'Mumbo Jumbo' or 'A Dream Come True'

| January/February 1994

  • Unrestored Gasoline Engine
    Before restoring.
  • Restored Gasoline Engine
    After restored

  • Unrestored Gasoline Engine
  • Restored Gasoline Engine

3201 Burnett Road, Suwanee, Georgia 30174

I did it again!! In the April 1992 issue appears an article about a 4 HP United I found in an old pasture, and the owner gave it to me. After solving all the usual problems, it ran great. The thing is, all my friends and acquaintances said I was lucky and it would never happen again, but read on.

Before my retiring from General Motors, I had never even seen one of these old engines, but I talked daily with a co-worker, Curtis Spence, of Ball-ground, Georgia. I then got interested in old iron through another friend.

Over the past few months I managed to add a few more engines to start my collection, but then things began to slow down and it looked as if my luck had run out. Weeks passed, still no engines were located. Then on a Friday night I had a dream and recalled what my old friend Curtis had said a couple of years back about an old 'something' that has two wheels, sitting in the woods back of his house. Needless to say, early Saturday morning I gave Curtis a call. 'Yeah, there's one of them here, my granddaddy used it to saw fire wood years ago.' I made arrangements to see this engine later in the day. Upon arrival at the Spence home, Curtis immediately showed the engine to me. This Nelson Brothers Jumbo was in more than pitiful condition, but after some discussion Curtis said the magic words, 'You can have it!!'

A section was busted off the head, leaving a hole big enough to insert a baseball. All the springs were missing, the valve stems were almost rusted away, the carburetor was in sad shape, butterfly and its valve stem were completely rusted away, the primary fuel tank was rusted beyond repair, the piston was stuck, the water hopper was full of mud, the governor weights were all present but broken, the Webster magneto and ignitor were beyond repair, and the cylinder had frozen and cracked from here to yonder.

First I disassembled all external parts, began the cleaning process and located people to repair all broken parts, then ordered new rings.


Gas Engine Magazine A_M 16Gas Engine Magazine is your best source for tractor and stationary gas engine information.  Subscribe and connect with more than 23,000 other gas engine collectors and build your knowledge, share your passion and search for parts, in the publication written by and for gas engine enthusiasts! Gas Engine Magazine brings you: restoration stories, company histories, and technical advice. Plus our Flywheel Forum column helps answer your engine inquiries!

Be sure to take advantage of the Square Deal Subscription Program.

  • No Missed Issues.

  • No Renewal Notices.

  • No Additional Cost.

The Square Deal Subscription Program is designed as a paperless transaction with automatic renewals at a preferred low rate.   With advanced electronic notification, a 100% satisfaction guarantee and an easy opt-out plan, the Square Deal Subscription Program is the best value, risk free, eco-friendliest way to subscribe.

Facebook YouTube