My Used Oil Engine

Busy Boy

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P.O. Box 226 Conde, South Dakota 57434-0226

Having retired, I attend auction sales, and collect and repair John Deere two-cylinder tractors and single cylinder engines. Along with the hobby I find a lot of used oil accumulating and, as my good wife is into recycling everything, I hesitate to dump the oil in the back alley. So I had two 30 gallon barrels of the stuff and, knowing a young farmer mechanic who burned oil to heat his shop, I approached him to come and pick it up. After a few pleas, and with cold weather approaching, he came with his pickup and we loaded the barrels with little trouble.

Since he had a good shop and was a good mechanic, I asked him to see what I was doing in my shop. At this time, I was working on a 3-5 LB and a 6 HP type M IHC engine. Then he told me he had some old engines in his junk pile and, if I was interested, I was to come and look at them. From past experience I have found not to wait too long for a follow-up, so I called a couple of days later and found him at home and drove the five or so miles to his farm.

After looking over his shop we went to the machine shed to see the engine, as he had hauled it in from the junk pile. The engine was an air cooled, looking pretty sad, but no visible broken parts. The skids were nearly rotted off but the two of us loaded it into my pickup and I headed for home.

After getting it into the shop I started disassembling it; it came apart with very little effort. The engine was probably in the junk pile for forty years or so, as the father of the young fellow had lived on the farm for years and he had no recollection of ever using the engine. The only problem was loosening the piston. I tried about everything and fell back on the old method I had read about in this magazine. It said if water caused the problem, water would undo it. I placed the engine in a barrel of water for ten days to two weeks and with a wooden block and sledge had little trouble removing the piston. I broke the rings while taking them off and found them to have extra wide grooves, so I ordered replacement size with two narrow rings to fit the grooves. After cleaning up the parts and making up some of the springs, I started assembling and everything went together pretty well.

About this time I decided to do some research on the engine as the tag was still legible. It was about 3x5 made of brass, with the words, 'Busy Boy Manufacturing by Associated,' stamped on it. I have a large collection of Gas Engine Magazines so I did some research and found some information on Associated engines, even down to the color. From my research I believe that the engine was made before 1915, making it the oldest in my collection.

To add frosting to the cake, I remembered that while going through some of my grandfather's correspondence that he had received advertising literature on gas engines. After a lengthy search I found the advertisement in its envelope with July 7, 1913 on the postmark! It contained a lengthy testimonial letter and a ten page postcard size brochure touting the engine's ability and told of extra attachments with a price list!

So, two barrels of used oil turned into a fun project. Don't throw anything away! Because of my grandfather's correspondence, I can trace the history of my engine. After all the advertising I don't believe that my grandfather purchased any of the engines.