Hurricane Hugo Unearthed This Engine

| September/October 1992

  • International engine before restoration

  • International engine after restoration

  • International engine before restoration
  • International engine after restoration

P. O. Box 37, Scuffle Town Road Simpsonville, South Carolina 29681

This 12 HP International Harvester Company engine turned up when Hurricane Hugo hit the Carolina coast at Sumpter. When workmen were cleaning up debris after the hurricane, they stumbled across this engine lying on its side. Mr. Thurmond Coward was told of the engine and, upon further investigation, he realized what they had found was a large International Harvester Company engine. Also, he noticed that a very valuable part was missing, the carburetor.

Since this is a kerosene throttle governing engine, the missing carburetor proposed a major problem. Mr. Coward wanted to acquire the engine and borrow a carburetor from a 12 HP Hercules to put on the engine. After months of work and unsticking the engine, he was about to start it.

I bought the engine from Mr. Coward in April 1991 and began to look for a carburetor. After months of looking, it became apparent that International Harvester Company parts were very rare, especially carburetors. I decided if I was to get a carburetor it would have to be made.

I borrowed a 6 HP carburetor from Ernest Duran and Walter Shelley and began to make a pattern. The first thing I had to do was determine the difference in size between the 6 HP and the 12 HP. I determined that the 12 HP was 21% larger than the 6 HP. After a couple months work, the patterns were made. Then I had castings made. After months of machining, the carburetor was finished. After comparing it to another 12 HP, the body and the brass bowl and breather cap were exact in scale. Also, I had to borrow a water pump strap pattern from Harold Ottoway from Kansas to have cast for the engine.

After the new parts were made then I took the engine completely apart and sandblasted all the parts and began to prime and sand until the engine was smooth as the finish on an automobile.


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