Cox, 268 Tunis Street, Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada N5C 1W7
My name is David Cox, and I love old engines. I've always been fascinated with machines. I can remember watching loaders and other construction equipment. When I was five, my older brothers had gas-powered go-carts. My brother Brian had a neat sounding engine on a go-cart which I later got. It was a 5S Briggs & Stratton engine. It had a 6' or 7' straight exhaust pipe which gave the engine a neat popping sound.
I first saw hit and miss engines when I went to a local farm show in the fall of 1979 called 'The International Plowing Match,' near Woodstock, Ontario. At first I didn't know what to think, they were so loud. The water in the hoppers was rusty and looked strange. I couldn't understand how the engine ran as fast as it did and only exhausted once in a while. I actually I thought the engine ran 'normal' (like a throttle governed engine), feeding the exhaust into the hopper (cylinder), compressing it until it overcame a pressure relief valve, and exhausted. I was ten years old. Later, I found out better. If I can remember correctly, I think the first one I saw was an upright Ideal or Novo with a square hopper. I was also fascinated with the OilPull Rumely tractors.
When I was 12, my brother gave me the 5S Briggs & Stratton engine. I played with it from time to time. I thought of restoring it but I didn't know where to find decals for it, and I didn't want to touch it until I could find decals.
In 1995 I met some people at a local show in my hometown of lngersoll, Ontario, called 'Threshing Days,' and I got some decals and fixed up the 5S engine. It only needed cosmetic work.
The next year my dad found me an engine, an Iron Horse 5/8 HP, in the spring cleanup. It was in great shape and only needed cosmetic restoration.
Later that year I found my first old fashioned engine. It looked like a coffee grinder, a Fairbanks-Morse Eclipse 1A. It was for sale and I got it. It needed many parts, so I researched the engine and made up what was missing. I was hooked. I've found many other engines since then. Some engines I dressed up a little extra, but nothing was welded or drilled to add those extras (like the flyballs on the Eclipse and Monitor). They don't govern, they just spin and look pretty. To this day the little F-M Eclipse 1A reminds me of that first hit and miss engine I saw.
Some of the parts I made up for these engines include: the intake breather (Maytag); flyball governor, fuel tank, muffler, crankcase breather, battery box, hopper lid, cart (F-M Eclipse); cart, fuel return (carb leaks) (Massey Harris). I made the fuel tank and crankcase cover (Ideal air-cooled); battery box, fuel line, skid, hopper lid, pump cylinder, spark interrupter, display governor (Monitor). I had to add a cylinder oiler to the Monitor. When I got this engine, the cylinder was solid and when I first ran the engine (even with oil up to the bearings in the sump) the cylinder was dry and would squeak after one minute of running. I tried several ideas, mixing oil with gas, this was very smoky. I added oil through the spark plug hole. This only worked for a few minutes. I saw chat other Monitor engines had oilers, so I added one to this engine and it works great.
Mechanical work I had to do included new shims, gaskets, rod bushing, rework spark interrupter (F-M Eclipse); readjust counter weight, new shims and gaskets (Maytag); new rings, new rod bushing and wrist pins, new gaskets (Massey-Harris); new rod bearing and wrist pin, new needle valves, new gaskets and fuel pump seals, new fuel tank, rebuild ignitor, new sleeve seal (IHC 'M'); new gaskets, rod bushing, buzz coil (Ideal air-cooled); buzz box, new gaskets and shims, new valve springs, new piston rings (Monitor)--by the way, when I got this engine it had automotive valve springs on the valves. I don't think the previous owner had any luck trying to start it.) Engines that only needed cosmetic work were the Stover Duro, the Briggs & Stratton, and the Iron Horse engines. The Maytag needed only a little mechanical work.
I would like to thank my folks for letting me store the engines in the garage. Thanks also to Louis Bari, Bob Bolhuis, and Allan J. Hough for their help and advice during my restorations.