R. R. 2, Haubstadt, Indiana 47639.
Pictured is one of our latest restorations. It is a 2 HP ARCO. I
found it one day when I stopped to ask a man along the road if
there were any old engines left in the neighborhood that were used
to operate the old cable oil wells. He said he didn’t know of
any, but he said there was a small engine there in the barn on a
farm he rented. It was used to operate a pump jack on the farm. The
lady who owned it happily accepted $10.00 for it.
It was in rough shape. The main bearings, rod bearings and
piston pin were very loose. The piston ring grooves were worn 1/32
of an inch too wide and there were several ridges on each end of
the cylinder where the piston stopped. It was also stuck. A
grandson had knocked the oiler and magneto off with an axe. All
cotter pin holes had baling wire or nails instead. Everything else
was badly worn.
We had it bored 1/16 of an inch oversize and fitted with a new
aluminum piston and rings from a Continental engine. Since the
piston had a slot thru it behind the oil ring, we omitted the oil
ring and filled the groove with epoxy putty. We robbed an old
Hercules for head nuts, studs, valves, springs and bearings. We cut
our own gaskets. The paint was custom mixed to match the original
blue-gray. It was sanded and painted four times. We installed
polished brass grease cups and coated them with clear lacquer. A
new two piece spark plug with brass ferrule was installed. We took
a good Wico EK magneto and an oiler from other engines in our
collection. The original iron wheeled cart was replaced by a red
oak platform that was varnished five times.
The hardest part was the finishing touch. As far as I know,
there are no Arco decals available. After several false starts, we
made our own using high gloss white pressure sensitive vinyl film.
The letters and design were made by using felt tip pens. Each decal
reproduction is made up of eight separate pieces.
It has a July 22, 1926 casting date on the block. For those that
aren’t acquainted with an Arco, it stated on the decal (The
Hardie Manufacturing Company, Hudson, Michigan). However, the Arco
is very similar to the Economy, except for color and the decal. I
suspect it was also made by Hercules at Evansville, Indiana.
In all, the parts, supplies and services cost about $100. Add to
that over 100 hours of labor and a $10 engine gets expensive.