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Almost Ready to Run My IHC LA (or is it an LB?)

KWRB

Registered
I bought an IHC LA or LB engine in October at an auction. I frankly don't know which it is. There's no serial tag and I've tried to firgure it out by looking at pictures, and I'm not 100%. There is a throttle lever above the flywheel, which I've been told only existed on the LB, but there's nothing that looks like an automatic oiler, which I read was an LB feature also. I don't really know what this "oiler" would look like, but I can't really see any oiling mechanism of any kind.

I didn't know anything at all about it when I bid on it. I knew it was an IHC (I have IH tractors) and I wanted a stationary engine. I bid, expecting to be outbid, and I won it.

I figured the mag would at least need points and a condenser so I bought those and brought it to my grandpa. He's a guru with old ag equipment. I had no idea what I was doing so I was super glad for his help. The mag had no "snap", so there was definitely not going to be any spark. I had a broken spring.

I ordered a new spring and felt washer and gaskets for the mag (Mainley Magnetos), replaced the points and condenser (Tractor Supply) and put it back together. Then I got some really sharp looking black plug wire with red braided in (Tom's Engine Barn). It looks nice! In the moment of truth, we had spark!

Yesterday and today I opened up the crankcase and emptied a few cans of brake cleaner into there and let me tell you, some GUNK came out of the bottom of that thing.

The engine has compression and there's a new gas tank that came with it that I have to plumb up to the carb yet. I do have a few questions at this point, before I try to start it.

1) What oil should I use considering the unknowns of an engine that's been sitting for some time? Is there such a thing as a "detergent" crankcase oil?

2) How far post-TDC should the ignition be? I was thinking about 4 degrees...

3) The carburetor. I'm going to try to run it without dissecting the carb. Anything to be aware of here?

4) Oiling the rockers. Just hit it with an oil can?

5) Gas. I think these are very low compression so any gas should work. Should I use lead additive?

6) Anything you know of, that I haven't thought of?


I appreciate any feedback at all
 

ulgydog56

Registered
i'd put strait 30 weight mineral oil in the crank, as for gas reg unleaded is fine, its a low compression engine, if you want you can ad instead of lead (auto zone) to protect the soft valve seats:D
 

KWRB

Registered
I have confirmed that this is an oil cup-style (that might mean LA, except my engine has a throttle handle).

However, my oil cup is missing. I can't tell if it was taken out or broken off. Either way, I need a 90 degree elbow oil cup. Any idea where to find that?

---------- Post added at 11:14:35 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:45:47 AM ----------

I have confirmed that this is an oil cup-style (that might mean LA, except my engine has a throttle handle).

However, my oil cup is missing. I can't tell if it was taken out or broken off. Either way, I need a 90 degree elbow oil cup. Any idea where to find that?
I have never bought one, but I see they're common, and even on McMaster. Anyone know the thread size for the LA?
 

Turbo

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/12/2019
Only the very early LA engines had no throttle handle. If your engine has no rocker oiler. Which is a tube above the rocker arms then it is an LA. Also all LB engines have IHC magnetos. The LA's used two different types of Wico mags then the last ones had IHC mags. The LB had a wider rocker cover as well. The LA rocker cover is narrow and has a door on the side to oil the rockers. I would recommend removing the carb and making sure the compensator disc is free. It will rust up over time and your engine will not run correctly. Remove the two bolts and the carb is in two pieces. The upper pot metal half and the lower cast iron half. The compensator disc is in the lower half on a peg with a spring and cotter pin holding it down. Also make sure the main jet is clear and the check valve in the pickup is free. Any oil will work, I use 10w-30 in all my tractors and engines just because I don't want all kinds of different oil around.
 

KWRB

Registered
Only the very early LA engines had no throttle handle. If your engine has no rocker oiler. Which is a tube above the rocker arms then it is an LA. Also all LB engines have IHC magnetos. The LA's used two different types of Wico mags then the last ones had IHC mags. The LB had a wider rocker cover as well. The LA rocker cover is narrow and has a door on the side to oil the rockers. I would recommend removing the carb and making sure the compensator disc is free. It will rust up over time and your engine will not run correctly. Remove the two bolts and the carb is in two pieces. The upper pot metal half and the lower cast iron half. The compensator disc is in the lower half on a peg with a spring and cotter pin holding it down. Also make sure the main jet is clear and the check valve in the pickup is free. Any oil will work, I use 10w-30 in all my tractors and engines just because I don't want all kinds of different oil around.
This is helpful, thank you. So It sounds like I have a late LA.
  1. No oiler tube, but a threaded hole appears to be present for a cup
  2. throttle handle is present
  3. valve cover is long gone, so no information there
  4. IHC H1 Mag (though this could have gotten swapped, I assume it's original

I think I might open up the carb like you suggest, since I have to wait on an oil cup to arrive anyway. It doesn't sound that intimidating the way you've described it.
 

FarmallPaul

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
01/01/2020
KW- It sounds like you're getting it figured out. Be careful with that carb, the top part is pot metal and fairly fragile. Especially where the fuel line threads in. If those threads are already stripped, you can get a brass 1/4" barb fitting and JB weld it in there. And then use rubber fuel line down to the tank. Keep us updated! :salute: :salute:
 

Lonnie Grissom

Registered
The way I quickly I'd a la from lb when I buy either one of them , look at valve. rocker arms . If they are identical it's a lb. if they are for right or left Side it's la. Also a lot of parts will inter change. Faint always tell by mag. The last lb I bought had a Fairbanks moris mag on it. I was told someone had bought a conversion kit . Don't know what a conversion kit consist of because a gear was welded to the slotted impulse drive and flange mounting adapter was machined to bolt mag to engine. Engine ran well but I did by IH mag to put on engine.
 

KWRB

Registered
It's Alive!!!! It ran for the first time (since who knows when) on Sunday. Thanks everyone for the input so far. You don't know how special this is to me. Here's a list of everything we had to do with it so far:

  1. Replaced mag spring (broken)
  2. Replaced mag spring (broken)
  3. New Points and Condenser
  4. Made and installed New Spark plug wire and boot
  5. New plug
  6. Had to make a gasket to mount the mag, the gasket in the kit didn't fit
  7. installed new tank (came with engine)
  8. built new gas line with a funk jog in it, since the new tank's gas line fitting doesn't line up with carb.
  9. new oil cup (I'm going to post about this, won't spin on without remove washer from head bolt)
  10. A LOT of cleaning
  11. Turned the crank!

I have the handle spring ready, but that still needs to be installed. Also, one of the pushrods is funky and the adjusting screw was repaired by welding at some point, and it won't stay loose. I've ordered a pushrod and adjusting screw. I still need to find a head cover with the little oil hole, but I've got a line on a couple. We'll see what comes of it. I also need on of those clips (loom) for the plug wire. Anyone know where to get one?

I'd like to get a pump jack for it too. Once it's all done. I'm gonna tear it back down, clean it well, paint it and apply decals.
 

KWRB

Registered
I got the handle spring in. That was a pain and I have a few blood blisters to show for it. BUT, I have some advice for anyone trying to do it. There's a video of a guy on youtube doing it and I was going to do it that way originally. Instead, we (Grandpa) found a better way.

First, the pin has to be cut out. I used a jigsaw with a hacksaw blade to do it. It doesn't seem like it's hardened. push the handle all the way towards the center of the flywheel and make the cut on the outer side of the handle, but not flush with the flywheel casting. This leaves a little bit of pin proud, so you can punch it back out. The other end of the pin, with the handle came right out. The pin is not in a through hole, and the hole for it doesn't go much past the handle's cavity.

Then, we drilled the hole through. I wasn't super keen on the idea, but it does come out the other side. We opened up the handle's hole to about 3/8, and we got a 5/16 roll pin to replace the handle pin. The handle's hole had to be opened up in order to allow the handle to rotate freely around the roll pin when inserted in the flywheel hole.

To install the handle with the spring attached, put the spring on the handle and insert it through the BACK of the flywheel. This way you don't have to deform the snot out of that spring to get the tangs behind the flywheel. It's a tight fit, but it goes.

We had to buy a new pushrod and adjusting screw for the exhaust valve from Hit and Miss Enterprises. The pushrod had some bend to it and the adjusting screw had broken at some point and new one was cobbled together. It kept moving when we first ran the engine. That is going to be a while getting here because they have to manufacture the pushrod. So, I've been getting antsy and looking at other accessories for the engine, planning the next steps and so on.

I proxy bid on a non-running LA with a pump jack several states away this weekend. It doesn't have the pump or the arms with it, but I don't suspect either will present a big challenge, once I have the pump jack. We can make arms and then find any old style pump, right?

I'm waiting to hear if I got it or not. I really like those mounted pump jacks that were for the LA and I'm trying to get my hands on one. If that doesn't work out, there's an old Myers Bulldozer pump in Grandpa's basement that's seized up we might try to tear down and repair.

I also bid on an early LA cover with the little slider hole for oiling. It's in rough shape with holes rotten through it and all, but a friend of mine is a master with bodywork and could even use it as a pattern to make a new one from fiberglass. Heck, even it's Bondo'd and sanded nice, It probably won't make a difference, considering this thing is going to live the rest of its life under cover and not see heavy use.

I can see how this hobby gets like crack. No one little part is terribly expensive, so you keep going back for just one more tiny little fix...
 

KWRB

Registered
Does anyone know where I could get a decently appropriate looking guide for the spark plug wire? The guide fastens under a bolt behind the flywheel and it's made of sheet metal. I thought I could find something close on McMaster, but either I'm calling it by the wrong name, or they aren't available.
 

Kirk Taylor

Registered
Does anyone know where I could get a decently appropriate looking guide for the spark plug wire? The guide fastens under a bolt behind the flywheel and it's made of sheet metal. I thought I could find something close on McMaster, but either I'm calling it by the wrong name, or they aren't available.
Look again at McMaster-Carr. Item number 8863T13, "Vibration-Damping Loop Clamps".
Perhaps that is something that suit.
 
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