Yes, we are here!

In times like these our hobbies become lifesavers. At GAS ENGINE MAGAZINE and FARM COLLECTOR, we have been tracking down the most interesting and rare vintage farm machines and collections for more than 80 years combined! That includes researching and sourcing the best books on collectibles available anywhere. Our online store is open and we are here to answer any questions you might have. Our customer service staff is available Monday through Friday from 8a.m.-5p.m. CDT. We can be reached at 1-800-888-9098 or by email. Stay safe!

Reader's Scale Engines

| March/April 2004

  • Paul Brien's scale Young engine
    Paul Brien's scale Young engine.
  • The various ignition components
    The various ignition components are set into slots cut into the engine base, a neat way to keep the unit clean and uncluttered.

  • Paul Brien's scale Young engine
  • The various ignition components

I built this model engine in 1999 from a set of castings and drawings Ted Young was offering at that time. It is a neat little engine of 1-1/2-inch bore by 1-7/8-inch stroke with jump-spark ignition. The cylinder and piston are both cast iron. I turned two grooves for rings on the piston, but I found upon assembly that the engine had such high compression (5.6:1) that I never have installed rings.

I bored the cylinder as near parallel as I could and I honed it with a brake cylinder hone. I then turned the piston to as near the cylinder bore as I could and still just push the piston through the bore. I used Comet cleanser as a lapping compound to get a close fit that would leave just enough room to maintain a film of oil. I have run the engine many times at shows and events in the last four years, and the compression has not decreased.

For ignition, I use a 9.6-volt 900MAh Ni-Cad rechargeable battery Radio Shack sells for radio-controlled cars. The battery is mounted in the engine base. I can check its status by turning the flywheel until the points are open. With the switch on, I place one probe of a volt/ohm meter to the hot wire connection to the breaker points and the other probe to any ground on the engine. I made two little brass connectors that plug into the battery's plastic connector, and covered them with heat-shrink tubing

The spark coil is from a junked string-trimmer engine, manufactured before the move to coils with a built-in solid-state circuit (eliminating the points and condenser). There is no way I know of to make coils with built-in solid-state circuits work on our engines that use a battery ignition.

The base is made from pieces of I-inch by 4-inch oak glued together using Elmer's wood glue. This method of construction makes it easier to make all the pocket cutouts for the battery, wiring, gas tank, etc., before the individual pieces are glued together. Handles across the ends of the base make it easy to lift the model, and I've found the one on the front to be essential when cranking with the flywheel against the engine's high compression.

Paul Brien , 4312 Lone Oak Road Nashville, TN 37215


Gas Engine Magazine A_M 16Gas Engine Magazine is your best source for tractor and stationary gas engine information.  Subscribe and connect with more than 23,000 other gas engine collectors and build your knowledge, share your passion and search for parts, in the publication written by and for gas engine enthusiasts! Gas Engine Magazine brings you: restoration stories, company histories, and technical advice. Plus our Flywheel Forum column helps answer your engine inquiries!

Facebook YouTube


click me