How I Tamed A Wild Old Gas Engine

| July/August 1994

  • Fairbanks Morse engine

  • Fairbanks Morse engine

Box 86-B, Marietta, Minnesota 56257

One day I took this old Fairbanks Morse engine, that I had gotten some years ago at a sale in South Dakota, from the old barn to my shop.

This is a double flywheel engine with open crankshaft. I did all the usual things such as grind the valves, put in new rings, new check valves for the gas line, and take up the bearings and stuff.

The magneto was missing, but no problem. I ran it on a battery and coil. The little devil has a lot compression, it takes both hands to turn it over.

BANG it went, and started jumping all over the floor! Flabbergasted I can't let it run that way, it might fly to pieces. Tried to grab a wire, which I did pull loose, to stop it.

Someone suggested that I bolt it down on a big cement block. You wouldn't bolt a wild horse down, that would be cruelty to animals and maybe to engines too and it would be kind a hard to take the engine to threshing bees.