Original Condition: Where do We Draw the Line?

| February/March 2004

Blow Smoke

The following comes from a recent topic on Smok Stak, which can be found on the Internet at: smokstak.cgi. As ever, various individuals started, commented on and concluded the following bulletin board thread.

I talked to an engine buddy the other day at work about his 'original' engine. The more he talked, the more unoriginal his engine sounded. The only original parts on the engine were the block, head, flywheels and timing gears. He made a new piston, connecting rod, valves, etc. This got me to thinking, just where do we draw the line on what's considered original?

If you have to replace piston rings, for instance, or rebabbitt the main bearings, can the engine still be considered original?

I have a 4 HP Witte headless that I recently picked up. Over the winter, I have to bore out the valve guides and put in valve guides. The valves are fine, but the bores are worn. If I were to sell it in the future, will it still be considered 'all original?' - Paul

 'Original' is as-shipped from the factory and unaltered. 'Restored' means replacement of any worn parts or coatings, using closely matched parts or material similar to what the manufacturer used. 'Engine repaired and running' means available parts were used to make the flywheels move.

I agree we need a standard to identify an engine's condition. In your case, I don't think 'original' applies. - Pat