37 Chestnut Hill E. Hampton, Connecticut 06424
Last summer, at a local tag sale, I spotted an old engine. It
turned out to be a Fairbanks-Morse 3 HP Z. It looked like it needed
a lot of tender loving care. The owner said he’d never had it
running, but, it seemed to be complete. The flywheels turned, stiff
but free. I had always been interested in old farm equipment, and
maybe I could get it running.
I took the old engine home (I was bitten). Under all the years
of grease and rust was an engine begging to be run. One of the
bearing caps was broken in two. Thanks to a good friend, it’s
now brazed back together. When I was cleaning out the water hopper,
down under all of the debris, was the original (?) drip-oiler. The
glass was broken but I soon found a new one. With everything
cleaned up, the day came to try to get it started. I wheeled her
over a couple of times, she coughed and fired up in a cloud of
thick, rich smoke that soon cleared. She took off running free!
Soon after that I took it to a show. She ran all day in the
rain. As I walked around the displays I saw a unique happiness in
the eyes of the exhibitors. This puzzled me and ate at my mind.
This winter/early summer I took the Fairbanks-Morse down to nuts
and bolts. Each piece was cleaned, sealed, filled and primed. I
partially reassembled it and primed it again. Then I tracked down
the original color and painted it. I polished all the brass and it
is now complete. She is restored 100% (almost). The original
nameplate was found in the main body under an inch of ancient
grease and oil. It now shines proudly on the water hopper.
I am taking it to a local show this weekend. I now know that
unique happiness, and I’m sure it shows in my eyes. What a
feeling to breathe new life into old iron.
My next project is a 1922 Fordson tractor I acquired this