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Antique Engine Archives All archived posts from 1999 to 2004 when SmokStak was on EnginAds. This is a read-only board.

Antique Engine Archives

International Harvester Engine

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Old 10-04-1999, 12:16:59 PM
Dave Hiatt
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Default International Harvester Engine

My brother-in-law and I found an old Interantional Harvester Stationary Engine in his gradfather's machine shop this weekend. It is marked 1 1/2 - 2 2/1 horsepower and 300 - 500 rpn at the pulley. It is cast iron with a single cylinder, a magneto with a wire that runs to the spark plug. As far as we could tell the cylinder was cooled by just filling the cast iron "bucket" around the cylinder with water. The engine has an intake and exhaust valve. Air appears to be pulled in through the exhaust. The engine did not have a gas tank, but we figured out how to fit a gas line to the fuel bowl below the valves and just ran a piece of automotive fuel line to a Mason jar of gasoline. After fabriacating an ignition wire,gas tank and some cleaning we got the engine running. It fired right off, but wouldn't start again. After removing the plug and cleaning it, along with pouring some gas in the cylinger, it ran for about 1 minute then died. Now the questions.

First what sort of motor do we have? What it the round kind of valve that can be depressed on the fuel bowl and what is it's purpose. There appears to be some sort of brake or transmission lever adjacent to the flywheel, what is it's pupose. Where would a factory gas tank be mounted and what would it look like? Lastly where do you get parts for this thing, especially spark plugs, magnetos, gas lines, etc.

We thought it was pretty fun finding the thing and only after a couple of hours of cleaning, oiling, etc. we got it to run. We would like to find more about it. Eventually maybe we would like to hook a belt to it and run a piece of equipment off of it like it was used for in the machine shop.

Thanks in advance, Dave Hiatt
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Old 10-04-1999, 02:00:43 PM
Posts: n/a
Default Re: International Harvester Engine

It sounds like you have an LA or LB engine, probably an LA. The tag should say which. The lever by the flywheel lets you adjust the running speed. That diaphram on the carburetor is the choke, you hold it down to help draw fuel into the carburetor. The whole thing should be mounted on two pressed steel rails, the gas tank is nestles between these rails and runs underneath the engine. The fuel line is a piece of bent 1/4" copper tube with a check valve at the bottom. Yes the water goes into the hopper on the top, and there should be a lid for it as well. These things are very common, so parts are easy to find at most engine shows. Also, the parts dealers like Hit and Miss, Starbolt, and others, usually have a large selection of both reproduction and used parts.

These engines were used to run a lot of small things around a farm; cut off saws, cement mixers, feed grinders, washing machines, etc. They could be ordered with a wide selection of different pulleys sizes (4"x 4" is the most common). Some were even built right into the machinery they ran.

The factory colors were usually Grey with red flywheel, pulley, gas tank and frame rails. There are a LOT of them that were built for specific customers that were green/red, all red, orange, or black, or even silver.

Old 10-04-1999, 02:03:27 PM
Stanley Bessent
Posts: n/a
Default Re: International Harvester Engine

Your international Harvester engine is either a model LA or LB The "valve" on the fuel bown is the choke. You hold down on it while cranking the engine in order to draw fuel to the carburator. The lever beside the flywheel is the speed control. The original gasoline tank was a flat, oval shaped one that fit between the legs, below the engine. The gas line was a short one that went from the Carburator into the gas tank and had a check valve on the bottom of it inside the gas tank. Most of the suppliers listed on this web site should have parts for the engine.
Old 10-04-1999, 11:53:29 PM
Posts: n/a
Default Re: International Harvester Engine

This will give you more information. Print the International LA manual

There is a ball bearing in the fuel line which prevents fuel from returning to tank on exhaust stroke. See picture for view of complete engine
Old 10-08-1999, 11:23:48 PM
Gary r. voigt
Posts: n/a
Default Re: International Harvester Engine

let me know if you need any kind of parts for these. I have parted out 50 or so machines.


Gary r. voigt


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