52234 Range Road 220 Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada T8E 1C4
In October of '95, while helping my long-time friend, Bob McBride clean up an old farmyard which he had just purchased, we came upon an old relic of an engine. I had not seen one like it, and was very interested in it's unusual appearance. After a bit of negotiating with my buddy, it was mine.
I looked through my American Gasoline Engines bible, and could find nothing that I considered to be similar. I, of course, was thrown off by the gas tank, which was attached to the side of the block, and found later to be a makeshift modification. The engine was also missing the exhaust valve mechanism and numerous other parts, including a nameplate.
After taking photos of the engine, I sent four shots off to GEM Reflections (see March 1996 issue) for some help in identifying it. Well, you wouldn't believe the results I obtained! I received letters and telephone calls from all over the USA and from one end of Canada to the other. Most, of course, told me it was a 4 HP Sta-Rite, manufactured in LaCrosse, Wisconsinas found on page 482 of 'The Book.'
Now came the challenge of, first of all, freeing up what was left of the piston, (about 1/3 of the skirt was missing), straightening the bent and twisted con rod, figuring out how the speed control, exhaust valve lever and yoke, magneto trip mechanism, and fuel system all looked and worked.
There are several people to whom I owe many thanks! Rie Fulk of Columbia City, Indiana, has 4 HP Sta-Rite and cast a new exhaust lever and yoke for me from his engine. Brad Moulding of Regina, Saskatchewan, loaned me the mag trip mechanism from his engine, so I could remanufacture this. Frank Van Manen of Edmonton, my great machinist friend, was invaluable in his role of remanufacturing of many parts. The decal artwork was done by good friend Mike Lee of Sherwood Park. Without all of this help I would have nothing to write about!!
One of my biggest problems was locating a WIZARD 2SO magneto for the engine. After countless phone calls and advertising in GEM I finally located one while visiting the A-Z Fly wheelers Show in Cotton wood, Arizona, in February 1997. I couldn't believe my eyes when I walked through the gate and there it sat, on the very first swap table I encountered! While there, I met Red and Kent Stanberry, who had responded to my letter in GEM Reflections back in March 1996. They had their 2 HP Sta-Rite there and gave me much valuable information.
The cart was constructed from salvaged materials, i.e.: rear wheels off an old warehouse cart, front wheels from a pump jack, and most of the wood from a local dump. I am quite proud of it, as it has attracted many favorable comments.
The restoration of this engine has certainly provided me with many new and interesting friends and acquaintances. I must thank GEM for having played a valuable part in the success of this project!