The MIGHTY MICHIGAN 40 HP Engine –by BUDA Motor Company

This is the LEFT side of the BUDA motor for the car. The front bottom of the photo shows from left to right the following items: oil pump, water pump, magneto. Above that running along the top of the engine are four little cups with levers. These are priming cups for putting a little gasoline directly into the cylinders prior to trying to start the engine.The far right wooden box holds the ignition wiring and coils.

Click on the photo to enlarge.

DSCN1933This is the RIGHT side of the BUDA motor for the car. At the bottom left you see the steering column going right by the very hard to see carburetor. Above that is the exhaust manifold (it hides the intake manifold in this photo). Next up you see a series of eight circles with notches in them. These are called “valve chamber plugs” in the MICHIGAN parts list for 1912. This engine does not have a “head” that bolts on top of the cylinder block.  I am told that this type of engine is called a “jug” engine. Each valve chamber plug has another hole in the center and in this photo has either a spark plug or an acetylene injector.

Click on the photo to enlarge.

DSCN1931Okay.  What the heck is an acetylene injector? Good question. Until I first saw this car in 2011, I had never heard of such a thing. Apparently, in 1910, 1911 & 1912 car companies were experimenting with ways to start cars without having to crank them by hand. There are many stories about broken arms, or worse related to crank starting cars and having the ignition set in the wrong position resulting in dangerous kick-backs. Moreover, who wants to be in front of a car that may jump forward and run over you? Or, cranking out in the rain or snow?

During this particular period there were many different technologies that were tried for starting motors. These included, wind-up springs, compressed air, electric motors and acetylene.  This car has the fairly rare acetylene starter manufactured by Prest-O-Lite, called the Prest-O-Starter. I’ll post more about this starter later.We know which starter style won the competition ……. and it wasn’t acetylene. Thanks to the innovators at Cadillac, we all use electric starters these days….. and have done since 1912.


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