Firing Up a 1-1/4 HP Baker Monitor VJ

A 1-1/4 HP Baker Monitor VJ gets a well-deserved restoration – Part 1 of 4

| December/January 2015

  • 1-1/4 HP Baker Monitor VP
    The Monitor as purchased.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Trying to remove the gib key
    Trying to remove the gib key with the curved key remover.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Removing the gib key with twin wedges
    Using twin wedges to remove the gib key.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • The engine with flywheel removed
    Flywheel removed showing the cam gears and follower/wiper arm.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Ready to release big end nuts
    Hand hole open, ready to release big end nuts.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Cylinder and piston removed from the crank-case
    The cylinder and piston removed from the crank-case. Note the broken bearing.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Piston and conencting rod removed from cylinder
    Piston and connecting rod removed from cylinder.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Removing the crankshaft gear
    Using the puller to remove the crankshaft gear.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Removing the cam gear
    Using the puller to remove the cam gear.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Inlet valve and spring
    Inlet valve and spring.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Fuel tank with filler plug removed
    Fuel tank with filler plug removed.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Cleaning the engine casing
    Starting to clean the engine casing to remove dirt.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Engine after treating with auto transmission fluid
    Engine after treating with auto transmission fluid.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Valve cage
    Valve cage showing rusted valve stem and head.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Starting to turn the valve head
    Starting to turn the valve head.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Cutting the taper on the valve head
    Cutting the taper on the valve head.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Finished valve, seat and broken valve
    Finished valve, seat and broken valve.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Installing a stud
    Two nuts tightened against each other, used to install a stud.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Fuel line and check valve
    Fuel line including check valve.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Taper turning new needle
    Taper turning new needle.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • The completed needle
    Completed needle.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Removing zinc coating from spring
    Soaking spring in vinegar to remove zinc coating.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Refitted needle valve assembly
    Refitted needle valve assembly.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • The bearing shell core in place
    Core in place before sealing with fire clay.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Temporary spacers around core with end caps.
    Temporary spacers around core with end caps.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • The bearing metal poured
    Bearing metal poured.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Scraped bearing
    Scraped bearing showing the degree of contact.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Heating rod for bending
    Heating rod ready for bending.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • The bent bar and sleeve
    Bent bar shown with tube to hold it. The surplus was cut off after fitting.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • The completed handle
    Completed handle, showing split pin, washers and retaining nut.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Worn insulation
    Worn insulation.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • New insulation fitted
    New insulation fitted.
    Photo by Peter Rooke

  • 1-1/4 HP Baker Monitor VP
  • Trying to remove the gib key
  • Removing the gib key with twin wedges
  • The engine with flywheel removed
  • Ready to release big end nuts
  • Cylinder and piston removed from the crank-case
  • Piston and conencting rod removed from cylinder
  • Removing the crankshaft gear
  • Removing the cam gear
  • Inlet valve and spring
  • Fuel tank with filler plug removed
  • Cleaning the engine casing
  • Engine after treating with auto transmission fluid
  • Valve cage
  • Starting to turn the valve head
  • Cutting the taper on the valve head
  • Finished valve, seat and broken valve
  • Installing a stud
  • Fuel line and check valve
  • Taper turning new needle
  • The completed needle
  • Removing zinc coating from spring
  • Refitted needle valve assembly
  • The bearing shell core in place
  • Temporary spacers around core with end caps.
  • The bearing metal poured
  • Scraped bearing
  • Heating rod for bending
  • The bent bar and sleeve
  • The completed handle
  • Worn insulation
  • New insulation fitted

This is the first in a four part series on Peter Rooke's restoration of a 1-1/4 HP Baker Monitor VJ. Read part 2, part 3 and part 4 for the rest of the restoration.

A.S. Baker Company was based in Wisconsin and progressed from making rotary steam engines in the early 1870s, becoming The Baker Manufacturing Company in 1879. By the 1890s, large cylinder pumps, pine water tanks and rotary windmills were added to the production line. Monitor engines were first built around 1905 and within a few years an extensive range was offered, ranging from 1-1/4 HP pump engines to 15 HP horizontal engines.

These Little Monitor pumping engines were first made in 1911 and were extensively used in the Midwest, with thousands being sold. As a result there are many of them in restoration, although they are few and far between across the Atlantic! Production of all pumper engines ceased by 1944.

The serial number on this engine is 38,924 and it was probably made between late 1928 and early 1929.



Stripping

The engine was removed from the pallet it was delivered on. Using an engine crane, it was lifted onto a small bench. This was not as easy as it sounds as there was no easy point to hook onto and the engine was top heavy and wanted to tip over. By wrapping a strap around it the lift was completed.

The first step was to remove the pump gear assembly and the eccentric. This could be looked at later once the main part of the engine had been overhauled.