Air Chilled Sheppard Model 14 Diesel Generator

R.H. Sheppard was a well-established diesel engine manufacturer when the single cylinder 2 KW Model 14 generator featured here was built. At that time, Sheppard built a variety of engines in one, two, three, four and six-cylinder arrangements and offered them for a large variety of applications, including generators. While we have not established its exact year of manufacture, from the change from an EMC to a Leland generator head, we know it’s from early to mid 1950s.

Back In Time

Noted Sheppard collector John Camden’s Model 14 generator features a 2 KW Leland Electric Model AG generator heat that produces 22 amps at 120 volts at 60 cycles. The fuel tank holds two gallons and period literature says it can run up to eight hours on that fuel.

The ancestor to the Model 14 engine was the Model 7, which debuted in 1941. It followed a year after their first diesel on the market, the three-cylinder Model 6. The Model 7 was a single cylinder, water-cooled engine with a 4 x 5-inch bore and stroke. It was rated at 8 continuous horsepower at 1200 rpm, with 10 ponies available at 1800 rpm. Variants of this engine were built in a variety of configurations and they came just in time for World War II where they found many uses in the war effort. An interesting one was the Marine Auxiliary Unit which featured a 1.5-inch, 50 GPM centrifugal fire/bilge pump, 10 CFM air compressor and 3 KW generator in one package and each accessory could be engaged individually. The base Model 7 engine was also used as marine propulsion for powered lifeboats during WWII. Sheppard built quite a number of generator sets with Model 7s producing up to 5 KW  but weighing in at 1,215 pounds, the set wasn’t particularly lightweight or portable.

A Little Brother

The Model 14 used a fin and tube oil cooler. When the engine debuted, it was touted as running so cool that you could put your hands on the cooling fins when the engine was running under load. We didn’t get to see the engine run so could not test that claim
The air cooled cylinder and head bolted to the crankcase and from the manufacturing standpoint, it was very easy to built air or water cooled engines just by selecting the cylinder and head used. A replaceable wet bore liner was used on the water cooled version. Note the compression release on the rocker cover. This engine is set up with electric start but they also came with as a hand cranked unit. With the heavy flywheel and the compression released, you could get the engine spinning good by hand, pop the lever over and she’d fire up.

Looking to build a more portable engine, Sheppard debuted an air-cooled one-lunger, the Model 14, in 1946. According to the February 1946 issue of Diesel Progress it was the first American-built air-cooled stationary diesel and also the smallest diesel then on the market. With a 3 x 4-inch bore and stroke, they were considerably smaller in displacement than the water cooled Model 7 (28 versus 63 cubic inches). It was lighter too, the engine weighing 415 pounds (versus 875 pounds for the Model 7) and the generator set tipping the scales at only 560 pounds. The Model 14 made 3.75 continuous horsepower at 1800 rpm and 5.4 maximum horsepower at 2000 rpm.

Oil pressure and starting system generator amps is about all that was needed on the engine side. The generator had volts and amps, though the amp gauge is missing on this unit.
An earliest version of the Model 14 generator from 1946. Until the mid-’50s, Sheppard used a “Regulectric” AC generator head from Electric Machinery Company. After that, they are seen with Leland Electric AC generator heads. The control box design changed in the late 1940s.

The Model 14 was offered in marine or power unit configuration or as a 2 KW generator set. At it’s 5.4 horsepower rating, the Model 14 was used in the handful of Sheppard SD-1 tractors built in 1949. The Model 14 counterpart was the Model 8, which shared the same bore and stroke, basic design and output, but was water cooled and a little heavier. It was offered for the largely same venues. By the 1950s, the water cooled Model 9 had debuted, featuring a half inch bore increase that up the displacement to 38.5 cubic inches and the power jumped to 8.4 maximum horsepower at 2000 rpm.

Into the Air

Our research didn’t turn up anything about the Model 14 after 1955. It doesn’t appear in the 1960 Diesel Engine Catalog with the rest of Sheppard’s listings. Diesel production ended at Sheppard after 1963 as they transitioned fully to steering systems. While Sheppard never made the big leagues in engine production, they managed to carve out a sizable chunk of the market that kept them in the engine business for 23 years.


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