Finishing an Ingeco Engine Restoration

Peter Rooke puts the final touches on his 2-1/2 HP Ingeco restoration – Part 3 of 3


Peter Rooke’s 2-1/2 HP Model AK Ingeco after an extensive restoration.

Photo By Peter Rooke

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This is the third in a three-part series on Peter Rooke's restoration of an Ingeco engine. You can read part 1 in Ingeco Model AK Is Reborn and part 2 in Ingeco Engine Gets a New Life. 

Fuel tank tap and pinhole repair

The joint where the fuel tap joined the fuel tank was leaking and looked as though it had been repaired with epoxy. Before starting any work on the tank, I flushed it out with copious amounts of water and then placed it upside down overnight so it could drain.

It appeared that incorrect primer was used on the galvanized finish, as the paint was peeling off the galvanized tank. After I cleaned off the old paint, the best solution appeared to be to remove the seat for the tap fitting, plus the feed from the start tank (gas), and re-solder them.

The fuel tank has a small compartment to hold gas for starting, then it can be switched over to kerosene for running. The leaking fitting almost fell off, and the copper pipe from the start tank was sawn through to remove the tap. I melted the solder to remove the remains of the pipe from the gas tank.

First, I cleaned up the hole in the tank for the tap seat and then enlarged it until there was a ring of strong, clean metal before making a boss to fit in this hole. I turned this new boss from a piece of brass and tapped 0.50-inch NPT for the tap fitting before soldering it in place.

I soldered the copper pipe from the start tank to the two-way tap into both the tank and the tap. This meant that if the tap had to be removed for any reason, the solder had to be melted. To make such a task easier, I made a small compression fitting to screw on the end of the tap. I then soldered a new piece of copper pipe to the tank.

After completing these repairs, I connected the tap and filled the tank with hot water to test that it was watertight. It was then that I found some pinholes on one part of the underside of the tank, so I soldered a thin metal patch in place over them. After once again checking that there were no leaks, I drained the tank and lightly abraded the exterior before spraying it with an etch primer so it was ready for painting.

Priming cup fuel tap 

To fill the priming cup when starting the engine, there is a branch from the main fuel pipe with a small tap. This tap had been repaired at some stage as it broke around a brazed joint when I removed it when stripping down the engine. The tapered core of the tap was sound, so it was just a case of making a new body for the tap, the only difficult part being cutting the correct taper for it.

To start, I cross-drilled a length of brass with a pilot hole at the point that the tap should fit. I then turned this brass down so I could cut the 0.50-inch NPT thread at one end, then drilled a 0.125-inch pilot hole through the length of the fitting. After cutting the NPT thread, I copied the shape of the original tap body, first using a round-nosed lathe tool and then files for the final finishing. I then parted the tap body, 2 inches long, from the brass rod and opened the pilot holes up to the sizes needed.

To adjust the compound-slide to cut the taper, I first set the original tap in the four-jaw chuck to run true using a dial indicator. I then adjusted the compound-slide to this taper, again using the dial gauge.

Once I opened the hole up to nearly the required size, I used the original tap as a gauge, stopping short of a full fit to give an allowance that would disappear when bedding the tap in with grinding paste.

To check the fit of the tap, I blew through it to see if any air escaped when the tap was in the closed position, additional lapping being required if air escaped.

Crank guard

By a circuitous route, I was able to track down the Ingeco that the late Glenn Karch wrote about in the July 1987 Gas Engine Magazine, where he mentioned that he made a crank guard by copying the dimensions from an original. The Ingeco is now owned by Randy Titzer, who very generously photographed the crank guard for me and provided a drawing and comprehensive measurements. (You can see the drawing at Measurements for an Ingeco Crank Guard.)

Before starting to cut metal, I made a template out of two pieces of cardboard to match the dimensions that Randy sent. When fitted to the engine it looked just right, so I marked the sheet metal to these dimensions.

I added 0.312-inch to each long side of the measurements given, which would be folded back to form a safe edge. I painted the 18 gauge metal with layout blue – a blue marker pen is just as effective – then marked the bend and cutting lines with a scriber.

I then used tin snips to cut out the metal before clamping an edge between two pieces of iron bar at the point of the bend. Using a light tapping action and moving up and down the length of the sheet, I formed a sharp-corner 90-degree bend. I then removed the sheet from the iron bars and flattened the lip to form the safe edge. I repeated this on the second side.

I then drilled pilot holes at each end, one to be opened up for the securing bolt slot and the other for the oiler.

I milled a 0.375-inch-wide groove in a scrap block of cast iron to make the two ridges in the guard and welded a short length of 0.312-inch round steel to a scrap piece of bar. I rounded the ends of this rod before using these tools to form the ridges.

By way of a guide, I clamped a piece of bar to the iron block so the metal sheet would rest against it, enabling the ridge to be formed in the right place. I also clamped the sheet metal to the block, using a soft-faced clamp, before using a hammer and the form tool to make the ridge. To avoid marking the sheet metal it is important to move the form tool along the ridge at the same time it is being struck with the hammer. I gradually formed the ridge by moving up and down the length of the sheet, re-clamping it each time. Once I completed one side I formed the other. If necessary the ridge can be tidied and smoothed by clamping the form tool in a vise and tapping the sheet metal over it using a smooth-faced hammer.

After I formed the ridge the new guard was a little twisted. I pulled the guard back and forth over the anvil (a piece of old railway line), gently twisting it at the same time, taking care to move slowly and not put any creases in the metal. Once everything was square I could shape the guard to its final form.

First I slightly bent the tabs at each end and covered the area of new paintwork on the engine near the oiler with masking tape to prevent scratching when trial fitting.

I then placed the guard in position and eyeballed it before deciding where it needed to be curved. I created a curve by sitting on a stool and passing the guard over one knee while exerting gentle pressure with the hands. This was really trial and error, taking care to have a regular curve around the point the crankshaft web swings, but at the same time not getting too close to the fuel tank.

Once the guard was completed, I removed all traces of blue and gave the engine two coats of primer before applying topcoats and lining out.

Painting the Ingeco

There are several descriptions given for the correct Ingeco paint color, and one source says the green engines use the same color used on 1974 Dodges. This equates to a dark green, similar to a Stover, so I mixed some enamel paint to this color. There is also some evidence that some Ingeco engines appear to have been painted gray.

I painted the larger parts before assembly. To remove the worst of the rust pitting, I painted the hopper/cylinder in a primer thickened with spot putty, and then sanded the piece smooth before applying another coat of primer, then the topcoats.

Normally the flywheel rims on my restored engines would be left as bare metal, but in this case I neatly rounded the edges of the rims. I also painted the flywheels with the filler primer and sanded them smooth before painting them along with the rest of the engine.

Both the lining and lettering on the original engines was gold, and old catalog pictures provided a general indication of the lining layout.

To complete the INGECO lettering on the sub-base, I tried different typefaces on the computer until I found one that looked like the original. I then tested this by printing a copy to hold against the engine. When satisfied with the font and size, I printed the wording on thick paper and then cut it out as a stencil.

I taped this stencil in position on the engine and marked the outline of the letters with a Stabilo china pencil before using a narrow paint brush to paint in the letters, using 1 Shot lettering paint. This paint has proved to be excellent for lining and lettering.

The lining pattern on the water hopper is a combination of straight lines with ornamental curves and circles. The lines are fairly easy as one side can be marked with no-bleed tape as a guide. The other features were more difficult. Once again I trialed the shapes using the computer to get the right shape and size, then produced another stencil to make it easy to mark out the sides of the hopper. I painted the straight lines first then allowed them to dry for a day before completing the curves and circles.

Similarly, I prepared the design for the flywheel spokes on the computer then cut the shape out. After marking the center line of each spoke and the start and finish points, I used a chalk pencil to outline the cut-outs’ shape. I used tape to mark one edge of the straight section. To paint these shapes, I used the curved sections as the start point leaving completion of the easier straight sections until the end. This approach was adopted so that if the curve was not right it could easily be wiped clean, re-drawn and painted again. To make it easier and prevent the risk of touching wet paint, I painted three spokes and allowed the paint to dry before painting the remaining two.

I marked the crank guard lining out by first finding a plastic washer that gave the right size for the curve at the bottom of the lining, and then I marked out the straight lines with tape on one side.

The final step after completing the painting was to fix the Ingeco decal on the hopper. After measuring, I used a china pencil to mark the sides of the hopper to ensure correct alignment of the decals in the middle.


The flywheel pulley was convex rather than concave and had some deep pitting. Fortunately there was plenty of metal on the pulley so I could clean it up on the lathe.

The problem with a loose or flat belt pulley is keeping the belt on when the two pulleys are not precisely lined up. To correct this I crowned one of the pulleys so that when a pulley is off-center the belt moves to the largest radius at the top of the crown and stays there. The crown prevents the belt from wandering off the edge of the pulley. The amount needed to crown a pulley is not large, the usual figure being 0.125-inch diameter per foot of pulley width, thus for a 5-inch wide pulley the crown diameter needs to be 0.052-inch larger than at the rim.

I fit the pulley to a mandrel on the lathe just above the bed with no room for the saddle to move underneath. This meant that I had to make a temporary holder for the lathe tool. I made light cuts to true up the pulley before drawing lines on it at 0.50-inch centers. This pulley was 5 inches wide, which meant that from the outside edge the diameter had to increase by 0.01-inch every half inch. Working from the middle out and turning at a slow speed using the long power feed, it was possible to estimate this fairly evenly by adjusting the cross slide dial at the same time to accurately get a smooth curve, although this took several passes as light cuts were taken.

Once the pulley had been turned it looked too new, with a bright surface. I covered it with water and left it outside for two days; a thin layer of rust formed very quickly. I easily cleaned this off with some steel wool then covered the pulley in oil, and then it looked more in keeping with the rest of the engine.

Bearing shims 

The original shims for the crankshaft main bearings were made from cardboard and disintegrated when the engine was stripped for restoration. These crankshaft bearings must have been re-poured at some stage and were in good condition, and fortunately there were metal shims for the big end bearings, a mixture of steel and brass.

The total thickness of the shims needed to be more than 0.188-inch so it was a case of mass production! First I cut some 0.0625-inch sheet steel to size and drilled a 0.438-inch hole for the bolt. I sawed one piece of shim then filed it to the correct profile so it could be used as a template for the remainder. I clamped these together, using the bolt holes as the common reference point, and cut and shaped them all at the same time. Once these were finished and evenly distributed on either side of the bearings, I cut additional shims from thinner stock, which I sandwiched and clamped between two of the thick pieces for shaping.

It was a case of making four shims of each thickness so that one could be placed on each side so that when the bearings wear similar small amounts can be removed from each side to maintain the correct fit. There is nothing scientific about the method used to fit shims. I added additional shims until the crankshaft no longer bound and turned freely when the bearing caps were tightly fitted.

Timing the engine 

No timing marks were visible, so bearing in mind a Webster magneto was involved and it takes a while for everything to move before a spark is generated, I used the old rule of 8 degrees advance per 100 revs. The engine was rated at 400 RPM, although in this case I set it for no-load running at 350 RPM, resulting in 28 degrees advance. I put a piece of masking tape on the flywheel, using the pushrod as a reference point to mark TDC. I then marked the position of the estimated 28 degrees advance on the masking tape.

I turned the flywheel to line this point up with the pushrod and cocked the magneto using the cocking lever. I then adjusted the length of the trip to touch the trip finger after slackening off the wedge. I moved the wedge until it just lifted the trip rod over the trip finger before tightening the screw and lock nut. I then checked the point of tripping by spinning the flywheel slowly, noting when the temporary mark on the flywheel aligned with the pushrod.


As kerosene is more expensive than gasoline over here, I will run the Ingeco solely on gasoline, so only the main part of the tank needed to be used.

After filling and screwing down the grease cups and oiling all moveable parts it was time to start up.

I pushed down the priming cup and put some gas in using the tap from the main supply pipe. I switched on the oiler at six drips per minute, the handbook giving no recommendation other than to say too much is better than too little.

I set the Webster to the start setting and turned the engine over with the starting wrench. It fired immediately but soon stopped, and it was only after I tried different positions with the fuel needle that it fully burst into life.

I checked the speed and found well more than the stated 400 RPM, so I increased the governor spring tension until the engine settled down around 350 RPM. It ran very smoothly with little vibration, even with the cart on asphalt, which tends to magnify any problem.

Contact Peter Rooke at Hardigate House, Hardigate Rd., Cropwell Butler, Nottingham, NG12 3AH, England •