Restored and As Found Engines

| November/December 1997

  • 3 HP witte engine

  • 3 HP jaeger engine

  • 3 HP witte engine
  • 3 HP jaeger engine

247 Eldorado Avenue Louisville, Kentucky 40218

These are two of my gas engines, one restored (as well as I could), and the other in an 'as found' condition.

The 3 HP head less Witte, although not my first engine, is the first one I have finished restoring. It was purchased from a gentleman, and some times GEM contributor, in southern Indiana. It was nearly complete, and basically needed only to be cleaned up and painted. Some new springs and a gas tank were the only new parts needed. I am still playing around with the governor, springs and doing a bit of fine tuning, but it runs nicely and is very easy to start once primed. It had the original exhaust pipe and drilled pipe cap muffler on it, but I like the bark the stack gives it. Kinda gets back at the neighbor's kids and their thump in car stereos. I built the trucks to resemble original Witte trucks. It's taken about a year per horsepower to get it to this condition, between other projects, and I hope that I can improve upon that. Other wise I may run out of time before I finish the basket case or two, and others, waiting in the garage. The 1916dateis based on the published serial number list, and was painted on the truck prior to having 'The Reflector' report it shipped in 1917.

 The Jaeger is in 'as found' condition, and was purchased locally from an ad in a weekly classified publication. It is complete except for muffler. The mag is hot, the Cross Country spark good, and the gas tank (removed for cleaning when photo was taken) was full of vintage gasoline and other junk. Even has a homemade, conical filter screen that fits the gas filler pipe, and keeps the lid from closing completely. It is a 1925 2 HP Model S. The Jaeger tag is missing, having been cut off with a chisel, it appears. The remains of the rivets are still in the block. It has a cast brass tag stating it was sold by Roy C. Whayne Supply Company, Louisville, Kentucky (still in business, I believe, as Whayne Supply Company). The paint appears to be original. The varnish that was applied after painting has yellowed or browned, and is cracked and crazed in spots. It does not appear to have ever been installed on a concrete mixer, and Mr. Glenn Karch said with the Whayne tag, it was probably sold as a replacement engine. The individual I bought it from had it about '10 to 15 years' and he got it from an elderly man who used it to run a line shaft in a small workshop behind his house. The engine was in the shop, and the exhaust was piped outside (explains the absence of a muffler), and from the overall condition had always been inside. A set of skids or trucks is all the restoration this one will get from me. As a tip or hint for others, the black background on the brass tag of the Witte was done using permanent ink marking pens, available where office or school supplies are sold. I use Sharpie brand because of the different tip sizes available, from ultra fine point up. After polishing, cleaning and washing the brass, use the finest point pen to trace around the lettering, and then fill-in with broader tip pens. The finish is quite similar to the original, and easier than trying to use paint.


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