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  1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Problems with our 1930 American-La France

    I am with a small full-time fire department in central Ohio. About two years ago another member and myself decided to take it upon ourselves to refurbish the departments antique fire engine which had been collecting dust in a garage beside our firehouse for several years. A now retired firefighter had started to do the same several years ago and lost interest after he had partially disassembled the truck and that is the way it sat until we started working on it. It is a 1930 American LaFrance Metropolitan Triple Compination Engine with a 1000 gpm pump and a very large inline six cylinder motor. The truck last pumped water about ten years ago and was capable of 1300 gpm. The truck is now about 95% finished and looks "better than new" on the outside, but we would like any information that anyone might have about the mechanical end of the truck. The motor runs well at higher rpm's but will not idle. We have cleaned or replaced all of the fuel lines and the sediment bulb stays fairly clean. Also we have not been able to completely figure out the ignition system as of yet. It is a six volt system and does have electric start which does work very well. The problem is, that the dual battery system will not stay charged while the truck is running. The motor has three spark plugs per cylinder, two are fed from the distributor and the other from the magneto. Lastly, is there any thing we should do to the fire pump before trying to use it after setting dry for so long. If anyone has any information that could help, it will be greatly apreciated. Oh, and by the way,the new American La France Company has not been of any assistance.


  2. #2
    Batt #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    we have a 1927 La France. check an make sure the wires from the mag and the distribitor are is good shape and no one has crossed the wires. We had this problem and the wires were crossed

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Check out the Central Ohio Antique Fire Apparatus Association. They have an informative web site at: http://www.accessarizona.com/communi...faa/index.html .

    You should be able to find some good help there.

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Well here are a few things you can check for:
    The idle problem sounds like a possible vacuum leak. Check the intake manifold for cracks or leaking gaskets. Check the carburator gaskets or any lines that come off the carb or intake manifold.

    As far as the electrical, it should be only running on one system at a time. Disconnect all but one system and see if that solves the battery draining problem.

    Ask around in your area to see if there are in antique car clubs or antique farm equipment clubs with some ole timers that can help you.

  5. #5
    Capt. Zada
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Sorry, I can't help. I would like to request that you post a picture of your engine. I would like to see it, as I'm sure many others would also.

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Have you tried asking SPAAMFAA (the Society for the Preservation & Apprieciation of Antique Motor Fire Apparatus in America)? Their web page is http://www.spaamfaa.org/
    Good luck, G.

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Try using the forums area on the newly revised "American LaFrance" website at :www.americanlafrance.com

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Smile Possible help....

    You might try checking with Dave Wormeldorf at Triad Fire. He is on Pearl Alley off of High Street in Columbus. Tons of experience, kind of crusty but might help you out.

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    SW Missouri


    Quote Originally Posted by fireplug117 View Post
    You might try checking with Dave Wormeldorf at Triad Fire. He is on Pearl Alley off of High Street in Columbus. Tons of experience, kind of crusty but might help you out.
    I'm guessing that since the OP is no longer a member he has either figured it out or given up on the project considering that you dug up a ten year old post to share this little bit of information.

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber ffmedcbk1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003


    it.... is..... ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!
    Originally Posted by madden01
    "and everyone is encouraged to use Plain, Spelled Out English. I thought this was covered in NIMS training."

  11. #11
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003


    Yeah if they haven't figured it out after 10 years they are in trouble.....
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  12. #12
    Forum Member FIREMECH1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    I have a thread on my website dealing with digging up the oldest dead horses, for the humor of it. Or the lack of the intelligence of someone digging it up.

    As it stands now, this place is #1, #2, and #5. I'll have to see where this one ends up. (replies are also noted).

    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

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