My Prettiest Engine

| March/April 1996

6121 7th Avenue So. St. Petersburg, Florida 33707

During my vacation to West Texas this spring, I was directed to a junk shop that had an old engine in the front window. It was a Lockwood Ash, 2 HP. A very unlikely engine to be found on the High Plains of Texas, but there it was, and I wanted it. After very favor able negotiations, it was loaded into the back of my pick-up for its ride to Florida. Upon inspection, the engine was found to have very little rust for a marine engine; none on the outside, none in the crankcase, and very little on the cylinder walls, yet the rings were stuck to the cylinder. I filled the cylinder with Marvel Mystery oil and adapted the spark plug hole to a grease fitting. As I pumped in grease, the piston moved as far as the exhaust port. After cleaning up all of the oil, I proceeded to remove the crankcase lower half, disconnected the rod, removed the crank shaft and flywheel as an assembly. I manufactured a puller that pulled on the rod and pushed on the upper crankcase half. I would put tension on the puller and apply heat to the cylinder below the water jacket and the piston would move a half inch. After several cycles, the piston was out and on the work bench. After honing the cylinder, there was so little damage that I decided to use the cylinder and piston as is,. and not bore it. I could have even used the old rings, but I bought new ones anyway.

Further inspection showed that the engine had either been used long and hard, or run without enough oil. The main bearings and shaft were fine, but the rod journal and babbitt bearing were beyond further use, and the wrist pin was also too loose.

I took the crank, rod and piston to a local machine shop that still works with babbitt. The crank was turned and straightened, the rod was straightened, and a new bearing was poured. A new wrist pin and bronze bushing were manufactured. After paying the bill, I staggered home, wondering if the engine was such a bargain after all.

While the parts were in the machine shop, I started polishing brass and planning the paint job. All of the brass items were in very good condition. I repacked the water pump, put new gaskets in the oiler, cleaned hardened grease from the main bearing grease cups, and drilled passages. While sanding the castings, I found two coats of paint. The first was black, the second was dark green. I believe the green coat was applied at a later date, because it was separated from the black by a coat of grease.

After painting and re-assembly, the after-photos were taken. The engine has not been started yet, because I haven't bought a buzz coil. (Besides, I am not fond of two cycle engines.) How ever, it is the prettiest engine I own. All that brass really makes it look good.


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