Buried FOOS

On arrival home with Foos

Content Tools

33609 132nd Street S. E., Sultan, Washington 98294

After long interest in old crawlers, my neighbor, Clyde York, became interested in small engines. His cousin, Ray York, said that he knew where there was an old engine in front of a mine shaft. He said he saw it there when he was deer hunting in 1960.

It was still there in the spring of 1988. Only catch-it was stuck in a rock slide with about 6' of its flywheels sticking out of the ground.

Clyde first saw it with water from the nearby creek running between its flywheels.

In three days we dug it out of the ground, determined it wasn't frozen and broken, disassembled it and skylined it by hand about 200 feet across a creek and gulley.

Clyde, Ray York, Larry Payne, and I power-sawed trees, moved rocks and logs, building a road good enough for a four wheel drive to get the parts out and home.

Thirty days from the day we first saw it and after lots of work, Clyde and I had it running again for a few minutes. I still can't believe it runs after seeing only 6 inches of it sticking out of the ground. The tag was gone but we determined from the gas engine encyclopedia that it was about a 1900-1910 FOOS. We think it is about a 15 HP.

It is a four-stroke with 8' bore, 14' stroke, 52' flywheels and weighs 3500 pounds. It has a 20' belt pulley which we think ran an air compressor and small generator for the mine.

During this whole fracas of rigging skylines, anchors to stumps, chain hoists, shackles, digging it out and disassembling it with all the tools we packed up this hill side, I was taking pictures. The only problem was, the film broke on the first frame and I didn't get any of the prints of this whole process. It was a real let-down, but I will never forget how that thing looked with just the top of it sticking out of the ground, and all the rust and rust boils hanging all over it when it didn't look like much more than a big piece of solid rusted scrap iron.

It runs a little better every time we run it. Clyde is still getting all the linkage for the wiper ignition system straightened out as it had badly deteriorated. One flywheel has three cracked spokes and if one of them doesn't turn up somewhere, (we're looking), trying to weld them will be the next step.

We have been reading the Gas Engine Magazine for 2 years and haven't noticed a Foos in it. We don't know what color it was, so if anyone out there knows, any information would be great.

The Foos is easy to pick out because of the intake and exhaust cages hanging on each side of the cylinder. The governor provides the hit and miss action, and it fires about eight times a minute with no load at about 175 RPM.

It is fun to watch with it's open crank, governor and valve linkage rotating, sliding and reciprocating around. It backfires once in a while, but that gets better the more it's tinkered with.

With his 1918 Maxwell crawler, Best 30, Cat 10, Cat 22, Vaughn garden crawler, 1924 Cletrac, 1920 high sprocket model F Cletrac crawler, 1924 crossmotor Case steel wheel tractor, 1956 Allis Chalmers rear engine row cropper, David Bradley two wheel garden tractor, and a John Lausen one horse cream separator motor he has a very nice collection of tractors and old motors.