My Tri-State Treasure

By Staff
article image
Harold Berry, 3977 Gardner Lane, Cincinnati, Ohio 45245 picked up this 1 HP Associated Chore Boy at the Tri-State Swap Meet. Look inside for his tale about the engine's restoration.

3977 Gardner Lane Cincinnati, Ohio 45245

This all started at the Spring Swap  Meet in May 1993, at
the Tri-State Gas Engine and Tractor Association in Portland,

On Friday evening, at dusk, a fellow came in pulling a camper.
When he got the camper unhooked, I looked in the back of his truck
where he had an engine partly taken apart. It looked in pretty bad
condition. I asked what he wanted for it. He said it was in bad
shape, that he found it in a garage under a bench and it was dark
in the garage so he could not see what he was getting. He told me
what he gave for it and I offered him $5.00 profit and he took

I loaded it in my truck and the next morning I found out it was
a 1 HP, water-cooled Associated Chore Boy. A fellow came by and
wanted to buy it to sell the parts. I got to thinking it was a
shame to part it out and I thought I could restore it, but it would
be a challenge. I am one of those people who will buy an engine
that has to be restored before I will buy one that is already

I got it home and started to work on it. The water jacket had
frozen and was broken. I broke the piece on out, ground the edges
and with some cast iron welding rod welded it back in. The piston
was stuck, so I stood it up and poured in it. While it was soaking
I made plate on the lathe to fit on top of the piston. Then I
turned a piece of pipe to fit the cylinder; with this and a
sledgehammer I got the piston out. The rings were not stuck badly
so I got them free. The piston had been stuck about the middle of
the cylinder, so with some honing of the cylinder wall it came out
fairly good.

One ear on the rod was broken and the bearing was gone. I welded
the piece back on, then turned a piece on the lathe the same
diameter as the crank. I set it all up and poured a new bearing
with Babbitt. The end had rusted off the exhaust valve, the intake
was in fair shape. I got both valves out and the heads were in fair
shape. The valves were made with the stems going through the head
and then battered it. I made a new valve stem for the exhaust valve
and put it in the valve head, re-faced both valves and reseated the

The ignitor was pretty bad. Finally I got it apart. Had to make
a new kick block for it from some square bar stock and bought a new
spring. The trip arm was so bad I had to make a new one of 3/8′
bar stock. The governor sleeve on the crankshaft was rusted away. I
took a piece of cold roll steel 3′ in diameter and made a new
one on the lathe. The timing gear on the crankshaft was half rusted
away, so I found one at a swap meet, plus a valve rocker arm that
was missing. The push rod was rusted pretty badly so I made a new
one from square bar stock.

Now, the part came that I don’t like to do too well. I took
all the parts off and cleaned them. After that I filled the rust
pits in with spot putty and sanded them down. I gave it six or
seven coats of primer and sanded it, which took about a month. I
got my son to paint it and put the pinstripes and decals on it, as
he is a better painter than I am.

When I started putting it back together my son-in-law came by
and we were talking about how brass nuts would look on it. The next
day, he came by with enough brass nuts to go on everything. I
buffed them and put them on and it sure made it look a lot

While my son was painting I got some stuff out of the shop and
made the set of trucks.

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines