1919 Eaton Restoration – Part 3 of 3

After making a fuel tank and applying a new coat of paint, the Eaton is finished!

| June/July 2017

This is the final part of Peter Rooke’s series on restoring a 1919 T. Eaton Co. engine. Read Part 1 and Part 2 for previous installments of the restoration.


Initially, it was thought that little work would be required on the mixer apart from stripping and cleaning it. The check ball was a good fit in the inlet pipe, and the needle and what could be seen of the seat appeared satisfactory. The mesh filter to the inlet tube was cleaned along with the rest of the mixer and left to the side so attention could turn to the missing fuel tank.

It was only later, after assembly and trying to start the engine, that it was realized all was not well. Priming the engine, the needle was opened 1/2 turn, the choke closed and the engine turned over once. This resulted in an enormous amount of fuel gushing out of the mixer.

The seat for the needle was lightly cleaned up with a taper reamer before it was coated in engineer’s blue and the needle was re-fitted in the closed position. This revealed that when fully closed there was little contact with the seat, so a new needle was made from brass.

To do this, some 0.375-inch-diameter brass rod was held in the lathe chuck and the tip turned to a 60-degree included angle taper before narrowing the first 0.75 inch of the needle to 0.1875 inch diameter. Next, a 0.375 inch x 28 TPI thread was cut on the body of the needle using the screw-cutting feature of the lathe as the appropriate thread die wasn’t on hand.

The retaining pin was removed from the old adjusting head and the replacement needle fitted, a new cross hole drilled and finally a new retaining pin fitted.