Short and Sweet

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The photos at top and left show Jesse's completed twin-flywheel conversion, while the photo above shows an original 5S next to Jesse's engine. Neat stuff.
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A lifetime of collecting larger stationary engines, Jesse Cook tried his hand at a small Briggs & Stratton Model 5S. These little engines have become increasingly popular among collectors for their size, price and availability.

Looking for all the world like a factory offering. Jesse
Cook’s flywheel Briggs & Stratton is a testimony to the
engine man’s art.

I’ve collected gas engines for the past 35 years and own
about 25 ranging from 1 HP to 6 HP. However, as I get older these
big engines seem to get harder and harder to crank.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t lost interest in the big
engines yet – I still want to buy every single one I see. But
lately I’ve been looking at smaller engines.

At last year’s Tri-State Gas Engine and Tractor Association
Reunion in Portland, Ind., I finally purchased a small gas engine
in my price range: a 1952 Briggs & Stratton Model 5S, serial
no. 1011222.

I thought I could make it a bit more interesting, so I removed
the shroud and cut away the backing plate except around the points
and condenser, leaving only the round cover plate to protect
them.

Next, I installed a 12-volt coil and a 6-volt motorcycle
battery, which gives the engine a good, hot spark. Using a hole
saw, I cut the center out of the original aluminum flywheel. Then,
I pressed the center piece from the original flywheel into the hub
of a 9-1/2-inch-by-2-inch steel wheel from an old wooden cart. On
the other end of the crankshaft, I made a bushing and fit another
identical-size wheel to the shaft. The heavy wheels make good
substitutes for flywheels, allowing the engine to run very slow and
start very easy.

As you can see, it makes a very nice engine.

Contact engine enthusiast Jesse Cook at: 3423 Younger Drive,
Charleston, WV 25306; (304) 925-6172.

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