Route 2, Box 279-B Pamplico, South Carolina 29583
I keep seeing articles in GEM about safety on showing off your
‘Pride and Joy’ and I agree with all of them.
But I keep seeing a lot of our friends, after many hours of work
on their old iron, start it up by belting it to another engine or
favorite tractor. Well let me tell you, from experience, DON’T
I have a 20 HP Muncie, hot tube engine. It can be hard to start,
so for a while I started it by belting it to my ’39 J.D.
‘H’. This worked fine but it was too much for the old
About a year or two later I found a J. D. ‘W’ power unit
in a junkyard. I bought it and spent a year restoring it. So we
retired the J.D. ‘H’ from starting the Muncie and decided
to use the ‘W’ unit to start it. This was a good idea until
the old iron had different thoughts.
We belted the ‘W’ to the Muncie, started the J.D.
‘W’ and engaged the clutch on the Muncie and slowly engaged
the clutch on the ‘W’. Well, the big engine cranked up! Hot
But to my surprise the eight inch flat belt came off the ‘W
‘power unit and wrapped around the 60 inch flywheel of the
Muncie. Well, if the belt had not ripped the fuel line from the big
engine I guess it would still be running with that 60 foot belt
wrapped around the flywheels because I could not get close to it
and stop it!
Luckily nobody was hurt. I was behind the ‘W’ unit some
30 feet away.
Can you imagine what could have happened if I had all my engine
lovers and friends over to see the Muncie engine run?
Well before the big flywheels stopped turning it ripped the fuel
line from the engine, knocked the tin from the top of the shed
toward the rafters and knocked the screen cooling tower down.
Well friends, you see why I say: ‘Don’t Do
Needless to say we do not start this engine that way
We realized what the other 3/8 hole in the
head was for-to start the engine by a quick opening valve and air
From then on that’s the way we start it. We bought a quick
opening valve and hooked it to my air compressor. With a little
looking at the flywheel and the position of the piston we figured
out where to put the flywheel. We can crank it with little or no
So friends don’t start your engine by belting it to
Happy engine hunting to all of my friends!