Stuck in the Muck

A 4 HP Associated Farm Hand shines after years deteriorating in the dirt

| December 2006

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    1911 4 HP Associated Farm Hand.
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    1911 4 HP Associated Farm Hand.
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    1911 4 HP Associated Farm Hand.
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    1911 4 HP Associated Farm Hand engine as found, sinking into the ground.
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    1911 4 HP Associated Farm Hand.
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    The governor ring was milled to accept the new weights.
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    The cart was patterned to look original.
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    Installing the igniter, pushrod and igniter trip rod.
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    Drilling the bosses and weights together.
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    The ring had to be chucked and the inner diameter turned, to fit over the flywheel hub.
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    Setting the gap on the igniter was hard, since it was the very early type.
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    Installing the new needle and seat in the mixer along with a new mixer cup.
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    Drilling the camshaft and base to accept head bolts.
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    The base, was painted with Sikkens red.
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    A local sandblaster took care of the heavy rust on the cart wheels and axles.
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    The cylinder head was painted with Sikkens Autocryl Pure Silver paint.
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    The cart, painted black, and the engine base.
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    Before drilling the crankshaft key.
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    After drilling the crankshaft key.
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    Terry’s hand-wound ignition coil.
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    The new camshaft gear and pushrod installed.
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    The head after drilling the rocker arm.

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  • 12-06-012-DSC00510a-tla.jpg
  • 12-06-012-DSC00535a-tla.jpg
  • 12-06-012-DSC00537a-tla.jpg
  • 12-06-012-DSC00536a-tla.jpg
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My love for anything mechanical started way back when I was barely old enough to hold a wrench; I've been turning wrenches since I was very young, taking things apart just to see how they worked, then putting them back together. My mom used to call me a junk collector and said she felt sorry for the woman I would end up marrying because of all of my collectibles. Now my wife says I'm the only person she knows who will go to a junkyard and come back with more than I hauled off. Luckily for me, I usually find a use for what I bring home.

I am relatively new at old engine collecting. I have several friends who collect engines; I have been hanging out with them for years. Three years ago after attending our local show sponsored by the Eastern Antique Power Assn. in Chocowinity, N.C., the bug finally bit me, too. I purchased my first engine, a 1916 Associated 2-1/2 HP Hired Man from Stan Hudson, just after the show. It was not much of a challenge since Stan is the resident expert on all things engine related in this area. It already ran perfectly, so all I had to do was build a cart and battery box. At least I had my first engine.

As we all know, having one engine just makes us want more. (My wife is still trying to convince me there is a difference between wants and needs.) I couldn't stand it; I just had to have another one. My next purchase was a very nice, all original 1935 International LA. Once again the engine needed no work, so there just wasn't any challenge. I had seen Stan bring the really bad ones back to life and it amazed me.

Early this year, I purchased a 1910 1-3/4 HP Chore Boy from Pennsylvania that I found on SmokStack engine ads page. It was complete except for the mixer and there were a few parts that were rusted and stuck. I made a new mixer on the lathe from brass stock. The hardest thing was cleaning all of the old grease off the engine, but within a few days I had it running.



In the meantime, I followed my friends to more and more shows and the bug bit again. This time I wanted a larger engine. I really liked the looks of the Associated engines and the sweet way they ran, so I started looking around at the larger models in the line. I settled on the 4 HP since the size was perfect: I figured if I got anything much larger it would be hard to handle by myself.

Early Saturday morning, May 20, 2006, Stan and I left for Sanford, N.C., to attend the show at the Old Gilliam Mill Park. I was scheduled for a hip replacement the next week and knew it would be a while before I could attend any shows, much less work on any engines. Naturally, we talked about engines all the way there. I said I sure would love to see a big Associated at the show, but didn't think that was likely to happen since I hadn't seen many in our area.



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