New Way Stationary Engines

Aim - To serve and support the New Way Stationary Engine restoration community.
There was a New Way Stationary Motor inclined to Hit and Miss. It was designed that way but intermittently it would missfire and this in the confines of the beekeepers shed fired my imagination, grabbing my senses. I just loved the sound of the New Way 3.5Hp working - likely fuelled by a too rich mixture.
With each missfire came the tell tale puff of blue smoke and via the old sawbench, the beekeeping manufacturing business was underway, alive and well. Alf was in his element. Romance, nah, hard work but Hoots the New Way went a long way in firing the imagination of times past running in the present. The present, after all, that's where life is, it's not in the past, but romancing the past, that's the present if you're living it.
The priveledge of life. Present and past is now!!! - alive.

Ye Olde Sawbench & New Way Motor kept company by Howard Rotary Hoes

Sunday, September 8, 2013


The New Way Motor Company of Lansing Michigan, prided themselves in machine:
  • Reliability ( Goes and Goes Right )
  • Beauty
  • Light Weight - A woman could use it for washing, butter churning, pumping - (why shouldn't the modern woman have the conveniences of the mechanical age)
  • Range of sizes and configurations to suit the intended use.
Base Model Battery Ignition.
All this was achieved by their engines - BUT there was one serious flaw if you owned their early engines or the base level with battery ignition. The batteries went flat. We are not talking about secondary batteries like you have in your car and can be charged but Primary Zinc/Carbon rod Cells that couldn't be charged.

Now - By Murphy's law, things will always break down when you need them the most. This is a basic law of physics and applies equally to primary batteries and has strong scientific basis. It is a little like the "Law of Natural Selection". If your mate hits you with a club and you are strong you will probably dribble but survive and not only that, keep working, even if at a lower level (on your knees). BUT if you are weak the blow will probably finish you off, you'll cease working and everything around you stops - you're dead.

So what is the parallel here. Well with Murphy's and Natural Selection you get a cold snap and just when you wanted the old engine to start the most, it wouldn't. The primary cells were weak, the cold stresses them to the max, no current, no spark and no burbling engine. They are dead too !! Bury them.

New Way Solution - Upmarket STEP 1
  • Dynamo or DC Generator. This is a low voltage DC generator that could be used to run the Buzz coil instead of or switched to from the Primary cells on starting. They literally supply the DC instead of the batteries. 
    • New Way had their own labeled "New Way dynamos which I believe were a re-branded Wizard dynamo. [ these were sometimes called magnetos in the early days of engines but is not really the correct terminology ] 
      • Dynamo's were friction driven off the flywheel and because they are low voltage D.C. they do not require timing like the H.T. magneto.  
        • The D.C. runs the Buzz coil to produce the spark timed by internal contacts within the engine crankcase, based on the position of the crank shaft. The spark is timed just before the piston's top dead centre. (TDC)
    • In some instances start was with Cells, then switched over to run on the dynamo. This of course extended battery life considerably.
    • Two Models of Buzz coils were produced by New Way to suit either. 
      • Dry Cells 
      • Dynamos 
New Way Solution - Upmarket STEP 2. - Lifting the bar on Reliability
  • High Tension or High Voltage Magneto - timed by points within the magneto where as the old and cheaper method with a Buzz Coil used points within the motor itself for spark timing. Various model Magnetos were used depending on the year of production and the Type of Engine.
    • H.T. Magneto's (also may be called H.V.) are always direct driven  generally through gears off the crank shaft. They do not use friction drive because of slippage between the magneto drive and the flywheel. Slippage means the timing would be continually changing - totally unacceptable.
    • Some New Ways have been fitted with Chain Drive magneto's as after market. This provided a simple upgrade from Buzz coil for reliability without the need for the gear setup. It provides a fixed drive but is not as reliable as gears because of the likes of chain slap. 
    • H.T. Magnetos were fitted from various companies. (No Cells or Buzz Coil required.)
      • Bosch Magneto
      • Liberty Magneto
      • National Magneto
      • Eisemann magneto (Intergrated flywheel system - Later verticals eg 1930's singles)
      • Bosch Integrated Flywheel Magneto - later 1930's engines

Advancing Cell Reliability  
To ensure you were not inconvenienced by Mr Murphy you could purchase a Pocket Ammeter from the New Way Motor Company so that you were aware when your cells were on the way out. 

NOTE - Ammeter not a Voltmeter. Why you might ask. Can't I just check the voltage of my dry cells? Yes you could but that will not tell you the condition of your cells as, even if nearly flat, they can still show proper voltage.

Why? Because as the cell gets used it can't produce the same current even if the voltage is the same. This means it has voltage but can't supply power (no current) so the buzz coil fails, so no spark.  

Using the Ammeter - You connect the ammeter in the circuit [ not across the battery] so all the circuits power goes through the ammeter [series]. The ammeter passes current easily so it won't stop your circuit from working and you can make sure the cells can supply sufficient power. You are checking the working current is high enough. If not the Buzz coil won't work.

The New Way Ammeter

  • Packaged in a small Bergundy/Red cardboard box about 2.75 inch square x .75 inch high
  • Plated with familiar circular raised New Way trade mark on front.  
  • Instructions for use included
  • Pocket Ammeter is just over 2 inch in diameter
  • Ammeter Range 0 - 30 Amps

Secondary cells
These usually do not have the same problem of not being capable of supplying current to run a Buzz Coil unless they are very flat (low voltage) or there is an open circuit cell. This means with a secondary cell you can usually get away with measuring the voltage accross the battery terminals with a voltmeter.

We truly hope this helps you next time you have a Stationary Engine Ignition Problem whatever your engine manufacturer.

Further information is now available on our New Way Ignition Page (Click). This includes Magnetos used, spindle heights and magneto bolt patterns.

Do you have Ignition?

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