• 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 all blanks. IF YOU ARE ON WIRELESS OR SATELLITE, GIVE YOUR CITY AND STATE! NO ZIPCODES! All registrations are manually approved.

Toughest gas engine you've ever restored?

Joel Mosley

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
03/21/2020
The crankshaft was cut apart and stubs welded back in. The block was line bored and the flywheels were bored to fit the slightly oversized crankshaft to ensure proper fit. The faces and rims were turned and re-stamped with all of the markings. My brother cast welded the block in a makeshift furnace. He ground out the crack, welded it, dressed it and textured it. He made a jig to use to bore and sleeve the engine and face the cylinder as it was badly rusted. Finally the ring lands were cleaned up and the piston turned to true it up, rings were ordered and end gapped.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Joel Mosley

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
03/21/2020
A number of springs, valves, bolts and the fuel admittance valve had to be fixed. A new wrist pin was also made. I need to have the fuel valve finished and start assembling now. With a few trinkets and a gas tank it should be close to completed. Sorry for the poor picture quality. These are pictures of old 35 MM photographs.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Kevin O. Pulver

Email NOT Working
Age
54
Last Subscription Date
02/14/2020
That's a great story Joel! but I guess I thought you had this one done already.
I must have confused it with that other big when you have. When you took me out to measure your 12-horse economy, you must have thought it was a long shot I would ever get my log splitter running. And without the measurements I got from you I don't know how I ever would have.
 

Joel Mosley

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
03/21/2020
Kevin, this has been a long term project and i am sure you have seen it. I sometimes get it confused as well. I have been working on a number of Witte projects so that adds to the confusion. I just thought it was appropriate to add it to this thread for for some reading material for others and a little motivation for me to get it done LOL. Funny you mention your Hercules. I have a couple of pictures of it in various stages in the same photo album. You did a fantastic job resurrecting the 12 Champion/Hercules.
 
Last edited:

Gene Fisher

Sponsor
Age
81
Last Subscription Date
11/22/2019
10 hp Alpha Delaval sat under the eve of a barn roof for over fifty years Took one year to get the piston out with oil, heat and a press. Only missing some small springs. Sumter mag was still hot. First start with the governor springs to tight on the third hit she was off the shop floor. Pulled the mag wire to get it slowed down. This was a great running engine and the toughest one i ever restored which is many.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

LCJudge

Subscriber
Age
60
Last Subscription Date
12/14/2019
Joel, I don't think I've ever seen an engine have a crankshaft bent that bad and not have the flywheel hub busted. With it in the ground, the dirt must have held the flywheel steady when the tractor hit the crank.

The toughest one I ever tried to rebuild was a 5 HP Miami.

1581798153623.png

GEM wanted to do an article on it and I wrote one up for them. Click the following link and you can read it.

https://www.gasenginemagazine.com/restoration/gas-engines-restoration/miami-engine-zm0z15jjzhur


Here's a video of it running at Portland.

 
Last edited:

Kevin O. Pulver

Email NOT Working
Age
54
Last Subscription Date
02/14/2020
Joel, I don't think I've ever seen an engine have a crankshaft bent that bad and not have the flywheel hub busted. With it in the ground, the dirt must have held the flywheel steady when the tractor hit the crank.

The toughest one I ever tried to rebuild was a 5 HP Miami.

View attachment 380251

GEM wanted to do an article on it and I wrote one up for them and here it is.

https://www.gasenginemagazine.com/restoration/gas-engines-restoration/miami-engine-zm0z15jjzhur
Thanks for sharing that Tommy! I just read the article and my favorite part was how you found the guys that could successfully pour it when no one else could. It makes you wonder how much technology is lost but I'm thankful we have video and the internet to try to preserve and spread some of it around.
 

Joel Mosley

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
03/21/2020
Tommy,
Excellent job on the Miami and thanks for posting the link as well. I was definitely concerned that there was damage to the flywheel. As you can see in the close up picture of the flywheel and crankshaft in the first post, there is an air gap where the crankshaft is actually pulling away from the side of the Hub on the outside of the bend and it was actually compressing into the other side. There was a fallback though. I could have put a band on it and hopefully I made it work if it was cracked.

What's even more amazing is that they actually took the time to dig it out carefully instead yanking it out of the ground with a backhoe or some other device and throwing it in the scrap pile.
 

Skip Landis

Sponsor
Last Subscription Date
05/06/2019
Tommy,
Excellent job on the Miami and thanks for posting the link as well. I was definitely concerned that there was damage to the flywheel. As you can see in the close up picture of the flywheel and crankshaft in the first post, there is an air gap where the crankshaft is actually pulling away from the side of the Hub on the outside of the bend and it was actually compressing into the other side. There was a fallback though. I could have put a band on it and hopefully I made it work if it was cracked.

What's even more amazing is that they actually took the time to dig it out carefully instead yanking it out of the ground with a backhoe or some other device and throwing it in the scrap pile.
 

Attachments

LCJudge

Subscriber
Age
60
Last Subscription Date
12/14/2019
Wow Skip, that's truly a transformation. Beautiful finished product.

Joel, yes, them taking the time to dig it out without serious damage is about as amazing as the bent crank situation.

I know of a Hagan engine that was buried and a friend knew within about a 10 ft radius of where it was at. He hired a backhoe operator to come and dig it out. The day of the dig the operator he wanted to do the work couldn't come so he sent his son. The dad was an excellent operator and would go slow, shave off 1/4 of an inch at a time and so on. The son was a hurry up and get it done type (you know, the bars close at midnight and if he gets there by 4:00 he can stay for 8 hours).

Needless to say the attempt was a total disaster. Both flywheels ended up broken, one with a section of the rim broken out and the other with 2 broken spokes, the carb was broken off and severe gouges were put in the cylinder with the bucket teeth. The engine was dug out about 15 years ago and the last time I was at his place it was still sitting in a pile in the corner. I don't know if it will ever be put together or if it will end up being a parts engine.
 
Last edited:

Harry Terpstra

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/12/2019
Joel, thanks for the pictures and story about the resurrection of the Witte. That sure must have been a very tough restoration. You were lucky the flywheels were not cracked.
Tommy I remember the restoration of your Miami being on Smokstak. Very interesting story in GEM. It must have been very exciting to have a pattern made than cast, and machined. It really shows how good these pattern makers and foundries were over 120 years ago. I bet it will be nearly impossible to find a pattern maker / foundry that would be able to make a casting like say for a Stickney engine block. It really shows how much craftsmanship is lost.
 

haywaj

Registered
Last Subscription Date
01/06/2017
Joel, I don't think I've ever seen an engine have a crankshaft bent that bad and not have the flywheel hub busted. With it in the ground, the dirt must have held the flywheel steady when the tractor hit the crank.

The toughest one I ever tried to rebuild was a 5 HP Miami.

View attachment 380251

GEM wanted to do an article on it and I wrote one up for them. Click the following link and you can read it.

https://www.gasenginemagazine.com/restoration/gas-engines-restoration/miami-engine-zm0z15jjzhur


Here's a video of it running at Portland.

Very nice write up Tommy!
 

Dale Russell

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
08/29/2019
Been thinking about writing a few words about my experience restoring my "8 Cycle Aermotor Engine", so here goes. I purchased the Engine as a "basket" case probably 45 yrs. ago. After cleaning it up, I kinda lost interest in it, you know how life gets in the way. It was missing a LOT of parts, No Piston, No Rod, Gear Guards were missing, No fuel Tank, No Mixer or Intake valve, Muffler Cover was Missing, It did have the pipe with the holes in it. No Grease Cups, some Igniter Linkage Missing, The Igniter was there , Thank God. Exhaust Rocker had been broken and welded, so it was a challenge.

I found a recast pulley & Exhaust Rocker Arm. I found a complete fuel system on the Internet from (I think Paul Spence) thanks Paul! I found a 3" piston in junk pile, A friend loaned me a Rod to get one cast in Brass. I had to machine the Rod after I had it cast. I machined a piston Pin for the piston, I Purchased a set of Rings. I would see an Engine at shows and ask the owner if I could take a part off his engine and trace a pattern of the Igniter Parts that was missing. My Grandson, Randy kept saying, Grandpa I want to see that engine run, If it hadn't been for him keeping after me, it probably wouldn't be running now, Ha Ha. It's easy to procrastinate at my age, (89) at the time. Got the Gear Guards from Starbolts along with the Grease Cups. I had the Drip Oiler for the Piston. We belted it up to my 1 1/2 HP JD to break the Rings in to where It would bounce back on compression and finally it started to fire once in a while, That gave us encouragement that it might RUN. It runs all day long now at shows. I use a 12 V Battery through a coil that was used on GM Air-conditioned Magnetic Clutch back in the 80's. Thanks Randy for keeping my on target

As you can see in the pictures, I didn't have much to start with but I am glad we got it running, and it does draw a lot of attention at shows being an 8 Cycle ENGINE. And we do Enjoy taking it to the Fredonia, Ks ""OLD IRON DAY's" The last full weekend in September. Well the pictures didn't make the trip. Sorry about that, I will post the pictures if I get it figured out.
 
Last edited:

rustexpert

Registered
I remember a chap who had restored an engine which had been used as a mooring anchor in a Scottish sea water harbour. After he recovered it he "stored" it in a fresh water loch for about 10 years to leach out the salt. It had a bit broken out of the bed casting which he dovetailed in a repair section. It was an early engine to be worthy of such attention.
 

LCJudge

Subscriber
Age
60
Last Subscription Date
12/14/2019
I remember a chap who had restored an engine which had been used as a mooring anchor in a Scottish sea water harbour. After he recovered it he "stored" it in a fresh water loch for about 10 years to leach out the salt. It had a bit broken out of the bed casting which he dovetailed in a repair section. It was an early engine to be worthy of such attention.
If that's the engine Robert had, I own it now.......
 
Top