I Like A Challenge


| August/September 2000



International with hot tube burner

Stephen Upham

P.O. Box 615 Whately, Massachusetts 01093

Stephen Upham of PO Box 615, Whately, MA 01093,. sent this picture of his 8 HP 1906 International with hot tube burner, which was a real basket case.

Most engine enthusiasts would not have tackled a project like this, but that's what I like. I have worked on a few challenging engines before, just not one missing so many pieces.

I had purchased an engine about ten years earlier, from a farmer who had a small collection, one of which was a large engine all apart, off in the woods. One day while out for a drive, I stopped in to see the farmer again. He remembered me, and we talked for a while about engines, tractors, and the weather. I asked if we could take a closer look at the large engine and he agreed. When we got to the remains of the engine, the main frame was tipped up on its side. The flywheels and crankshaft were about five inches in the ground, and the cylinder, head, piston and rod, which were rusted together, were upside down-about ten feet away. When I rolled the cylinder over, cast on the side of it was International Harvester Company. With a small wire brush, I found the serial number, which was B597-a 1906 8 HP.

I am sure that all die-hard IHC collectors know this model is supposed to be a portable engine, but I'll get to that later.

Upon further inspection, I noticed the top of the cylinder was drilled and tapped for hot tube ignition, which only early IHC engines were equipped with. I have always liked IHC engines, and to find one with hot tube ignition was extra special. However, many important parts were missing, including the cam gear, fuel pump, main bearing caps, ignitor, tag, mixer and rocker arm. But, I still knew I needed this engine. I made an offer to the farmer, and after several days we agreed on a price. He told me when he acquired the engine it was on the original trucks, which a mutual friend of ours needed. They had disassembled the engine because it was too heavy to be removed in one piece.