Diving into 2-1/2 HP Ingeco engine restoration with Webster magneto repair and a new cart — Part 2 of 3
This is the second in a three-part series on Peter Rooke's restoration of an Ingeco engine. You can read part 1 in Ingeco Model AK Is Reborn.
The magneto for this Ingeco engine restoration sparked when tripped, but its gold paint was peeling and the mica washers on the fixed electrode looked broken and thick with oil. The springs were also past their prime, appearing original but with substantial rusting. To ensure trouble-free operation, I stripped down the magneto to check it over, knowing I could carry out the essential step of re-charging the magnets using the new magnet charger at reassembly. If you strip a Webster, note the orientation of the armature. For magnetos tripped from the right there should be a fine line scribed across the end of the armature shaft on the trip finger end.
Once I cleaned off the remains of the old paint from the bracket and the trip finger it became more obvious that someone had made repairs to them, as large blobs of weld and braze were evident. I filed these down to improve the shape and then I stress-tested the parts by holding them in a vise and twisting them to ensure the remaining weld would hold.
The wedge was badly worn on the trip finger, with the bearing face that runs over the roller being an uneven shape. To make it easier to finely adjust the magneto timing, I trued the bearing face up with a file. At some point, the trip finger from the magneto had also been welded to correct a chip or wear. This repair was so soft that it was already showing signs of wear, and it would have to be repaired or replaced.
To repair the tip of the trip finger, I cleaned up the old repair and the broken area with a grinder to get a level surface. I brazed a piece of 0.188-inch thick square drill rod to this edge before I cleaned and shaped it with a file to the right profile. Once the shape was nearly right, I wired the tip to the finger, heated it, and then quenched to harden it before I finally cleaned it with a fine grinding wheel.
There was a little play in the magneto bearings, but this was not worthy of attention as it sparked well enough.
When examining the magneto body, it was apparent the casing had been broken at some stage, as some pieces of brass rod were used to strengthen a repair.
When replacing the wire from the magneto to the igniter it was clear that the terminal block screws were not gripping; the block was broken around one thread and the threads themselves were worn. The terminal block had been made from some light cast metal and was molded into the insulation pad.
A repair was needed so I milled out the majority of the old terminal block; I cleaned out the final pieces with a narrow steel pick. I milled a new block from brass to copy the dimensions of the original, including the ridges and sloping sides that locked it into the insulation. I then fixed the new block in place in the insulation using some J-B Weld epoxy.
The shaft of the moveable igniter electrode had some pitting and was a little loose in the shaft, but the tapered seat near the head was fine and gave a good seal.
I primed and painted the metal casing and other exterior components of the igniter before assembly.
As a first step in reassembly, I fitted the fixed and moving electrodes and used new mica washers to adjust the inside surface so both contacts were level with each other. I turned the adjustment screw until it just touched the tail of the magneto trip finger, then tightened the lock nut. After assembly, I set the magneto using the starting lever, and then tripped it to check for a strong spark.
The first task was to try and find some clear pictures of an original cart and, if possible, get some measurements of one. However, despite several adverts and requests for help on Smokstak, no new information was forthcoming. Reed Benton had already told me the dimensions of the original wheels from some he had and with this, plus the basic measurements from my engine, I scaled a picture from a catalog to get the approximate cart dimensions.
My first step was to make wheels. Reed told me that the wheel diameter was 10 inches: the face being 3 inches and the axle tube 1.25 inches in diameter. There were eight oval (not round) spokes.
A local agricultural engineer had some heavy duty rollers, and he made the four rims for me from some 0.25-inch thick steel. Rather than get the hubs cast, they would be fabricated using some 1.50-inch welded pipe that, if cleaned up by removing the internal bead of weld, would slide over the axles.
I cut this pipe for the hub into 3-inch lengths and then drilled eight holes for the spokes. I equally spaced these holes around the hub, but staggered alternate holes 0.50 inch to the left or right of center. To drill the holes accurately, I set the hubs up on the dividing tool on the drill press.
To complete the hubs, I made some 0.312-inch thick washers, 2.75 inches in diameter with a 1.50-inch center hole, and I later welded these to the hub. I made these from some old steel bearing housings retrieved from the scrap bin. I made the spokes from some reclaimed 10-mm steel that was once a rack for holding bicycles. I cut this to length, then used the small angle grinder to clean off the rust and gave the rod an oval profile. Using these reclaimed materials meant the only expense was the steel for the wheel rims!
In order to center everything and mark the position of the spoke holes in the rim, I made a full-size drawing of the wheel, spokes and hub using the CAD program on the computer. I printed this before tracing it onto a 0.75-inch thick sheet of wood, and screwed a 1.25-inch metal disc in the center to locate the tube for the hub. I placed the first rim in position on the outline so that I could mark the position of each spoke. After I center-punched the middle of the rim I drilled the eight 10-mm holes.
I again clamped the rim on the marked outline and fitted the eight spokes in position. I fitted a piece of 1.25-inch pipe inside the hub to stop the spokes from protruding through it to the inside. After double-checking with a tape measure that the hub was central, I tack-welded each spoke in position, working diagonally across the wheel, holding each spoke in position to keep the oval profile the same. Since the holes in the hub were offset from center, the oval profile on the spokes meant that they fitted through the round holes drilled in the center of the rim.
Once I had tacked all the spokes in position, I fully welded them in place. Next, I fit the washers at each end of the hub, and I welded these on before cleaning up the whole wheel with the grinding disc.
Before starting on the rest of the iron work, I cut the wood for the cart from some 12-inch by 4-inch planks. I cut two 60-inch long rails 4 inches deep by 2.50 inches wide with a small piece 18 inches long and 2.50 inches square for the rear axle support. Catalog illustrations showed the grain of the wood, so rather than painting it I applied several coats of clear varnish.
I drilled the rails for the mounting bolts for the engine. Strictly speaking, the engine should be mounted on the cart without the subbase to keep the center of gravity low. However, it is best to keep the engine together, as the subbase might get damaged or mislaid if it is not kept with the engine. This presented another problem: the width of the cart rails. The subbase holes were on 2-inch wider centers than the upper base frame, and while I could drill them slightly off-center there was not enough width in the timber to accommodate two sets of holes to allow either casting to be used. Therefore, I set the rails 1 inch wider than required for just the upper base casting, meaning I would need to re-drill the front axle turntable holes and rear axle securing holes if the upper base was to be fitted directly to the cart.
In using the subbase to mount the engine there was no need to fit a cross brace (which was mitered into the rails) for the single mounting bolt at the front of the upper base casting because the subbase had a bolt on each corner rather than three mounting bolts.
After I chamfered the ends of the rail, I drilled the various mounting holes and gave the rails two coats of varnish.
I made the front and rear axles from some 1.25-inch diameter tube, cut to a length of 26 inches. I drilled two 0.50-inch holes into the axle to bolt it to the rails, and then drilled a small hole at each end for the cotter pins for the wheel. A washer welded to the axle acts as a stop for each wheel.
With the subbase being 5 inches longer at the front than the main base, I used the same mounting bolt through the sub-frame and rear axle assembly. This meant I would use a rather a long bolt, 10 inches, but that would keep it simple. I made these bolts by threading each end of some 0.50-inch steel rod and then made some 0.50-inch UNC nuts, with one being brazed to one end of each rod.
I made the rear axle braces from some 1-inch by 0.25-inch steel, 12 inches long. I first drilled holes through the metal bar for the securing bolts. I heated and shaped one end in a curve to lie close over the metal axle rod, bent the other end to lie flat against the wooden rails of the cart and then secured it to the cart with a lug bolt.
Details of the turntable axle were a little hazy in the old illustrations, so apart from getting a rough idea of the fitting around the axle rod, it was down to what would work and looked good. There were some images in the old brochure for the Ingeco Type W engine, and it felt unlikely there had been many changes from the original. Unfortunately, the illustrations were only good enough for the general shape, showing no detail.
I made the plate that supports the turntable and joins it to the cart rails from 0.25-inch thick steel, 1 inch narrower than the outside width of the cart, in case I later moved the rails inward to accommodate the removal of the sub-frame. The pivot bolt would have a 0.50-inch outside diameter inside a 1-inch diameter tube, and the round rubbing plate would be supported below the top plate by two parallel strips of steel. My first step was to braze the sleeve for the bolt onto the top rubbing plate.
I cut and shaped the supports from some 0.50-inch by 1.50-inch steel, which I clamped to the top and the rubbing plate before welding them together.
For the axle itself, I made the round plate 0.312 inch thick and welded it to a sleeve that fitted around the pipe axle, drilling a 0.50-inch hole through the middle for the axle pivot bolt. Again I threaded a length of 0.50-inch rod at each end and fitted a piece of steel 0.375 inch thick to the underside of the axle. I profiled this steel to fit tight against the pipe, drilled a hole and cut a 0.50-inch UNC thread. I then brazed this special nut on to one end of the threaded rod.
The handle of the cart would be in a “T” shape, fitted to the metal axle by a tongue socket- or yoke-styled fitting. I copied this from the Type W handbook, as no details were visible in the Ingeco illustration. The 1.25-inch pipe of the axle would slide through rings on the yoke.
I made the main part of the handle from a 3-foot length of 1-inch diameter wall pipe, with a pipe “T” fitting holding the short 12-inch crosspiece for the handle T.
I fabricated the yoke fitting from two lengths of pipe from the scrap bin, which would be welded to some 0.50-inch steel plate. First, I shaped oddments of steel plate by chain drilling and grinding.
I made the handle to screw into the yoke so that it could easily be removed, and I used a 1-inch NPT threaded connector welded to the 0.50-inch steel plate arms. I fitted the rings to hold the axle over some 1-inch nominal pipe that had been coated with anti-spatter spray and would hold the rings in alignment while they were welded to the rest of the yoke.
In the original illustration the engine had no magneto and showed a box on the cart to hold the battery and coil.
I decided to make the box as well, if only to hold the starting wrench, oil can and the oily rag! I had a piece of softwood, a sheet that had been made by joining several strips of wood, and I matched the color of the wood that was used to make the cart rails. This was 0.75 inch thick and, with careful cutting, supplied all the pieces needed.
I mitered the corner joints for the four sides of the box at 45 degrees, cutting the base sheet to fit inside. I pinned and glued these all together, punched the nails under the surface, and later sealed the holes and any gaps with filler. I cut the lid with a 0.50-inch overhang on each side and rounded the edges using the router before using some piano hinge to fit it. I sanded the box and gave it two coats of varnish.
It was necessary to cut two small recesses in the base of the box to fit over the heads of the coach bolts securing the turntable assembly.
When I removed the cylinder head the original gasket disintegrated, and I had to make a replacement. I marked out a piece of gasket material against the shape of the cylinder head and then trimmed it to fit the outer edge.
To make the holes for the head bolts, I covered some flat end rod in marking blue. I placed the cylinder head in position on the new gasket then used the rod to mark each hole by placing it through the bolt hole and turning it to create a mark. I reapplied the blue for each impression. Having no punch, I then drilled the holes for the 0.50-inch mounting bolts.
To cut the holes for the water passages, I held the head in a vise inside-face up and held the gasket in position by putting rods through the bolt holes. I then used a sharp knife to cut the slot, starting from the middle then tracing round the edges.
When fitting the finished gasket, I lightly smeared both sides with grease and tightened the head bolts again after running the engine for a couple of hours.
While the pushrod was pitted with rust, I was still able to service it, although part had worn away where it ran over the roller by the igniter. This was quite bad, and a simple repair was made by filling the recess with weld, which was just as tough as the soft steel of the rod. After applying the weld, I ground this section of the rod then draw-filed to make a perfect repair. Draw filing means holding the ends of the file in each hand, then “drawing” it across the work piece ensuring it is kept square.
There was also unevenness to the pushrod near the cam follower where it passed through the governor bracket, resulting in the pushrod twisting as it tripped the igniter. In view of the uneven surface, I could not fit shims until I also draw-filed this part of the pushrod to true it up to the smallest thickness. I found the right size of shim needed by using feeler gauges in the gap before cutting a piece from shim stock to that thickness. I cut this oversize so that it folded around the edges of the governor bracket to keep it in place. I fitted two pieces to bear on the outside and bottom edges of the pushrod.
In part 1, Peter began restoration by stripping the engine, inspecting the valve seats and replacing the mixer. In part 3, Peter restores the fuel tank tap, crank guard and pushrod, finishing the restoration.