Rare Engine Evades Florida Flywheelers

5 HP DuBois engine

Dale Nickerson of 8670 Glasgow Road, Cassadaga, NY 14718 writes about his rare 5 HP DuBois engine.

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8670 Glasgow Road, Cassadaga, New York 14718

Have all of you Florida Fly-wheelers been sleeping? This one got away from you!

This very rare 5 HP DuBois engine, made in DuBois, Pennsylvania, was purchased at an antique shop in McIntosh, Florida. It had been used in Gainesville to operate an irrigation pump.

A good friend who lives near here, but makes his winter home in Florida, located it. He sent me a letter and included a picture of the engine. I was interested. The engine was priced at $700 and the make was unknown. Gave him a call real quick. Asked if he could get a couple more pictures. After a short wait, they came. Now I knew it was one that belonged in my collection.

Another call was made to Florida. My friend said the engine probably could be purchased for a more reasonable price if he did some talking about all the missing parts and its overall rough condition. He got it for $500.

Before I get too far ahead of events, I will mention this: I looked through all of Alan King's books (except Vol. 6 which I had mislaid) and didn't find one like it, or so I thought.

I sent the pictures to a well-known collector in Ohio (Preston Foster) in hopes he could identify the engine.

I found Volume 6 and was looking through it slowly, got to page 20 and came to a stop! Even though a larger engine was shown it had the same unusual features around the valve cage area. It's also shown in Volume 3.

Called my friend in Ohio and asked if he and others who looked at the pictures thought it was a DuBois. Yes! And it's a rare one! How rare? The 18 HP at the Coolspring, Pennsylvania show grounds was generally thought to be the only one in existence.

Now, getting back to my friend in Florida. He purchased a truck down there and loaded the engine on it. The truck was driven north by Sandy Lindahl, one of his crew and the daughter of my club's secretary.

I picked the engine up March 3rd of 1987. It looked rougher than the pictures showed.

Surprisingly, all nuts and bolts were removed without breaking one.

Some stuck parts only needed penetrating oil to free them, others had to be placed in the shop stove and heated red hot. A few real tough pipe fittings yielded to the torch.

Pressed the piston out, rings came out hard (piece by piece). The bore was in good condition.

I mentioned there were missing parts. Only the bearing caps, large end connecting rod bearing, linkage under the governor, linkage from governor to latch-out, linkage to ignitor, governor weights and a few other odds and ends.

With the exclusion of the weights, I made all the parts and a big thanks must now go to Dr. Paul Harvey for his help in making this restoration possible. He took pictures of his 18 HP at the Cool spring Power Museum.

From those pictures I was able to scale down.

I made a wood pattern and had a local foundry cast the brass governor weights. I finished and polished them.

Painted her Rust-oleum Royal Blue with some gloss black for contrast.

The bore is 6', stroke 8', flywheel diameter is 36'. Figure she weighs close to a ton.

Started her February 28th, 1988, just three days short of a year.

At most shows she gets a lot of good comments and she deserves it!