2621 West400hl Warsaw, Indiana46580
Early May brings on spring crops and planning for the Waukee Swap Meet. In the past, my son, Larry Holder-man and I had attended without making prior arrangements for motel rooms. 1993 was better, as accommodations were obtained in early January.
After over twenty-five years in law enforcement, I am now a criminal investigator for the Kosciusko County Prosecutor's Office, and my son is a deputy sheriff with the Kosciusko County Sheriff Department. We arranged our work schedules so we could leave our homes in northern Indiana at noon on Thursday, with plans to be in Waukee that night, and attend the meet early Friday morning. Approximately eight hours of driving brought us to our motel, about seven miles from the show, where we stopped for the night.
The following morning, arising early, we were at the grounds before 8:00 a.m. Evidence of prior rains were found, with extremely threatening weather. The darkening skies held for less than an hour, when everything opened up. The sponsors of the meet should be commended for opening their buildings for shelter from the storm. Between showers, we checked much of the display, finally choosing a 5 HP Economy Model F on trucks. The engine was owned by a gentleman from Missouri, who stated it 'ran last year.' A price was agreed on, and after getting lunch and checking more of the grounds, we went back to the parking lot, which by then had turned into a mud bog. Thanks again to the operator of the F-series Far-mall tractor for pulling our pickup and trailer from the sea of mud.
Loading was accomplished by rolling the engine off the former owner's trailer and winching it onto our tilt-bed trailer. As we were blocking the drive for others, a quick tie-down was done and we pulled out onto I-80 a short distance to a rest area where the engine was secured for the long drive home. More rain was then encountered, along with many construction delays. Hours later, coming through Chicago, our trailer and tie-downs were 'tested' by the spring chuck holes that had not been repaired.
The following morning, after arriving home, the always needed 'before' pictures were taken and the new purchase was taken into our shop. An attempt was made to start the engine, and a few feeble pops were obtained, so we felt it could be 'saved.'
After complete disassembly and sandblasting, valve guides were installed, valves replaced, the cylinder honed and new rings were installed. All worn parts were rebuilt to take up any wear and the engine was primed and the first color coat applied. It was found the mounting wood had rotted and the entire cart was rebuilt. After completely finishing the cart, it was covered with a thin film of plastic, and the engine base was bolted in place over the plastic.
This was done for ease of handling the engine during final assembly, and keeping the paint off the cart. The remainder of the engine was assembled and the final coats of color applied. The thin plastic was then pulled from around the mounting bolts and the magneto that had been reworked by my son was installed. Initial starting was not satisfactory, until we realized the tape on the mixer adjusting needle was not correct. With this taken care of, we now have an engine that is ready for next year's shows.
Engine collecting and restoring is a hobby in which the whole family can participate in. My sons, Larry and Bryan Holderman, also have antique tractors that we have restored. Discovering storage space was going fast, we started restoring the old engines, finding it equally fascinating, and not requiring as much room for storage. Every engine we work on finds us gaining more knowledge of our hobby. As we are eager to learn more, we are always looking for the next engine.