An Upright 1930 Maytag Model 92 Gas Engine?

A custom Maytag restoration

Maytag Model

Don Kelly's 1930 Maytag Model 92 started life as a standard horizontal washing machine engine.

Photo by Don Kelly

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Did Maytag build an upright Model 92 gas engine? No, but I did. Not content to take life lying down, I guess you could say this Maytag wanted to stand up and be counted.

When I bought this engine, it was just an old rusty-looking thing nailed to a rotten board, and I could tell it had served duty working at some task other than what was originally intended. After buying the engine - along with about 75 old copies of Gas Engine Magazine, a couple of iron wheels, a Maytag spark plug and some assorted heavy iron (at what I thought was a good deal) - the feeling I had after looking past the dirt and rust was probably similar to what a sculptor feels when he or she looks at a block of limestone. There was a different shape in that pile of iron, just waiting to come out.

After a tear down and cleanup (using the electrolysis method), I found the engine to be in very good condition. I launched into a 'standard' rebuild, including replacing the piston rings, honing the cylinder, replacing all the gaskets, fitting the rod cap, putting in a new spark plug (and wire) and replacing the condenser. As I got into the reassembly phase, this engine took on a life of its own.

I was working on about 10 other projects at the time, but somehow this little engine took high priority, and I finished it in just a few days. I made a new base from an old gas heater, 1 used some 1-inch square tubing and 1/4-inch flat metal for the engine-mounting bracket, and the muffler was once a water sprinkler head. The mixer parts, including the spring, flap-per, seat and adjusting screw, are all inside a 1/4-inch brass pipe tee, and it works like the original. It starts and runs very well.

I applied a couple of primer coats, followed by green enamel paint, and then applied some decals to clean it up. Not bad for an engine that started life in the washroom and clearly spent some time in the barn, being used for who-knows-what. These days the engine seems content to sit on the front porch on a warm day - and I know for a fact it likes to go to engine shows, as it's sitting in the truck right now waiting on me.