1919 7 hp Baker Monitor VJ

A 28-year-old engine fan restores a 98-year-old Baker Monitor VJ engine.

| December/January 2018

1919 7 hp Baker Monitor VJ

Manufacturer: Baker Mfg. Co., Evansville, WI
Serial Number: 20531
Horsepower: 7hp @ 400rpm
Bore & Stroke: 6in & 7in
Ignition: Spark plug w/battery & buzz coil
Governing: Hit-and-miss, flywheel weight
Owner: Andy Moravec

Twenty-eight-year-old Andy Moravec is chasing after pieces of his grandfather Lloyd Young’s collection, and already has a couple of crawlers and his elder’s 1919 Monitor 7 hp gas engine, which the Minneapolis, Minnesota, youth has restored. “My goal is to reassemble his collection,” Andy says.

Lloyd Young started collecting back in the 1960s and died in 1975, so Andy never got to meet him. But much of Lloyd’s collection was passed down to his aunts and uncles. “One of my favorites when I was growing up was his Rumely 20-40 G OilPull tractor, because that one started the Union Thresheree at Symco, Wisconsin, in 1967, along with Harold Werth’s threshing machine,” Andy says.

This 1919 7 hp Monitor was passed down to one of Andy’s uncles and remained as a kind of lawn ornament for 25 years. “I always saw it sitting in his yard, with nothing happening to it, so I talked to my uncle about it. When I showed interest, he asked if I wanted to restore it. I scooped it up and moved it from Wisconsin to a two-stall garage in north Minneapolis, where I started to restore it.”

“Restore” is the operative word, as the engine was seized and a rough one, needing valve work, water jacket repair (it was cracked in two places), replacement of the deteriorated wood seat, as well as removing rust and fixing welds on the cart, which had been modified several times.

Step by step

Andy started work to get the engine running in October 2015. “Both the intake and exhaust valves had to be ground, and the seats, which I had done. It needed a new head gasket, which I made myself,” Andy says.