You Can Do It!!

By Staff
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J. D. Franzen of I1501 Shirley Street, Omaha, NE 68144 tells the story of his Associated Hired Man engine, serial #129661.
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11501 Shirley St. Omaha, Nebraska 68144

Several years ago my wife, Sharon, and I traveled to Funk,
Nebraska. The occasion was their Centennial Celebration. I remember
the parade, ice cream, family and friends, demonstrations, but most
of all, I remember Sharon liking the engines on display. It was the
rhythmic sound that attracted her attention.

We attended several more shows that summer, and made the
decision to own an engine. Because it was to be my first, I wanted
to find one in as close to running condition as possible. Judging
the amount of time spent on this engine, I really respect the
effort necessary to restore an engine that is in bad shape!

Many thanks should go to all of the collectors who responded to
my inquiries in GEM. Without their help, a novice like myself has
no idea where to start, or where to turn. Elmer Young was
responsible for the precise machine work, and Richard Victor did a
masterful job of lettering and striping.

I feel certain that anyone who has brought ‘new life’ to
an old engine feels as I do about the pride of looking at the
completed project, while trying to recall how it looked before. The
hours in the basement, garage, and at the kitchen table, the
stamps, the SASE envelopes, reading every word of Gas Engine
Magazine, hoping to find a clue about your project-it doesn’t
seem a year and a half have passed.

This Associated Hired Man, serial #129661, is circa 1915-16, as
documented by collectors with far more experience than I. The
engine was running when we brought it home. There were problems,
however, as the cam gear and rocker arm had been broken and needed
refinishing. I had to make a new fuel tank lower half. The top of
the tank is original, but it took a lot of tank sealer to fill the
pin holes, and I did solder in a new filler neck.

The more I tried to find a good pot metal magneto base, the more
frustrated I became. Like many engines, the Hired Man is fairly
common until you need to find a part-then it becomes a rare bird!
Elmer Young used his milling machine to fashion a block of Teflon
into a perfectly fitting magneto base insert. I epoxied it in
place, drilled and tapped the insert, and it works just fine. A new
wrist pin, ignitor trip arm, and stationary contact have been
fitted. This was followed up with many coats of Dupont Dulux

I realize Associated Manufacturing Company did not use walnut
for their tool and battery boxes, and they didn’t use gold
accents, but I thought while I was spending all this time, a little
extra touch would be all right. I hope it looks just a little bit

This Associated can help show how our fathers and grandfathers
lived, worked, and at the same time tried to make things easier for
themselves and their families.

For my next project, I’d like to find a Dempster. I have an
original set of trucks that were used on our family farm. Do I
really want to start another project? YOU BET!!!

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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines