Broken IHC Famous

By Staff
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Show base, piston and cylinder sleeve.
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3 / 3
Show base, piston and cylinder sleeve.

Don’t do what I did if you want your engine to run for more
than 10 minutes. I drove over 500 miles to get what was supposed to
be the best little 1 HP Famous, all equipped with mag, cream
separator pulley – and with over 75 percent of its original paint
left. The owner knew what he had, and he knew the going price for
an engine like this.

After looking at the engine I found there was not much
compression, but I figured a dry piston with no oil and a stuck
ring would do that. It was beautiful but dirty, but I bought it and
took it home. I paid his full asking price, and it wasn’t $500
– I had to multiply that by three. Once home I took it apart – boy,
was there a big groove in the cylinder. I went to a few places to
find out about putting a sleeve in it – expensive. A friend said,
‘I’ll do that for you for $50 cheaper.’ ‘Okay,’
I said, ‘the job is yours.’

After a month he told me it was ready. I picked it up, took it
home, cleaned it with fine steel wool, a pocket knife, a tooth
brush and some diesel fuel, and finally put three coats of the best
varnish money can buy covering the remaining paint. I also made a
buggy for her, almost like the original. New rings, new gas tank,
ready to go.

Well, after playing with the timing for a while the engine
finally went ‘puff,’ started, and ran okay for the first
minute or so. While I was adjusting the needle valve to make her
run smooth, the cylinder-sleeve suddenly let go and moved all the
way to the back of the engine. The pictures show the result. I am
now the proud owner of two-s of an engine.

The moral of this story is; pay the $50 more. It may save you
some bruises and save the life of a nice engine. The fellow who did
the work did his best, and we are still good friends, and another
friend bought the engine and should have her running soon

Contact engine enthusiast Andre Racicot at: 129 Clark,
Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada J1J 2N4.

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