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.'


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