Manufacturer: International Harvester Co., Chicago, IL
Serial No.: CW4501
Horsepower: 6hp @ 550rpm
Bore & stroke: 4-3/4in x 8in
Flywheel: 23in x 3in
Ignition: Spark plug w/Wico EK high-tension magneto
I must say that I work for the greatest men in the world! As a part of my job, I often do demolition. Recently, I did a demo job in Michigan and there were several buildings on this project, including a collapsing boathouse. As usual, I always search for good things left behind. And as fate would have it, around the corner under the steps in this boathouse sat a 1926 McCormick-Deering engine. My boss, being generous and knowing my affinity for International Harvester, gave it to me. This will be my barn find story of the year.
Amazingly, it looked complete and in fairly good condition. I assumed after sitting so long it would be stuck, but it wasn’t. What a plus! That evening I knocked down a wall, hooked a chain onto it, and pulled the engine out into the sunlight after a long nap. Among the rubble of the dilapidated building were the original muffler, the crank handle, and two belt pulleys.
The next step was to take the pressure washer to it, and then I oiled it down. Wow, what a transformation! After looking the 6hp over, the decision was made to leave it in its original condition. For good measure, I decided to go through the engine to make sure it would run well. The repairs made included honing the cylinder, lapping the valves, replacing the fuel tank, rebuilding the mixer and the magneto, and cleaning and lubricating the governor and valve linkage.
Two things we found in the refreshing process was the cylinder had very little ridge and minimal wear. Secondly, the shims on the crankshaft still have paint on them, which leads me to conclude that none have ever been removed. After careful assessment, the only logical conclusion is that this McCormick engine has seen very little use. The McCormick-Deering Type M engine was prolific and the one I found is by no means rare, but you will be hard pressed to find one in this nice of condition with such little use.
I must give special thanks to my friend Jerry LeCount for all his knowledge and help. Thanks, Jerry! If you’re interested, there’s a video of the first time we started the engine on YouTube at the Plowed Under Productions channel. What’s to be learned from this story is this: When you peek around the corner, you never know what you’ll find.
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