Sandow by Detroit

By Staff
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Photo of the rusted oil catch ring on the crankshaft.
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Parts that was made to replace rusted oil catch ring on the crankshaft.
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Views of the 1915 Sandow.

A few years back I repaired and restored an Ellis. This piqued
my interest in Detroit-built 2-cycle engines. I started looking for
and found a 2-1/2 HP Sandow, made by Detroit Motorcar Supply Co.
Everyone just calls them Detroits. It was very nice and complete:
It even had the original fuel and cooling tanks – and it ran. That
does not happen to me very often. There were some old repairs on
the engine, but they all looked good.

When I started the restoration, everything needed some type of
rebuilding. The fuel feeder needed a new cork float and fuel needle
valve, and I made a new valve for the air intake. The big trouble
was coming up with a fix for the oil ring on the crankshaft, which
was partly rusted away.

Not being able to make one out of sheet metal like the original,
I ended up making it in two separate parts. The “L” shaped lip that
catches the oil was turned out on a lathe, while the backside was
cut out of sheet steel and the two parts were welded together.

Another problem that had to be dealt with was a heavy rust
build-up inside the crankcase. I am sure when the engine was used
on a regular basis this was not a problem. The inside was
sandblasted, primed and painted. I hope this will be a good fix;
only time will tell.

When all the repair work was done, it was run under load for
three days. In the company sales literature, they refer to this
engine as the “Amazing Detroit.” I have to say I was amazed at what
a little workhorse it is. I won’t make all the claims the
manufacturer does, but I will say it is a very nice running

Contact Paul Frasier at: 12234 Harris, Carleton, MI 48117; (734)

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