Trophy Bagged While Horn Hunting

By Staff
article image

6230 E. 81st N., Idaho Falls, Idaho 83401

D. J. Baisch, 6230 East 81st North, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83401, in
his story ‘Trophy Bagged While Horn Hunting,’ shares his
tale of how finding an engine can even cure the sick! Look inside
for his account.

A friend of mine buys game horns and antlers, and asked me to go
along for a couple of days while he looked for them. I wasn’t
feeling well, but I decided to go anyway.

Well we used up about two days, stopping at a million places,
and all this time I’m getting sicker and sicker. My friend is
still stopping at every pile of rock dwelling that might house a
person who ‘woulda-coulda’ killed some horned animal in the
last decade or so.

Finally, I told him, ‘We are going to have to go, because I
would have to get better to die, and if you stop beyond this last
place I’ll muster up enough energy to hog-tie you and throw you
in the back with the horns!’

I thought I couldn’t feel any worse when we pulled into the
last place wrong again. But, I decided to get out and talk to this
last old guy, and handed him my ‘old junk collector business
card.’ I asked him if he’d seen or had anything like the
drawings on the card. He looked at it for a minute and said,
‘Well, I got a couple of old motors my uncle bought way back
when one is that old fell-in shed, and the other one is out in the
pasture north of here about a quarter of a mile. We used it on a
thresher ’til about 1935 or ’40 and the one under the shed
was used on a grain grinder.’

Well, I’m here to tell you there was apparently some
heavenly intervention for me at this point and I was feeling a
whole lot better now!

I waited for the boring deal to be made on the horns and then
said, ‘Let’s go look at the engines.’ My friend said,
‘I thought you wanted to go…’ with a chuckle. We all went
over to the fallen-down shed. We were able to negotiate our way to
the engine and discovered a 4 HP sideshaft Mogul, absolutely
original, including skids, gas tank and toolbox. When we went to
the pasture we found the Harris in the picture. It didn’t look
anything like this, but it was complete; just bruised; partially
buried in once-used hay; and in a most disheveled condition.

I couldn’t make a deal on it then, though I tried. Finally,
over the next two months I did get the deal made. The Mogul only
needed grease clean off, and the cracked head repaired at my cast
iron repair and machine shop business. I left it original.

The Harris was a horse of a different color entirely. After
removing the used hay I discovered that every single nut and bolt
was stuck. As this engine does not have a removable oil pan, all
the stuck internal bolts had to be removed through the hand holes,
and remember, with everything stuck, the crank won’t turn. So
you can imagine the trouble getting the rods loose and taking the
crank out through the front covers!

In about 40-plus ???? hours, and with the help of a few select
phrases, the disassembly was completed. The cylinders were bored
and sleeved, the crank ground, the cam built up and reground, the
lifters surfaced, all new seats and guides installed and all new
valves manufactured. So now it’s ready to assemble, but oh my
God! I now discovered all the timing marks were rust-pitted and
gone! So, the valve timing and the mag timing had to be figured out
from scratch!

But all’s well that ends well, and those of you who have a
project similar to this one know there is a lot more to this story
than is printed here. I think it looks good, and it runs very
well.

My next project in the shop is a Bates Steel Mule. Anybody out
there with help? The Bates makes the Harris look like it was a new
engine when I got it.

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