2240 S. 550 West North Vernon, Indiana 47265
In the spring of 2000 I picked up my GEM and found a 6 HP
Fairbanks Morse in the local area. I made a phone call and the next
day went down to investigate. It was pretty rusty, missing some
parts, but still had potential. I did some wheeling and dealing,
and several days later I decided this was the engine I wanted to
I purchased the engine, brought it home, began my journey of
restoring it. First thing I did was to have the magneto checked out
by a good buddy of mine, Rex Miller. We added a few pieces here and
there, charged the magneto, checked the spark, which was good. The
next step was to remove other parts; checked the bearings, which
were in excellent shape.
By this time, the fish were beginning to bite, which was my next
best thing besides working on old engines. I put the Fairbanks
aside while I fished and camped at Monroe Lake for the summer.
In October I started my task again, with the help of three good
friends who had recently moved back to Indiana from FloridaHarold
and Steve Wilkerson and Leviwho were very good at restoring and
painting. When they saw the Fairbanks, they were intrigued, because
they had never seen that kind of engine.
After a week of evenings of hard sanding and sore arms,
Steve’s girlfriend wanted to plant flowers in it, which I
chuckled about and said, ‘You have to be nuts!’
After a lot of sanding, Harold said, ‘It’s ready,
let’s spray it.’ It was still early in the afternoon, so we
pulled it outside for the paint to dry. The next day, I returned
and we lightly sanded it, followed with a clearcoat.
The next project was a cart for the Fairbanks Morse to reside
on; within two or three days, the cart was finished.
Here is my completed project with before and after pictures. I
hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. By the way, the
‘mystery rocks’ I had found in a nearby creek.
I would like to thank all my friends for helping me restore my
Fairbanks Morse, and a special thanks to Bill from Starbolt for all
the parts and to Harold, Steve and Levi who did the painting in the