Hercules Engine News

Half-Breed Project Update

7 HP Hercules screen cooled engine

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The 7 HP Hercules screen cooled engine replica project is nearing completion, and to prove it we have a picture of the project as it looks now with but a little pin-striping yet to be done.

But, as with many projects of this type, the real moment of truth arrives when it comes time to add up all the costs incurred in the process. Some of you have probably wondered just how much it has cost to get this far, so this month I've pulled together a ledger of expenses so far.

As with probably most projects of this kind, there seems to always be more involved than originally expected, and this time is no exception. The table at right gives a breakdown on expenses.

Not included in the table is any allowance for my own travel, shop use, on-hand supplies or labor. The cost of an original 7 HP half-base screen-cooled Economy engine from Sears & Roebuck (on a straight cart with igniter and battery and coil ignition) in 1915 was $159 plus shipping.

In addition to local suppliers of goods and services, a lot of the gas engine hobby suppliers were also needed, including Starbolt, Hit & Miss, Calvin Brookover, John Wanat, The Hobby Shop (castings), Ken Meeks, and Otto Gas Engine Works.

Half-Breed Project Expenses to Date:

7 HP half-base hopper-cooled engine


Redi Strip (paint and rust removal)


Cart iron, wheels and axles




Screen cooler


Fuel tank and spout


Castings for water jacket




Cost to bore and sleeve cylinder




Piston rings and spacers


Miscellaneous supplies


Correct oiler


Less extra parts sold or saleable


Total Expenditures


Even though the engine was operable as it was, it was decided to repair the cylinder and piston because both were quite worn. A special bump has been added to the cam to make it possible to start the engine by the back-kick method. Although this will affect the exhaust valve timing somewhat, it will still operate quite well as a loafing show engine.

Glenn Karch is a noted authority on Hercules engines. Contact him at: 20601 Old State Rd.. Haubstadt, IN 47639, or e-mail at: glenn.karch@gte.net