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5 HP Empire

Young collectors first hit-and-miss engine

| February 2009

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    Greg Ackerly bought this 5 HP Empire for his first hit-and-miss gas engine.
    Greg Ackerly
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    The tag on Greg Ackerly's 5 HP Empire.
    Greg Ackerly

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My name is Greg Ackerly, and I have been collecting old iron since I was 3 years old.

I have more than 100 letter series Briggs & Stratton engines but ever since I was 7, I’ve wanted a 4 to 8 HP igniter-fired hit-and-miss engine with a decent amount of moving parts. Since I’m only 15, I couldn’t find an engine in my price range that fit my qualifications. I worked all summer and sold some of my duplicate Briggs & Stratton engines at the Dublin, N.H., show last year.


While at that show, the rain cleared everyone out and I noticed a man over in the corner had the block, base, crankshaft, flywheels, piston and rod of a large igniter-fired hit-and-miss engine. It left a lot to be desired, and I had overlooked the engine the day before because of all the missing parts. Still, I thought it might be worth asking about. I zoned out when I saw a bucket of parts that included a head, gas tank, and several odds and ends that all seemed to be glowing in that dark trailer. When I zoned back in, I asked what the parts were for, and he pointed at the block, crank, base, etc., sitting on the ground. So, I bought my first hit-and-miss – a 5 HP Empire, serial no. 50599, that’s fairly complete.

The engine is apart and missing the igniter, rocker arm assembly, magneto (if it had one), oiler, grease cups, crank guard, fuel pump, push rod supports, igniter trip arm, governor, detent, arm crank handle and possibly some other small parts. I was hoping some readers could help me locate parts, pictures and other information on this engine, and also tell me what color it is supposed to be. Keep up the good work and thanks ahead to all of you.



Gas Engine Magazine A_M 16Gas Engine Magazine is your best source for tractor and stationary gas engine information.  Subscribe and connect with more than 23,000 other gas engine collectors and build your knowledge, share your passion and search for parts, in the publication written by and for gas engine enthusiasts! Gas Engine Magazine brings you: restoration stories, company histories, and technical advice. Plus our Flywheel Forum column helps answer your engine inquiries!

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