From Air Compressor To Engine

| November/December 1994

Curtis air compressor

16 Prospect Street, Salem, West Virginia 26426

I have just completed a project that is a little unusual. I have made an engine out of a Curtis air compressor.

When I attended my last engine show last fall I met an old friend there and asked him if he had any engines for sale or trade and he said he had one for sale. It turned out to be an LB model International, which I bought from him. While we were getting it out of a storage building, we ran onto a two flywheel thing that looked like an engine. I went back at a later date and traded him out of the two stage Curtis air compressor. I took it home and put it in my workshop, where it gathered dust for a while. Every time I looked at it I thought that it looked so much like a flywheel engine that it should run.

I tore it down and cleaned it up and found that the bore was the same as a Maytag 92. I left the compressor piston in the compressor cylinder, which I am using as a crosshead. I had to do a little machine shop work on the cylinder so I could adapt the Maytag cylinder, piston and connecting rod to the compressor. I made the ignition system pickup and governor and mounted it in the left flywheel. The flywheels are built for cooling. I made the fuel system from old lawn mower engine parts. It looks a little unusual, but it starts easy and runs good at about 450 RPM and is a true hit and miss engine.