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Articles in Category: Original GEM Articles Category Tools
Old 03-27-2017 10:45:38 AM
Smokstak Smokstak is offline
Views: 55,163

Briggs & Stratton 5S Where to start restoring?

My son and I just purchased a B&S Model 5S (Type 700041 - SN 318034) to get started in the hobby. I also ordered a B&S repair manual last evening. We are at best "green" in the area of engine restoration as this is our 1st engine. All of the parts appear to be present on the engine and there are no cracks or broken pieces. I was amazed the muffler, breather & gas tank seem to be physically sound and not dented. The engine was sitting outside and I found the gas tank was... [Read More]

Old 02-01-2005 01:50:39 AM
Smokstak Smokstak is offline
Views: 23,304

The Future of Our Hobby

Ten years ago when I first brought antique engines to the internet, I had a thought that this might be a way to introduce engine collecting to our younger generation. I worked for 23 years at a college, doing technical support in radio, television and computers. This placed me in and around the younger generation while I grew older and then retired. These stories remind me of when I “fixed” the family lawn mower and put the rod end cap on backwards, thus beginning my mechanical avocation. --... [Read More]

Old 12-22-2004 03:35:56 PM
Smokstak Smokstak is offline
Views: 45,837

What to do about blow-by?

On my Jaeger, the cylinder was honed and the piston was put back in with the old rings (6 of them) and the engine ran well after the rings took a seat. After a few months of running occasionally, there is a noticeable amount of blow-by. I see no reason for this to start now, any ideas why? What can I do? – Mac

I have never had any luck reusing old piston rings. I know a lot of people that do it, though. If I don't have to pull the piston out of an engine, I don't. If I have to, I replace... [Read More]

Old 10-23-2004 10:17:09 AM
Smokstak Smokstak is offline
Views: 16,834

How many engines are enough?

Hey everyone, I need advice. Three generations, my dad, my son, and I collect engines, steam, and tractors. My 8yr old son announced this week that he wants us to have 100 engines. We currently have 30 engines, 20 tractors, and if we really want to count them, a dozen letter style Briggs and a few Maytags. But I really think my son has caught the dreaded disease of ENGINE FEVER. He looks through all the magazines, local classifieds, etc in search of more engines. He sleeps with Wendel’s... [Read More]

Old 09-12-2004 09:40:31 PM
Smokstak Smokstak is offline
Views: 18,997

Engine Crank Handles - yea or nay?

After reading the post earlier about someone wanting a crank handle, I thought I would bring it up. I picked up a little 1 horse Mogul the other day and it came with a crank handle. Not really thinking much about the situation, I tried to start the engine on the tailgate of the truck and it spit back and threw the crank handle inches from my friends head. Well you might have guessed it the (widow maker) will not be used by me anymore on this engine. But, I see quite a few folks using them at... [Read More]

Old 09-06-2004 11:29:26 AM
Smokstak Smokstak is offline
Views: 32,547

Running Engines on Propane

Well I seem to have caught this propane bug that’s been going around and I am toying with the idea of running my 6 horse M on the bottle. I think I can make a plate for over the compensator and plumb the bottle up there. I am hoping to be able to start the engine on gasoline and then after things warm up a bit and even out I want to be able to switch it over to propane. What I need to know is this: do I need to change the magneto timing to run on propane or will the same settings I use for... [Read More]

Old 08-30-2004 04:33:39 PM
Smokstak Smokstak is offline
Views: 13,869

Ever get discouraged?

Has this ever happened to anyone? You buy a project engine that seems like it only needs a few things. But when you dig into it, there are about five times more things wrong with it than you ever imaged, and it stops being a fun project?
I just got the flywheels from my 5HP Bulldog back from the sand blaster, having decided to spend a few dollars and save some time. I found that the hub was repaired, and three of the spokes are cracked at the hub, and one where it meets the rim. All this... [Read More]

Old 07-11-2004 01:26:06 PM
Smokstak Smokstak is offline
Views: 27,276

Why slow running engines?

I was wondering why most people here talk about slow running engines, If it is slow running then it can not be belted to any thing can it? When I get my engine to run, I think I am going to let it run at its rated speed so I can belt it up to a pump. I do not see the point of having a tool made so that it cannot work as it was intended. Anyone want to explain why slow running is good? -- Mac Leod

Running them slow is a challenge, and all that action happens in SSLLOWWW motion! -- Joe

A... [Read More]

Old 07-06-2004 09:22:39 PM
Smokstak Smokstak is offline
Views: 28,792

Wet Compressed air for sandblasting

I have just starting sandblasting a bunch of parts and my air supply is way too wet. I have two cyclone air separators in the line between my air compressor and my blast cabinet but it’s still too wet. Now what do I do? How can I get very dry air without spending an arm and a leg? – Joseph

Could the location of the separators have anything to do with it? I have a bank of four separators located right off my compressor and I have never had that happen. I don’t know if the quantity of separ... [Read More]

Old 05-11-2004 06:43:33 AM
Smokstak Smokstak is offline
Views: 15,201

Old Iron and Young Men

I just visited the Pawnee show this past weekend and a great show it was. I have had two main hobbies over the years, radio control model airplanes and old iron. In the model airplane hobby it was a struggle to get the young boys and girls involved for several reasons; money, help from home. It seems to me it is the same in the engine/tractor hobby. At the show I saw a great many young visitors but very few that were involved in the display of old iron. It seems to me the same problem may be as... [Read More]

Old 04-28-2004 02:58:05 PM
Smokstak Smokstak is offline
Views: 15,565

Golf Carts and ATVs

I belong to a club that has two shows a year and a swap meet. They allow exhibitors, vendors and the public to bring in golf carts, four wheelers and modern lawn tractors to ride around on. It has become a problem as attendance has grown and the exhibit and flea market isles have become congested. It has become almost impossible to navigate a larger than average tractor even on main roads of the show grounds due to the parade of golf carts. Trams are provided to move people to and from... [Read More]

Old 02-17-2004 10:59:04 PM
Smokstak Smokstak is offline
Views: 15,732

Crazy Magneto Prices

Has anyone checked out the prices that magneto's are going for? Am I crazy? I guess with more people getting into the old engine business, there is a big demand for mags. It's unreal the prices some of the mags are going for. Anyone else have any opinions on this subject? -- Pat

It's sad when a magneto can cost more then the engine it goes on. With the price of some magnetos I'm surprised the Chinese haven't started making them and selling them cheaper. – Vernon

Seems like I've bi... [Read More]

Old 01-14-2004 07:48:24 PM
Smokstak Smokstak is offline
Views: 11,070

Insurance on Engines and Tractors

What do you guys/ladies do for insurance on your engines and tractors?
I was talking to my insurance agent today concerning insurance on my engines and tractors. And as I understand it, If you think your homeowners insurance will cover them, you are probably wrong. She said that since they are antiques and cannot be easily replaced, they are not insured under my home owner’s policy. Surprise! She said that she must secure a policy with an underwriter that specializes in heirlooms, wine collecti... [Read More]

Old 11-15-2003 08:38:20 PM
Smokstak Smokstak is offline
Views: 16,962

Original Condition - Where do you draw the line?

I was talking to an engine buddy the other day at work about his "original" engine. The more he talked the more un-original it got. Seems the only original parts to the engine are the block, head, flywheels, and timing gears. He made up a new piston, connecting rod, valves, and on and on. This made me start to wonder, where you draw the line on what's considered original. If you have to replace piston rings for instance, or re-babbitt the main bearings, can the engine still be... [Read More]

Old 11-13-2003 11:06:50 PM
Smokstak Smokstak is offline
Views: 14,476

Old Engine Torque

I was just curious to see if anyone had ever figured out the foot pounds of torque an old engine would put out, compared to modern day engines. Say like, what would a 225 H.P. Fairbanks Y put out compared to a modern day 225 H.P. V-8, or any two engines of the same H.P. for that matter. This just crossed my mind and I was wondering if anyone had ever hooked up an old engine to an engine dynamometer. -- Tanner

Funny you should ask. Back on November 3, Dave asked about "old" engin... [Read More]

Old 10-23-2003 09:14:02 AM
Smokstak Smokstak is offline
Views: 11,481

Preservation Methods for Original Finish

I saw a previous post that alluded to methods of maintaining or enhancing the original finish on the old engines. I also saw in the archives where linseed oil could be painted on, but other than that I can't seem to find much. What might some of the other methods be and what is the best? I’m looking forward to another long winter in the shop. – Baggsy

I have left all of my engines with the original finish. First they are cleaned with kerosene and left to dry. Then I apply a 50/50 coat of... [Read More]

Old 08-05-2003 10:30:02 AM
Smokstak Smokstak is offline
Views: 9,533

Model T Buzz Coils

Could someone tell me how to check a Model T Coil before I go to all the trouble of soldering some clips on the post? – Benny

The way I do it is to just hook a 6 or 9 volt battery to the positive and negative terminals of the coil and see if I can make it buzz. Nothing fancy, but it works for me. – Mike

The top and bottom post are primary, + and -, doesn't make any difference which way. The center button is secondary and be sure you have a wire with a 1/4 to 3/8" gap fo... [Read More]

Old 07-22-2003 12:52:47 PM
Smokstak Smokstak is offline
Views: 11,883

Why won't he sell it?

I first saw this "Sandwich" engine in 1976 when it was hauled home. It hasn’t been moved since and it is sinking further down in the dirt. The owner still won’t part with it, saying he plans to run it someday. You've got to admire him for not giving up hope, but it’s too bad he won’t cover it up. –Rusty

Buy a tarp and some rope and go over there and offer to cover it for him. I understand this would be out of your pocket, but it would be worth it in my opinion. – Joe

He WILL... [Read More]

Old 01-08-2002 07:48:02 PM
Smokstak Smokstak is offline
Views: 21,415

What got you started collecting engines?

I got this idea when I was shoveling snow and I said to myself, “I wonder what got you guys started in engine collecting?” I guess if I tell you my life story about how I got started (hey I'm only 13 years old.) Ever since I can remember I've been interested in old farm equipment. My grandpa used to take me to tractor shows when I was old enough to walk. (Because he was too lazy to carry me, not really, he did a lot of things for me.) Anyway my first engine was a Maytag and then some model... [Read More]

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