Western Electric Light Plant update

Mike Schweikert

Hi Folks,

Been a while. See earlier post to catch up.

Had the piston grooved and ring spacers made with new rings (THANK YOU DAVE REED!!)

Got a new piston pin and bushing and remachined the pin lock and boss. Originally there was a screw that went into the piston pin, then a small cotter pin was jammed into the hole in the end of the screw. This was an actual factory method, that I thought sucked, so off with it.

Mounted new gas tank (THANK YOU JOHN WANAT !!) a work of art in itself. Picked up crankcase and mounted whole thing on heavy cart. Cleaned out crankcase, cleaned out oil pump and screen. Cleaned up crank pin and bushings.

Had a battery box made for this, its 3 12v garden tractor batteries in series and used a roller-smith gauge with a knife switch to monitor voltage. Got a plug in it too to plug my radios and fan into it.

Used a old knife switch off another ancient switchboard for the front. Works real well.

So buttoned up crankcase, mounted switchboard and fixed the original 32v coil as the connections inside the bakelite top corroded. It works well now. Made new spark and coil wires. Cleaned carb out as well as the venturi tube.

I got it to fire for the first time in probably 50-60 years.

It will pop a few times, but it is clear the timing is very retarded. I will have to address that to get it to run for more than a few seconds.

More to come...


Mike Schweikert

First Run after 50-60 years??

Had to play with mixture and throttle position. Its a bit fast and have gotten a wee slower now. Obviously I have to get it on soft ground to stop the oscillation. I use Coleman fuel for many first starts, because if it sprays or slobbers it isn't a problem. I did discover the shut off works, cause the batteries are already at 36 volts to start. What I did for a longer run time is hook up 3 32v lights and let them draw through the switchboard. That drained it down enough for a few minutes of running. It charges well.


Tim B

Looks like it was a long bumpy road there. Nice job getting the ol girl running. Thanks for sharing the video.