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Toughest gas engine you've ever restored?

Sad Iron

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Last Subscription Date
10/10/2019
Great idea for a thread!!

And we really tried to narrow it down, like really really tried. But we can't determine what constitutes the toughest.

So, here's the worst 6 so far:

Horizontal Webster 4hp (pre improved) loose, missing carb, fuel pump, and all of the wipe spark parts were not only missing but no examples existed so Dad had to make patterns & machine, research the ignition system make more patterns & machine, order gears pipe fuel system, assemble and run.

Toronto gearless 4hp missing: carb, fuel pump, fuel pump handle, ignitor, ignitor trip and lockout, piping. Bought repro carb from John Rex, patterns for ignitor block and fuel pump, machine fuel pump and assemble, fabricate ignitor parts and assemble. Pipe fuel lines and run

Simplex, single valve 15hp - retrieve from 1/2 mile down the side of mountain in West Virginia, disassemble for transport (piston stuck in cylinder) lower half of cylinder & top half of crankshaft. Take home, disassemble, address pitting in cylinder and on crank, new rings, reassemble, run in new rings, cut and assemble new skids and run.

Bruce Macbeth 65hp twin - Retrieved from Bellevue OH, transport home. Both cylinders stuck, remove rockers, heads, rod bearing bolts, remove pistons, clean, new rings (came with engine, new head gaskets too) reassemble heads, rockers etc. Address hard water damage on bottom of gas valve. Strip green paint, install flywheels, test air start and run.

White & Middleton 14hp - paint base & flywheels, reassemble, run. Why is this here?? I dug the engine out 3 weeks before the CPM White & Middleton expo even tho dad told me not to. We got it assembled and running with 1 day to spare.

United States inverted 4Hp - engine was in a partially collapsed barn in northern Ohio with its crank guard open. Buy @ Auction, transport home, begin disassembly, piston stuck bad, disassemble everything else, minor repairs, break bolt in conn rod trying to remove piston. Put (headless) cylinder block in press, remove stuck drain plug in "head" several days of applying pressure and waiting and it finally broke free with over 12 tons of pressure. Hone cylinder, reassemble engine, run

**And for good measure the one that isn't done but may take the cake**
4hp Crossley, 1888 unsure if this engine left the factory as a 2nd gen slide valve or one of the first timed hot tubes. interim goals: cobble engine together with wrong cylinder for Rollag 2020. Long term goals: fly to the UK, get help from Geoff @ Anson to determine original design, cast new cylinder + all parts to make original, machine assemble engine, run.

So which one stands out as the toughest??
 

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Ed Noli

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Last Subscription Date
01/02/2019
Not all that "tough", but gathering parts to make it whole was a challange. 1912 10hp FM "N". The base/cylinder was found buried in mine tailings. The crank/flywheels had rolled off the tailings, and the flywheels went to pieces. Cylinder had freeze cracks, was welded and the coolant passages were partially filled with concrete. All the brass and main caps were missing.
IMG_0507.JPGIMG_0448 (800x600).jpgIMG_0446 (800x600).jpgIMG_0390 (800x600).jpgIMG_0443 (800x600).jpg
 

LCJudge

Subscriber
Age
60
Last Subscription Date
12/14/2019
Great idea for a thread!!

So, here's the worst 6 so far:

Horizontal Webster 4hp

Toronto gearless 4hp

Simplex, single valve 15hp

Bruce Macbeth 65hp twin

White & Middleton 14hp.

United States inverted 4Hp

**And for good measure the one that isn't done but may take the cake**
4hp Crossley, 1888.

So which one stands out as the toughest??
Hey JT, I had a Springfield once that was pretty rusty and missing the carb. You said it was “1/2 of a Springfield engine”. Some of those you described you don’t have 1/3 of....🤣....just ribbing you a bit!

On your United States engine (which is the same as a Temple) what is the flywheel dia? I have one here that I know is bigger than the 2 hp Temples I’ve seen but don’t know for sure what HP it is. It’s got a Temple tag on it but no hp listed.
 

Sad Iron

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Last Subscription Date
10/10/2019
Hey JT, I had a Springfield once that was pretty rusty and missing the carb. You said it was “1/2 of a Springfield engine”. Some of those you described you don’t have 1/3 of....🤣....just ribbing you a bit!

On your United States engine (which is the same as a Temple) what is the flywheel dia? I have one here that I know is bigger than the 2 hp Temples I’ve seen but don’t know for sure what HP it is. It’s got a Temple tag on it but no hp listed.
Not sure but it’s got the tall spindly flywheel not the short stocky one. I can get the dia tomorrow.

J
 

Sad Iron

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
10/10/2019
Hey JT, I had a Springfield once that was pretty rusty and missing the carb. You said it was “1/2 of a Springfield engine”. Some of those you described you don’t have 1/3 of....🤣....just ribbing you a bit!

On your United States engine (which is the same as a Temple) what is the flywheel dia? I have one here that I know is bigger than the 2 hp Temples I’ve seen but don’t know for sure what HP it is. It’s got a Temple tag on it but no hp listed.

You know tommy that Springfield had a freaking tree growing around it and all the little pieces were missing!!

That Toronto, or half Toronto. Ran when we took it to coolspring...
 

Sad Iron

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Last Subscription Date
10/10/2019
On your United States engine (which is the same as a Temple) what is the flywheel dia? I have one here that I know is bigger than the 2 hp Temples I’ve seen but don’t know for sure what HP it is. It’s got a Temple tag on it but no hp listed.
Evening Tommy

United States is 29.5” x2”
Temple is 26” x 2 5/8”

Interesting note: the United States has the 4 bolt holes for the 4 bolt cast temple tag which probably means it was a left over block. And the temple only has a 2 screw tin tag.
 

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LCJudge

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Age
60
Last Subscription Date
12/14/2019
Thanks Jonathan! I'll check mine out to see what it matches up to. Unusual that the 4 HP had larger flywheels than the Temple but we all know these companies didn't necessarily follow a template from one model to another. Both engines are single cylinder models aren't they? Thanks again.
 

Steve Kunz

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Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
I did a 2hp Fuller Johnson about 20 years ago. It was missing the mag, mag trip rod, piston and connecting rod. The valves were rusted off in the head and the rocker arm was broke and the mixture needle was rusted off in the carburetor.
It was on an old concrete mixer, I mainly bought it for the steel wheels on the mixer. My buddy saw it and said that there was no way it could be fixed, so then I had to get it going. luckily I had another engine just like it so I knew what the parts were supposed to look like. I made a new trip rod, found some valves I had and was able to make them work brazed the rocker arm. I can't remember how but I got the rusted off mixture needle out of the carburetor and used my other one as a pattern to make a new one. I had an extra mag and I borrowed the piston and rod from my other engine. Two weeks after I bought it I had it running. I called my buddy and told him to come over and see it. He only lived a couple miles away and I left it run until he got there, I was afraid it might not start again! Later on I found a piston and rod on enginesads
and I made a gas tank for it.
 

AngrySailor

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Last Subscription Date
01/31/2020
Steve, the “it will never run again” sure is great motivation isn’t it! When I picked up my 4hp Famous, which had flowers in the cooking hopper, I was told this by the previous owner. It’s not running yet, but it will! I would say this is the most involved resurrection I’ve undertaken so far and I’m lucky in the sense of how complete it is. Others have worked with much less.
 

Bear67

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Last Subscription Date
02/02/2020
My biggest challenge was a 1918 Ottawa Log saw engine. It had set out in the weather for years with the connecting rod cap off and both main caps laying in the grass. The main journals were doable, but I had never seen a crank as pitted as the rod journal.
I tried my biggest manual puller to no success, then set it up sorta farmer engineered under my hydraulic press and when the press groaned at 30 tons, I quit. A friend worked on heavy construction equipment and we tried his puller hooked to a 20 ton porta-power--no dice. My brother in law was a Cummins truck mechanic and he called the automotive machine shop he used in Dallas and the owner, said bring it up. He got it attached in their largest crankshaft grinder with both flywheels attached. It was ground until mostly cleaned up--around .040 and dusted off the main journals. Had to mill the side to allow a new trip latch mechanism. The only easy part of this build was the Webster tripolar mag.

This was 12 or so years back and it still runs good, but I need to build a new cart as I did not have the original log saw cart and the one it is own is just a quick mount on a large piece of Cedar timber left over from a job. I have a Ottawa Log saw designed to run on a tractor pto. Only one I have ever seen. I have a complete Ottawa log saw rig. so this has not been high on my project list.

So much iron, so little time.
 

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Marcel P

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Last Subscription Date
07/11/2019
I think I just started my toughest restoration. This Schlüter engine is missing its crankshaft and camshaft gear plus the gear that drives the governor. The crankshaft is worn badly and so are the flywheel bores. Setting up the mill to machine the gears, I will start a restoration thread on here shortly.

Marcel
IMG_20180212_205224.jpg
 

Joel Mosley

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Last Subscription Date
03/21/2020
I picked up this Witte Sideshaft around 1987. While probably not all that difficult to repair, everything needed to be fixed. It had been buried in drainage ditch in a field. It was located when a local contractor was scraping the ditch to restore it with a 1970s John Deere scraper. The scraper hit the end of the crankshaft with it's blade and the scraper spun in it's tracks. The owner recalled what was buried there so they dug it up. Remarkably, only the fuel valve, gas tank brackets and rocker arm were broken. The rod guard and the oiler tree support were missing. The crankshaft was bent on the stub and outside the journals on both sides. Incredibly, the flywheel hubs and spokes were not cracked and no damage was done to the block. The engine was loose when it came out of the ground and had probably 80% of its paint left. It would not turn over but could be rocked back and forth a little bit. It was 10 years or more from when it was excavated to when I was finally able to purchase it. It is a local engine and I was really glad to get it. Unfortunately it was out in the weather and rusted significantly. The fourth picture is how it sat for years. Water also got in the hopper which was full of dirt. It froze and cracked the block.
 

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