40 HP BOVAIRD & SEYFANG

By Staff
1 / 2
Before restoration.
2 / 2
After Restoration.

442 CT Highway 39 Worcester, New York 12197

This past winter I ventured out to Craig Prucha’s to look at
some engines he had. I brought along a couple of friends, John
Christman and Deal-son. Thank goodness I did, as I brought back
with me a 40 HP Bovaird & Seyfang engine. After getting the
engine loaded onto the trailer, we started the 250-mile trip back
home. Then came the fun part-getting the engine off the trailer and
into the shop. The engine was not on a cart, so this was no easy
task. We used the backhoe and hooked a chain from the bucket to the
engine. Using heavy wooden planks, we slowly started maneuvering
the engine off the trailer. Finally off the trailer, then getting
it into the shop. John had brought with him a roller device that
helped out tremendously. As I pushed or pulled with the backhoe the
engine rolled in whatever direction I needed it to. Finally about
10:00 p.m. it was now in the shop.

I decided to start taking it apart, as it did not run, reminding
myself all the way that I have no idea how to put this engine back
together. I laid the parts near the location I had taken them from
and decided to wait till the next day to continue.

The next day I headed out to the shop in hopes someone had
finished what I had started-no such luck-it still was in the same
shape I had left everything the night before. Using a lot of
blaster (the best stuff in the world), I was able to free up
everything I needed. After a few weeks things were looking good. I
put all the parts back on the engine and said, ‘Well, here goes
nothing.’ I hooked up a tank of LP gas and pulled on the huge
flywheel and, lo and behold, it took off. I did not think to leave
the shop door open and, oh, what a noise and black smoke that
engine made. To this day there are black smoke spots in my shop. I
quickly shut the engine off, as it sounded like it was going to
blow the roof off my shop. My father-in-law, Norman Ives, suggested
we move the engine outside. In between working on the engine, I had
made another trip to Craig’s to buy a cart for this engine.
Getting the engine on the cart was easier than I had
anticipated.

Norman and I pulled the engine out of the shop and again started
it without much effort. It ran so nice and sounded so much better
outside. I then decided I would paint the engine, so we pulled it
back into the shop. The next few days I spent sanding, scrubbing
and using a lot of elbow grease. Finally it was time to start
painting. I had asked my wife, Lisa, what color she thought would
look good on this engine. I should have known her answer, as when
it comes to colors it’s always burgundy and white. I chose her
colors because I already had some burgundy paint left over after I
had painted my 1931 Model A pickup. I should throw in this little
note about that burgundy paint. I had first painted the Model A
with a cheap red color costing me a whole $20.00. My wife took one
look at the truck after being painted and she said, ‘You have
to change that color.’ She said she would buy the paint
herself, so she did- $200.00 a gallon later. Needless to say, she
was not happy about making that offer after writing the check for
the gallon of paint.

After painting the engine I asked my wife to come check it out.
Her words were-‘Wow, that looks sharp.’

My wife had seen a man start one of his big engines by standing
on the flywheel and getting it to rock back and forth till it
started, in hopes he was off the engine before it did start. One
time he had advised us that he did not get off in time and it threw
him 10 feet into the side of the garage. My wife informed me when I
brought the engine home that if she ever caught me trying to start
the engine the way this other guy did, she would get in the backhoe
and use the hoe to the engine till there was nothing left of it.
Thank goodness it starts with just a little pull from the ground
using the flywheel.

Someday my plans are to take this engine to a local show when we
don’t take all the rest of the engines and stuff we usually
show.

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