Project frustrations

Online conversations from SmokStak.com


| November/December 2004



SmokStak

Has this ever happened to anyone? You buy a project engine that seems like it only needs a few things. But once you dig into it, there is about five times more wrong with it than you ever imagined, and it stops being a fun project.

I just got the flywheels from my 5 HP Bulldog back from the sand blaster, having decided to spend a few dollars and save some time. I found the hub was repaired, and three of the spokes are cracked at the hub, and one where it meets the rim. All this after taking four months to have a new mixer made because the one with the engine was wrong, rebuilding the magneto and igniter, having about $400 worth of miscellaneous machine work done, buying over $200 in parts and building a cart out of 2-by-6 white oak. The guy that sold it to me said, 'It should be no problem getting it running ... just needs a few springs and nuts, and she'll purr like a kitten!' I guess I'll have to look into finding another flywheel (fat chance) or getting another one cast and machined. I guess I should have saved my dimes and bought a completed engine. - Chris

- Chris, I've found out this hobby has 'peaks and valleys.' You have to experience the lows to enjoy the highs. Someday you will have an engine to be proud of. - Dave

- What size are the flywheels? I ask because I know where there is a pair of them on an old ironworker. If I remember right, they're about 24 to 36 inches across. I'm not sure about the shaft size, but they have nice spoked wheels. They sat on top of the machine to run the gear drive. I figure they weigh at least 130 pounds each. - Roger

- I know what you mean. Sometimes I get so aggravated that I ask myself, 'Why do I even do this?' Then I take a break from my aggravation and start up one of my engines, and say to myself, 'This is why!' There has been more than once that I've bought a restorable engine, put more money into it than it's worth to get it restored, then end up selling it to get something else. I guess in the end, if you get what you want out of it, it's worth the time, aggravation, busted knuckles and $$$. - Tanner

- While working on my drill engine, the cord pulled out, and at the time I had no idea how to replace it. I put it down, wondering why I even bought the darn thing. I walked over to my Jaeger and tried to start it - no fuel. I had some two-stroke gas, leftover WD-40, old whale oil and motor oil. That was some of the best fuel I have ever used; it did not foul the plug, the engine ran cooler, one pop and it would get right back to speed, and with the 3-inch steel exhaust pipe, it could make real nice smoke rings. I certainly could not run that concoction through a new 4-stroke engine. After 30 minutes of great smoke rings and funny smelling exhaust, I felt much better (not because of the funny smelling exhaust), and was glad to have another project. -Mac