Stationary Engine List

Keeping Rust at Bay


| November/December 2003



Stationary Engine List

I'd like to start this issue with a big thank you to the organizers of the annual gas engine and tractor show in Portland, Ind., who, as usual, did a superb job of ensuring that the whole week went smoothly. And also, thank you to the folks who introduced themselves and told me how much they enjoyed my articles -it's nice to be appreciated!

I had my doubts about producing anything for this issue of GEM since I hadn't prepared an article before I left for the 2003 Portland show and accompanying family holiday. That left me just five days after my return to England to get over jetlag, deal with three weeks of paper in the office and get my life back to normal. I did manage to read the ATIS Stationary Engine Mailing List mail, which came within the first day or two upon my return. Today, I had another look at some of the conversations beyond 'didn't we have a great time at Portland?' and found a discussion that may interest water-cooled engine owners.

Since many of the European List contributors were traveling, this was largely an American-Australian topic, proving perhaps that some things are the same the world over. This started with an Australian's question:

I have several large engines that I run every so often. What can I put in the water tank to stop or slow down rust? I don't want to refill the tanks all the time.

Easy to do. Toss some plain tea bags in next time you run the engine. This will help seal the water hopper because of the tannin in the tea. Run it for a day, then take the tea bags out and drain the water. Now you can fill it back up without worry. Just don't forget to drain the water in the fall, or you'll be welding in the spring.

I use sump oil in my engines, especially my hopper-cooled ones. With the hopper-cooled engines, I fill them to the top, run the engine for a while so the oil heats up and soaks into the iron, then drain it out.