Bull's Eye

Gasoline Engine

Content Tools

2327 Yucca Avenue Lockridge, Iowa 52635

I have been restoring gasoline engines for a few years and this year I decided to find a larger horsepower model engine. I asked my dad about a bigger engine to restore, and he said, 'How about a 4.5 HP Bull's Eye down in the old hog shed?' I went and checked it out. The paint wasn't that bad, but it was faded and starting to rust off in places. I cleared out all the junk in front of the door so we could get the engine out.

We pulled the engine out, took it up to the shop, and looked it over. My dad bought the engine a long time ago and it had been down in the hog shed for around twelve years. The guy my dad bought the engine from is a customer of ours, and he was out here one of the days I was working on it. He told me he bought the engine 'stuck' for ten dollars and he bought the trucks for twenty dollars on a sale. In 1972 he paid a guy two hundred dollars to restore it.

This is a unique and rare engine. There aren't many Bull's Eye engines around, and there weren't many sideshaft engines made. The sideshaft that I am talking about is the shaft that runs along the left side of the engine, and there is a cam lobe that trips the exhaust arm that trips the exhaust valve. The exhaust valve is located on the bottom of the head and the intake valve is on top of the head. Also on the shaft at the end is an arm that trips the ignitor. I wasn't familiar with sideshaft engines and I learned how they operate.

I did some researching and found out that Bull's Eye was made by Jacobson Engine Company and sold by Montgomery Engine Company. The engine was built between 1907 and 1915 and was sold for $98.00.

My dad and I looked at the casting and he mentioned getting body putty to use and smooth out the rough casting. The first thing I did was unhook the gas line from the gas tank, which was full of twelve year-old gas, and hook it up to a quart bottle full of gas. Then I got a six volt battery to hook up to the coil. I put some oil in the oiler and oiled up the gears and oil holes on the sideshaft. I spun the engine over a few times and I noticed it didn't have much compression. I checked out the intake valve and it was stuck. I soaked it with spray oil and lightly hit it with a hammer. Luckily it broke free. I spun the engine over more and it started. The timing was off, and my dad showed me how to adjust it.

After getting the engine to run, I started taking the paint off. I used a die grinder, air sander, angle head grinder and a speed sander to take off the paint. I made sure to take closeup pictures and copied drawings that were on the engine. The drawings weren't factory but they looked neat.

It took a lot of time to take the paint off. I drained the gas tank and cleaned it out by rinsing it out with metal preparation cleaner. The old gas had a terrible odor. I took the head off and pulled the piston out. The rod and piston had been making a clanking noise due to a worn out wrist pin. I had a local machinist make me a new one. I took the valves out of the head and put valve grinding compound on them. With some help I took the flywheels off to make it easier to paint the block. I had to be careful not to mix up the rod caps. After I had all the paint cleaned off the engine, we put it on a different set of trucks so I could restore the original ones. My dad and I talked to a body man about what to use for the rough casting. He suggested using body glaze on the real rough parts and two-part primer to fill in the smaller holes. We bought some Napa tech glaze and tried it out on small spots, and I learned how to put it on and smooth it out. You have to wait a couple of minutes for it to dry then you sand it smooth. We took the flywheels off and put the glaze on the block. After glazing, I sprayed the engine down with some self-etching primer which helps the two-part primer stick. After that I laid out the parts on a table and started spraying on the two-part primer. I learned how to run a spray gun and got familiar using it. I gave the engine five coats of primer. When the primer dried, I had to sand it smooth. The primer really impressed me. I learned the more you sand and put on, the better it will turn out.

After the priming, I put the flywheels back on along with the rod and piston. I painted the trucks and put them together. Then came the most important part, painting the engine. I painted it Gloss Case International Red with a spray can. The paint turned out really nice. The next day I started putting things together.

I asked my grandma to come out and help me paint the Bull's Eye picture on the engine, and had her paint a few other graphics on it. To make things easier for us, we used pinstriping tape to help. The picture of the Bull's Eye on the water hopper turned out nice.

I put the trucks together and four of us lifted the engine onto the original trucks. I finished up the final touches and got it running.

This engine could be used for pumping water or running a saw. I am very satisfied how it turned out, and hope to take it to gas engine shows and display it.

Adam Rauscher's mother, Tammy, gave us some additional information about the author: 'He has shown his 4.5 engine at the Jefferson County Fair and received a blue ribbon and it advanced to the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines and received a blue ribbon there, also. After that he had the engine at the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, over Labor Day weekend. This is the fourth year that Adam has had an engine advance to the Iowa State Fair. He started with a Maytag. The next year he advanced to a 1 ? HP Sower. Last year he restored a 1? HP Sandwich engine. He wants to tackle an 'M' Farmall for his next 4-H project.