Restoring A Moto Mower


| October/November 1992

1/5 scale model of a 10 HP Sandwich engine

1/5 scale model of a 10 HP Sandwich engine

435 Farm Road, Newville, PA 17241

Jim May, 808 Elm St., Sandwich, Illinois 60548 built the above 1/5 scale model of a 10 HP Sandwich engine in 1989. The model has a 1?' bore, 2' stroke, and 9?' flywheels. It is ignitor fired and has a fuel pump and overflow carburetor. Jim, who made the patterns and did the machining for this model, has been restoring engines since 1965 and modeling since 1970 (see GEM May/June 1973, page 49).

At the 1990 Arcadia Show my dad and I were looking around, and at Bill Starkey's stand was a United 1? HP and an Associated 1? HP, as well as a Moto Mower with a Briggs & Stratton Model WA sitting on it. My dad said that he would make a deal with me, saying, 'Sell the Bolens lawn mower with a Model PB Briggs on it and we will get this one.' Well, it didn't take long to decide what I was going to do.

That day we took the old girl home. This machine was somewhat heavy to load on the truck (approx. 250 lbs.). The engine was in good shape and had 90% original paint, but the mower was somewhat in tough shape. The man I bought it from said it was used in a quarry.

It is a Super Detroit Model, 27 inch cut; the serial number of the engine is 764, which dates it to November 1931. I had a number of things to fix on the mower. I needed to make new sheet metal and also fix the safety clutch and make a drive shaft sprocket. The easy part was cleaning the mower and disassembling it, but the hard part was putting it back together. The whole restoration period took all winter, but now that it is fixed up and working I feel I have accomplished something.