Gas Engine Magazine

Basketcase JAEGER

By Staff

Box 417 Shoals, Indiana 47581

In the summer of ’87 I attended a lot of gas engine shows
and started getting the bug for a small hit-miss engine. My friend,
Bill Arnold, has a nice restored Jaeger. Bill is one of the best
Maytag and hit-miss mechanics in this area. I told him one day at
work that I would like to have an engine like his. A few weeks
later, he said he had found me one, a 2 HP Jaeger and that it was a
basket case all apart. So I told him to call the gentleman up in
Illinois and set up a time to go and look at it. The word
basket-case scared me since this would be my first engine.

When we arrived at the man’s house to look at the engine he
pointed to a big box and said, ‘There it is.’ So, my friend
Bill took the box back on the truck tailgate and spread all the
parts out. After checking all the parts, Bill said, ‘Looks like
it is all here’. Looking at them myself I had no idea. I had to
take my friend’s word for it. I said, ‘Let’s get it
loaded and head back to Indiana.’

I took the engine back home to Shoals, Indiana, cleaned up all
the parts, body and flywheels. The only thing that had been done to
the engine-the crank had been milled down. I had to have new
bearings poured. After getting all this done, I took the engine to
Bill Arnold’s house at Petersburg, Indiana. We honed the
cylinder, put in new rings, and ground the valves. We assembled the
engine and got it running after the rings were seated. The engine
ran great! We then tore the engine back down and got it painted and
striped, put on new decals and built a cart for it.

My friend Bill got me started. Since then my wife Sharon and I
restored a 2 HP Hercules. My wife can now, by herself, assemble the
engines. We have a 2 HP Economy we are starting to restore. We will
have the engines at the Evansville Hercules Anniversary next June.
We also have a 4 HP Cushman upright, 3 HP Cushman, two Maytag, a
1934 model 92 single, a 1937 twin (first year for twin), the Jaeger
is a 1927, Economy 1928, Hercules 1929.

I am now looking for more Hercules-made 2 HP engines.

  • Published on Mar 1, 1989
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