Two for the Price of One

Two IHC LAs Provide One Finished and Running Engine


| July/August 2002



IHC LA engine

A before and after shot in the same photo? Not hard when you have two of the same engine. The engine to the left is a 1936 IHC LA, serial number LA29036. The unit at right, serial number LA11469, is a 1935 LA. With major parts missing, George says he won't restore this engine.

At 175 pounds these were light engines - they were also inexpensive, priced at $71.75 in 1936. LAs saw duty in a wide variety of settings, from running mud pumps and cement mixers to water pumps and generators. While not all engine collectors are drawn to LAs, the buying public of the 1930s obviously was. This basic engine stayed in production until 1938, and during that time an estimated 42,000 were built.

In November of 2000 I went to the Bob Oreck auction and was the successful bidder on a lot of two engines: One complete International Harvester LA and one parts LA.

Now, I looked at these engine several times during the day, but somehow it wasn't until I began loading them up that I saw their faults that I wondered what I had done. I paid how much for this junk?

The next day I unloaded the engines into the barn and got ready to go deer hunting, and it wasn't until mid-December that I had time to look them over. The complete engine appeared stuck, and upset with myself for buying it in the first place I gave it a swift kick. Good heavens, it moved! A little oil and some playing had it moving well.

Although the LA turned over, George pulled the head and cleaned out the water jacket before priming and painting the engine.