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Tank-Cooled Stover Engine

Jim Keenan’s rare 1904 5 hp Stover engine might be the last of its kind.

| February/March 2017

  • Jim Keenan's rare 1904 5 hp Stover.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Unpainted flywheel faces flash rust when it's wet out, but owner Jim Keenan is leaving them alone.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Heavy-duty crankshaft; note the grease cup lid.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • The rear plate on the cylinder is machined for connecting rod clearance.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Fuel mixer and intake at bottom of cylinder head.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Raised "Stover" lettering on cylinder was supposedly phased out starting in 1903, likely because of the added expense.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Close-up of pushrod-actuated fuel pump assembly. Note the brass choke lever on mixer intake at left.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Owner Jim Keenan with the Stover. You'd be smiling too if you had this engine in your collection.
    Photo by Bill Vossler

1904 5 hp Stover

Manufacturer: Stover Manufacturing & Engine Co., Freeport, IL
Year: 1904
Serial no.: D2375
Horsepower: 5 hp @ 340rpm
Bore & stroke: 5in x 10in
Flywheel: 36in x 2-3/4in
Weight: 1,775 lbs
Ignition: Battery and igniter
Governing: Hit-and-miss, flywheel governor

Jim Keenan started collecting gas engines through a coincidence after his younger brother visited the Rogers, Minnesota, threshing show (today called the Nowthen Threshing Show) in the 1980s.

“My brother said, ‘Did you know there are shows for people who collect stuff like that cement mixer we have?’”

The cement mixer, paired with a 1924 3 hp Stover KB engine, had been part of the Keenans’ life growing up. “Our dad and grandfather picked it up in the early 1960s for putting in the sidewalks for our house in Blaine, Minnesota. So we knew what gas engines were. I started attending shows and saw that people indeed do collect stuff like that, and we have one.”

After getting the 3 hp Stover engine on the cement mixer going again, Jim bought a 1928 2 hp Stover KA drag saw that he stumbled across while on a walk in an affluent area of Bloomington, Minnesota. At the same time he also purchased a 1-1/2 hp McCormick-Deering that was being used as a flower planter. That took a little work, but chasing down the parts was fun. “That kind of got my brother and me going into the hobby, although he switched to Maytags and then to outboards. But since 1987, I’ve been into it and slowly accumulated different engines, primarily Stovers. I guess they are my disease of choice,” the 59-year-old says, laughing.


Gas Engine Magazine A_M 16Gas Engine Magazine is your best source for tractor and stationary gas engine information.  Subscribe and connect with more than 23,000 other gas engine collectors and build your knowledge, share your passion and search for parts, in the publication written by and for gas engine enthusiasts! Gas Engine Magazine brings you: restoration stories, company histories, and technical advice. Plus our Flywheel Forum column helps answer your engine inquiries!

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