Readers' Engine Questions

| April/May 2003

38/4/1 Elgin Haf-a-Hors Q: When I purchased this odd little engine several years ago it was one solid chunk of rust. It shows serial number 15084, but other than that I have found no information on it. It is now mostly restored.

It has a Bosch magneto and a brass carburetor with an air valve and a check valve. The check valve uses a glass marble, I do not know if this is right. The aluminum air valve in the carburetor needs a spring and I have no idea what it looks like. It has a pendulum-type governor that shorts out the ignition to govern engine speed (like a Maytag). I have it connected to cut out the spark plug. The engine has a rotary valve on the crankshaft, and it has an inverted cylinder and a bearing on the opposite side of the flywheel. This was a ball bearing, but with no visible means of lubrication I replaced it with a sealed bearing.

I have only seen one other Haf-a-Hors, but it was not exactly like mine. It had a different carburetor, battery ignition and did not run. I don't know when it was made, but a friend of mine who made the fiber gear driving the magneto said it was a type not used since 1920.

Any information regarding wiring, air valve spring, adjustment and type of oil and mixture for this engine would be greatly appreciated. Vernon Scheiderer, 16732 Robinson Road, Marysville, OH 43040.

A: Available information suggests your engine was first introduced around 1920, which gives credence to your friend's thoughts on the fiber gear. Made by the Elgin Wheel & Engine Co., Elgin, Ill., it's thought that quite a few of these little engines were built, but very few seem to survive. They do show up at shows; we're hoping a knowledgeable reader can give you some assistance getting yours back to proper form.

38/4/2 New Way