Splitdorf Electric Company

     Next to Sumter the Splitdorf Electric Co. supplied the next largest amount of magnetos to Fuller & Johnson.  There is a catch however, being that Splitdorf bought Sumter for $1 million in 1915 to gain their Dixie magneto patents.  Sumter became a division of Splitdorf and continued a mostly separate business of making magnetos for stationary engines.  This apparently changed sometime in the late teens or early 20's.  The Sumter name was phased out and magnetos bearing the Splitdorf name began appearing on F&J engines.  Some magnetos like the type 20, model 30 and model JR very slightly updated from Sumter designs.  However the Splitdorf E-16 and model G were totally new designs.  On the high tension side of things, the Dixie M1 magneto was used as the optional geared magneto on early Farm Pump Engines and mower engines.

    The Splitdorf E-16 replaced the Sumter #16 on 1 1/2 and the new 2 1/2hp model N.  A new bracket was introduced which mounted to a boss on the crankcase's side under and slightly behind the main bearing.  An idler driven by the crankshaft gear drove the magneto which now was perched behind the governor side flywheel.  A small cast iron guard partially protected the gearing.  Two bolts held the mag from below. The previous gear adapter was dispensed with, the gear being keyed right to the magneto shaft.  It is certainly possible that the Sumter #16 used this bracket for a time until the E-16 became available.  The E-16 magneto itself featured a pot metal housing with the rear bushing cast in place.  The front plate was cast brass and slid into a machined opening in the housing.  Early mags retained the plate with a pair of rivets, the holes being drilled vertically and partway between the housing and plate's intersection.  Later mags have the housing being partly slotted with a pair of screws used to pull up the gap and compress the housing slightly, effectively clamping the front plate in place.  A pair of windows were located in the housing's top surface, thru which one looked to match up dots painted on the armature within to aid with timing.  Output was taken off the rear armature shaft via a bakelite cap.  A single nickel plated band helped to keep the magnets in place.  The Splitdorf E-16 should probably go down in history as one of if not the worst magneto ever made.  Splitdorf's pot metal mixture was awful.  Over time it would swell causing the critical bearing and pole piece alignment to be thrown off.  It is not unusual to find these mags with housings completely filled with spider web cracking or with large section flaking off. 

     Moving on up in size the Splitdorf 30 and model G equipped the 3 and 5hp engines.  They used a newly designed bracket that mounted on the governor side bearing cap.  An idler gear driven by the crank gear drove the mag gear, a cast iron guard protected the gears to some extent.  The mag gear was mounted direct to the magneto shaft, the earlier gear coupler no longer being used.  The 7, 9 and 12hp engines received the model 30 mag as well but continued to use the old style bracket and gear coupler associated with the mag being driven by the cam gear.

     For the first few year the Farm Pump Engines used battery and coil ignition.  About 1913 the crankcase was modified to include a platform to mount the battery box and make the engine completely self contained.  This also led to the introduction of an optional gear driven magneto using a Dixie M1.  The battery box platform was drilled for 4 mounting bolts.  In the face of the crankcase where the front bearing plate bolted on was a small cored out area.  The remaining thin wall was completely milled away to make way for additional gearing.  The bearing plate featured an extended wing incorporating a boss to hold the magneto idle gear, and was further extended to cover the end of the magneto gear.  There were two additional slots provided to attach a small cast iron guard to further shield the gears.  All this extra work made the geared magneto a very expensive option.  Very few have turned up in North America with this option however the vast majority of pump engines exported to other continents have magnetos.

Farm Pump Engine with the Dixie M1 magneto