Fuller & Johnson Engine Brought Back to Life

New life for a 1917 Fuller & Johnson 1-1/2 HP Model N.

| April/May 2014

This is the first in a four part series on Peter Rooke’s restoration of a 1917 Fuller & Johnson 1-1/2 HP Model N. Read part 2part 3 and part 4 for the full restoration process.

I purchased my latest project engine after a telephone call from a contact I had bought an engine from in the past. This farmer occasionally imports tractors from the USA, and if there is room in the container a stationary engine might also find its way over here. In this case, something had broken free in the container, causing this engine to be badly damaged: The mixer, oiler, igniter and other parts were broken. He knew that I like a challenge and he offered this engine at a knockdown price, which was reduced a little more after some haggling!

This 1-1/2 HP engine is a Fuller & Johnson Model N, serial no. 55236 and, according to the Fuller & Johnson factory records held by Stan Johnson, was shipped from the factory in January 1917 to J.H Ashdown Hardware Co., Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Before I say anything more, there are a few people that I must thank for their assistance on this project engine. Nick Lozzi must have spent hours photographing and measuring various parts for me, and Scott Barnes measured his old engine skids and battery box for me as well as providing other help. Nick is very knowledgeable about Fuller & Johnson engines, and we exchanged countless emails.

When I started work on the Fuller & Johnson, my first step was to clean off some of the accumulated grease and dirt. There was some original paint left underneath, so I did not completely strip, prime and repaint this engine. This would present other issues, namely having to age new parts and other necessary repairs to look authentic.

I stripped down the engine, removing the flywheel, cylinder head, pushrod and igniter, and then cleaned everything with kerosene.