Buried FOOS

By Staff
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Parts being sandblasted!
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Clyde and Matt get ready to start!

33609 132nd Street S. E., Sultan, Washington 98294

After long interest in old crawlers, my neighbor, Clyde York,
became interested in small engines. His cousin, Ray York, said that
he knew where there was an old engine in front of a mine shaft. He
said he saw it there when he was deer hunting in 1960.

It was still there in the spring of 1988. Only catch-it was
stuck in a rock slide with about 6′ of its flywheels sticking
out of the ground.

Clyde first saw it with water from the nearby creek running
between its flywheels.

In three days we dug it out of the ground, determined it
wasn’t frozen and broken, disassembled it and skylined it by
hand about 200 feet across a creek and gulley.

Clyde, Ray York, Larry Payne, and I power-sawed trees, moved
rocks and logs, building a road good enough for a four wheel drive
to get the parts out and home.

Thirty days from the day we first saw it and after lots of work,
Clyde and I had it running again for a few minutes. I still
can’t believe it runs after seeing only 6 inches of it sticking
out of the ground. The tag was gone but we determined from the gas
engine encyclopedia that it was about a 1900-1910 FOOS. We think it
is about a 15 HP.

It is a four-stroke with 8′ bore, 14′ stroke, 52′
flywheels and weighs 3500 pounds. It has a 20′ belt pulley
which we think ran an air compressor and small generator for the

During this whole fracas of rigging skylines, anchors to stumps,
chain hoists, shackles, digging it out and disassembling it with
all the tools we packed up this hill side, I was taking pictures.
The only problem was, the film broke on the first frame and I
didn’t get any of the prints of this whole process. It was a
real let-down, but I will never forget how that thing looked with
just the top of it sticking out of the ground, and all the rust and
rust boils hanging all over it when it didn’t look like much
more than a big piece of solid rusted scrap iron.

It runs a little better every time we run it. Clyde is still
getting all the linkage for the wiper ignition system straightened
out as it had badly deteriorated. One flywheel has three cracked
spokes and if one of them doesn’t turn up somewhere, (we’re
looking), trying to weld them will be the next step.

We have been reading the Gas Engine Magazine for 2 years and
haven’t noticed a Foos in it. We don’t know what color it
was, so if anyone out there knows, any information would be

The Foos is easy to pick out because of the intake and exhaust
cages hanging on each side of the cylinder. The governor provides
the hit and miss action, and it fires about eight times a minute
with no load at about 175 RPM.

It is fun to watch with it’s open crank, governor and valve
linkage rotating, sliding and reciprocating around. It backfires
once in a while, but that gets better the more it’s tinkered

With his 1918 Maxwell crawler, Best 30, Cat 10, Cat 22, Vaughn
garden crawler, 1924 Cletrac, 1920 high sprocket model F Cletrac
crawler, 1924 crossmotor Case steel wheel tractor, 1956 Allis
Chalmers rear engine row cropper, David Bradley two wheel garden
tractor, and a John Lausen one horse cream separator motor he has a
very nice collection of tractors and old motors.

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines