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Even older than a Model T Ford

Article by: Hannah in Engines , General - 6 May

Adding to our catalogue of work on rare and unusual engines such as vintage tractors, industrial machinery and aero-engines, Frank Martin and his team at Fiennes Engineering have just carried out a job on an early Schacht automobile engine.

The Schacht Manufacturing Company was an American manufacturer of automobiles from 1904 that was started by brothers William and Gustav Schacht in Cincinatti, Ohio. They were producing wagons and buggies when they tried attaching a 10 HP petrol engine to one of their 2 passenger buggies. It worked and they received orders for this new “horseless carriage”. This pre-dated the Model T Ford in 1908 and production of automobiles ran from 1904 to 1914 with around 8,000 made. However, growing competition from Ford and other early automobile producers proved too challenging for Schacht and they were unable to compete on a national level. Although they’d improved the power to 50 HP with a 4 cylinder engine they had become nearly bankrupt trying to compete so decided instead to focus on production of trucks and fire trucks and were renamed as the G.A. Schacht Motor Truck Company that continued until 1940.

In our Fiennes Engineering workshop we have manufactured 2 pairs of main bearings for a Schacht automobile. Using the rare process of white metalling or babbitting, the bearings were produced from 4 solid white metal tubes with both pairs being oversized to allow for rectification of the main line housings. Once fitted, the bearings are crushed into their respective housings and left for 24 hours before the finishing stage of being line bored to suit the crankshaft main journal diameters.

We are one of the few companies in the world who can undertake this type of job using rare and traditional engineering techniques and help us to breathe new life into old engines.