From Wreck to Resto -1 HP Mogul

The Story Behind the Story

| July/August 2002

I caught the Old Iron Fever about eight years ago, and since then I have restored several engines for myself, letting them go once I'm done and then starting the search for another. For me, the fun is in the finding and restoring, not the collecting. Each one is a special challenge, bringing great satisfaction when all the problems have been conquered and the engine is like new again. And as we all know, the greater the challenge, the greater the enjoyment - right? This is the tale of my greatest 'enjoyment' to date.

It all began with my friend Ron Mason asking if I would help him with the restoration of an engine he had found, which I hadn't yet seen. He had cleaned it and started to reconstruct some missing pieces. He and his daughter, Britany, were very enthusiastic about the project and wanted to see this engine run again. I figured their enthusiasm, combined with their having already started the project, meant it would be a piece of cake - no problem, bring it on.

I will let Ron tell you his side of the story before I go on: 'On a cool, crisp November day in 1995 a few boys and I went hunting deer. They had no luck with the deer, but I found an old engine. While I was looking at it the owner of the property asked me if I wanted it because the land was going to be cleared shortly and it would be lost.

Ron Mason and his daughter, Britany, pose with the freshly restored IHC Mogul. The engine is mounted on a base identifying this Mogul as a 1917 model, while a separate plaque the Masons have says 1915-1917. The lack of a nameplate makes the Mogul's true date of manufacture uncertain. Note the IHC Type R rotary magneto. Some sources say this was used only on Model M engines (the Mogul's successor), which went into production in late 1917. It's likely this is indeed a 1917 model.

'My brother-in-law and I returned with shovels and started digging. We finally lifted the engine -along with an equal amount of frozen soil - aboard our pickup. I thought then I would rebuild it like new for a project. Boy, what a mistake. Once the newness of the idea wore off the engine sat in the corner of the garage for over a year. I had cleaned and primed some of the existing parts, but for every one thing done there were two things that needed doing, and I was getting no where fast.

The Mogul in mid-restoration. Quality engines by any standard, the Mogul line featured a fully enclosed crankshaft protecting it against the elements.