Le Roi Legacy
History of Le Roi engines coming out in boxes
A 1924 Le Roi Model 2-C, used for a hoist in a silver mine in California. Ed Malcolm also has the hoist. This engine weighs approximately 3,000 pounds with the hoist.
Le Roi first started making engines in 1913, mainly for farm
tractors. The earliest smaller engine I have seen is the Model 2-C
dated 1919. The company made many different models with 1, 2 and 4
Around 1930, Le Roi started making engines with ball bearings on
the main bearings and camshaft; these were all L-head engines. I
have an original sales brochure from the early 1930s stating 87
percent of the internal parts of these engines interchange. In all
of the engines I have disassembled, there is only one connecting
rod, valve, and spring and piston size - 3-1/8-inch for all of the
Model M and derivatives. The ball bearing engines are mostly
2-3/4-inch bore and they have the bearing made into the rod instead
of an insert; they also have a smaller diameter valve.
Remember that these engines were primarily designed as power
units. There were several models that used the same parts but
changed the drive train, such as clutches, in-and-out boxes,
transmissions, etc. There were many different flywheels, depending
on the application. Some of the Model Ms had the power direct off
of the crankshaft and some off of the camshaft for a gear
reduction. They made the camshaft about 4 inches longer and added a
ball bearing to help carry the load. If the engine was designed for
a light-duty application, it had only one set of gears. For a heavy
load, they doubled the camshaft gears.
Prior to 1940, the first overhead valve engine, the Model D-140,
was developed. One of my books shows a spark plug change in 1940.
They continued to make several different Model D engines and all of
these engines are virtually identical to Allis-Chalmers engines. I
have always been told that Westinghouse Air Brake Co., owned by
Dresser Industries (who also owned Waukesha), bought Le Roi in 1954
and production was moved to Clinton, Iowa, to Climax Engine Co. The
engines were called Le Roi Roiline. The Dresser engine website
states Waukesha bought Climax in 1957.