By Staff
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1) Side view before disassembly.
2 / 13
9) Machined exhaust push rod and brass sleeve.
3 / 13
10) Homemade lever to convert to hit & miss operation.
4 / 13
5 / 13
11) Hit and miss conversion lever on the engine.
6 / 13
12) Locking bolt and nut on the flywheel hub.
7 / 13
2) Front view before disassembly.
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3) From rear, showing rusted cylinder and frozen piston.
9 / 13
4) Head, showing the broken exhaust pivot bracket.
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5) Head with bolted-on exhaust pivot bracket.
11 / 13
6) Rebuilt carburetor intake diaphragm.
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7) New and original needle valves.
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8) Exhaust push rod and retaining washers on engine.

662 Lambeth Court, Sunnyvale, CA 94087

I had never seen a hit and miss engine before I bought the
Sattley as a ‘pile of rust and broken parts’. I was able to
restore it to running condition in four months of part time work on
weekends. Since there are probably others who would like to restore
an engine but are concerned about the being able to, I wrote an
article on my experience to show that restoration can be a
no-experience-needed hobby. I mention the use of a lathe to fix
some parts, but I am not a professional machinist and am entirely
self-taught in the use of machine tools.

Tools and Basic background information needed.
If you want to restore an old engine it is very helpful to have
worked on a gasoline engine before. Just by doing a tune-up on your
car you learn about engine timing.

The more types of automotive engine repairs you have done, the
more familiar with old hit and miss engines you will be.

You should have a reasonable set of tools: a set of socket
wrenches, several hammers, several kinds of pliers, a set of screw
drivers, a set of open end wrenches, one or two adjustable
wrenches, metal chisels, metal files of different sizes, an
electric drill, a full set of metal drill bits from
1/16‘ to ? in
1/64‘ steps, and a propane or MAPP gas
torch are a minimum. I made extensive use of my small bench drill
press, and a wire brush attachment for my electric drill. You most
likely will need to buy several taps and dies.

Some background reading before attempting an engine restoration
is helpful. GEM is one source of good ideas for engine restoration
and ads for parts and services suppliers dedicated to restoration.
I recommend Guide to Antique Engine Repair by Bud Motry. It is
advertised regularly in this magazine and is easily worth its $7.00

If you have never worked with metal, I recommend you buy a text
book on machine tool practices. A textbook for beginning metal shop
or the machine tool course at a local two year college will be
excellent. Beginning textbooks have chapters on using many of the
hand tools that are necessary in old engine restoration. Almost all
that I know about metal working came out of such a text.

Getting the engine. The idea of getting and
restoring a hit and miss engine came from a close friend who had
seen them run at shows and wanted one for his own. He showed me
some pictures and got my interest going. I live in the San
Francisco area of California, where there are not many farms or
engines, and I had no idea where to find engines. The most I could
do was look around when I was in the country. Over a period of two
years nothing turned up. Then a mutual friend said he’d heard
of a farmer in Sonoma County who was selling some old engines. It
was a week before we were able to find the time to travel the two
hours to his farm, and when we arrived we found out another
collector had arrived the day before and bought the 6 best engines.
We looked over the engines that were left and were disappointed.
All the small ones were rusted with broken or missing parts. I
decided to take a chance and bought a 2 HP Sattley because it
looked like all the parts were there. The piston was frozen in the
cylinder, the pivot post for the exhaust arm was broken, the head
was cracked in two places and it was badly rusted up. Pictures 1
and 2 show the Sattley just after I got it. It still had the name
plate with the model type and serial number. I knew that having the
model and serial number would be helpful in trying to find parts.
Another plus for the Sattley was that it uses a Wico EK magneto,
which is a common magneto, and both replacement parts and complete
magnetos are readily available by mail.

Taking the Engine apart. Before you take an
engine apart, take lots of pictures of it! I had to take the
flywheels and crankshaft off my engine to make it light enough to
take out of the back of my car without a block and tackle. As soon
as I got the engine on the ground I took quite a few pictures of it
from several angles and several close ups of the governor and the
linkage for the magneto. The photos were useful later when I
reassembled the engine and had forgotten just how things went
together. Also many parts houses request a picture of the engine so
they have a better chance of getting the correct part.

Disassembling a rusted-up engine is a tough job no matter how
you tackle it. For my engine most of the nuts and bolts were rusted
tight and the piston was stuck in the cylinder. For the first pass
I used a penetrating oil called ‘Liquid Wrench.’ It worked
on about 30% of the bolts on the engine. For most of the rusted
bolts and nuts heat was the best weapon. The idea here is to use
the expansion and contraction of the metal as it heats and cools to
break the rusted joint. I used a MAPP gas torch (these can be
obtained at most hardware stores for about $20) for heat to break
frozen parts free. The heat method worked on about 90% of the
frozen parts. In some cases I had to apply heat two or three times,
the last time heating the nut or piece of casting with a bolt in it
to red hot before it would break free. About 10% of the bolts and
screws could not be loosened with any of these techniques listed
above and broke off or needed to be cut off with a chisel or

Removing the flywheels from the crankshaft was some challenge. I
had already removed the crankshaft and flywheels from the engine to
lighten it enough to move. Now I had to get the flywheels off the
crankshaft. I removed the tapered keys from the hubs of the
flywheels by applying penetrating oil, letting it soak in and then
prying the tapered keys out with a crowbar. I had to put a small
piece of 3/8‘ square steel on the hub
close to the key to get enough leverage. Even with the tapered keys
removed the flywheels were still firmly stuck on the crankshaft.
Since my flywheels were solid I could not see any way to use a gear
or wheel puller. I ended up supporting one flywheel above the
ground with the crankshaft hanging down vertically, then drove the
crankshaft out of the flywheel with a small sledge hammer. The
flywheel was supported by hanging it by two 2×4’s placed next
to the crankshaft and supported on each end by saw horses. I used a
metal shaft about ? smaller in diameter than the crankshaft as the
drift. I was careful never to hit on the end of the crankshaft
directly with the hammer, so as not to mushroom it over.

Broken or cut off bolts and screws. The best
approach for these is to drill them out and re-tap the hole. I
would try to file the end of the broken bolt flat and carefully
mark the center of the bolt with a prick punch. Then, on my drill
press, I drilled the bolt out starting with a small drill and
working up to a drill that was the tapping size for that thread
size. Then I tried to re-tap the hole to its original thread size.
This worked every time for this engine. If it does not work for
you, then you have two choices. One is to drill a larger hole and
tap for the next size bolt (this requires drilling out the hole on
the piece the bolt holds on). The other choice is get a thread
repair kit and use it to get the hole back to the original thread
size. Thread repair kits are at many hardware stores, some machine
tool supply houses and some auto parts stores. The use of thread
repair kits involves drilling and tapping the hole to a larger size
and then using a liner threaded on both the outside and the inside
to bring the hole back to its original threaded size.

Another tip on engine disassembly is to make up several boxes
and cans with labels on them for parts and nuts and bolts from
different sections of the engine. For example I put the bearing
caps and bearing inserts for the left side of the engine in one can
and the right in another. Also I put tape labels on the bearing
insert halves to separate the top insert from the bottom insert
with an arrow on the tape showing which side of the bearing insert
faced toward the flywheels.

As I took the engine apart I was careful to make sure to mark
where the shims came from. The shims were necessary when the engine
was reassembled to get the proper bearing clearances. (Shims are
thin pieces of metal or paper used to adjust the clearance of a
bearing by holding the bearing caps away from their mating
surfaces.) Save the old gaskets as they will be useful later as
templates for making new gaskets. The Sattley had thin (0.10′)
paper shims for both the main and connecting rod bearings. Several
of the shims came apart when the engine was disassembled. I saved
the old shims to use later as templates to make new ones.

The valves presented a special problem. Both intake and exhaust
valves were frozen in their valve guides. My torch was not hot
enough to get the head really hot, so I heated the exposed part of
the valve guide as hot as I could, allowed it to cool and then
poured penetrating oil down the guide as best I could. I then
placed the head on wooden blocks and hit the top of the valve stem
with a brass hammer. At first the valves did not move even after
several blows. I then repeated the heating and penetrating oil and
let the head sit for a day and tried again. On the third try the
intake valve broke loose a little. More penetrating oil around
valve stem for a few hours and another hit and it was loose. The
exhaust valve required another heating session and even then the
valve stem started to mushroom at the top from the hammer before it
started to move. Before I drove the exhaust valve out I cut the
mushroomed top of the stem off so it would not get stuck in the

The last and most worrisome part of disassembly was getting the
frozen piston out of the cylinder. The piston was frozen about ?
from the bottom of its stroke. The exposed three inches of cylinder
were covered with rust and dirt, as shown in Picture 3. First I
scraped the dirt off the exposed area. Then I used medium emery
cloth with kerosene as a solvent and cleaned off as much rust as
possible. I also used emery cloth to clean out the carbon in the
top part of the cylinder above the piston. The cylinder was then
braced so the top of the piston and the cylinder bore faced up. I
then poured about 1′ of kerosene in the cylinder, covered it,
and let it sit for several weeks. Kerosene makes a good penetrating
oil and evaporates slowly. I then turned the cylinder upside down
so the connecting rod was up and squirted penetrating oil around
the bottom edge of the piston and let it sit for a few days. To
break the piston loose I braced the head so the connecting rod was
hanging down, placed the biggest wooden block that would fit in the
cylinder on top of the piston and hit down on the block with a 3
lb. hammer. After several blows the piston moved about
1/8‘ indicating it was free. I then
turned the cylinder upside down and drove the piston out the head
end placing a wood block on the open end of the connecting rod and
drove it out with the heavy hammer. The rings were frozen in the
grooves of the piston but soaking the piston several days in
kerosene loosened them up enough so I could remove them without
breaking them.

A final note about disassembly: If rusted parts broke as I was
disassembling them, I was careful to keep the two pieces together.
(This happened with two springs and the rod that connected the
governor with the carburetor.) Then when I was in the fixing phase
of the project I could take measurements from the broken pieces for
finding a replacement spring or making a replacement part.

Part clean up. To get the engine cleaned up I
divided the parts into two groups: ones that could be sandblasted
(parts with out exposed machined surfaces) and ones to be cleaned
with a wire brush or an emery cloth (parts with exposed machined
surfaces). Most of the parts could be sandblasted, though I had to
plug up some holes with wood plugs and make wood covers for the
ends of the cylinder. In the phone book I found a sandblasting firm
and had all the parts sandblasted for $40. Right after, I coated
them with paint primer. Bare metal rusts very fast and it is good
practice to put primer on metal right after sandblasting. The
remaining parts were cleaned with a combination of naval jelly, a
wire brush attached to a hand drill and emery cloth. It just
required time and patience.

The carbon on top of the piston was scraped off with a putty
knife. I removed all the rings and scraped the carbon out of the
ring grooves. I did not replace the rings, though it is a good idea
to replace the rings when rebuilding an engine. There are several
suppliers of piston rings who advertise in GEM and a new set of
rings for one piston are not very expensive. If you do decide to
replace the rings, you can break one of the old rings in half,
grind the broken end flat and use it as a tool the clean the carbon
out of the ring grooves.

Repair. The next thing I did was decide what
needed to be repaired and how I was going to do it. Parts that
needed repair were:
1.  The head was cracked in two places for about 2
2. Exhaust lever bracket on the head was broken.
3.  Rod holding the actuating and return springs for the
magneto was rusted away.
4. Carburetor intake diaphragm was rusted away.
5. Both the needle valves in the carburetor were badly
6.  The spring for exhaust push rod was broken.
7.  The end of the exhaust push rod was rusted badly and
would not slide through the holder in the carburetor.
8. The magneto was frozen and badly corroded inside.
9. The cylinder bore was badly pitted for the bottom ? of it
10.  Both valve guides were badly worn.
11.  One of the valve stems was ruined from driving it out of
the head.

While this list looks formidable these repairs were not too
difficult. For several repairs I used a lathe, but I will give
suggestions on how I would have done these same repairs without a

Cracked head: I attacked the head first, since
it seemed the most difficult and if I could not fix the head, then
I might as well not bother on the other parts. The head was cracked
in two places between the water jacket and the outside. Both cracks
were about two inches long. I would not have attempted to weld the
cast iron head. My understanding is that when cast iron is welded
the heating and cooling creates weakness in the area next to the
weld which then breaks or cracks. Cast iron can be welded, but it
requires an expert to do it successfully. I chose an old technique
called lace welding which uses threaded plugs to fill the crack.
Clean the area of the crack and find the beginning and end of it.
Make a punch mark at the end of the crack, then drill out and tap a
?-28 hole. Coat the inside of the hole with epoxy, coat a ?-28 bolt
with epoxy and screw the bolt into the hole. Let the epoxy harden,
then cut off the bolt head and file the bolt off flat with the iron
surface. Then make a punch mark in the crack at the edge of the
filed-off bolt. Drill and tap another ?-28 hole; this hole will
overlap both the bolt and the crack. Plug this hole with another
epoxy-covered bolt and let the epoxy dry. Repeat the above steps
until the entire crack is plugged and you have overlapped both ends
of the crack by at least ? the width of the bolt (this overlap
should stop the crack from spreading again).

The above technique is an old one and I know it has been used to
repair cracked parts on antique cars with good success. I have run
the engine repaired with this technique for over eight hours and
everything is holding fine with no leaks. In the head for my engine
I had to pull the cracked piece back in alignment with clamps
before I did the drilling and plugging. I clamped the head in a
drill press to drill the hole and then used the drill press chuck
to hold the tap since it was aligned with the hole right after the
hole was drilled.

A word of caution: make sure the epoxy has set up before
drilling and tapping the next hole. If the plug you are drilling
into is not fixed tightly it will turn a little when you try to tap
the hole overlapping the plug and the crack. I broke a tap when I
hurried this operation before the epoxy had set up. Also I
don’t recommend quick drying epoxies because most of these are
not recommended for use in repairs that are exposed to temperatures
over 150° F. If you want to speed the operation, start at each end
of the crack and work toward the middle making sure you get proper
overlap with the last plug. In my case the last plug only
overlapped the two plugs next to it by about
1/16‘, but that was enough to lock the
crack up.

I did consider having the cracks repaired at a shop specializing
in automotive head repair. Two shops I called quoted me a price of
$40/inch, so the 4 inches of cracks in the Sattley head would have
cost $160 to repair.

The high cost of having the cracks professionally repaired
motivated me to try the lace welding method described above.

Broken bracket for exhaust lever: The second
big problem to solve was the broken exhaust lever bracket. This
bracket is cast into the head (see Picture 4). Since I was lucky
and the top part of the broken bracket was with the exhaust lever,
I decided to try a repair using the broken-off piece. One way would
have been to weld or braze the broken bracket back on. Since I do
not own welding equipment and was unsure about welding cast iron in
general, I decided against it. Instead, I bolted the bracket back
together by clamping the broken piece on, then drilling a
13/64‘ tapping hole through the top
piece, the pivot and into the bottom of the bracket. Then I tapped
the bottom of the bracket ?’-20. I then drilled out the top
part of the bracket and pivot post to ?’ diameter. I was then
able to bolt the pivot arm back on the head as shown in Picture 5.
If the top part of the broken bracket had not been with the engine
I would have milled or filed off the broken bottom part of the
bracket flat and then made a top piece out of some scrap steel and
bolted it on. The top part could be made using just a hacksaw,
files and a drill press.

Actuating rod for the magneto. The rod holding
the springs for actuating the Wico EK magneto was rusted to the
point of breaking. I used a combination of wire brushing and naval
jelly to get the springs free from the rod. I was able to reuse the
springs, but there are advertisers in GEM who carry replacements.
After measuring the rod I turned and threaded a replacement on my
lathe. Without a lathe I could have made a replacement rod as
follows: first, I would have bought a 1′ length of
3/8‘-16 threaded rod at the hardware
store, cut it to length and cross-drilled a hole in one end for the
cotter pin-this would make the basic rod. Then I would have bought
a short length of ?’ diameter mild steel and drilled a
3/8‘ diameter hole in it for about 3’
down the center and cut to length to make the sleeve to support the
actuating spring. The whole thing can then be reassembled with some
3/8 washers as the retaining and thrust

Carburetor intake diaphragm: The carburetor
intake diaphragm, spring post and return spring were just about
rusted away. This was the first engine of this type I had ever seen
and I had no books on old engines, so I had to spend some time
figuring out what the diaphragm was used for before I could try to
make a replacement for it. In short the diaphragm is there to allow
enough vacuum to be created in the carburetor to draw the gas from
the tank into the carburetor. If the diaphragm were not there, then
a gas pump and float bowl would be needed to make the carburetor
work properly. Once I knew the diaphragm’s function I realized
that any round flat metal with a weak spring would do. I used some
galvanized steel from a rain gutter for the round diaphragm. To cut
the sheet metal in a round circle without bending it, I first
clamped it between two washers of the same outside diameter I
wanted the diaphragm to be, using a bolt through a hole drilled in
the sheet metal. I then used tin snips to cut the metal as close as
possible to the outside edge of the washers. The sheet metal was
then filed flush with the outside edges of the washers. The post
that held the diaphragm and return spring was almost rusted away so
it needed to be replaced. The old post was pressed into the cover
of the air intake to the carburetor. I just drove the old one out
with a punch and turned a new one on my lathe and pressed it in. To
repair the post without a lathe I would have drilled out the old
hole to a common tapping size, threaded the hole and then used a
bolt with the head cut off for the post and some ‘Locktite’
thread locking com pound to fix it in the hole. The surface of the
carburetor air intake cover that the diaphragm sits on was also
rusted and pitted and needed to be cleaned up so the diaphragm
would get a good seal. I surfaced it in the lathe by taking several
very light facing cuts. An alternative would have been to file the
surface smooth, being careful to keep it flat. A good method of
filing a flat surface and keeping it flat is called cross filing.
Cross filing is explained in any good machine shop textbook. The
completed diaphragm is shown in Picture 6. 

Needle valves in the carburetor: The needle
valves for adjusting the gas/air mixture were badly rusted and
needed to be replaced. This is one repair that was easy with a
lathe and would be much more difficult without one. The tips of the
needle valves were rusted away and so the whole needle valve needed
to be replaced. I also decided to replace the rusted steel handle
for the needle valve with a brass one. Making the new needle valve
and handle were simple turning and threading operations on the
lathe. The one interesting part was that the threads in the
carburetor for the needle thread were ?’-24 TPI, which is not a
standard thread size. I had to cut the threads on the lathe instead
of with a die. Picture 7 shows the old needle valve and a new
needle with a new brass handle.

If I had not had a lathe available, I still could have made a
new needle valve as follows: I would have taken a ?’ diameter
rod and cut it to the same length as the old needle valve. Then I
would have chucked it in the drill press with about 1′
extending beyond the chuck. Then with the drill press running at a
slow speed, I would have used a file to make the pointed tip. The
exact angle of the tip is not critical. I would have had to buy a
?-24 die from a machine tool supply house. Many machine tool supply
companies carry taps and dies for non-standard threads like
?’-24.I would have threaded most of the rod ?-24, then returned
to the drill press and filed away the threads near the tip. The
needle could then be soldered or brazed into the old handle. It
would also be possible to thread the top part of the needle
?’-28 and use two nuts to bolt it to the old handle.

Exhaust push rod spring: The original exhaust
push rod spring was one that has small openings in each end and
gets big in the middle. I believe a similar spring can be bought
from the engine parts suppliers who regularly advertise in this
magazine. I made an equivalent spring as follows: first I cut a
spring of approximately the same diameter wire as the original
spring to the same length as the original spring. Then I heated the
last coil of the cut off end with a propane torch and bent it down
slightly so the end of the spring was flat. Two retaining washers
were made for each end of the spring by soldering washers slightly
smaller than the inside diameter of the spring to washers with a
diameter slightly larger than the outside diameter of the spring. I
chose washers where the hole through the middle was just larger
than the diameter of the exhaust push rod that they had to slide
over. Picture 8 shows the finished spring and washers in place. The
spring retaining washers could also be made by turning a small
shoulder on two washers with a lathe.

Badly rusted exhaust push rod. The end of the
exhaust push rod was rusted into the guide on the carburetor. When
I got them apart it was clear that what remained of the push rod
was too small to be a good sliding fit in the guide on the
carburetor. The method of repair I chose required a lathe and I
don’t know how you would proceed without one. I turned the
rusted end of the exhaust push rod down until all the rust was
removed and I had a good finish on the metal. I then made a small
brass sleeve whose inside diameter was the same as the outside
diameter of the push rod and whose outside diameter was the same as
that of the inside diameter of the guide on the carburetor. I fixed
the sleeve in the guide with some Locktite. Picture 9 shows the
push rod sticking out of the guide and sleeve on the engine.
Without a lathe, I could have had an automotive machine shop do the
work. Turning the push rod and making the small brass sleeve are
simple machining operations and do not need to be done to close

The magneto was frozen and badly corroded
When I got the cover off the Wico EK magneto I
found it badly rusted, and much of the pot metal used for the frame
was corroded and looked weak. A quick check of the two coils with
an ohmmeter found one to be open. I called a few of the people who
advertise magneto repair in GEM and found that cost of the
materials for me to do the repair would be about $60-$70. Branson
Enterprises quoted $ 110 for a repaired or rebuilt mag. At $110, an
expert repair seemed to be worth the additional $50, so off went
the old magneto with a check to Branson Enterprises. A completely
rebuilt magneto arrived less than three weeks later, and I was able
to bolt the rebuilt magneto on the engine without any adjustments.
It works great.

Badly pitted cylinder bore: Fortunately only
about the bottom ? of the cylinder bore was rusted and pitted. I
measured the piston and the cylinder and determined that the pitted
part was below the bottom of the travel of the rings on the piston.
This meant that I did not need to sleeve the cylinder to get a good
sealing surface for the rings. I cleaned the rust and carbon out of
the piston with emery cloth and kerosene, then with a cylinder hone
from a local tools rental shop I honed out the cylinder until its
whole length was clean except for deep rust pits at the bottom.
Even with no rust in your cylinder it is good practice to hone it
when rebuilding an engine. Honing will break the glaze of the
cylinder walls so the rings can re-seat and get a good seal. After
honing I inserted the piston and checked the fit with a feeler
gauge at both the top and bottom. The maximum thickness feeler
gauge I could insert between the cylinder wall and the piston was
0.005′, which was less then the maximum of 0.008′
recommended in Bud Motry’s book.

Valve guides were badly worn and one of the valve stems
was ruined from driving it out of the head.
The valves for
the Sattley were built up out of two pieces. The stem was steel
threaded at one end and screwed onto the head with a small part of
the thread peened over to lock it in place. This made the repairing
of the damaged valve stem easy. I just drilled out the original
stem from the head, then turned and threaded a new stem. In turning
the new valve stem I made it slightly larger than the original so
it would fit close in the worn valve guide. I did not ream out the
valve guide since I could get an acceptable fit by just turning the
valve stem oversize. I then took the valves and the head to an
automotive machine shop and had them grind the valves and the
seats. (They only charged me $5 to do this.) Having the shop grind
the valve faces after I had made new stems insures that the valve
faces are at 45 degrees with the stems. Because the intake valve
seat was recessed about 3′ in the head the machine shop was
unable to grind it, as their grinding tool did not reach that deep.
This problem was easily solved by applying some valve grinding
compound (this can be purchased at most auto parts stores) to the
valve face and then spinning the valve on its seat. I used an
electric drill to spin the valve and it only took about three
minutes to get a good seat. If you do not want to tackle the head
repair job, most towns have a machine shop specializing in
automotive head repair that can do the job for you. Specialty head
repair shops are good places to go to try to find used automotive
valves if your old valves can’t be repaired.

When the valves were completed, I had finished all the repair
work and could start reassembly. I had originally intended to just
restore the engine to its original condition, but since I was
rebuilding this engine to run as a ‘toy,’ I made some
modifications to make it better fit my needs.

Conversion of the engine from throttle governed to hit
and miss governed.
After I had disassembled the engine I
discovered that it was not a hit and miss engine but a throttle
governed engine. I had recently seen a hit and miss engine in
operation at a show and was very disappointed because I really
wanted one. A look at the governor linkage convinced me that I
could convert the engine to hit and miss operation. 

Hit and miss governing is usually accomplished by holding the
exhaust valve open so the engine does not draw in gas or have a
compression stroke and free wheels. This could easily be
accomplished on my engine by making a lever that would hold the
exhaust push rod when the governor flyweights were expanded. The
best place to hold the exhaust push rod was at the place where the
magneto drive linkage was bolted to it. With a few measurements I
was easily able to make the lever out of a plate of ?’ thick
scrap steel, a ?’ square steel bar about 6′ long and some
10-24 set screws. The whole thing was made with a hacksaw, a metal
file, a 10-24 tap, a ?-20 tap and a drill press. Picture 10 shows
the homemade lever and Picture 11 shows it mounted on the engine. I
was able to use the adjusting screw from the original throttling
lever arm for my hit and miss lever arm. I had to add a spring from
the carburetor to the lever arm to return it to the open position
when the engine speed slowed down and the governor flyweights
released it. Nelson Brothers made a version of this engine with hit
and miss governing (back cover of GEM December 1989). Had I known
this when I was restoring my engine, I would have tried to get a
replacement lever arm for the hit and miss model.

Modification of the flywheel locking system: I
wanted to make the engine portable enough to take to show friends
or groups-light enough so two people could pick it up and put it in
the back of a car or truck. The fully assembled engine was much too
heavy for this. Since the flywheels make up a considerable amount
of the total engine weight, making them easy to remove and replace
would allow me to make the engine much lighter to move.

The flywheels were originally locked on the crankshaft with
tapered keys which are difficult to remove. I replaced the tapered
key locking system with a square key and locked it with a
5/16‘ Allen bolt and locking nut. I
bought the square at a local hardware store and filed to fit the
key way. The hole for the locking bolt was drilled with a hand
drill. The only thing critical for a locking bolt is that it is
placed above the key way and locks the key in place. Picture 12
shows the Allen bolt and locking bolt in place on the flywheel. I
have found this system satisfactory for my display engine and have
not had a problem with the flywheels coming loose, though I check
them each time I run the engine. A flywheel coming off a running
engine can be very dangerous.

Painting: Since I have no spray painting
equipment, I could not use lacquer based paint and had to settle
for an industrial oil based paint that has good resistance to
gasoline. I had no idea what the original color for the engine was,
so I had a paint store custom mix a dark green that I thought would
look nice. The custom mix only cost me $10 extra and I got a dark
green that I really liked. A burgundy red would also look nice on
an antique engine like this one. Painting amounted to putting
primer on all the un-machined exposed surfaces that were not
already primed and then putting on three coats of paint.

Gaskets: The engine only needed three gaskets:
the head gasket, the gasket between the plate holding the spark
plug and the head and the gasket between the carburetor and the
head. I made all three out of some head gasket material that I
bought from a supplier who advertises in GEM. I used the old
gaskets as templates.

Since the head gasket material is quite strong I needed some
metal hole punches to make the bolt holes. To cut out the hole in
the center of the head gasket, I used a wood chisel to cut around
the circle in small segments. The gasket material I bought had
asbestos in it, so I was careful when I cut it not to breathe the

Shims: The Sattley used paper shims for both
the main bearing and the connecting rod bearing. I was able to
re-use the original shims for the main bearing but the shims for
the rod bearing came apart when the engine was disassembled. For
the new shims I used gasket material of the same thickness as the
originals. The original shims were used as templates to cut the new

Engine reassembly: Since the engine was quite
heavy (over 300 lbs.) I needed to make a cart to move it around
during and after reassembly. I bought some heavy duty casters at
the local hardware store and bolted them to two 2×4’s that I
had stained and varnished. The 2×4’s with the casters were then
bolted to the engine base. If you care about originality, you can
buy an original style cart. I strongly recommend that you put your
engine on wheels of some kind.

In brief my engine reassembly was as follows: first, I built up
the head with the valves and valve springs. Next I built up the
piston, rings and connecting rod. I reassembled the engine in about
the reverse order that I disassembled it in. That is: first I put
the base on wheels, then the cylinder on the base, then installed
the governor, the crankshaft, then the piston, the head, then the
exhaust push rod, the carburetor, the bracket for holding magneto,
the magneto and its actuating mechanism and finally the spark plug.
I had to refer to my original pictures of the engine to remember
just how the actuating and return springs for the magneto went

When I reassembled the engine I replaced all the nuts and bolts.
This was for looks because all the nuts and bolts that came off the
engine were heavily rusted.

The areas in reassembly that required some care were getting the
proper clearance for the main bearing and setting the valve
clearance and timing. 

Main and rod bearings: The Sattley had bearing
inserts for the main and rod bearings. I was careful to mark each
bearing half during disassembly so it could be returned to its
original location. I also noted which paper shims went with each
bearing and used the same shims or made new ones of the same
thickness for each bearing cap during reassembly. Thick gasket
material made excellent paper shim stock. I applied grease to the
bearing surfaces, reassembled the bearing, and then tightened the
nuts until the bearing just started to bind and then backed the
nuts on both sides of the bearing caps about ? turn. This seemed an
appropriate method for use of paper shims. When tightening the nuts
of the bearing caps I tighten each side about ? to ? turn and then
tighten the other side to get an even force on the bearing cap.
After I was satisfied with the fit for both the main and rod
bearings, I put the lock nuts on and checked that the crank turned
without excessive play. The lock nuts are critical since the final
bearing clearance is set by the position of the nuts on the bearing
caps. If you have metal shims then you will need to get some
plastic clearance gauge from an automotive parts store to properly
set the bearing clearance. To properly seat the crankshaft in the
bearing you should scrape the bearing to remove the high spots,
then use some plastic gauge to make sure you have the right
clearance between the bearing surface and journal. Detailed
instructions on how to scrape bearings and check bearing clearances
are in many old automotive repair manuals and in most of the new
ones for repair of Ford Model T or Model A engines. If your engine
is going to run only for a few hours on occasional weekends, then
just getting the bearing caps tight enough so they don’t bind
and you can feel little or no play in the crankshaft when you try
to pull it up and down against the top and bottom bearing caps
should be good enough.

Setting the timing and valve clearance. There
were no marks on the timing gears so I had to set them by trial and
error. Since the magneto is actuated by the exhaust push rod, there
were two high spots on the cam; the highest one is to open the
exhaust valve and the other is to actuate the magneto. First I
adjusted the exhaust rocker arm clearance nut so there was about
0.020′ clearance between the rocker arm and the end of the
exhaust valve when the cam lobe to actuate the magneto was at its
highest point. I then rotated the gears until the exhaust valve
just started to open when the piston was at the bottom of its power
stroke. I rotated the engine and confirmed that the magneto was
actuated at the top of the compression stroke and the exhaust valve
still opened at the bottom of the power stroke.

Finishing touches. Finishing touches are very
important in making a restored engine look good. Since the cylinder
oiler and the grease cups for the bearings were missing from the
engine when I bought it, I ordered a brass sight feed oiler and
steel grease cups from Essex Brass (P.O. Box 629, Warren Michigan,
48090). I also had to buy a reproduction muffler since the one on
the engine was broken and missing parts. I set up a buffing wheel
and polished up all the exposed brass and steel parts on the engine
including the brass case for the Wico magneto and the raised
letters on the name plate. To keep the brass from tarnishing I
coated it with clear varnish to seal out the air. I also coated the
exposed steel parts with varnish to keep them from rusting. A new
spark plug and wire were purchased and installed on the engine.
Finally, I bought a decal of the Sattley logo and put it on the
side of the water tank opposite the magneto. I was very pleased
with the way my first engine restoration looked when I was all

Starting the Engine. The engine was quite easy
to start. I could get it to fire right away by putting my hand over
the intake to the carburetor for one intake stroke to prime and
then cranking it, but it would not run for more than one or two
cycles. It took me about 20 minutes of trying different settings
with the fuel mixture needle valve to find the right setting (about
1? turn open) to get the engine to run continually. After the
engine had warmed up I turned the gas mixture valve down until no
black smoke came out of the muffler, poured some water in the tank
and let the engine run about an hour. The engine runs at about 200
rpm with my homemade hit and miss governing system.

Since I live in the suburbs, my engine is quite a curiosity-most
of my friends and neighbors have never seen an old hit and miss
engine before. I hope that my description of my first engine
restoration will encourage others to try their hand at restoring an

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