This broken muffler story starts with a friend who collects tractors. He had decided to thin out some scrap material around his place and sell it. While at the scrap yard, he noticed a flywheel engine and immediately made a bargain for it.
Playing hard to get
Word got around that he had the engine, which turned out to be a 5 HP Economy H. About four months later I happened to see him and mentioned I’d like to have the Economy H engine. He remarked that there were three other people also interested in it who happened to be friends or people I knew, and he was undecided on what to do with it. As time went by, each time I saw him I’d ask him if he’d made a decision on it. “No,” he’d say.
Flywheelin’ and dealin’
About six months ago, he came in my work place and mentioned he was hunting a lathe. I told him I had one I needed to part with, and he wanted to see it. After looking it over, his next question was, “What do you want for it?” My reply was “the engine.” We struck a deal about a week later and then he showed up with the Economy H in his truck and I offloaded it, and then loaded the lathe.
I began work on getting it apart as it was stuck (another story about that restoration to follow). It was fairly complete with the exception that the original cast muffler was broken. He explained that they had broken the muffler at the scrap yard while unloading it. He assured me that he had all the broken muffler pieces (I hoped).
The magic muffler man
A few days later, I removed the unbroken part of the muffler from the engine and took the pieces and laid them out. I just reflected on the pieces, thinking how senseless this was. Couldn’t someone have been a bit more careful handling this engine?
Sure enough, all the broken muffler pieces were there. I blasted the muffler and bead blasted the pieces, and contacted David Lyon, an engine buddy of mine that lives a few miles away in Hattiesburg, Miss., about repairing it. David said he’d tackle it.
I’ve seen some work he’s done restoring broken or cracked cast iron and it’s unbelievable. I boxed all the pieces up using duct tape to hold the pieces where they went on the muffler, and sent the whole package to David. He notified me he had received it and would work on it as he could.
About three months later, David had finished the broken muffler job and sent it back via a friend who happened to be passing through Hattiesburg. As you can see, it turned out fantastic. Just goes to show that if we didn’t have friends in this old hobby things would be a lot more difficult.
Contact Pat Barrett at 359 Hwy. 550 N.W., Brookhaven, MS 39601 • email@example.com.