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Antique Gas Engine Discussion Meet collectors of hit and miss engines, ask questions about collecting, restoring and showing antique flywheel engines.

Antique Gas Engine Discussion

Looking for info on a Stover's engine. Please help.


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  #1  
Old 04-10-2005, 09:24:27 PM
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Jason Heffner Jason Heffner is offline
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Default Looking for info on a Stover's engine. Please help.

I am new to this forum and this is my first post. As early as I can remember, my grandfather was always down in his workshop tinkering with his engines. Some of my most prized memories are of helping , more like pestering him, with his engines. My grandfather has since passed and his prized engines were left to me. These engines are priceless to me and I would very much like to restore them. The first engine that I would like to restore was his favorite peice. What I know about it is that it is a 1902 "Stover's Good Engine" the output is 2 1/2 hp. and the speed is 375 rpm. The only other numbers are on the cylinder head which are E304. The engine does still run but, as I imagine most of them are, it is quite temperemental. As far as I can tell it still retains all of it's original parts except for the muffler which I would like to locate if possible. The engine for the most part is in good condition but has lost some of it's luster over the years and I am eager to rejuvenate it to the condition that I remember from childhood. I also still have the original operator's manual as well which is helpful in getting it running but not very helpful in locating specs such as original colors, stickers, torque specs and so on. Any help that you have to offer will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 04-10-2005, 09:48:45 PM
BobRR BobRR is offline
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Default Re: Looking for info on a Stover's engine. Please help.

Jason dont do anything till you have a good feel on what your going to do.If these engines have any paint or decals on them the best thing for you to do is a mild cleaning and getting them to run good.Which if they are running now shouldnt take alot.Can you post some pict. and any serial no.?What kind of ignition? We might be able to date what you have or better help you. I dont know if Stover had the (Good engine logo back that far??) BobRR
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Old 04-10-2005, 10:23:12 PM
Ironman Ironman is offline
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Default Re: Looking for info on a Stover's engine. Please help.

Jason-
The 2 1/2 HP Stover that you are referring to WAS NOT built in 1902. This engine is a newer style of the earlier type W engine. On the earlier style engines, the letter prefix on the parts was the letter W for the 2 1/2 HP and some 3 HP engines. On the later engines, the prefix letter of E was used on the parts of the engines, regardless of the size of the engine. When the earlier "Junior" series of engines changed to using the prefix letter of E on the parts, a few minor design changes were made. With the part number that you stated is on the head, your engine would have been built in the very late teens or in the early twenties. If the tag is present so that you know the horsepower and RPM of the engine, you should also have the serial number information on that tag. By the serial number on the tag, the engine can be dated as to when it was built.
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Old 04-10-2005, 10:23:35 PM
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Default Re: Looking for info on a Stover's engine. Please help.

I believe that it has a 6 volt ignition coil and not a magneto. The decal on the side of the hopper says Stover's Good Engine but it may not be an original decal. The serial number is W52690. I tried to upload some pictures but it wouldn't allow me. I'm awaiting a response as to why and will post pictures as soon as possible. Thank you for any hlp you may be able to offer.
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Old 04-10-2005, 10:31:01 PM
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Default Re: Looking for info on a Stover's engine. Please help.

Ironman, thanks for your input. The engine does not say 1902 on it anywhere. I don't remember where I saw that date. It was possibly on some documentation that I saw. You seem to be exceptionally knowledgable and your input is greatly appreciated. As I posted a few minutes ago the serial number is W52690. The numbers W400 are cast onto the outside of the cylinder and W1 is cast onto the block. W3 is cast onto one of the main bearing caps. I hope this information will be helpful. Thanks again.
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Old 04-10-2005, 10:36:47 PM
Ironman Ironman is offline
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Default Re: Looking for info on a Stover's engine. Please help.

If the serial number is W52690, your engine was built in 1913. With the head having an E prefix on it, at some time during the engine's life the original head was replaced.
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Old 04-10-2005, 10:43:49 PM
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Default Re: Looking for info on a Stover's engine. Please help.

How do you know all of this? That's amazing. I guess if you wanted to know any info on a Dodge Viper I might be able to spit it out as quickly. Do you know what the original color might have been? The engine is red now. Actually it was known as "Big Red" amongst the family. Even if the original color wasn't red I don't suppose that I would change it. Where should I start with this project?
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Old 04-10-2005, 10:49:27 PM
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Patrick M Livingstone Patrick M Livingstone is offline
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Default Re: Looking for info on a Stover's engine. Please help.

I would say that your engine is a Stover W looking something like this one.
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Old 04-10-2005, 11:19:05 PM
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Default Re: Looking for info on a Stover's engine. Please help.

Almost. Let's see if this works.
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Old 04-10-2005, 11:19:37 PM
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Photo Re: Looking for info on a Stover's engine. Please help.

This is a barn fresh 1911, 2-1/2hp STOVER W, with original paint & old-style decal. I also have a 1912 4hp STOVER T, that is red, but it did not have any decal, at all. Not sure when they made the switch from red to dk. green. Carefully clean off any old grease/oil/dirt & see what you can find. I do NOT believe that your engine should have the STOVER Good Engine decal. Hope this helps! GOOD LUCK!!!
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Old 04-10-2005, 11:27:33 PM
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Default Re: Looking for info on a Stover's engine. Please help.

I have no problem restoring this engine from a mechanical aspect. I am very mechanically apt. I just don't want to do anything with this engine that would be considered "wrong". I think that the best thing to do would be to try to make it as original as possible.
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Old 04-11-2005, 11:51:39 AM
Dave from Omemee Dave from Omemee is offline
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Default Re: Looking for info on a Stover's engine. Please help.

I have only been at this hobby for about 5 or 6 yr now. My first engine is and was my favorite, but if I was in your shoes I would start restoring the least favorite engine. Get a feel for these things, learn what you can do , must do and what not to do. Only then , say in a few years when you have more experience would I restore the most favorite engine. You may deside to leave it as is.
thanks
dave from omemee
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Old 04-11-2005, 07:42:39 PM
Al Wait Al Wait is offline
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Default Re: Looking for info on a Stover's engine. Please help.

The engine is 1913, and would have been red. The change to green came in 1916. The decal is correct. I would strongly suggest that you simply clean it and do NOT repaint it. Original paint is like virginity. Once gone, it can never be recovered. As has happened with so many early engines, it appears that the igniter has been butchered and converted to a spark plug. If you want it to be authentic, you need a replacement original or reproduction igniter and the operating mechanism. Stover used their own design muffler. I don't know of anyone who makes exact replacements. Good luck, Al Wait
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Old 04-11-2005, 09:49:50 PM
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Default Re: Looking for info on a Stover's engine. Please help.

First of all, thanks to everyone for their help so far. I am certain that the paint is not original and there seems to be some conflict as to whether or not the sticker is supposed to be there but the concensus says that it is not. Is there anywhere to buy an original igniter besides hunting through engine shows?
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Old 04-11-2005, 11:33:21 PM
Chuck Parcher (Ks.) Chuck Parcher (Ks.) is offline
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Default Re: Looking for info on a Stover's engine. Please help.

With due respect to all that have posted on this engine.........They truly are a great bunch of guys... The information contained is invaluable,... but don't go nessessarily by consensus. That statment that the paint is like virginity, once it's gone it's gone. Is true, and will also pertain to the decal. In a case like this where there is conflict of opinion, or doubt, or hesitation on any certain point. It might be the time for patience, and caution. Further investigation and correspondence with the posters on this subject should lead to a conclusion. These guys are all pretty much experts on these engines, although one might know something that the other has'nt heard yet. Like what year they changed the paint color. etc. When it comes to your engine you only have it once in it's present state. Opinions are many. Discuss this until you are certain that you know what you want to find out. These guys will help you and if they're not sure, they'll tell you that too. There's one guy on this site, that tries to come across as an expert on every subject, He'll nit pick a topic to death with technical info., that might or might be correct. Some of his info is sound, but his attitude SUCKS. 99,9 % of the guys on the STAK are regular great guys, that will help with anything they can. All I am saying, is instead of consensus,, Check it out until YOUR sure what you want to do. ASK more questions and zoom in on the answers your looking for.........
CHUCK
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Old 04-12-2005, 06:32:32 PM
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Jason Heffner Jason Heffner is offline
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Default Need help getting my engine started.

I have a Stover model W that has been sitting for a few years. I have verified that the engine has spark, disassembled the fuel pump, freed the check balls and verified that it is pumping fuel to the engine and everything appears to be in order. Before I wear myself out, does anyone have an idea of where the needle valve should be set, where the choke should be set or if there's anything else that I should check?

After turning it over a few times with the choke closed some fuel will come out of the inlet of the carburetor. Is this normal?
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Old 04-12-2005, 06:58:33 PM
Kevin O. Pulver Kevin O. Pulver is offline
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Default Re: Need help getting my engine started.

Yes Jason, It is normal to have gasoline splasing all over the place.
A good starting point for the needle valve is usually 1/2 to 3/4 turn. Maybe as much as one full turn if you're starting them cold and they really like a lot of gas. Some of them you really have to choke the dog out of them to start.
The thing on these is, each engine is different, and if you aren't familiar with what each one likes, you will burn a lot of calories cranking them over. Since they don't have electric start, you must do a lot of cranking if you accidentally flood it. If it won't start and you think it needs more fuel, put your hand over the carb while cranking back on intake stroke. THis will give it a lot of fuel. Crank a few more times, and if you think it's flooded, shut the fuel off, and hold one of the valves open while cranking to clear the cylinder a bit. Then open 1/2 to 3/4 turn and try it again. As I'm sure you know, crank it slowly until it's coming up on compression, then stand behind the flywheels and pull them toward you HARD! Sometimes you need to crank 'em good to get 'em going. When warmed up and running, lean out the fuel needle until you don't have black smoke.
Write down what the engine likes and next time you'll have a good idea where to start. When the engine starts, say here's to you Gramps!
Kevin
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Old 04-12-2005, 07:49:45 PM
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Default Re: Need help getting my engine started.

I tried doing this and it almost started once but it seems that the check balls in the fuel pump keep getting stuck. They are brass and I dont see any corrosion on the balls or the seats. Any idea as to why they keep getting stuck? It seems simple enough. I guess if the engine wasn't 100 years old I would go to the parts store, get a new fuel pump and I'd be on my way but that isn't going to happen. I should also note that this engine doesn't have the original igniter on it but has a spark plug and ignition coil. I have a 6 volt supply connected to the coil and it does spark but I wonder if the coil may be for 12 volts and my spark may be weak? The spark plug isn't getting wet with fuel. When I try to start it I do get puffs of white smoke out of the exhaust. Any other ideas?
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Old 04-12-2005, 09:05:32 PM
Neale Behm Neale Behm is offline
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Default Re: Need help getting my engine started.

I hate to admit it but I have resorted to modern conveniences to assist the first time I start an engine.

I have a fairly long V-belt that I wrap around the flywheel then use an electric motor to spin it. There's a pretty good reduction ratio with a 16" or so flywheel and a 2 1/2" pulley on the motor. Depending on the governed speed on a hit n miss engine it still may spin too fast for the governor.

I would recommend getting the assistance of a buddy when attempting this as it adds a couple extra things to keep an eye on to prevent an accident!

Thanks Harry
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Old 04-12-2005, 09:13:31 PM
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Default Re: Need help getting my engine started.

I'm going to have to get these fuel pump check balls to stop sticking before I can go any further. I'll take in into the shop tomorrow and give it a thorough cleaning. Hopefully this will have my on the road success. Is there anything that I should put on the check balls like anti seize ir grease? It seems as though whatever I put on them will just be washed away.
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