Memories and Advice

1HP International Engine

Content Tools

Box 432 Eitzen, Minnesota 55931

This writer is a long time reader of GEM. The interest in gas engines dates back to about age three or four. There are quite vivid memories of feed grinding with a 15 HP Galloway and 10 inch International mill, also water pumping with a 1 HP Waterloo Boy.

The photos at right and below are of an engine I recently rebuilt. The engine had not run for half a century but was stored in a shed. Note the original lettering on the skids.

The engine owner, Mr. Freemont Meyer, of New Albin, Va., acquired the engine from an estate. Mr. Meyer has an interest in the old machine but no experience at gas engine operation. The following instruction sheet was written for his benefit, but may be of interest to GEM readers.


REMEMBER SAFETY FIRST: Keep hands and clothing clear of moving parts. Do not attempt to lubricate or adjust parts in motion.

STARTING: The engine will start quickly if turned rapidly with the crank. This method is not recommended by this writer or most gas engine experts. There are good reasons for this. First of all, the engine may 'kick,' causing injury to the cranking hand or arm. The other danger is that the operator may lose grip on the crank when the engine starts. If the crank stays on the shaft it will rotate with the engine setting up a vibration. When the crank comes off with the engine running it may fly through the air with possible serious injury to operator or bystanders.

Before starting make sure the engine has adequate lubrication, coolant and fuel. There are four basic steps in starting the engine.
1.  Put ignition knife switch in the closed position.
2. Close choke.
3. Move the spark advance lever back toward the water pot as far as it will go.
4. Turn on the drip oiler.

Stand behind the engine and turn the engine by pulling the tops of the flywheels toward you. When the engine begins to fire, open the choke and move the spark advance lever as far forward as it will go.

LUBRICATION: The drip cylinder oiler should be supplied with any good motor oil. It should drip at the rate of 4 to 14 drops per minute. The grease cups should be filled with any good gun grease. Every two to four hours of operation the cups should be screwed down enough to force a new supply of grease into the bearing. The several oil holes and the cam follower roller should be supplied with a few drops of engine oil every two hours of operation. Excess oil and grease are not harmful.

COOLING: The water pot should contain at least enough liquid to cover the cylinder. A mixture of water and permanent anti-freeze can be used in sub-freezing temperatures. Boiling under heavy load is not harmful if there is sufficient coolant in the water hopper.

FUEL: The engine is capable of running on 'low cost fuel' (kerosene) after being primed with gasoline for starting. However, it is believed to be more practical to use a good clean gasoline of between 70 and 90 octane. The carburetor mixture valve may require an occasional adjustment. Its usual adjustment is about 1 turns counter-clockwise off the seat. Too lean a mixture will cause the engine to fail to fire every time the igniter is tripped. If mixture is too rich the engine will tend to labor and produce smoke.