My Homemade Engine

By Staff
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5971 M 25, Akron, Michigan 48701

I wanted to start from scratch and make an engine. I had a pair
of flywheels from a Simplicity 22′ and I got the sleeve and
piston from a John Deere diesel. I bought some
3/16 inch steel sheet metal, cut it the way I
thought it would look the best, welded it together, then got a
piece of shaft that would make a crankshaft for the wheels I

Now, I have no experience with a lathe. I have a 10 x 36 Atlas
lathe that is half worn out and a 3/8 inch
end mill which is in the same condition, a drill press, welder, and
grinder. I wanted it to be of sideshaft design. For the bevel gears
I used some gears from a grain separator and the other gears from
the rear of a riding lawn-mower. The governors are from some stock
that I had. I made the engine a hit and miss from my own design.
The head I made square from a chunk of steel 6′ square by
2′ thick. Made the valves from 3/8 inch
rod and 1 inch shaft. The mixer is from a return elbow and a piece
of 1′ pipe with a brass needle and seat. The main bearings, are
from pillar bearings which I boxed in to look a little like the
real thing. The connecting rod was from 1 inch shaft, and the
piston was from a diesel, so I cut the top flat and used only two
rings instead of three.

There was a balance job to be done. I used a piece of scrap iron
with vise grip pliers to find the right spot to balance it out. I
made the weight out of a flat piece of strap iron bolted to the
inside of one wheel.

Ignition was taken off the sideshaft to an insulated piece on
the base. Gas tank was a revised lawnmower tank, and the muffler
was made from a floor drain. A T-coil and battery were used for

With one turn of the wheel it starts, and with one fire will
coast up to 64 times before firing again. Its total weight is 260

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