerosene as well as gasoline, the battery and coil equipped engine, and the “Contractor’s Special,” which was a hit-and-miss with simple carburetor and magneto, and was equipped with a metal shroud to protect it on a job site. It is the Contractor’s Special that has turned out to be a very rare engine combination. The engine is common but the shroud equipped engine is rare.
Background on the “Contractor’s Special”
The Fairbanks, Morse & Co. sales bulletin H245G gives the following description of the Contractor’s Special: “The 2 HP ‘Z’ Contractor’s Special is completely enclosed, in a heavy steel housing, which is securely bolted to the steel engine skids. The working parts of the engine are thus protected from dust, dirt, water, etc., at the same time all parts that require attention can be reached easily. For instance, the cylinder oiler projects above the housing in order that the operator may see at all times how the engine is operating in respect to cylinder lubrication. The hopper opening is large so that cooling water can be added with ease. A cover over the hopper opening prevents dirt, refuse, leaves, etc., from entering the hopper and perhaps interfering with the cooling system.
“The valves can be reached easily through the door in the head end of the housing. Another door on the side of the housing permits of filling the fuel tank and a similar door at the crank end permits access to the grease cups on the crankshaft and the connecting rod bearing.
“These doors, while amply large for the purposes intended, are not large enough to permit ‘stripping the engine’ so that the steel enclosure in addition to protecting the engine while it is in operation also protects it from unscrupulous marauders when it is left on the job overnight. The engine is shipped completely assembled in the neat dust-color enclosure.” The Contractor’s Special was used mainly on cement mixers.
Apparently the shroud did the exact opposite of protecting the engine from dirt and dust, and actually caused the engine to suck in dirt and dust, facilitating premature aging of the engines. It also restricted the tuning and adjustments on the engine, and once the shroud was removed it was seldom replaced. It appears that they were not a popular item and were not marketed very long. It also appears that the 40-pound shrouds probably wound up as scrap for the war efforts. All I know is that the one I have in my 2 HP Model Z collection is a rare one and a great conversation piece at the shows I take it to.
The original 6 cyl was rebuilt by someone but the idiot kept under tarp and number 4 was gone.no oversized available that I could find. Basically the same I'm doing now. Making a little buggy that will likely sit lol