Tee Dee Question, test your memory - RC Groups
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Aug 16, 2012, 08:55 PM
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Tee Dee Question, test your memory

I am trying to estimate the age of a new Kirn-Kraft Tee Dee .049.

The .049 Tee Dee has the screen on the venturi. And it was sold for
$17.00 by Kirn Kraft.

When did Cox start selling TD's with the screen on the venturi?

When did D. Kirn sell his business to Kustom Kraftsmanship?

Thank You.
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Aug 16, 2012, 09:37 PM
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No actual need to stir the Grey cells..read in here:

Beyond that.. Curiosity or Resale value reasons?
Aug 17, 2012, 12:15 AM
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Actually I have done quite a bit of research already, and found more information
at AMA's Hall of Fame, and other RCG members. MH's collection seems too new,
and incomplete. Dale Kirn gets credit for some designs, but there is no mention of
Kirn Kraft modified Cox TD engines for FF & CL.

He briefly mentions Kustom Kraftsmanship, but the fine needles, pressure port back
plate, and engine mods were originally developed and sold by Kirn Kraft.

Originally Posted by Bare
Curiosity or Resale value reasons?
Right now it's curiosity. I was given a collection of engines by a good friend.
Nearly all the engines were won from club raffles, and so they are in their
original boxes. And they were acquired without a predetermined purpose.

By far the majority of these Kirn Kraft competition engines were used in an era when
running high nitro mixtures like 65% Nitro, 15% Propylene Oxide, 20% Oil, FF and CL
contests. And No Methanol! Literally twice the nitro content most people would use
these days.

Finding a NIB Kirn Kraft modified engine is a real find, and is similar to being on
Antique Road Show.
Last edited by Capt. Quirk; Aug 17, 2012 at 01:18 AM.
Aug 17, 2012, 12:01 PM
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GeorgeG97322's Avatar
Capt. Quirk,

You are so right about the high nitro days, I remember them well. Kirn Kraft was started in the Mid 60's and sold to Joe Klause in the early 70's (as Kustom Kraftsmanship) if memory serves me correctly. Now it looks like that went to Competition Models which appears to be gone.
Sep 05, 2012, 09:53 PM
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I have a kk tee dee. My dad and i ran them in rat races a long time ago.it has the left hand crank and fine needle assembly.
Nov 19, 2012, 10:05 PM
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I didnt even know that tee dee's came with kirn kraft parts in the 70's. We would just buy the kirn kraft fine needle assemblies and pressure back plates separately, and install them ourselves.
Last edited by robert harik; Nov 20, 2012 at 12:40 AM.
Nov 20, 2012, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Capt. Quirk
I am trying to estimate the age of a new Kirn-Kraft Tee Dee .049.

I know that Dale made and marketed a variety of parts, and that he modified engines on an individual basis, but I didn't know that he marketed complete modified engines to the general public.

You say your engine is "NIB". Could you post a picture of your engine, and any packaging/paperwork that came with it?

Is there a serial number or other ID scribed onto the case or the like?


Oops, I just saw that this thread is several months old.

Capt. Quirk, if you're still around though, I'd still like to see a picture of an "NIB Kirn Kraft Tee Dee .049"...
Last edited by silvaire; Nov 20, 2012 at 02:32 PM.
Jun 09, 2014, 03:44 AM
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Well I have finished my research, and found out I had two engines. The first one I showed
in this thread is from 1974
The second Kirn Kraft TD is from 1973. I was able to determine the
year of each TD from a control line construction article for the Eagle 1, by Jim Wade, from May,
1976 Model Aviation.

Jim Wade’s comments on Cox Crankshafts:

“There doesn’t seem to be any difference in rpm between the different Cox crankshafts - the 1973
crank had a larger I.D. hole in the shaft, .194” I.D. compared to the 1974 shaft, .177 I.D. My engine
uses the 1973 shaft. But records have been set with the new shaft. The Open 1/2A Speed record
was set with a 1974 shaft.” Wade, Jim “Eagle 1.” Model Aviation May 1976

I also learned about missing parts of Kirn Kraft after 1974. Dale Kirn's obituary said he sold the
business possibly to Joe Klause of Kustom Kraftsmanship. But Model Aviation continued to send
readers to Kirn Kraft until 1977. Then I found 1978 Model Aviation columns on Free Flight and Control
line that mentioned Dale Kirn and Joe Klause were working together helping (possibly sponsoring)
a free flighter. Klause also sponsored a KK (Kustom Kraft) Race Day at Cox Manufacturing. During
1978 Model Aviation stopped recommending Kirn Kraft and began mentioning Joe Klause instead.
Before 1978, I found no mention of Kustom Kraft (or Kraftsmanship), only that Joe Klause had a
leadership position within AMA Control Line.

I have spoken to sources that knew both men, and these sources indicated that both Kirn, and
Klause passed away with needles and other inventory in their possession. A source that knew
Klause believed that Joe never purchased Kirn Kraft. After 1978 I found more information from
another MA column that listed a new source for Kirn Kraft needles, and further supported the idea
that Klause possibly didn't purchase Kirn Kraft. Another possibility is Klause didn't purchase the
Kirn Kraft inventory.
Last edited by Capt. Quirk; Jun 09, 2014 at 07:00 PM.
Jun 09, 2014, 11:14 AM
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GeorgeG97322's Avatar

That could well be, I was only a teenager back then...

Jun 09, 2014, 12:39 PM
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Boy that pic stirs memories for me. I couldn't afford a Tee Dee of any calibur., back in the 60's. Had to make do with modified Babe Bees, for FF (Starduster, naturally). Economics forced an interest in gliders. A-1' and HLG.

First Tee Dee I got was when I was 19. It was .010. Still have it, although in need of a new carb body. First competition FF engine was TeeD .o49 smne time later, but didn't use it till early 80's. Still have that one too. It's spent considerable time in air over Taft, but it was no-longer the "hot ticket". Have a couple more now . They are new, never run, but the boxes are long gone.

Images of certain engines, like Tee Dee's and Holland Hornets, conjure fast climbing rockets with wings!
Jun 09, 2014, 02:59 PM
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GeorgeG97322's Avatar
I have quite a few pieces and parts from the mid 70's. I flew control line back then, and was interested in speed planes. I flew 1/2A profile proto and tried to fly 1/2A speed. Both with TeeDee's of course. I had modified several engines per the notes from Dale Kirn and Jim Wade, but not to any real success. I was just a teenager who couldn't keep his mind on one thing for any length of time.

Jun 09, 2014, 06:41 PM
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There was a FF glider guy, IIRC, who did well with his "Jetstream", A-1, which was eventually kitted by Ambroid. He also flew 1/2A Speed (TeeDee with remote venturi, IIRC) , and I desparately wanted to build his CL design, from the pages of American Modeler magazine (full size plans on a single mag page!). Monoline and speed pans were exotic things that sure baffled me. IIRC, the designer's name was Warren Kurth.
Jun 09, 2014, 09:33 PM
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I think Warren is still flying 1/2A speed. I am bad with names, but am pretty sure about it, two years ago, last time I went to the Nat's may have been about 130 mph with a sidewinder type model. IIRC he made his own motors too. I think the KirnKraft motors were pretty much stock except maybe a drilled out venturi, the needle valve, and maybe a pressure backplate.
Jun 10, 2014, 01:40 AM
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GeorgeG97322's Avatar
Yup, Warren Kurth.

Jun 10, 2014, 08:50 AM
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Nice helpful guy, his son and wife too. He showed me some of his motors and parts and told me how to chrome them. Still not too sure about that.

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