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LUC Engines

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2821 Wilmington Road Lebanon, Ohio 45036

I started a search for a John Deere LUC combine engine in the spring of 1995. In April I found two basket case LUC engines. I bought them and had them in my possession June 26, 1995.

I needed to get a carburetor, gas tank, and engine house for the one engine that I had hoped to end up with. I put a want ad in a John Deere magazine in June of 1995. In late August I received four calls from Ohio, one from each of the following states, Washington, Oklahoma, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, and Wisconsin. Each person was very nice and offered the parts I needed. A gentleman from Ohio offered me a complete and running engine that I could not afford to turn down. So, November 4, 1995, I drove to northern Ohio and looked at the complete combine engine. It was overhauled, painted and even had bills for the parts he had in vested in. The gentleman even had the original manual with the serial number written on the first page. We started the engine and it seemed okay. I bought it that day, loaded it on my pickup truck and brought it home. I called a friend to help me unload the engine that night. We got it unloaded onto a work bench that was the same height as the pickup truck. The engine weighs 438 pounds, so we used paint roller handles to roll the engine onto the workbench.

The following day I called the friend who helped me unload the engine and I invited him and his father over to look at it. His father had a 12-A combine with a similar engine, so we started mine and it ran perfectly.

The engine had been painted over the decals. You could faintly see the decals. So, I used Strypeeze paint re mover and took all of the paint off the engine house. I have now sanded the metal, but have not painted the metal yet because of the cold weather.'

I also had to get more information on the engine, so I called John Deere Archives in Moline, Illinois and gave them the serial number LUC 50970. They told me the engine completion date was February 27, 1951. I thought the engine was much older than that. They told me it was considered to be a late model engine because they went to another type engine in the early 1950s. As near as I can find out, this is a two-cylinder engine made by John Deere for the LA tractor and the 12 A combine. I hope some interested reader will clarify this information for me.

I also now have a new reproduction muffler for the engine. When I got the engine it had a stainless steel exhaust pipe coming from the elbow on the manifold. I also called Travis Jorde of Rochester, Minnesota, and got the correct decals for it. I have not put the decals on it yet, because I haven't painted the engine house.

Now, back to the original problem of what to do with the two basket case LUC engines. I have never been able to remove the radiators, magnetos, heads, gas tanks, manifolds, rusty carburetor, air cleaners and a whole lot of dirt and grime. I have one engine's stuck pistons and valves soaking in Marvel's Mystery Oil and the other engine's pistons and valves soaking in a mixture of olive oil, transmission fluid and diesel fuel. I hope in the spring, when the weather gets warm, to disconnect rods from the crankshaft and start pounding with a tough piece of wood on the pistons. I hope ten to twelve months of soaking will have done some good. I would like to then call back my ten different people, who offered me parts, and start put ting one engine back together. I have written each of the ten people and thanked them for their offers of parts. I hope they remember me!

In September I went to the Old Timer's Convention in Xenia, Ohio, and had a gentleman go over my two magnetos. They're now in working order.

I have spent seven months cleaning, soaking, taking pictures, writing letters, making telephone calls, making mistakes, learning a lot, and I am having a lot of fun!

I hope that readers of GEM who have suggestions, parts, opinions or whatever the case may be, will feel free to write. I have included several pictures of the basket case and restored engines.

I really enjoy the hunt for engines. You never know where or what you are going to find. The people along the way are extremely interesting and nice.