Taming The Gilson

| June/July 1991

  • Cylinder of 6 HP Gilson
    Cylinder of 6 HP Gilson showing slats for connecting rod so it did not hit 11/4 deep and tapered back for 3 in. to nothing. Some years ago, I saw a 11/2 HP engine done the same way. I could not find the make of it.
  • Gilson 6 HP Engine
    The Gilson 6 HP running at the Finch, Ontario show in June, 1990. We showed the engine at three shows last year.

  • Cylinder of 6 HP Gilson
  • Gilson 6 HP Engine

Vankleek Hill, Ontario, Canada KOB 1RO

In November 1987, my son Richard bought an engine-a Gilson Wizard made in Guelph, Ontario. That winter, he took apart what was left of it.

The small parts were badly eaten with rust; it was missing one bearing cap, one governor weight, complete connecting rod bearing magneto! Ignition part was still bolted in.

In the May 1988 GEM, page 3, my letter asking for help with parts that I could copy for the Gilson Wizard 6 HP appeared. I received seven letters of reply, and answered each. One man in Quebec knew of one, which turned out to be a 31/2 HP. Two men who had bought a lot of engines knew there was such an engine, and gave a lot of help. A man in British Columbia sent me a nice photo of his, all complete and painted. Another man in northern Ontario has one complete and running, but needs a splash guard on the crankcase. A man in Quebec said he knew of two, but they turned out to be 6 HP make and break ignition, entirely different. The Wizard is throttle governed.

So with no help in parts, we started making our own the following winter (1988-89).

First off, they were a rough made engine. The crankshaft was just in 1/4 out of line with the piston in order to line up with the cam gear, I think, so the crank bearing was worn 1/8' on one side. This we had turned. The cylinder we had resleeved because of rust. In order to shorten up the engine, which had a long cylinder, they cut two slots top and bottom of cylinder connecting rod end 11/4', deep and wide 3' long.