• If you like antique engines, vintage tractors or old iron machinery, register and join us. When you register on Smokstak, please give complete answers and fill in the blanks. - IF YOU ARE ON WIRELESS OR SATELLITE, ENTER YOUR CITY AND STATE! NO ZIPCODES! All registrations are manually approved.

Associated "Hired Man"

ArodaPowerCo

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
09/22/2019
Normally I hang out on the Onan forum, and lurk here at times. Today I acquired my first hit and miss engine. An Associated "Hired Man" Serial 129870. Rescued it from the scrap pile in an OfferUp ad. It looks to be complete. Nothing is stuck except the valves. Also appears to have been rebuilt at some point, and I believe it has been run within the last 10 years. The main and rod bearings seem to be good.

Time to do some research and see what I can learn! My intent is to get it running again. I am a very experienced mechanic (small engine, diesel, tractors, etc), but this one is a new world for me. Particularly the ignition system. Any advice or pointers would be welcome, but I will also peruse the forum here to see what I can glean from it. So far it's still on the truck and I've soaked all moving parts with penetrating oil. Going to read and learn before I start taking things apart...
 

Attachments

Dale Russell

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
08/29/2019
That is a nice engine for your first engine! Have fun, you will enjoy it. And you got the CRANK with it and it's complete!
 

CBarth66

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
05/06/2020
Congratulations on your first hit and miss. Glad you saved it from being scrapped. I have a 1 3/4 hp. Associated that is basically about the same as yours. Nice runners once tuned in. If you take the magneto off, be careful of the threads in the base that mounts it. Mine is pot metal and the threads got messed up. I had to JB weld them, then drilled and tapped them. Parts are pretty easy to find. Have fun with it!
 

Rich Mueller Sr

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
Nice first engine! Now you have a addiction lol, first things on.your order list from the sponsors on top of page, would be a igniter spring, the flat spring under the gooseneck trip . That is the same mag that was used on John Deere engines ,except for gear,and be careful of the bolts make sure they go back into same hole they come out of to. Make sure the Gov collar will slide good on crankshaft with no binding first thing . These are good runners when dialed in and a tip is to use a battery and coil to start the first time so you dont wear your arms out, Do NOT RUN BATTERY VOLTAGE THROUGH MAG, the igniter points should be about a, 1/16" or thickness of a dime, for battery and coil running there should be a little spring that holds point open to front post under igniter, it goes to rear post on mag running. The little bolt with nut on gooseneck trip on top of the flat spring in bad shape adjusts timing ,out or up for retard in for advance, to time mag to igniter. Rotate engine notice which way mag gear rotates, when igniter snaps the little button behind mag gear, L or R should go in depending on mag gear rotation, before this the igniter should be at right gap as mentioned earlier.
 

ArodaPowerCo

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
09/22/2019
I already have the "Green Disease" addiction. I have 6 old Onan generators. Plus some other old iron. A 1967 Cub Cadet that I mow my grass with, a wood splitter powered by a 1950's Wisconsin THD, an International Cub that does the garden work... Suffice it to say I love old iron of any variety. My dad took me to the Somerset, VA Steam & Gas Pasture Party when I was a kid in the early 90's and I was hooked. It's what sparked my interest in being a mechanic, and I've wanted a hit and miss engine ever since. Never been able to find one I could afford but now nearly 30 years later I've finally got it.

Thanks for the pointers on the ignition. I'll get that stuff straight. Need to read up on how they work. The oldest ignition I'm familiar with is the Fairbanks Morse magneto on a couple of Wisconsin THD's I have. I think the first order of business will be to pull the head and get the valves sorted out. The bottom part of the cylinder has some surface rust and gunk on it, so I'll pull the piston and get the machine shop to run a couple strokes with a dingleberry hone just to get it cleaned up. I've currently got the flywheel locked in position so it won't get turned over and drag the piston rings across the rust. It's not stuck but I don't want to move it.

Thanks again, and I'll keep posting pictures of my progress!
 

Ret AF

Registered
Looks good! Good thing you rescued it from going to scrap. If the valves are stuck, do not try to turn the flywheels as the exhaust rocker arm mount will snap off from the cylinder head. I have a Hired man also and run it off the mag.
 

ArodaPowerCo

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
09/22/2019
Started the teardown before I got it off the truck. Removed the fuel tank (it's a goner), rocker arm, and then the head. The gasket used for the head was multiple layers of auto parts store black paper and copious amounts of anti-seize. Inside the cylinder was clean. All fasteners had anti-seize liberally applied so everything came apart easily.
 

Attachments

ArodaPowerCo

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
09/22/2019
Next step was disassembly of the cylinder head. There was no way those retainer pins were coming out with a punch. I drilled them out. Haven't had to use this technique in a long time, but I still got it. Once plenty of material had been removed they drove right out. Had to take a little care with the valve stems and clean them with some fine emery cloth and WD-40. They loosened up and tapped right out. The intake valve head is loose on the stem. Not terrible, but enough that you can turn the head on the stem. Debating whether to replace it or heat the stem and re-stake it, or find a valve of more modern one-piece design and make a new one...
 

Attachments

ArodaPowerCo

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
09/22/2019
Looked more closely at the exposed end of the cylinder, and the rust wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. Most of the cylinder surface was still very smooth, and what I thought was rust in some cases was a build-up of "shop gunk". Some WD-40 and 220 grit emery paper with a light touch cleaned it right up. The piston moves quite freely and the bore looks good. Some wear, but not bad at all. Piston is tight in the bore. I kept hearing a slight "clunk" whenever the piston changed directions. Removing the Lunkenheimer drip lubricator showed me why. The piston ring that is visible through the oil hole has quite a bit of groove clearance (like 1/8"). The automotive machinist in me says this is way too much and someone has installed a 3/16 oil control ring (that's what it looks like) in a much wider (1/4"-5/16") groove. But then, maybe it is supposed to be this way on a drip lubricated engine? All input welcome. :shrug:
 

Attachments

Skip Landis

Sponsor
Last Subscription Date
05/06/2019
No, it's not. The rings should fit just like an automotive machinist would think. All things considered, i would braze the valve head to the stem. You have the makings of a nice engine there. skip
 

ArodaPowerCo

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
09/22/2019
Well, it was as I suspected, but worse. Pulled the cylinder jug and some knucklehead put 7/32" automotive oil control rings in three of the FOUR 1/4" grooves. Which brings me to another question... Everything I've read so far says this engine should have three piston rings? Is this not correct?

Also took the magneto apart and found cracks and epoxy galore. Magnets are still strong. The rotor is not burnt, but the wire to the slip ring is broken and the slip ring has turned on the shaft. Might be switching this thing to a buzz coil...
 

Attachments

Last edited:

ArodaPowerCo

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
09/22/2019
Picked the cylinder jug up from the machine shop yesterday. Also had them order the piston rings. They were special order from Hastings. Used two 1/8" rings in the top groove with the gaps 180* out for a "gapless" seal. Next two grooves were 1/4" "second groove" type with an upward facing chamfer on the inner part. Fourth groove got a cast iron oil control ring, which in this case should help distribute oil around the piston from the drip oiler.

Cylinder jug is back on. One thing I've noticed is that all the fasteners on this engine are not SAE, but USS standard. None of my wrenches (and I have a lot) fit. Then I remembered I had inherited a small box of very old tools from my great-grandfather, who was a machinist at the Metz Automobile Factory in Massachusetts and later at the Watertown Arsenal for several decades. Low and behold, in that box I found the correct wrenches. This is why you don't throw things away folks.

It was pretty neat to use his wrenches on an engine that was built while he was working at Metz...
 

Ret AF

Registered
A very lucky find to have one that looks complete with a mag. Those Sumpter magneto's are selling for around $350 to $450.
I also own a Hired man and run it off the mag, but also have a homemade coil for it. If you need spare parts, I have quite a few for it.
 

Kevin O. Pulver

Email NOT Working
Age
54
Last Subscription Date
02/14/2020
[ very nice engine my friend and as others have said that's a real big deal to get the Magneto with it.
Take those three Street elbows out of your exhaust and throw them away the muffler will look right on top of a long nipple above the hopper. I can't see very well on the tiny phone pictures but if your fuel tank has the embosk top that says Associated manufacturers Waterloo Iowa do not throw it away you can unsolder those two halves of the tank and repair the bottom and solder it back together.
 

Andrew Mackey

Moderator
Last Subscription Date
05/14/2017
For a good tank repair, contact John Wonat. i think he is a sponsor here. if your tank top is good, he may be able to re-use it, otherwise he will build you a new tank at a reasonable price. if you want a generic tank, contact lee Pederson, also a sponsor here on the stak.

There is a regestry for Associated/United engines. Not sure who is maintaining it now, i started collecting numbers and dates many years ago, and posted them in The Gas Engine Magazine. Someone else has taken that data and it has grown since then.

You can contact one of the mag sponsors here on the Stak and see if they have replacement magnets and armature bits. Be careful with the mag base, it is made of a zinc alloy called Yanuck and is very brittle. Have a close look at the angle drive gear, that is also pot metal if original, and is prone to crack. i know hit & miss Enterprises has replacements of good quality if yours is worn or cracked. make sure you lube it with oil every time you run the engine! These engines were sold as battery and coil engines, the mag set up was a factory option. The battery and coil engines had a different support than the mag engines, just a simple pushrod suooper insteag of the support and mag mounting casting. That simple support is also available from H&M I believe. it is nice to see those engines running of the mag though. The one i had statrted easily off the mag, and ran well.

Your engine should have had 4 compression rings, a 1/4" wide. No oil ring. Oil rings are wipers, meant to scrape excess oil off the cylinder walls of modern engines. Probably not nescessary for the hit and miss engines, with their total loss oling system! 6 to 8 drips a minute thru the oiler, and look at the piston once the engine is running and is hot. The piston should look WET with oil, not dry. If the pistonlooks dry, increase the drips per minute, until the piston is wet. You will need to run the engine with a light load to seat the rings. They will not seat if the engine is just idled (no load). If after you replace the rings, you still get a knock at top and bottom center directional change, try placing the piston at mid travel and rock the flywheels. if you notice movement at the con rod, check the wrist pin bearing and wrist pin mount bolts in the piston for play. There should be a hole in the top of the piston to allow oil to get to the wrist pin bushing, make sure it is not blocked with debris. The hole goes up, on top of the piston.

Now you will need to get a water pump, a grinder or a fan to run with your engine! if you have a heating/cooling shop nearby, maybe they wil sell you a used squirrell cage fan out of a hot air furnace or AC unit, to drive with your engine. A neat way to keep cool in a warm show!

welcome to the stak, and have fun with your new project!
Andrew
 

ArodaPowerCo

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
09/22/2019
The magneto housing and brush plate are both cracked all to pieces. Previous owner looks to have cobbled it up with some combination of epoxy and silicone RTV. It's going to take some care to get it working again. The magnets are actually ok. Tip of screwdriver readily sticks to them. I don't know that this mess of a housing can be saved though. I have seen the "recast" replacement housings, but they are a bit pricey. Certainly worth the money I think (likely much better quality than the original), just can't swing that much at the moment. Already have what I need to run a low tension battery setup.

The fuel tank on this thing is toast. The filled neck crumbled to nothing. I don't believe it's the original tank. Not embossed on top, and it's mostly made of "Kreem" and JB weld. My intent is to run it on propane for now. I already have what I need to make that happen.

The plan is to get it running with what I have. Then as time and money allow, get the magneto squared away and perhaps a new gasoline tank. Also in the works is a skid/cart for it to live on.

As for a load, I'll likely get my hands on a bucking saw for cutting up slabwood and limbs for firewood. More ambitiously, I'm researching building a small refrigeration setup with an older York automotive compressor. I'm torn between an ice maker, air conditioner, or beer cooler...

I'd post more pictures but keep getting errors and have been messing with my security and firewall settings to no avail. I've seen the thread going on where others are having issues as well, but I'm stumped. Never had a problem until now. :shrug:
 

BMiller

Registered
Age
79
Last Subscription Date
12/26/2018
on an earlier post, you mentioned "buzz coil". No. Buzz coils are for use with spark plug ignition. This one needs only an inductance coil in series with a battery and the igniter points OR the magneto it came with. That one in good shape will generate about 8 - 12 volts, plenty to run that engine. If you can't resurrect the magneto, then get a coil that has only two connections and put it in series with a small (I use an emergency lighting battery) battery. There are new ones for sale on ebay, or you can make your own, or find a vintage one.
 
Top