1919 Eaton Restoration – Part 1 of 3

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

| February/March 2017

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.