My 1908 FAMOUS Engine

By Staff
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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.’

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