110 Woodrow Avenue Delaware, Ohio 43015
Here are two pictures of the ‘before’ and
‘after’ of this restored engine that I now am very pleased
To start at the beginning, I am an antique engine buff who likes
nothing better than a good challenge. I have restored a number of
small engines such as a Briggs and Stratton, Maytag (both one and
two cylinders), and a few others with some degree of success.
As a member of the Delaware County Antique Machinery
Association, I let it be known that I was interested in a ‘hit
and miss’ engine that would be a challenge to restore.
My inquiries led me to the Long brothers, Harry and Donald of
Ashley. They said they had just what I was looking for. They had
purchased the rusty old parts of an engine with the hopes of
finding the missing things at the shows and flea markets they
attended. After an extended period of time and a fruitless search,
they could not find any parts to fit what they thought was the
Faultless engine as the nametag on the side said it was. I bought
it from them after they had sandblasted the rust off, a job I was
not equipped to do.
I thought a good place to start was to get a good reference book
and find a picture of this engine. I purchased C. H. Wendel’s
American Gasoline Engines. With this book as my bible, I started
researching and looking for clues to my engine.
I looked up the Faultless engine, only to find out it was not
made in Chicago as the tag on the engine said, but was a company in
Kansas City and also was a throttling type engine, not a hit &
miss as the cam on my engine indicated. Realizing that there was
something phony going on, I started looking for a picture in this
book that looked like my prize. On page 77, I found a picture of my
engine, only it was called a ‘Caldwell Special’ made by the
Caldwell-Hollowell Manufacturing Company of Waterloo, Iowa. This
engine was patented #820-549 of May, 1906.
Further study and a lot more pages in a very thick book, I found
more parts to my mystery engine. Page #471 listed the John M. Smy
the Merchandising Company of Chicago, Illinois. This company bought
engines from different companies and put their name ‘Faultless
of Chicago’ on them. As far as I can find out, they never made
an engine, only sold ones made by others under their name.
Armed with only a picture and a little general knowledge left
over from my memory of a hit and miss engine of my childhood back
on the farm, I started making the necessary parts.
Not having access to a foundry, I decided to make all necessary
parts of steel welded together. The engine was a dry hot head so no
water cooling passages were needed. I cut a steel blank head, in
which I installed the necessary valve seats, guides, etc., then
turned thimbles to reinforce the four head bolts. Also needed were
such things as a rocker arm and its mounts, a carburetor and heat
dissipating fins. These consisted of nineteen parts which needed
welding together. I called on my neighbor, Don Bowden, who is a
very fine electric welder. After the welding was completed, I used
my air die grinder to smooth all the joints. When the valves, valve
springs, keepers and carburetor parts were all assembled and
primed, it looked like the real thing.
I was still short an ignitor. A friend and neighbor, Carl
Justice, had one from a Waterloo Boy. It looked just like the
picture in the book and fit perfectly well. Luck was with me on
Next came the governor and all the valve gear that was missing.
I made a fly ball governor by removing the temper from two large
ball bearings and drilling holes in them.
Needing a small gear to operate the governor, I went in search
of a gear that would mesh with the timing gear that I was lucky
enough to have with the engine when I purchased it. I found a gear
of a car starting motor that worked perfectly. With these parts and
a number of hours of lathe work, I came up with the proper governor
that latched the valve arm in and out of service.
The trip arm for the ignition points on the ignitor was another
trial and error job that took a lot of time.
A gas tank was fashioned from sheet steel and welded together.
The coil for a low tension ignitor came from an old Chevrolet.
Using only the primary winding and a 12-volt battery, the spark was
very good. After assembling all components, the old engine came to
life with very little effort on the crank.
The cart itself was all made in my shop. First I made a simple
bender to fashion the rims, the spokes were welded in place on a
one-inch pipe nipple. The frame was made from four-by-fours of oak
furnished by another neighbor, Russell Smith.
My helper and right-hand man through all this trouble and fun
was Bill (Griff) Griffith. These engines are heavy and hard to
handle. It takes help at times to accomplish anything. For this I
thank all my friends and club members who cheered me on.
I will be showing my display at all the local shows and you can
bet I will feature my ‘Caldwell Special.’