I want to pick up an engien to run a cider scratter. I found a decent 2 HP United. Would that engine have any know issues that a total new guy would be stuck with. Owner says it runs great for hours on end. Any thoughts?
I don't think the ignitor will be a big deal to learn about. They tend to be more finicky than spark plugs, but to me they are more interesting to watch run as there are additional moving parts. Most people have seen a spark plug, but not many casual observers will have seen an ignitor. They are fairly simplistic in design, but they do cause some problems from time to time. As someone advised me once "when I have trouble with an ignitor engine starting I can usually trace it back to the ignitor". That being said I think you will be happy with it, don't give it a second thought in regards to having an ignitor.
I think that a United would make a great first engine, they are essentially (if type A) an Associated Chore Boy, which were built in massive numbers. Very simple and robust engines. Yes igniter's can cause trouble but if the engine is in reasonable shape i'm sure it will be fine and as said before just a little more interesting.
Thank you all for the feedback. I hope to get this deal done soon so I can start to play with it. I have yet to see it in person. When I look it over should I be looking for any specific items. Im not looking for a show piece this will be a working engine. If I see a repair that looks to be in good condition I see no reason to not use the engine. I have good knowlage of sound repairs. Am I overlooking something? Lets say this engine is selling for $700, would a sound repair lower the value much if at all or is it expected to have a few defects from 90 years of life?
If it has a working magneto and bracket, that's worth several hundred $. Looking at the engine I like to see valves that don't have a lot of slop in the guides, good square gears, flywheels that aren't cracked or repaired and rotate fairly straight. Welded rocker arms are OK, but look carefully at other welds. Uniteds are good engines. The 2 hp is probably 1924 or later. Send me a private message and we can get your serial number and some pictures for the United Registry.