ARCO RESTORATION

2 HP ARCO

2 HP ARCO

Content Tools

R. R. 2, Haubstadt, Indiana 47639.

Pictured is one of our latest restorations. It is a 2 HP ARCO. I found it one day when I stopped to ask a man along the road if there were any old engines left in the neighborhood that were used to operate the old cable oil wells. He said he didn't know of any, but he said there was a small engine there in the barn on a farm he rented. It was used to operate a pump jack on the farm. The lady who owned it happily accepted $10.00 for it.

It was in rough shape. The main bearings, rod bearings and piston pin were very loose. The piston ring grooves were worn 1/32 of an inch too wide and there were several ridges on each end of the cylinder where the piston stopped. It was also stuck. A grandson had knocked the oiler and magneto off with an axe. All cotter pin holes had baling wire or nails instead. Everything else was badly worn.

We had it bored 1/16 of an inch oversize and fitted with a new aluminum piston and rings from a Continental engine. Since the piston had a slot thru it behind the oil ring, we omitted the oil ring and filled the groove with epoxy putty. We robbed an old Hercules for head nuts, studs, valves, springs and bearings. We cut our own gaskets. The paint was custom mixed to match the original blue-gray. It was sanded and painted four times. We installed polished brass grease cups and coated them with clear lacquer. A new two piece spark plug with brass ferrule was installed. We took a good Wico EK magneto and an oiler from other engines in our collection. The original iron wheeled cart was replaced by a red oak platform that was varnished five times.

The hardest part was the finishing touch. As far as I know, there are no Arco decals available. After several false starts, we made our own using high gloss white pressure sensitive vinyl film. The letters and design were made by using felt tip pens. Each decal reproduction is made up of eight separate pieces.

It has a July 22, 1926 casting date on the block. For those that aren't acquainted with an Arco, it stated on the decal (The Hardie Manufacturing Company, Hudson, Michigan). However, the Arco is very similar to the Economy, except for color and the decal. I suspect it was also made by Hercules at Evansville, Indiana.

In all, the parts, supplies and services cost about $100. Add to that over 100 hours of labor and a $10 engine gets expensive.