1919 Eaton Restoration – Part 1 of 3

Peter Rooke starts on his next restoration project, a 1 hp Eaton engine.

| February/March 2017

  • 1919 1 hp T. Eaton Co. engine.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Using a hydraulic puller to remove one of the Eaton’s flywheels.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • The mixer and cylinder head soaking in penetrating oil.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Trimming the main bearings to allow shims to be fitted.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Connecting rod and cap after tinning. Note pin to hold new metal.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Fireclay in place, ready to pour the new connecting rod bearing.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • New bearing after pouring and removing the mold and core.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • The bearing after scraping and cutting the grease groove.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • The finished crankshaft with new connecting rod bearing, shims and fittings.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • The Eaton’s cylinder head as received.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Steel discs brazed to the valve stem, ready for machining.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Setting the compound slide to a 45-degree angle.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Turning one of the new valve heads on the lathe.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Checking valve fit in the cylinder head with engineer’s blue.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Valves installed in cylinder head with new springs and keepers.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Rocker arm pivot pin drilled to let oil spread and lubricate.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Igniter/magneto assembly showing nearly new brass body.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Stripping the igniter showed that new coils had been fitted.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • First angles bent for the new cover for contact block.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • The ends of the new cover cut and bent down.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • The corners trimmed and soldered, ready for finishing.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • The completed cover installed on the magneto.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Charging the magnets of the refurbished magneto.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • The finished magneto installed on the engine.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Turning the body of the fabricated trip arm.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Machining the offset hole in the trip arm for the bushing.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Milling the slot in the trip arm for the spring tab.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Turning the top cover of the wedge on the lathe.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • The trip arm wedge and pivot after brazing, ready for final shaping.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • The completed trip rod assembly after final shaping and filing.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Once installed, it was discovered that the trip rod was not aligned properly with the guide on the igniter bracket.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Milling the mounting hole for the pivot pin true.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • Old pivot pin (at left) and new stepped pivot pin.
    Photo by Peter Rooke
  • With the new stepped pivot pin installed the trip rod assembly now runs true.
    Photo by Peter Rooke

The T. Eaton Co. was founded in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1869, and went on to become one of Canada’s largest department store retailers, selling innumerable items and its catalog found in most homes in Canada. The chain went bankrupt in 1999, with its assets being acquired by Sears Canada.

Although Eaton sold stationary engines, it never manufactured them, all its stock being bought in, with Nelson Bros. Co., Waterloo Gasoline Engine Co. and Stover Mfg. & Engine Co. supplying them.

My engine was manufactured by Stover and is a Model V. Stover keeper of the flame Joe Maurer helpfully looked up the details of this engine in the records of the Stover Mfg. & Engine Co. that are stored in the Silver Creek Museum in Freeport, Illinois, home of Stover. Joe was able to tell me that this Stover was shipped to Eaton at their Winnipeg store on Dec. 10, 1919, and was supplied complete with a magneto.

Getting started

This engine is smaller than my last project (the 1914 4-1/2 hp John Smyth restoration chronicled previously in these pages) and was thankfully easy to manhandle from the back of the delivery truck when it arrived. I had seen photographs before I bought it and knew that parts were missing, namely the governor weights and latch, as well as the igniter trip. The cylinder head would require some work, and I would have to fabricate a fuel tank and find a muffler and crank guard.



This engine was something of an enigma. The cylinder head was in a terrible state and covered in rust, yet the cylinder bore looked perfect and there was very little rust on the flywheel rims. As I got into the restoration, I formed the view that at some point someone had started to restore it, lining the cylinder and replacing some of the studs with new UNC bolts.

The first task was to see what else needed attention, so the engine was stripped starting with the flywheels. After cleaning, the exposed parts of the crankshaft with emery cloth to remove surface rust and a couple of burrs were removed with a file. The headed gib key on the left flywheel was removed using a curved key extractor, but there was a headless key in the other flywheel. After oiling the crankshaft an hydraulic extractor was used to remove both the key and the flywheel, which, fortunately, were not firmly locked in place. If the flywheel had been tight the key would have been drilled out to avoid the risk of splitting the flywheel hub.



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