| July/August 1967

Old Marine Engine

Courtesy of Wesley Hammond, York Road, Leicester, New York

Wesley Hammond

York Road Leicester, N. Y.

As a result of my article which you so kindly published and which was entitled 'A Sad Case' and gave the history of an old marine engine and told of the problems encountered in restoring it, many readers answered my plea for help. With their assistance I was able to completely restore this fine old engine. Thought perhaps your readers might like to read the happy part of the story.

After writing the story and while it was being processed and printed I started on the restoration of the old engine by making sketches and carefully dissassembling it. After grinding the crankshaft and making new main bearing bushings as described in the original article I made a new piston pin and its matching piston pin bushings. Since I could figure no way of pouring the connecting rod bearing while the rod was in place ground a mandrel and poured it outside the engine and then fitted it to the crankshaft. Assembled the engine after honing the cylinder wall, filling the rusted out spots on the cylinder and flywheel with epoxy putty and repaired some rusted out threads by making threaded bushings. In some places the cast iron was very soft and had to be dug out until solid again. Made a new piston for the water pump and honed out the pump cylinder as well as putting in new valve seats for the brass balls used for valves in it. Replaced the cylinder head studs as they were rusted quite badly. Made a new fixed igniter point which is fitted thru the head and adjustable with jam nuts. Painted the engine and pin-striped it and then made an oak mounting for it to rest on. At this time the article I had written appeared in GEM and I received several fine letters as a result. First, Mr. John Wilcox of Columbus, Ohio wrote me a fine letter describing the action of the igniter and sent me reprints from a book he has showing the igniter and in fact, my engine. My problem concerning the igniter was answered. Then Mr. Hugh Peoples, from Bolivar, Penna., wrote and offered to loan me an igniter. Mr. Frank Kler, Camden, N. J. wrote and told me he had a fine three cylinder Truscott which might give me some help and since I was anxious to learn about the mixing valve situation decided to drive down as soon as I could to see Mr. Kler's engine. During my correspondence with him I met a friend of his, Mr. Ed Wainwright, also from Camden, N. J. and learned that these two gentlemen and others in their club are setting up a old engine Museum near Camden. When I arrived in Camden and met Mr. Kler and Mr. Wainwright and was taken to their Museum location was greatly impressed with the unusual, odd and rare gas engines along with a large number of steam engines which they have secured over a long period of years. They have over 200 such engines and all are different from the run of the mill engine we so often see. They have a great deal of work ahead of them in restoration, organization, and setting up of their Museum but it will be one which none of us should miss seeing when they are ready. The beautiful old Truscott which was running in a boat only a short time ago wasn't of much help to me for it was built quite differently from my one cylinder one. However, I found another engine which was built so much like mine that at first I thought I had found its mate. Am sure it must have been built by Truscott. It had the crankcase valve on it which I needed to know about and Mr. Kler took the valve off and let me take it home to copy. About this time Mr. Larry Romblom, Waukesha, Wisconsin, loaned me a copy of Harper's Magazine dated 1902 which contained an ad illustrating my old Truscott. By studying this illustration I was able to determine the location of the oiler, water piping, type of oilers used, etc., so it was a valuable aid to me.

 Fairbanks Morse Model Z - 20 H.P. - 1921 - throttling governor kerosene carburetor. The boy is my grandson Brett Chapman.

Gas Engine Row at Sussex, Wisconsin, shown in 1963. These engines are owned by local club members at Sussex.

Now I had no excuse for not finishing the engine so I went to work on it. Decided not to build a completely new igniter casting so built up the old one with weld and then shaped it as per the illustrations I now had. Made new fingers, rod, point and springs and completed the igniter. Made a new push rod and the rotating finger on top which activates the igniter finger. After the igniter finger is lifted and snaps by the finger on the top of the push rod rotates so it will pass by and then is rotated back in position by a spring. The ends of the two fingers are beveled at 45 degrees so this can occur.