Maytag Twin (Minus One)

Maytag twin engine

Content Tools

Rt 7, Box 82 Goldsboro, NC 27530

I became hooked on old engines and farm equipment after my trip this past year to the 19th Annual Southeast Old Threshers Reunion at Denton, North Carolina. I never knew that there were so many old engines still around, or that there are so many people interested in them. I also acquired my first copy of GEM there. And from then on I was hooked!

Since then I have attended as many of the shows as my work schedule would allow. The more I saw of these unique engines and equipment, I realized that I was not going to be satisfied with being a mere spectator. I am a tinkerer by nature. I realized that these old engines would provide me with the perfect outlet for appeasing this obsession I have to tear things apart and rebuild them.

I began by acquiring several old two cycle engines of the reel lawnmower variety, and now I have three Maytag Twins and a model 92 single in my collection.

While attending the October show in Dunn, North Carolina, I met and talked with Tom Copper of Roxboro, North Carolina, about an engine he was showing that really struck me as an interesting idea for me as a project. Many of you recall Tom's article in the November, 1989 issue of GEM about a 'Pork-N-Beans' hit & miss that he made. He had that engine, as well as a Maytag twin that he had removed one cylinder from, turned it upright, and converted into a single with a large flywheel. I talked to Tom extensively about the engine, as I was quite fascinated with it. I told him that I would like to try to build one using his idea and he offered to help me as much as he could. By the time we left that day, the gears were turning and I began to mentally put this engine together. I worked steadily for the next four months experimenting with different ideas until I was finally satisfied. True to his word, Tom was a tremendous help with a lot of the details. I have had four machinists working on it at one time or another. Carl Graves, Ricky White, Glenn Pate and Ronnie Cline all had great ideas for the project. As the pictures will testify, their ideas were great and they proved themselves to be fantastic machinists! Note the extensive brass trim that they machined and polished for me.

As for the details of the engine, the carb was from a four cycle Briggs. It is a vacujet that has been cut down and converted to a gravity feed type. This is the simplest and most efficient of many different set-ups that I experimented with. I removed the original governor and jet from the Maytag and used the throttle plate and idle screw to control the engine speed. I can idle down to about 400 r.p.m., at which speed it really seems to run well.

I built a spring loaded plate to hold a micro-switch for timing of the flywheel, and used a 12 volt automobile coil and condenser for ignition. The exhaust pipe is part of the original exhaust pipe that is cut down with an added tapered brass stack that Carl made to fit over it. It has a real 'throaty' sound and produces smoke rings as it runs.

I installed a petcock in the base since the cylinder is now turned upright and would have no way to 'de-flood' itself. I use a 6 volt lantern battery to supply power to the coil to fire the C-J6 spark plug, that I gap at .030. The flywheel is 15' diameter and has a brass handle for starting and a brass counter-weight for balance.

I built the oak and pine skid that the engine is mounted on, as well as the combination battery/tool box. I hand lettered and painted the Maytag signs on it.

I also have several other Maytags that I have restored back to original condition, but none was as much fun or as challenging as this one was to build.

My best friend, Doug Coffey, just bought four 1930's and 1940's style John Deere 'A', and a 1937 Case tractor, all in various stages of disrepair. So, we have plenty to do to keep us busy getting ready for those early, springtime shows that we are eagerly waiting for.

I haven't as yet been able to find a hit and miss engine that I could reasonably acquire, but I will continue to look out for one. I hope that, as with the Maytags, the first one will lead me to acquiring many more.

Thanks to everyone for all the friendly help I have received while trying to get inducted into this most enjoyable hobby, turned obsession. These are certainly a unique group of people that collect and restore old engines and tractors. I have never met a more friendly or more willing to help group of people anywhere. See you at the shows!