What 's That Terrible Smell?

| November/December 1990

Jr.1685 Dylan Drive Virginia Beach, Virginia 23464

What's that terrible smell?' is what my wife said to me after I had been soaking an engine down with Liquid Wrench for about two days. The engine is an 'X' Stover 6 HP that I had tracked down with help from our plant truck driver, Charlie Chappel, who knew 1 liked old rusty things and told me that if I could I.D. the engine, so he knew what it was, he would call the man in charge of the estate to see if any records were left and if the engine is for sale. Well, to make a long story short, the engine had been sitting in a thicket for over fifty years, out in all that Mother Nature could dump on it. When I got it home and unloaded with the help of six other friends, the process started, soaking with Liquid Wrench. Liquid Wrench, as you know, has that distinct smell of kerosene and it will sure work on rusted parts but the smell will almost make you gag. I started asking some of the members of our club about any other penetrating fluid that worked as well as Liquid Wrench but without the smell. Most of the people I talked to said to switch to WD-40, but from past experiences when heavy rust is encountered, WD-40 just will not cut it. (I will probably get a lot of flak about that statement.) So I got to talking with Jack Blair and Marvin Simon (two members of our club), and they told me to add some oil of wintergreen to some of the Liquid Wrench and shake well, then apply to the engine.

Now comes the fun part. Jack and Marvin told me that I should be able to purchase it at a local drug store. After five or six stops at different drug stores, pay dirt! The pharmacist did not look at me as though I was from another planet when I asked, 'Do you have any oil of wintergreen?' He said, ' Yes we do carry oil of wintergreeen. You are standing right next to it, it's on the third shelf on your right.' He only had three 2 oz. bottles. I bought all three. I didn't know how much I would need to mix with a gallon of Liquid Wrench. Well, back home all three bottles go in to the gallon jug, shake well and applied. I did not notice any different odor right away, probably due to everything having absorbed the smell of the kerosene. Well that's enough of this for one night, I will see what it smells like in the morning. Next morning, what a difference it made. My whole shop smelled like peppermint! I can live with that! But it was the wife who had the final say. When I got home, my wife said, 'I do not know what you did but it worked, I like the smell of peppermint better than the kerosene.' With that in mind I did not care that the oil of wintergreen cost $2.29 per 2 oz. bottle. I would have paid anything to get the smell out of the shop because it was even starting to get to me.

The Stover is soaking and everyone likes the smell. Many thanks to Jack Blair and Marvin Simon for the oil of wintergreen. Try it! It really works for me.

Oh! Almost forgot. Anybody with any information on a Stover 'X' please drop me a line or give me a call. My home phone is (804)479-9683, until 10:00 p.m. Thank you.


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