Me and My Old Gas Engines

A reader sends a brief note about four old gas engines he has restored.

Waterloo Gas Engine

Courtesy of John Hansen, Perth Amboy, New Jersey. A 1912 vintage engine, maker unknown.


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I wanted to tell you about four of my old gas engines that I have restored and painted. They run and look like new. I have several more that I have not completed but hope to work on them this winter when I have more leisure time—or rather, when my wife has nothing for me to do around the house.

First is a 5 HP Sattley. This engine was broken up by a loose valve breaking the piston head out and breaking the block. I welded a new head in the piston, also welded the block, put in a new valve and made an ignition system with a Model-T coil and battery. This engine was outside for 30 years with the piston laying out in the weather. It really took some time to restore it. It was bought new in 1932. The other engines: A 6 HP Fairbanks-Morse. This is a fine running engine, especially when sitting on the ground. A Little Jumbo 1 1/2 HP that runs just like new and is only about forty five years old. Finally, a 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 McCormick-Deering engine. It sounds just like a John Deere tractor. This engine is about thirty years old.

Steam engines are my favorite, but I do not know anything about them and they are also very hard to get. I have restored many old cars for other people as I am an auto body man. But I see too much of cars, so I am using these engines as a hobby. It is also a lot of fun to find these engines and meet a lot of people.