My 1908 FAMOUS Engine

| July/August 1994

  • Famous engine

  • Famous engine

1954 W. Taber Road, Blackfoot, Idaho 83221

When I first saw the 1908 (patented in 1905) Famous engine, I knew I had to have it, even though it was in indescribably terrible condition. I purchased the engine from James Michael in Miles City, Montana, several years ago and hauled it to our family farm which is located 20 miles west of Black-foot, Idaho.

I knew I had a tremendous job in store for me, because all the parts were rusted together, the flywheel wouldn't turn and the piston was stuck. I soaked the whole engine in transmission oil for several months before I began the project. It took a block of wood, a sledge hammer, and a lot of muscle to knock the piston out. Many of the parts were missing, so I had to manufacture them myself. I made a new rocker arm for the exhaust valve, and built the cooling radiator from sheet metal and square wire mesh, using the beat-up original as the pattern. The rusted out muffler also served as a pattern for the new one, fashioned from sheet metal. The wooden parts were completely missing, so I reconstructed the wooden driver's seat and pedestal from solid oak by using the picture in Wendel's International Harvester Encyclopedia as the model. The missing oil dripper was replaced with a Leukenheimer found in an antique store in Bozeman, Montana. Several handles and other miscellaneous parts were missing, and they were manufactured from bronze on my trusty lathe. My family and I were all pleased with the finished product. It is beautiful, if I must say so myself, and runs as smooth as a baby's bottom, just put-put-putting right along.

Last winter I completely restored a 1925 John Deere 24' flywheel 'Spoker D,' which is now on display at the local John Deere dealer's showroom. Currently, I am working on the complete restoration of two Waterloo Boys, an 'R' and an 'N.'