1912 Stover 4 hp Vertical Engine

Ike Lockridge turns a Stover vertical from a wreck into a running engine.

Ike Lockridge with Stover

Ike Lockridge with the restored Stover and his 1903 Fairbanks-Morse 2 hp Type T.

Photo by Ike Lockridge

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Manufacturer: Stover Engine Works,Freeport, IL
Serial no.: YB43866
Horsepower:  4 hp at 350 rpm
Bore & stroke: 5 in x 7 in
Engine weight: 1,050 lb 
Flywheel: 28 in x 2-3/4 in
Ignition: Make-and-break igniter
Governing: Hit-and-miss

We have all heard that old saying that it takes a village to raise a child. Well, I’m convinced that it takes the whole gas engine community to restore these old gas engines we collect. The Internet is certainly an awesome tool, but it is the people in this hobby that make things work – so many good people who help each other!

This story is about a 1912 Stover 4 hp Type YB vertical, serial number 43866, that I recently got running. Thanks to Stover enthusiast Joe Maurer, who keeps the Stover registry, I know this engine was originally shipped to Walter Tips and Co. in Austin, Texas, on Oct. 24, 1912.

I purchased this engine from longtime collector and restorer Wayne Walker in Kansas. It was sitting in the weeds and it was definitely a project, as most of the cam gear and timing side of the engine had missing parts and broken cast iron pieces. I needed a lot of parts, and at the 2013 Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, Old Threshers Reunion I met Mark Churchill from Minnesota. He has a Stover 4 hp like mine and he offered to pull parts off his engine and get them cast for me – and ship me the new parts! This was huge! I figured it might take three or four years to find these parts, but with Mark’s help I had them within three months.

My son, Rick, is a huge help to me, as he can research and find parts and information on the Internet much better than I can. He contacted Mark Sisler from Illinois, who had a reproduction fuel pump for my engine.

Of all the problems with this engine, one of my big obstacles in restoring this engine was the boss that holds the camshaft was broken off the engine block. To repair it, I cut and fitted a new boss, then I drilled and tapped the engine block and mounted the new boss. I then got Gene Addington, who is a member of our gas engine group, to weld it for me, before filing the weld and finishing it with JB Weld. The repair is almost invisible.

Our gas engine group is affiliated with Tired Iron of the Ozarks out of Gentry, Arkansas. This gas engine group has been meeting every week long since before my son and I got involved with them. What a huge help they are. The knowledge these guys have on gas engines is amazing! I never hesitate buying something broken or beyond my knowledge, because I know these guys will have an answer.

I would like to thank all the friends we have made at engine shows and swap meets that have sold us engines and parts. If it weren’t for the good people in this hobby sharing knowledge and parts, it just wouldn’t work!

Ike’s Stover will be featured with other vertical engines at the Sept. 1-5, 2016, Old Threshers Reunion in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.