Restorations of a Cushman Engine, Witte Engine and Line Shaft Display

Keeping Busy! One Collector's Trio of Gas Engine Restoration Projects

Cushman engine

The restored 8 HP 2-cylinder Cushman engine.

Larry Shulda

Content Tools

It has been quite some time since I last wrote in Gas Engine Magazine about some of my projects, so here is some information about three projects I recently completed. 

Cushman Engine 
The first project was the restoration of an 8 HP 2-cylinder Cushman engine. This gas engine was for sale at a show I went to several years ago. The missing parts convinced me to pass on buying it, but a friend of mine, Alex Chunn, did buy it. Over the next few years, he did a lot of the machine work and rounded up most of the missing parts needed to complete the engine.

One day, Alex asked me if I would be interested in buying it from him since I already own a 4 HP Cushman. He offered it to me for a price much less than he had invested in it. I brought it home in boxes and cans as it was completely disassembled.

To see what I had and what I needed to complete the project, I laid out all of the parts. There was no sub-base so this was the first thing I built. I also noticed that it didn’t have the long crankshaft and clutch assembly like I thought it should. I’m not sure if it came from the factory that way or if someone cut it down. If someone did cut it down they did a very good job. There are no saw marks and there is a centering hole in the end of the crankshaft for mounting in a lathe.

I loosely assembled the crankcase to see where everything went and in what order since I did not take it apart. Then I made all new gaskets and painted the parts.

Next, I built a cart for it and the tank-type radiator, and refinished an old wooden box to house the battery and buzz coils. It runs pretty well but still has a few gremlins that need to be worked out.

Witte Engine 
The next project I worked on was the refurbishment of a 6 HP Witte that I purchased from a friend, George Farquhar. When I first saw the engine I knew I had to have it, but it took about five years before George agreed to sell it to me.

This engine runs on a battery and buzz coil. It was very difficult to start when I brought it home so I took it apart completely to check it out. It was in pretty good shape but needed some work.

After making the necessary repairs and giving it a good cleaning I painted all the parts and reassembled the engine. With a little fine tuning it starts and runs very well now.

Line Shaft Display 
The final project I’d like to mention is a line shaft display. I’ve built one before and wrote about it in the June/July 2000 issue of Gas Engine Magazine, but because of its size and weight I decided to sell it. After it was gone, I decided to start collecting parts to build another one on a smaller scale, and I completed it March 2006.

On my shop floor, I laid out all of the pieces to determine what length and width the cart would need to be. I then built the cart and line shaft A-frame.

After arranging all the equipment on the deck, I fastened down the pieces.

My next task was to find pulleys and belts of the proper size and length to run everything. The display is powered by a model AEN Wisconsin engine, and I made a belt tightener clutch to disengage the line shaft for easier starting.

The equipment consists of a lens polisher, drill press, air compressor, bench grinder, metal turning lathe, gas torch, vice and riveting tool. It gets a lot of attention at shows because of all the moving parts.

I would like to thank George and Alex for the privilege of being able to buy these engines and add them to my collection.

Contact Larry Shulda at 330 Oak Drive, Gholson, TX 76705-5944