Engine With A Long Story


| February/March 2000



Cast piston

P.O. Box 623, Wright, Wyoming 82732

This story is one about a 1931 1? HP John Deere model 'E' hit and miss type engine. The serial number is 324583.

The story behind the engine is a long one. Most of the pieces for the engine had been collected over time by Mel Reints at Pacific Hide and Metal in Gillette, Wyoming. Mel is a friend of ours, and in 1994 Mel gave me all the parts he had for the engine. Since this is a basket-case many more parts had to be located for the engine in order to have a complete engine.

In early 1995 work began with brazing up the rear corner on the magneto side. Then it was put in our Bridgeport Milling Machine to put a good edge all around the bottom of the block. Later in the year my dad had to go to Ohio to watch the undergoing construction of a Marion shovel for the Black Thunder Mine (he works there). This lasted into spring of 1996.

Just when work was beginning to get going again my mom found out she had breast cancer. That ordeal lasted 'til December. In 1997 I hoped for better luck. We had planned to go to our land in South Dakota for Dad's fortieth birthday. When loading up the truck to go, he fell out and hit the concrete and broke his right arm. The only thing different about this broken arm is it was broken in four major places and shattered his elbow. In all he had 30 pieces. He was taken to Campbell County Memorial Hospital where Dr. Allegreto put his arm back together with about 20-plus screws. Later his arm was strong enough to use and we went to Black Hills Steam and Gas Threshing Bee.

I found a guy who had an igniter and a fuel line which I purchased. After returning I bought some sand and then blasted the block. We noticed a spider web crack in the top of the water hopper. The physical therapist broke my dad's arm so Mel welded the top of the block with his big MIG welder.