Getting the Famous Running


| December/January 1990



IHC Famous Engine

Parts of the Famous before assembly.

22251 Pillsbury Avenue, Lakeville, MN 55044

On the way home from the annual swap meet in LeCenter, Minnesota, my friends Dale, Gordy, Roger and I stopped at a local restaurant for supper. After spending the day in the rain and mud, we deserved a break, to dry out and reminisce the day's events.

There was still some iron left on the trailers, including an 8 HP IHC Famous and a 4 HP Associated. Soon talk centered around a possible swap of my old Harley motorcycle for Dale's Famous and Associated engines. Of course Gordy and Roger helped this conversation along considerably. Anyway, we hauled the trailers to my place so Dale could check out the cycle. The next thing I knew, two ton of iron was in my yard and the cycle was loaded on the trailer.

Did I mention these engines were in pieces? My wife probably thought I was even more crazy when she saw the pile of primed and rusty iron lying there that night!

I thought I'd try restoring the Famous first. Having never seen one all together, I had my work cut out finding how the pieces should be assembled. Roger helped with a few pictures and a Titan book. Now I could see what the parts would look like should I get them in the right places.

First I made wood blocks for the cart frame of red elm, then painted and assembled the cart and wheels. Next I painted the larger engine parts, after retapping most of the pipe and bolt holes. I built an engine hoist and lifted the block and flywheels onto the cart. A cam gear was ordered from Tennessee, and my nephew Tim machined a collar for the ignitor trip arm. Then came more assembly of the piston, rod, and head. It was starting to look better all the time.