969 Iron Bridge Mount Joy, Pennsylvania 17552.
This is a story about my husband’s 8 HP throttle governed
New Way gas engine manufactured approximately 1917.
Ed Grimsey, 969 Iron Bridge Road, Mount Joy, PA 17522, owns this
8 HP throttle governed New Way engine, which dates approximately to
1917- For the story of its restoration, see ‘Grand Daddy, The
Product of Perseverance,’ written by Ed’s wife Lucille,
inside this issue.
One winter afternoon several years ago, my husband Ed, our son
Eddie, and our neighbor Paul Brubaker drove up the steep driveway
to our home. They had been to John Ritter’s Engine Shed. In the
bed of the pickup truck was a huge, rusty, old New Way gas engine.
To me, it looked like the ‘Grand Daddy’ of all New Ways!
Those flywheels looked so gigantic! I stared at the thing with a
frozen smile on my face while my mind rapidly calculated the amount
of work necessary for this massive mess to look like its smaller
predecessors. I shrugged and thought-‘It will take him all
winter to get ready for the spring shows. Ed, smiling and very
happy, was oblivious to my reaction. Little did we know what lay
ahead before this 8 HP engine would be operative and finished.
When ‘Grand Daddy’ reached the top of Ed’s priority
list, he began, as he had in every other restoration, with a
complete disassembly of the engine. Needed were new wrist pins,
wrist pin bushings and a new camshaft bushing. Also, Ed had to
fabricate new valves. He adjusted the mains and rod bearings,
sandblasted the total engine, and prepared it for painting. (I
think the paint preparation is his favorite part). He sanded,
filed, and sanded again until the time was at hand for the final
prime coat. Suddenly things started to depart from normal. Let me
Ed has a self-made portable work stand for restoring engines. It
has wheels so that he can move it around easily. It was while Grand
Daddy was on this cart that disaster struck! Ed had just finished
wet-sanding the engine, and had forgotten to replace the grate over
the floor drain. By now I’m sure you know what happened-one of
those wheels made a straight path for the small, 4′ hole in the
basement floor, and ‘Grand Daddy’ toppled over. You could
say that the project almost went ‘down the drain.’
I was in the kitchen when I heard the crash followed by complete
silence, no fussing nor cussing. I rushed down the steps to the
basement to see if my husband was still alive. He was in shock-
staring at his ‘Humpty Dumpty’ pile. I was so dismayed at
the sight that I was unable to utter a sound. I quickly retreated
upstairs. The mess remained status quo for about four weeks,
completely forsaken until the mental and emotional trauma
With great apprehension, he tore it apart once again. It was
then Ed made the discouraging discoveries that the side of the
crankcase was broken and pushed out, the main bearing and its mount
plate were broken, and both connecting rods were bent. With little
heart left for the project, Ed placed ‘Grand Daddy’ in a
corner for six months until he had the ‘grit’ to start all
Gathering up new found courage and determination, Ed sandblasted
the block and the crack, ‘v’d’ it out, welded the main
bearing, and straightened the connecting rods. As a result of the
straightening and welding, it was necessary to pour new babbitt in
the mains and rod bearings. Then it was back to ‘square
one’-on the cart-this time with the cover on the drain.
During the next several weeks, little by little, piece by piece,
Ed added many necessary items to complete the job. (Wives know
these as pipe and little brass things.)
Next he turned his attention to the big flywheels. It was an
evening in July when he painted them. After spraying the first
coat, a thunder storm of great intensity roared through Lancaster
County. You guessed it, the power failed. With a spray gun in one
hand and a battery operated lantern in the other (praying for
enough air in the tank to last), he finished the job, not knowing
until daylight what it would look like.
Encouraged with the results, this persevering restorer knew that
things were looking up, and that it was time to get ‘Grand
Pappy’ cranked up and going. After trying three magnetos with
no success, Ed hooked up a battery ignition to get the engine
Believing that this project was in need of much prayer support,
if ‘Grand Daddy’ was to get to Portland, Indiana, I began
asking God to give Ed the wisdom and patience to finish the job on
time for the Tri State Gas & Tractor Show, which was his
When the engine finally started, it ran on one cylinder only.
Summer was passing quickly and the pressure was increasing. After
two days of intense trouble-shooting, Ed surmised that the
intake-valve-cage gasket had blown out on one cylinder. So he
fabricated a new gasket of a different material, and with that
second cylinder decided to cooperate. Whew!
The next step was to get a 38′ wide engine through a 36′
basement door. Time for more prayer and maneuvering. First Ed
removed all four wheels and the axles from the newly varnished
trucks, setting the frame on 4 x 4’s, and cocked the engine
approximately 45 degrees. This allowed him to get one end of the
crankshaft past the doorway. Then he moved the engine over so the
other end of the crankshaft would clear the door jamb. For four
hours he either crawled over the engine or walked a-round the house
to get to the other end of it-a weary task, to be sure. At last,
the engine emerged from the basement waiting for the wheels to be
rein-stalled. There was no noticeable damage to the engine or the
house during this phase. Thank God.
When the time came to bring the engine up the hill to the upper
driveway area, Ed discovered his farm tractor battery was dead. Now
he had to rely on his not-so-trusty, very old Wheel-Horse to pull
it up to the trailer for loading. I couldn’t look-but HE MADE
IT! I had visions of the chain breaking and the engine rolling down
the hill to the road. I guess you could say my faith was in need of
the Wheel-Horse too.
With the pressure off, we breathed sighs of relief. By 8:30 P.M.
Sunday night, August 23rd, we were ready to take off for Portland.
Ed found a magneto and installed it with success. He also purchased
a nice New Way double coil to be added this winter. To our delight,
the engine ran very well all week at the show. We believe many
folks enjoyed watching ‘Grand Daddy’ and listening to the
unusual rhythm as he chugged along.
By now you may have guessed that I had technical support and
encouragement from Ed while writing this story.
We hope that anyone experiencing difficulty with a restoration
will be given a new boost and will remember that perseverance in
restoration is a necessary virtue.