By Staff
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464 S. Fifth Sebewaing, Michigan 48759

We bought the 20 x 40 Oilpull ‘used’ from my dad’s
brother George Kuhl’s estate. Dad had two brothers, George and
Arthur; they were both threshermen.

The 20 x 40 was in need of a complete rebuild-job when we got
it. It was new in 1920 but was 14 years old when we bought it.
Uncle George didn’t believe in repairing anything, he just ran
machines. His oldest son ran the threshing rig for a year after his
dad died, and the next spring the machine shed burned and with it
the grain separator, bean thresher, clover huller and corn
shredder. Luckily, the 20 x 40 was stored outside and didn’t

We gave the motor a complete overhaul job, rebored cylinders,
put in new pistons, rings, ground valves, reground the crank,
poured mains and rods. New bushings were put in the belt pulley

We got it back together a few weeks before the grain season
started. We bought a used 28′ Rumely Ideal grain separator to
use the 20 x 40 on, a very good grain separator, but a very heavy
machine to pull around. I was pushing the separator in a bank barn
one day and one rear wheel of the separator broke through the plank
floor of the barn. It took us about half a day to jack it out of
the hole in the floor.

I had a head gasket blow one day. It blew about half an hour
before noon and I ran it until noon and when I went to stop it, it
would not stop, as it was running on the cooking oil leaking in the
cylinder from the cooling system. I had to pull the spark plug
wires off to get it to stop. It took us about an hour and a half
and we had a new head gasket installed and were ready to start
threshing again. I didn’t get any dinner that day but I made up
for it at supper time.

We ran the 20 x 40 about 500 to 525 RPM instead of 450 that it
was rated. It had a little more power running at that speed and it
didn’t seem to hurt the engine any.

After the combines took over the threshing in our area we sold
the 20 x 40 to a man to use in a sawmill. We got $125.00 for it and
delivered it to him, 120 miles for that price.

About 15 years later, Dad and I looked the man up that bought
the 20 x 40 to see if he still had it. The man told us he was
sawing one day, when the 20 x 40 started knocking real bad, and
before he could stop it, the one connecting rod came out through
the front of the block and went right through the radiator!

He said he sold it to a junk dealer after that for $75.00. It
was a sad ending for the 20 x 40 Rumely.

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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines