One Good Turn (Deserves Another)

A Free Aermotor is Well Earned, Indeed

| September 2005

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    The bore and stroke of the Aermotor measures 3-by-3-1/2 inches, respectively. The flywheel has a 20-inch diameter and 1-1/4-inch face width. The year of manufacture is unknown, but it was likely built in the early teens. Several casting numbers are found
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    The photos on this page were taken at the Francis Park Annual Bicentennial Memorial Festival & Celebration in Kewanee, Ill., July 4, 2005. It was the Aermotorโ€™s first public debut.

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I own a heating and air conditioning company, where my friend, Dave, also has a saw sharpening business. We've been collecting and rebuilding hit-and-miss engines for the past 12 years and have accumulated some fairly rare engines along with some not so rare. We've faced some real challenges, but nothing compares to the engine story about to unfold.


John Montgomery walked into my business three years ago to see Dave about sharpening some saw blades. He saw a few hit-and-miss engines in the process of being restored. After speaking with Dave, he asked me if these engines were mine, so I replied they belonged to Dave and me. He asked if I could fix a steam radiator from his house that he had been working on and thought he had ruined. After explaining what he had done, I gave him a few tips to try. He said he would prefer that I pick it up and fix it myself.

I went to his home, picked the radiator up, returned to the shop, spent about 20 minutes fixing it, and returned the radiator. John asked what I owed him, but since I fixed it and didn't have any of my service men run the call, I told him there would be no charge.

He said for the favor he would give me an Aermotor he had. He had tried to work on it, but was getting nowhere. To say it was in poor shape would be an understatement. It came from his grandparents' farm in Missouri and had been buried in the ground for approximately 50 years, with only part of the flywheel exposed.

I thanked him for the returned favor and headed back to the shop. When Dave and I put wrenches to the nuts, nothing would budge. We then got a 55-gallon drum of ATF, affixed a chain to the engine, dropped it into the barrel and sealed the lid.


Two years later, we pulled the engine out and cleaned it up, yet to our dismay, we couldn't move a thing! We had read mention of electrolysis in an article and searched the Internet until we found an explanation.


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