The Hercules Engine News

| November/December 2000

20601 Old State Road, Haubstadt, Indiana 47639

Today the story of Hercules engine number 148306 begins. It is a 1? HP model E. It was acquired in a recent trade. This story and another or two to follow will trace the refurbishing of this engine to running condition. A quick inspection revealed several missing parts. The M Webster magneto was missing, but I knew that in advance and would be able to provide one from my collection of parts. There was no crank guard, but one bolt to hold it on was there. The muffler was cracked but repairable; however, it did not appear to be the original. There was no oilier or oilier pipe, but those things are in my inventory. The igniter bracket had been broken and rewelded. Luckily, whoever welded it got it together correctly and made a nice cast iron weld.

From there I begin to look for points of wear. The valves fit in the guides reasonably well and it appeared that the guides had been reamed and oversized stemmed valves had been used as replacements. The valve springs looked good and proper. The rocker arm pin fit well, but the tip where it touched the exhaust valve had a pit worn into it. The side rod was somewhat loose in the guide in the governor bracket. The governor shaft was acceptable, but the brass wear washer between the governor gear and the bracket was gone. All gears appear to be useable, but the timing gear shaft needs to be replaced.

The cylinder bore feels smooth and there is little play in the wrist pin or the rings in their lands. The hope now is that the cylinder is still round enough for new rings to seat well. The rod and main bearings appear to be okay. By feeling underneath, the bottom of the fuel tank seems to be smooth and without rust or holes. It has a pulley, but it is a large one and it is off type for a Hercules.

The igniter bracket (303M1) seemed to be in good shape with good points and a good retard-advance mechanism. The igniter trip finger and bracket also appear to be useable as is.

There is a good bit of original paint, but not enough to make a decent looking original, but the decision about what to do about that will come later.