Thursday, July 10, 2014

How The Years Pile Up: A Gas Engine Oddysey

More than thirty-five years ago I spotted a flywheel in a damaged shed on Buck's Branch, just upstream from Martin, Kentucky.  I bought that engine (2400 lbs. of engine!), and with the help of my buddy Reed, I moved it to Emma, where we lived at the time.  We moved it to Illinois in 1980, and it has spent the years since waiting to be put back in running condition.  Work, family, and other activities have kept me from finishing the job, but we have kept it dry and out of the weather all these years.  Our friend Gary Bahre has taken it on as a project, and today it ran for the first time in fifty years or probably more.  Zeke and I poured a new rod bearing when he was just a little tyke, and we had the valves ground a quarter of a century ago.  Gary took it home on Saturday, and on Thursday, July 10, 2014, he had it running.  Here are some photos, and his video.

This engine was built in 1920, and powered a bur mill in Eastern Kentucky. It was built with a Webster magneto with ignitor, which was replaced at some time with a blacksmith built mount for a Wico magneto and sparkplug. Gary has used the rustic appearing mount with one of his Wico mags to get the old girl going. Gary will be showing this engine at Pinckneyville along with the 5 HP Falk engine that he recently restored. Danno, the Sand Castle Son, and the other members of the Rio Salado Target Terminators will get to see the Economy and other engines run next week when they have their private viewing of Gary Bahre's engine collection, at a super-secret location in the Southern-Illinois.

Photo and video credit: Gary Bahre

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That was a long gestation period!!!