Company: Associated Manufacturers Co., Waterloo, Iowa.
Model: Eight-Mule Team
HP: 8 at 350 RPM
Serial number: 801932
Flywheel diameter: 42 inches
Gross weight: Over 2,000 pounds
Retail price in 1915: $215
I have had this engine for the past 12 years, one of the many engines I have collected since I got into the engine hobby in the early 1980s. It is a 1919 8 HP Associated Eight-Mule Team, serial no. 801932. My dad bought it from his neighbor in Omak, Wash., in 1992. Dad knew about the engine, as he had helped saw wood with it.
A quick look showed it was complete, down to the original gas tank, with the exception of the muffler and magneto. We took the buzz saw off the back and stored the engine out of the way. After looking at it for some time, I decided this past winter to make it one of my projects.
During the disassembly process, we found the moving parts were badly worn, as dried oil and sawdust stopped them from being lubricated. Even so, the crank was in good shape, although the crank babbitt caps were full of shims, so we adjusted them down. Much to our surprise, we found the rod bearings to be the brass originals. We replaced the pins and bushings during the restoration, also.
The engine had a spark plug conversion in place of the original magneto, so the hunt was on for a replacement. Once we located the correct Webster low-tension magneto, we sent it to Mark's Magneto Service in Lisbon, Conn. to be rebuilt. As for the igniter, I happened to have a spare lying around the shop. We then painted everything in aluminum or a dark shade of IHC red. The original-style lettering and pin striping was done by local expert Ken Fuhr.
Once we had the engine put back together and ready to go, my son, Herman Jr., helped turn it over, and in a great cloud of smoke, it started. A few minor adjustments later it settled down and ran like it most certainly did 85 years ago.
The entire restoration took about a month to complete, and was pretty easy. I didn't put the saw back on, as I have one on a 7 HP Economy, and space becomes an issue. Neither the original owner nor its original use is known. The only thing the previous owner said was that it was in his bam when the bought the place in the 1930s. I showed it for the first time at the Antique Farm Engine and Tractor Assn.'s 23rd Annual Show on July 10-11 in Shelton, Wash., and I took it to Brooks, Ore., for the Antique Powerland Museum Assn.'s 34th Annual Great Oregon Steam-Up. Dad's gone now, but I think he would like how the old engine turned out.
Contact engine enthusiast Herman Meier at: 8821 E. Maringo Drive, Spokane, WA 99212; (509) 990-0723.