RESTORING A 2 HP SATTLEY ENGINE

Scott Nance
June/July 1990
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9) Machined exhaust push rod and brass sleeve.
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I had never seen a hit and miss engine before I bought the Sattley as a 'pile of rust and broken parts'. I was able to restore it to running condition in four months of part time work on weekends. Since there are probably others who would like to restore an engine but are concerned about the being able to, I wrote an article on my experience to show that restoration can be a no-experience-needed hobby. I mention the use of a lathe to fix some parts, but I am not a professional machinist and am entirely self-taught in the use of machine tools.

Tools and Basic background information needed. If you want to restore an old engine it is very helpful to have worked on a gasoline engine before. Just by doing a tune-up on your car you learn about engine timing.

The more types of automotive engine repairs you have done, the more familiar with old hit and miss engines you will be.

You should have a reasonable set of tools: a set of socket wrenches, several hammers, several kinds of pliers, a set of screw drivers, a set of open end wrenches, one or two adjustable wrenches, metal chisels, metal files of different sizes, an electric drill, a full set of metal drill bits from 1/16' to ? in 1/64' steps, and a propane or MAPP gas torch are a minimum. I made extensive use of my small bench drill press, and a wire brush attachment for my electric drill. You most likely will need to buy several taps and dies.

Some background reading before attempting an engine restoration is helpful. GEM is one source of good ideas for engine restoration and ads for parts and services suppliers dedicated to restoration. I recommend Guide to Antique Engine Repair by Bud Motry. It is advertised regularly in this magazine and is easily worth its $7.00 price.

If you have never worked with metal, I recommend you buy a text book on machine tool practices. A textbook for beginning metal shop or the machine tool course at a local two year college will be excellent. Beginning textbooks have chapters on using many of the hand tools that are necessary in old engine restoration. Almost all that I know about metal working came out of such a text.

Getting the engine. The idea of getting and restoring a hit and miss engine came from a close friend who had seen them run at shows and wanted one for his own. He showed me some pictures and got my interest going. I live in the San Francisco area of California, where there are not many farms or engines, and I had no idea where to find engines. The most I could do was look around when I was in the country. Over a period of two years nothing turned up. Then a mutual friend said he'd heard of a farmer in Sonoma County who was selling some old engines. It was a week before we were able to find the time to travel the two hours to his farm, and when we arrived we found out another collector had arrived the day before and bought the 6 best engines. We looked over the engines that were left and were disappointed. All the small ones were rusted with broken or missing parts. I decided to take a chance and bought a 2 HP Sattley because it looked like all the parts were there. The piston was frozen in the cylinder, the pivot post for the exhaust arm was broken, the head was cracked in two places and it was badly rusted up. Pictures 1 and 2 show the Sattley just after I got it. It still had the name plate with the model type and serial number. I knew that having the model and serial number would be helpful in trying to find parts. Another plus for the Sattley was that it uses a Wico EK magneto, which is a common magneto, and both replacement parts and complete magnetos are readily available by mail.

Taking the Engine apart. Before you take an engine apart, take lots of pictures of it! I had to take the flywheels and crankshaft off my engine to make it light enough to take out of the back of my car without a block and tackle. As soon as I got the engine on the ground I took quite a few pictures of it from several angles and several close ups of the governor and the linkage for the magneto. The photos were useful later when I reassembled the engine and had forgotten just how things went together. Also many parts houses request a picture of the engine so they have a better chance of getting the correct part.

Disassembling a rusted-up engine is a tough job no matter how you tackle it. For my engine most of the nuts and bolts were rusted tight and the piston was stuck in the cylinder. For the first pass I used a penetrating oil called 'Liquid Wrench.' It worked on about 30% of the bolts on the engine. For most of the rusted bolts and nuts heat was the best weapon. The idea here is to use the expansion and contraction of the metal as it heats and cools to break the rusted joint. I used a MAPP gas torch (these can be obtained at most hardware stores for about $20) for heat to break frozen parts free. The heat method worked on about 90% of the frozen parts. In some cases I had to apply heat two or three times, the last time heating the nut or piece of casting with a bolt in it to red hot before it would break free. About 10% of the bolts and screws could not be loosened with any of these techniques listed above and broke off or needed to be cut off with a chisel or saw.

Removing the flywheels from the crankshaft was some challenge. I had already removed the crankshaft and flywheels from the engine to lighten it enough to move. Now I had to get the flywheels off the crankshaft. I removed the tapered keys from the hubs of the flywheels by applying penetrating oil, letting it soak in and then prying the tapered keys out with a crowbar. I had to put a small piece of 3/8' square steel on the hub close to the key to get enough leverage. Even with the tapered keys removed the flywheels were still firmly stuck on the crankshaft. Since my flywheels were solid I could not see any way to use a gear or wheel puller. I ended up supporting one flywheel above the ground with the crankshaft hanging down vertically, then drove the crankshaft out of the flywheel with a small sledge hammer. The flywheel was supported by hanging it by two 2x4's placed next to the crankshaft and supported on each end by saw horses. I used a metal shaft about ? smaller in diameter than the crankshaft as the drift. I was careful never to hit on the end of the crankshaft directly with the hammer, so as not to mushroom it over.

Broken or cut off bolts and screws. The best approach for these is to drill them out and re-tap the hole. I would try to file the end of the broken bolt flat and carefully mark the center of the bolt with a prick punch. Then, on my drill press, I drilled the bolt out starting with a small drill and working up to a drill that was the tapping size for that thread size. Then I tried to re-tap the hole to its original thread size. This worked every time for this engine. If it does not work for you, then you have two choices. One is to drill a larger hole and tap for the next size bolt (this requires drilling out the hole on the piece the bolt holds on). The other choice is get a thread repair kit and use it to get the hole back to the original thread size. Thread repair kits are at many hardware stores, some machine tool supply houses and some auto parts stores. The use of thread repair kits involves drilling and tapping the hole to a larger size and then using a liner threaded on both the outside and the inside to bring the hole back to its original threaded size.

Another tip on engine disassembly is to make up several boxes and cans with labels on them for parts and nuts and bolts from different sections of the engine. For example I put the bearing caps and bearing inserts for the left side of the engine in one can and the right in another. Also I put tape labels on the bearing insert halves to separate the top insert from the bottom insert with an arrow on the tape showing which side of the bearing insert faced toward the flywheels.

As I took the engine apart I was careful to make sure to mark where the shims came from. The shims were necessary when the engine was reassembled to get the proper bearing clearances. (Shims are thin pieces of metal or paper used to adjust the clearance of a bearing by holding the bearing caps away from their mating surfaces.) Save the old gaskets as they will be useful later as templates for making new gaskets. The Sattley had thin (0.10') paper shims for both the main and connecting rod bearings. Several of the shims came apart when the engine was disassembled. I saved the old shims to use later as templates to make new ones.

The valves presented a special problem. Both intake and exhaust valves were frozen in their valve guides. My torch was not hot enough to get the head really hot, so I heated the exposed part of the valve guide as hot as I could, allowed it to cool and then poured penetrating oil down the guide as best I could. I then placed the head on wooden blocks and hit the top of the valve stem with a brass hammer. At first the valves did not move even after several blows. I then repeated the heating and penetrating oil and let the head sit for a day and tried again. On the third try the intake valve broke loose a little. More penetrating oil around valve stem for a few hours and another hit and it was loose. The exhaust valve required another heating session and even then the valve stem started to mushroom at the top from the hammer before it started to move. Before I drove the exhaust valve out I cut the mushroomed top of the stem off so it would not get stuck in the guide.

The last and most worrisome part of disassembly was getting the frozen piston out of the cylinder. The piston was frozen about ? from the bottom of its stroke. The exposed three inches of cylinder were covered with rust and dirt, as shown in Picture 3. First I scraped the dirt off the exposed area. Then I used medium emery cloth with kerosene as a solvent and cleaned off as much rust as possible. I also used emery cloth to clean out the carbon in the top part of the cylinder above the piston. The cylinder was then braced so the top of the piston and the cylinder bore faced up. I then poured about 1' of kerosene in the cylinder, covered it, and let it sit for several weeks. Kerosene makes a good penetrating oil and evaporates slowly. I then turned the cylinder upside down so the connecting rod was up and squirted penetrating oil around the bottom edge of the piston and let it sit for a few days. To break the piston loose I braced the head so the connecting rod was hanging down, placed the biggest wooden block that would fit in the cylinder on top of the piston and hit down on the block with a 3 lb. hammer. After several blows the piston moved about 1/8' indicating it was free. I then turned the cylinder upside down and drove the piston out the head end placing a wood block on the open end of the connecting rod and drove it out with the heavy hammer. The rings were frozen in the grooves of the piston but soaking the piston several days in kerosene loosened them up enough so I could remove them without breaking them.

A final note about disassembly: If rusted parts broke as I was disassembling them, I was careful to keep the two pieces together. (This happened with two springs and the rod that connected the governor with the carburetor.) Then when I was in the fixing phase of the project I could take measurements from the broken pieces for finding a replacement spring or making a replacement part.

Part clean up. To get the engine cleaned up I divided the parts into two groups: ones that could be sandblasted (parts with out exposed machined surfaces) and ones to be cleaned with a wire brush or an emery cloth (parts with exposed machined surfaces). Most of the parts could be sandblasted, though I had to plug up some holes with wood plugs and make wood covers for the ends of the cylinder. In the phone book I found a sandblasting firm and had all the parts sandblasted for $40. Right after, I coated them with paint primer. Bare metal rusts very fast and it is good practice to put primer on metal right after sandblasting. The remaining parts were cleaned with a combination of naval jelly, a wire brush attached to a hand drill and emery cloth. It just required time and patience.

The carbon on top of the piston was scraped off with a putty knife. I removed all the rings and scraped the carbon out of the ring grooves. I did not replace the rings, though it is a good idea to replace the rings when rebuilding an engine. There are several suppliers of piston rings who advertise in GEM and a new set of rings for one piston are not very expensive. If you do decide to replace the rings, you can break one of the old rings in half, grind the broken end flat and use it as a tool the clean the carbon out of the ring grooves.

Repair. The next thing I did was decide what needed to be repaired and how I was going to do it. Parts that needed repair were:
1.  The head was cracked in two places for about 2 inches.
2. Exhaust lever bracket on the head was broken.
3.  Rod holding the actuating and return springs for the magneto was rusted away.
4. Carburetor intake diaphragm was rusted away.
5. Both the needle valves in the carburetor were badly rusted.
6.  The spring for exhaust push rod was broken.
7.  The end of the exhaust push rod was rusted badly and would not slide through the holder in the carburetor.
8. The magneto was frozen and badly corroded inside.
9. The cylinder bore was badly pitted for the bottom ? of it length.
10.  Both valve guides were badly worn.
11.  One of the valve stems was ruined from driving it out of the head.

While this list looks formidable these repairs were not too difficult. For several repairs I used a lathe, but I will give suggestions on how I would have done these same repairs without a lathe.

Cracked head: I attacked the head first, since it seemed the most difficult and if I could not fix the head, then I might as well not bother on the other parts. The head was cracked in two places between the water jacket and the outside. Both cracks were about two inches long. I would not have attempted to weld the cast iron head. My understanding is that when cast iron is welded the heating and cooling creates weakness in the area next to the weld which then breaks or cracks. Cast iron can be welded, but it requires an expert to do it successfully. I chose an old technique called lace welding which uses threaded plugs to fill the crack. Clean the area of the crack and find the beginning and end of it. Make a punch mark at the end of the crack, then drill out and tap a ?-28 hole. Coat the inside of the hole with epoxy, coat a ?-28 bolt with epoxy and screw the bolt into the hole. Let the epoxy harden, then cut off the bolt head and file the bolt off flat with the iron surface. Then make a punch mark in the crack at the edge of the filed-off bolt. Drill and tap another ?-28 hole; this hole will overlap both the bolt and the crack. Plug this hole with another epoxy-covered bolt and let the epoxy dry. Repeat the above steps until the entire crack is plugged and you have overlapped both ends of the crack by at least ? the width of the bolt (this overlap should stop the crack from spreading again).

The above technique is an old one and I know it has been used to repair cracked parts on antique cars with good success. I have run the engine repaired with this technique for over eight hours and everything is holding fine with no leaks. In the head for my engine I had to pull the cracked piece back in alignment with clamps before I did the drilling and plugging. I clamped the head in a drill press to drill the hole and then used the drill press chuck to hold the tap since it was aligned with the hole right after the hole was drilled.

A word of caution: make sure the epoxy has set up before drilling and tapping the next hole. If the plug you are drilling into is not fixed tightly it will turn a little when you try to tap the hole overlapping the plug and the crack. I broke a tap when I hurried this operation before the epoxy had set up. Also I don't recommend quick drying epoxies because most of these are not recommended for use in repairs that are exposed to temperatures over 150° F. If you want to speed the operation, start at each end of the crack and work toward the middle making sure you get proper overlap with the last plug. In my case the last plug only overlapped the two plugs next to it by about 1/16', but that was enough to lock the crack up.

I did consider having the cracks repaired at a shop specializing in automotive head repair. Two shops I called quoted me a price of $40/inch, so the 4 inches of cracks in the Sattley head would have cost $160 to repair.

The high cost of having the cracks professionally repaired motivated me to try the lace welding method described above.

Broken bracket for exhaust lever: The second big problem to solve was the broken exhaust lever bracket. This bracket is cast into the head (see Picture 4). Since I was lucky and the top part of the broken bracket was with the exhaust lever, I decided to try a repair using the broken-off piece. One way would have been to weld or braze the broken bracket back on. Since I do not own welding equipment and was unsure about welding cast iron in general, I decided against it. Instead, I bolted the bracket back together by clamping the broken piece on, then drilling a 13/64' tapping hole through the top piece, the pivot and into the bottom of the bracket. Then I tapped the bottom of the bracket ?'-20. I then drilled out the top part of the bracket and pivot post to ?' diameter. I was then able to bolt the pivot arm back on the head as shown in Picture 5. If the top part of the broken bracket had not been with the engine I would have milled or filed off the broken bottom part of the bracket flat and then made a top piece out of some scrap steel and bolted it on. The top part could be made using just a hacksaw, files and a drill press.

Actuating rod for the magneto. The rod holding the springs for actuating the Wico EK magneto was rusted to the point of breaking. I used a combination of wire brushing and naval jelly to get the springs free from the rod. I was able to reuse the springs, but there are advertisers in GEM who carry replacements. After measuring the rod I turned and threaded a replacement on my lathe. Without a lathe I could have made a replacement rod as follows: first, I would have bought a 1' length of 3/8'-16 threaded rod at the hardware store, cut it to length and cross-drilled a hole in one end for the cotter pin-this would make the basic rod. Then I would have bought a short length of ?' diameter mild steel and drilled a 3/8' diameter hole in it for about 3' down the center and cut to length to make the sleeve to support the actuating spring. The whole thing can then be reassembled with some 3/8 washers as the retaining and thrust washers.

Carburetor intake diaphragm: The carburetor intake diaphragm, spring post and return spring were just about rusted away. This was the first engine of this type I had ever seen and I had no books on old engines, so I had to spend some time figuring out what the diaphragm was used for before I could try to make a replacement for it. In short the diaphragm is there to allow enough vacuum to be created in the carburetor to draw the gas from the tank into the carburetor. If the diaphragm were not there, then a gas pump and float bowl would be needed to make the carburetor work properly. Once I knew the diaphragm's function I realized that any round flat metal with a weak spring would do. I used some galvanized steel from a rain gutter for the round diaphragm. To cut the sheet metal in a round circle without bending it, I first clamped it between two washers of the same outside diameter I wanted the diaphragm to be, using a bolt through a hole drilled in the sheet metal. I then used tin snips to cut the metal as close as possible to the outside edge of the washers. The sheet metal was then filed flush with the outside edges of the washers. The post that held the diaphragm and return spring was almost rusted away so it needed to be replaced. The old post was pressed into the cover of the air intake to the carburetor. I just drove the old one out with a punch and turned a new one on my lathe and pressed it in. To repair the post without a lathe I would have drilled out the old hole to a common tapping size, threaded the hole and then used a bolt with the head cut off for the post and some 'Locktite' thread locking com pound to fix it in the hole. The surface of the carburetor air intake cover that the diaphragm sits on was also rusted and pitted and needed to be cleaned up so the diaphragm would get a good seal. I surfaced it in the lathe by taking several very light facing cuts. An alternative would have been to file the surface smooth, being careful to keep it flat. A good method of filing a flat surface and keeping it flat is called cross filing. Cross filing is explained in any good machine shop textbook. The completed diaphragm is shown in Picture 6. 

Needle valves in the carburetor: The needle valves for adjusting the gas/air mixture were badly rusted and needed to be replaced. This is one repair that was easy with a lathe and would be much more difficult without one. The tips of the needle valves were rusted away and so the whole needle valve needed to be replaced. I also decided to replace the rusted steel handle for the needle valve with a brass one. Making the new needle valve and handle were simple turning and threading operations on the lathe. The one interesting part was that the threads in the carburetor for the needle thread were ?'-24 TPI, which is not a standard thread size. I had to cut the threads on the lathe instead of with a die. Picture 7 shows the old needle valve and a new needle with a new brass handle.

If I had not had a lathe available, I still could have made a new needle valve as follows: I would have taken a ?' diameter rod and cut it to the same length as the old needle valve. Then I would have chucked it in the drill press with about 1' extending beyond the chuck. Then with the drill press running at a slow speed, I would have used a file to make the pointed tip. The exact angle of the tip is not critical. I would have had to buy a ?-24 die from a machine tool supply house. Many machine tool supply companies carry taps and dies for non-standard threads like ?'-24.I would have threaded most of the rod ?-24, then returned to the drill press and filed away the threads near the tip. The needle could then be soldered or brazed into the old handle. It would also be possible to thread the top part of the needle ?'-28 and use two nuts to bolt it to the old handle.

Exhaust push rod spring: The original exhaust push rod spring was one that has small openings in each end and gets big in the middle. I believe a similar spring can be bought from the engine parts suppliers who regularly advertise in this magazine. I made an equivalent spring as follows: first I cut a spring of approximately the same diameter wire as the original spring to the same length as the original spring. Then I heated the last coil of the cut off end with a propane torch and bent it down slightly so the end of the spring was flat. Two retaining washers were made for each end of the spring by soldering washers slightly smaller than the inside diameter of the spring to washers with a diameter slightly larger than the outside diameter of the spring. I chose washers where the hole through the middle was just larger than the diameter of the exhaust push rod that they had to slide over. Picture 8 shows the finished spring and washers in place. The spring retaining washers could also be made by turning a small shoulder on two washers with a lathe.

Badly rusted exhaust push rod. The end of the exhaust push rod was rusted into the guide on the carburetor. When I got them apart it was clear that what remained of the push rod was too small to be a good sliding fit in the guide on the carburetor. The method of repair I chose required a lathe and I don't know how you would proceed without one. I turned the rusted end of the exhaust push rod down until all the rust was removed and I had a good finish on the metal. I then made a small brass sleeve whose inside diameter was the same as the outside diameter of the push rod and whose outside diameter was the same as that of the inside diameter of the guide on the carburetor. I fixed the sleeve in the guide with some Locktite. Picture 9 shows the push rod sticking out of the guide and sleeve on the engine. Without a lathe, I could have had an automotive machine shop do the work. Turning the push rod and making the small brass sleeve are simple machining operations and do not need to be done to close tolerances.

The magneto was frozen and badly corroded inside. When I got the cover off the Wico EK magneto I found it badly rusted, and much of the pot metal used for the frame was corroded and looked weak. A quick check of the two coils with an ohmmeter found one to be open. I called a few of the people who advertise magneto repair in GEM and found that cost of the materials for me to do the repair would be about $60-$70. Branson Enterprises quoted $ 110 for a repaired or rebuilt mag. At $110, an expert repair seemed to be worth the additional $50, so off went the old magneto with a check to Branson Enterprises. A completely rebuilt magneto arrived less than three weeks later, and I was able to bolt the rebuilt magneto on the engine without any adjustments. It works great.

Badly pitted cylinder bore: Fortunately only about the bottom ? of the cylinder bore was rusted and pitted. I measured the piston and the cylinder and determined that the pitted part was below the bottom of the travel of the rings on the piston. This meant that I did not need to sleeve the cylinder to get a good sealing surface for the rings. I cleaned the rust and carbon out of the piston with emery cloth and kerosene, then with a cylinder hone from a local tools rental shop I honed out the cylinder until its whole length was clean except for deep rust pits at the bottom. Even with no rust in your cylinder it is good practice to hone it when rebuilding an engine. Honing will break the glaze of the cylinder walls so the rings can re-seat and get a good seal. After honing I inserted the piston and checked the fit with a feeler gauge at both the top and bottom. The maximum thickness feeler gauge I could insert between the cylinder wall and the piston was 0.005', which was less then the maximum of 0.008' recommended in Bud Motry's book.

Valve guides were badly worn and one of the valve stems was ruined from driving it out of the head. The valves for the Sattley were built up out of two pieces. The stem was steel threaded at one end and screwed onto the head with a small part of the thread peened over to lock it in place. This made the repairing of the damaged valve stem easy. I just drilled out the original stem from the head, then turned and threaded a new stem. In turning the new valve stem I made it slightly larger than the original so it would fit close in the worn valve guide. I did not ream out the valve guide since I could get an acceptable fit by just turning the valve stem oversize. I then took the valves and the head to an automotive machine shop and had them grind the valves and the seats. (They only charged me $5 to do this.) Having the shop grind the valve faces after I had made new stems insures that the valve faces are at 45 degrees with the stems. Because the intake valve seat was recessed about 3' in the head the machine shop was unable to grind it, as their grinding tool did not reach that deep. This problem was easily solved by applying some valve grinding compound (this can be purchased at most auto parts stores) to the valve face and then spinning the valve on its seat. I used an electric drill to spin the valve and it only took about three minutes to get a good seat. If you do not want to tackle the head repair job, most towns have a machine shop specializing in automotive head repair that can do the job for you. Specialty head repair shops are good places to go to try to find used automotive valves if your old valves can't be repaired.

When the valves were completed, I had finished all the repair work and could start reassembly. I had originally intended to just restore the engine to its original condition, but since I was rebuilding this engine to run as a 'toy,' I made some modifications to make it better fit my needs.

Conversion of the engine from throttle governed to hit and miss governed. After I had disassembled the engine I discovered that it was not a hit and miss engine but a throttle governed engine. I had recently seen a hit and miss engine in operation at a show and was very disappointed because I really wanted one. A look at the governor linkage convinced me that I could convert the engine to hit and miss operation. 

Hit and miss governing is usually accomplished by holding the exhaust valve open so the engine does not draw in gas or have a compression stroke and free wheels. This could easily be accomplished on my engine by making a lever that would hold the exhaust push rod when the governor flyweights were expanded. The best place to hold the exhaust push rod was at the place where the magneto drive linkage was bolted to it. With a few measurements I was easily able to make the lever out of a plate of ?' thick scrap steel, a ?' square steel bar about 6' long and some 10-24 set screws. The whole thing was made with a hacksaw, a metal file, a 10-24 tap, a ?-20 tap and a drill press. Picture 10 shows the homemade lever and Picture 11 shows it mounted on the engine. I was able to use the adjusting screw from the original throttling lever arm for my hit and miss lever arm. I had to add a spring from the carburetor to the lever arm to return it to the open position when the engine speed slowed down and the governor flyweights released it. Nelson Brothers made a version of this engine with hit and miss governing (back cover of GEM December 1989). Had I known this when I was restoring my engine, I would have tried to get a replacement lever arm for the hit and miss model.

Modification of the flywheel locking system: I wanted to make the engine portable enough to take to show friends or groups-light enough so two people could pick it up and put it in the back of a car or truck. The fully assembled engine was much too heavy for this. Since the flywheels make up a considerable amount of the total engine weight, making them easy to remove and replace would allow me to make the engine much lighter to move.

The flywheels were originally locked on the crankshaft with tapered keys which are difficult to remove. I replaced the tapered key locking system with a square key and locked it with a 5/16' Allen bolt and locking nut. I bought the square at a local hardware store and filed to fit the key way. The hole for the locking bolt was drilled with a hand drill. The only thing critical for a locking bolt is that it is placed above the key way and locks the key in place. Picture 12 shows the Allen bolt and locking bolt in place on the flywheel. I have found this system satisfactory for my display engine and have not had a problem with the flywheels coming loose, though I check them each time I run the engine. A flywheel coming off a running engine can be very dangerous.

Painting: Since I have no spray painting equipment, I could not use lacquer based paint and had to settle for an industrial oil based paint that has good resistance to gasoline. I had no idea what the original color for the engine was, so I had a paint store custom mix a dark green that I thought would look nice. The custom mix only cost me $10 extra and I got a dark green that I really liked. A burgundy red would also look nice on an antique engine like this one. Painting amounted to putting primer on all the un-machined exposed surfaces that were not already primed and then putting on three coats of paint.

Gaskets: The engine only needed three gaskets: the head gasket, the gasket between the plate holding the spark plug and the head and the gasket between the carburetor and the head. I made all three out of some head gasket material that I bought from a supplier who advertises in GEM. I used the old gaskets as templates.

Since the head gasket material is quite strong I needed some metal hole punches to make the bolt holes. To cut out the hole in the center of the head gasket, I used a wood chisel to cut around the circle in small segments. The gasket material I bought had asbestos in it, so I was careful when I cut it not to breathe the dust. 

Shims: The Sattley used paper shims for both the main bearing and the connecting rod bearing. I was able to re-use the original shims for the main bearing but the shims for the rod bearing came apart when the engine was disassembled. For the new shims I used gasket material of the same thickness as the originals. The original shims were used as templates to cut the new ones.

Engine reassembly: Since the engine was quite heavy (over 300 lbs.) I needed to make a cart to move it around during and after reassembly. I bought some heavy duty casters at the local hardware store and bolted them to two 2x4's that I had stained and varnished. The 2x4's with the casters were then bolted to the engine base. If you care about originality, you can buy an original style cart. I strongly recommend that you put your engine on wheels of some kind.

In brief my engine reassembly was as follows: first, I built up the head with the valves and valve springs. Next I built up the piston, rings and connecting rod. I reassembled the engine in about the reverse order that I disassembled it in. That is: first I put the base on wheels, then the cylinder on the base, then installed the governor, the crankshaft, then the piston, the head, then the exhaust push rod, the carburetor, the bracket for holding magneto, the magneto and its actuating mechanism and finally the spark plug. I had to refer to my original pictures of the engine to remember just how the actuating and return springs for the magneto went together.

When I reassembled the engine I replaced all the nuts and bolts. This was for looks because all the nuts and bolts that came off the engine were heavily rusted.

The areas in reassembly that required some care were getting the proper clearance for the main bearing and setting the valve clearance and timing. 

Main and rod bearings: The Sattley had bearing inserts for the main and rod bearings. I was careful to mark each bearing half during disassembly so it could be returned to its original location. I also noted which paper shims went with each bearing and used the same shims or made new ones of the same thickness for each bearing cap during reassembly. Thick gasket material made excellent paper shim stock. I applied grease to the bearing surfaces, reassembled the bearing, and then tightened the nuts until the bearing just started to bind and then backed the nuts on both sides of the bearing caps about ? turn. This seemed an appropriate method for use of paper shims. When tightening the nuts of the bearing caps I tighten each side about ? to ? turn and then tighten the other side to get an even force on the bearing cap. After I was satisfied with the fit for both the main and rod bearings, I put the lock nuts on and checked that the crank turned without excessive play. The lock nuts are critical since the final bearing clearance is set by the position of the nuts on the bearing caps. If you have metal shims then you will need to get some plastic clearance gauge from an automotive parts store to properly set the bearing clearance. To properly seat the crankshaft in the bearing you should scrape the bearing to remove the high spots, then use some plastic gauge to make sure you have the right clearance between the bearing surface and journal. Detailed instructions on how to scrape bearings and check bearing clearances are in many old automotive repair manuals and in most of the new ones for repair of Ford Model T or Model A engines. If your engine is going to run only for a few hours on occasional weekends, then just getting the bearing caps tight enough so they don't bind and you can feel little or no play in the crankshaft when you try to pull it up and down against the top and bottom bearing caps should be good enough.

Setting the timing and valve clearance. There were no marks on the timing gears so I had to set them by trial and error. Since the magneto is actuated by the exhaust push rod, there were two high spots on the cam; the highest one is to open the exhaust valve and the other is to actuate the magneto. First I adjusted the exhaust rocker arm clearance nut so there was about 0.020' clearance between the rocker arm and the end of the exhaust valve when the cam lobe to actuate the magneto was at its highest point. I then rotated the gears until the exhaust valve just started to open when the piston was at the bottom of its power stroke. I rotated the engine and confirmed that the magneto was actuated at the top of the compression stroke and the exhaust valve still opened at the bottom of the power stroke.

Finishing touches. Finishing touches are very important in making a restored engine look good. Since the cylinder oiler and the grease cups for the bearings were missing from the engine when I bought it, I ordered a brass sight feed oiler and steel grease cups from Essex Brass (P.O. Box 629, Warren Michigan, 48090). I also had to buy a reproduction muffler since the one on the engine was broken and missing parts. I set up a buffing wheel and polished up all the exposed brass and steel parts on the engine including the brass case for the Wico magneto and the raised letters on the name plate. To keep the brass from tarnishing I coated it with clear varnish to seal out the air. I also coated the exposed steel parts with varnish to keep them from rusting. A new spark plug and wire were purchased and installed on the engine. Finally, I bought a decal of the Sattley logo and put it on the side of the water tank opposite the magneto. I was very pleased with the way my first engine restoration looked when I was all done.

Starting the Engine. The engine was quite easy to start. I could get it to fire right away by putting my hand over the intake to the carburetor for one intake stroke to prime and then cranking it, but it would not run for more than one or two cycles. It took me about 20 minutes of trying different settings with the fuel mixture needle valve to find the right setting (about 1? turn open) to get the engine to run continually. After the engine had warmed up I turned the gas mixture valve down until no black smoke came out of the muffler, poured some water in the tank and let the engine run about an hour. The engine runs at about 200 rpm with my homemade hit and miss governing system.

Since I live in the suburbs, my engine is quite a curiosity-most of my friends and neighbors have never seen an old hit and miss engine before. I hope that my description of my first engine restoration will encourage others to try their hand at restoring an engine.


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