170 Waterford Avenue, Penticton, British Columbia, Canada V2A
The first times I walked past it at Derenzy Lake, I didn’t
even know it was an engine. Then, last August of 1995, I happened
to have two friends with me; Dave Morgenstern and Bob Laycock, both
of them seasoned mechanics. They informed me that ‘thing’
was an old single cylinder gasoline engine. It was partially
hurled, and to me, an engine was the last thing it resembled! When
they explained a little bit about the history of these engines and
how old this one could be, I immediately wondered about the
possibility of getting something like this running. ‘You can
pretty well fix anything,’ was the response.
A closer examination found the bottom of the water jacket to be
cracked from one end to the other and it looked like the bearings
were melted. After checking around we found evidence of a fire that
had gone through the area perhaps 70 years earlier. Whatever the
engine had been mounted on was also long gone. It appeared that it
had been used to pump water out of the lake for irrigation purposes
further down the mountain.
At this point:, we were only half serious about the whole deal.
The biggest problem would be getting it out. To get to the site
requires a one hour drive into the mountains, then a one hour hike
to the lake. Any equipment needed would have to be packed.
The next brainwave we had was to use a helicopter. Even though
the cost would be high, Dave and I decided to talk to the owner of
a company called ‘Eclipse Helicopters’ of Penticton,
British Columbia. Over lunch we explained what we wanted to do and
asked what costs could be involved in flying the engine out.
Well, the answer just about knocked us off our seats. It turned
out the owner was as much into this as we were! He said he would
fly it out on a weekend for nothing! Needless to say, things
suddenly went into high gear.
The altitude of Derenzy Lake is approximately 5,000 feet. The
maximum lift capacity for his helicopter, at that height, was 1500
pounds. We had estimated the weight of the engine at somewhere
between 1400-1500 pounds, so it was going to be close.
Early in November of ’95 an attempt was made to get the
engine out, but as the aircraft was down between two ridges, a down
draft cut the lift capacity. The pilot was able to raise the engine
only about two feet and that was it. After several tries he had to
abort the job but he said he would try again soon when the weather
Two weeks later, the second attempt proved successful and the
engine was finally flown out. We weighed it on an electronic scale
and it came in at 1565 pounds! Now we had to overcome the first
hurdle of getting our new toy to a place where we could work on
Just before Christmas the engine was stripped down. Everything
came apart reasonably easily until we got to the piston. It was
rusted in so badly that we couldn’t move it with a sledge
hammer and block. It is soaking in penetrating oil right now. Our
plan is to heat the casing by flushing the water jacket with hot
water, then running liquid propane inside the piston in the hopes
that expanding the outside and shrinking the inside will help break
the piston loose. (Along with a little gentle persuasion with the
Another problem we have is identification. The nameplate is
missing and we have no idea what make it is. I have enclosed two
pictures and the following specs in the hope that perhaps you or
your readers might be able to help us out:
Flywheels have 41′ diameter; piston has 7′ bore and
Penticton is in the south central portion of the province of
British Columbia. Around the late 1800s or early 1900s, mining was
developing in a big way. Some of the engines used were similar to
ours, although most seemed to be smaller. Some of the points they
came from were Pennsylvania; Hamilton, Ontario, and even England.
We have looked through one thick book, American Gasoline Engines,
but couldn’t find a match. We haven’t been able to find a
book on Canadian gas engines yet if one even exists.
There are other components missing as well such as the magneto