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Would a United 2 HP make a good first engine?

1/4case

Registered
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?

RK
 

1/4case

Registered
I think this is an ignitor engine. Does that pose any issue with me learning to run it? Can I find a book on the running/different types of engines and how the operate?
 

stevenkd5017

Registered
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.
 

neilert

Registered
A few other books to learn more about the operation of old engines are:

The Small Single Cylinder Gas Engine by F.B. Wright
50 pages, describes operation and timing as well as repairs
I believe Lindsays has this one

American Gasoline Engines by C.H. Wendel
Black and white photo history book with a few general paragraphs about each brand of engine- 584 pages
4 pages in the book describe United engines from 1911 on

Gas Engine Troubles and Installation by J.B. Rathbun
444 pages, technical book

Have fun! Neil
 

LarrapMan

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Age
27
Last Subscription Date
06/24/2012
American Gasoline Engines by C.H. Wendel
Black and white photo history book with a few general paragraphs about each brand of engine- 584 pages
Ooooooooohh, I thought that was a shopping list :O :D


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.

Joe
 

1/4case

Registered
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?
 

Mike Cummins

Registered
My first engine was a 2HP United, I still have it 40 years later. Great engine to learn on. Magneto with 4 bolt mounting base would be a plus for your find. Good luck, Mike
 

Dick Webber

Subscriber
Age
81
Last Subscription Date
07/15/2019
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.

Good luck. They are great engines.

Dick Webber
United Engine Registry
 

1/4case

Registered
I dont see a mag in the pictures so I assume its a buzz coil outfit. Would a mag be correct of do they come in both flavors?
 

Doug Kimball

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/10/2019
With an ignitor it would be a low tension coil not a buzz coil. I think most 2 hp came with a 2-bolt Associated mag. That said, they will run fine with lt coil & battery.
 
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