Another Hubbard Surfaces - Literally

4 HP Hubbard

The 4 HP Hubbard found stuck in the sand in a lake. Amazingly, most of its internals are okay.

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It's been three years since I wrote the story of 'The Hubbard' in the January 1999 GEM, and since then the Hubbard and I have moved back to Howley, Newfoundland, from whence we both came.

I have discovered another stray Hubbard, a 4 HP s/n 10537, found one spring evening as my neighbor, Don, and I were trout fishing. On our way from our mooring position to the lake I espied a familiar object protruding eight inches above water level, my 90-degree turn as I headed for the opposite side of the channel drawing a stuttered response from Don. As soon as I jumped out of the boat and flipped over the old Hubbard lying flywheel down on the sandy bottom, Don realized my intentions.

This lake was made for hydro purposes, so the water level fluctuates. The water level was down at the time, and this old Hubbard had clearly been used as an anchor for somebody's boat - I was lucky to find it.

On closer inspection the next day I found the bearings still full of grease, and once I removed the seized thrust-bearing the crank spun over freely, with no great wear to the babbit bearings. From conversations with older residsents who have boats moored in the area, it's likely the old Hubbard had been down there for about 30 years.

The piston was stuck and disconnected from the crankshaft, so I filled the cylinder with used motor oil and left it to sit all summer. Then this fall I drove the piston out without much difficulty. The rings were good, and they sprung open when the piston came out of the cylinder. The bottom ring, I discovered, had a couple of wraps of twine behind it to improve compression!

The flywheel was easily removed with a gear puller and a hydraulic pump and actuator. It wasn't rusted on as I expected, but I did remove the key beforehand with a piece of 5/16-inch threaded rod screwed into it.

The body of the Hubbard isn't of any use, as there is a huge chunk of metal missing at the right side inspection cover. Regardless, the piston, connecting rod, flywheel, crankshaft and both throw bearings are good.

My latest project after the Hubbard is a 2-cycle, twin-cylinder Acadia make-and-break marine engine. It was in a friend's chicken barn, stuffed away in the corner and full of chicken feathers. When it arrived in my back yard in the bucket of a front-end loader, all my wife could say was, 'what's he bringing home now?' She's been saying that a lot since we moved back here. This old Acadia now sits disassembled and strewn all over my basement workshop floor. Looks like it's going to be a good winter restoration project.

Contact engine enthusiast Ernest C. Mills at: P.O. Box 118, Howley, Newfoundland, Canada AOK 3EO.