Getting Started in 2017

By Staff

In a bid to stick to my stated New Year’s goals of last issue, namely finally getting my 1921 1-1/2 hp IHC Model M and/or my 1920 5 hp Piersen running – or at least on the road to running – I recently pulled both engines out from under cover. Taking the coward’s way out, I’ve decided to start with the Piersen, if only because it seems to be complete and therefore an easier prospect to get running without having to tear it down.

Pulling the Piersen out from its long slumber has so far revealed at least one pleasant surprise. Dusting it off, I realized I’d never really examined the homemade cart it’s sitting on, basically just a few pieces of 2 x 6 pine bolted to an old set of trucks. The trucks are actually a bit nicer than I realized, but the real surprise was discovering a spare intake/exhaust rocker arm wire-tied to the cart. That’s a big find, because the rocker arm currently fitted had broken at some stage in the engine’s life and then been brazed together.

Thinking back, I remembered that the engine’s previous owner, Bill Sterrett, now deceased, had told me that he had a spare rocker arm, but hadn’t bothered to fit it since, well, why bother? If the repaired one worked, it just meant he had a replacement ready at hand should the other fail. How I’d missed the spare rocker arm I can’t say, but I’m awfully glad to have found it, and like Bill, I’ll now probably leave the brazed rocker arm in place.

Although it hasn’t been started in decades, it was a running engine before Bill relegated it to storage. In that time it’s been undercover and indoors, so it hasn’t suffered the ravages of weather and it rolls over on compression just fine. With any luck, by next issue I’ll have the Piersen running again.

The 43rd Annual Farm Collector Show Directory, our annual guide to engine, tractor and farm shows across the U.S. and Canada, is now available. As before, the 2017 directory lists swap meets, threshing bees, engine shows, tractor shows and farm shows – more than 1,000 events across the United States and Canada.

It features complete event listings and advertisements from show sponsors and hosts, providing complete event information and telling you who to contact if you need to learn more. Indexes in the back of the directory let you look up shows chronologically and by feature, and there’s also a listing of national clubs and publications. Shows are pinned to state maps to give at-a-glance locations, a handy feature when you’re just thumbing through and trying to decide where your show wanderings might take you this year. You’ll find full ordering information here. In the meantime, even if it’s the off-season right now, make sure to keep those flywheels spinning!

Richard Backus

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