Starting your Gray Hit and Miss

Starting your GRAY Hit & Miss Engine

From a 1914 GRAY Owners Manual

This article could also be titled ~

How to Break your Arm Easily
Pull, Pull, Pull, Pull, Pull....... Heart Attack!

These titles crossed my mine during my vain attempt to start my
GRAY engine the day after I got it home. I never have gotten it started yet.
Perhaps if I would have had the nifty starting instructions below, I would have
had a better chance. If and when I ever get it back together, with some new
internals, it will have no excuse not to run.

The owner's manual states that .....

A gasoline engine does not contain life, therefore, cannot become "Balky".
It will run with proper adjustments. Are you going to let this lifeless object
get the better of your brains?
A little more time spent reading this book will save you hours of unnecessary work
and will possibly save us from being condemned when we are not at all to blame.

Hogwash! I don't believe for a minute that engines "don't contain life".
I've had several engines that cooperated as well as junk yard mongrels on a hot day.....
but with the proper verbal exchanges, then would finally "see it my way",
and start up!
Furthermore, I'm almost certain the 1966 International pick-up truck in the pasture
is possessed...... far from "lifeless." It would be going down the road and shed
parts without a warning...... the brakes would "explode"....... spewing pieces of
springs, shoes, and other questionable parts out on the road.
U-joints would "snap" in half without the slightest of provocation!
Once I had it in the forest hauling firewood, and it steered itself into
mighty stump........ the stump did not move..... but the steering gearbox did...
busting it's aluminum case, dumping ball bearings amongst the acorns.

Anyway, that's my proof engines and the appuratuses that go with them,
DO have life. The old pickup sets out in the back forty now, but I swear
I heard it growl at me the other day when I passed it by!

How to start your engine

See that there is no leak in the gasoline tubing between the
tank and the mixer. There is a check valve in the tubing next to
the mixer (or this check valve may be found in some engines near
the tank). The ball in this check should work freely up and down.
It sometimes sticks, but seldom on a new engine.
Be sure every bolt, nut and pin is tight each time before starting
up your engine.
You are now ready to start the engine.
With a squirt can inject two or three squirts of gasoline in
the air inlet, see page 10, also into the priming cup on the side of
the cylinder.
Retard the timer lever located at larger gear by shoving it
toward the cylinder as far as it will go.
Close the switch.
Next open the needle valve on mixer about one-half to one
turn from the closed position. The best intermediate position can
be easily determined by noting what effect a slight turn makes in
the speed of the engine and its exhaust. (See note below)
Next take hold of the rim of the flywheel on the governor side
of the 4 H. P. and larger sizes (use the handle in flywheel on.
smaller sizes) and give it a quick pull over once or twice, which is
turning the flywheel from left to right as you stand facing the
governor side of it, and the engine should start every time providing
everything is properly adjusted, and the batteries in good condition,
and the spark plug point not over 1/32 of an inch apart. .
(See page 6) for electrical suggestions.
NOTE: If too much gasoline (the needle valve opened too much)
the exhaust will be black, so that the needle valve should be screwed in a
trifle until the black smoke ceases. Blue smoke is an indication of too much
lubricating oil. When the black smoke is produced the engine. will not
speed up nor will it develop full power and will sometimes stop.
If not enough gasoline is fed, flames will issue from the muffler and the engine
will stop. After the proper point or adjustment of needle valve has
been found it can be left in that position.
Keep gasket tight between cylinder head and engine
(see page 8) replacing gasket.
See pages 10 and 11.

And just in case you do happen to get it started.......!

Turn off the switch and be sure that the flywheel does not
stop at a point which will allow the exhaust valve to remain open
which allows valve to rust.
(Exhaust valve is open when it is shoved in.)

Return to the "Gray Motor Company" Homepage.