Rt 7, Box 82 Goldsboro, NC 27530
I became hooked on old engines and farm equipment after my trip
this past year to the 19th Annual Southeast Old Threshers Reunion
at Denton, North Carolina. I never knew that there were so many old
engines still around, or that there are so many people interested
in them. I also acquired my first copy of GEM there. And from then
on I was hooked!
Since then I have attended as many of the shows as my work
schedule would allow. The more I saw of these unique engines and
equipment, I realized that I was not going to be satisfied with
being a mere spectator. I am a tinkerer by nature. I realized that
these old engines would provide me with the perfect outlet for
appeasing this obsession I have to tear things apart and rebuild
I began by acquiring several old two cycle engines of the reel
lawnmower variety, and now I have three Maytag Twins and a model 92
single in my collection.
While attending the October show in Dunn, North Carolina, I met
and talked with Tom Copper of Roxboro, North Carolina, about an
engine he was showing that really struck me as an interesting idea
for me as a project. Many of you recall Tom’s article in the
November, 1989 issue of GEM about a ‘Pork-N-Beans’ hit
& miss that he made. He had that engine, as well as a Maytag
twin that he had removed one cylinder from, turned it upright, and
converted into a single with a large flywheel. I talked to Tom
extensively about the engine, as I was quite fascinated with it. I
told him that I would like to try to build one using his idea and
he offered to help me as much as he could. By the time we left that
day, the gears were turning and I began to mentally put this engine
together. I worked steadily for the next four months experimenting
with different ideas until I was finally satisfied. True to his
word, Tom was a tremendous help with a lot of the details. I have
had four machinists working on it at one time or another. Carl
Graves, Ricky White, Glenn Pate and Ronnie Cline all had great
ideas for the project. As the pictures will testify, their ideas
were great and they proved themselves to be fantastic machinists!
Note the extensive brass trim that they machined and polished for
As for the details of the engine, the carb was from a four cycle
Briggs. It is a vacujet that has been cut down and converted to a
gravity feed type. This is the simplest and most efficient of many
different set-ups that I experimented with. I removed the original
governor and jet from the Maytag and used the throttle plate and
idle screw to control the engine speed. I can idle down to about
400 r.p.m., at which speed it really seems to run well.
I built a spring loaded plate to hold a micro-switch for timing
of the flywheel, and used a 12 volt automobile coil and condenser
for ignition. The exhaust pipe is part of the original exhaust pipe
that is cut down with an added tapered brass stack that Carl made
to fit over it. It has a real ‘throaty’ sound and produces
smoke rings as it runs.
I installed a petcock in the base since the cylinder is now
turned upright and would have no way to ‘de-flood’ itself.
I use a 6 volt lantern battery to supply power to the coil to fire
the C-J6 spark plug, that I gap at .030. The flywheel is 15′
diameter and has a brass handle for starting and a brass
counter-weight for balance.
I built the oak and pine skid that the engine is mounted on, as
well as the combination battery/tool box. I hand lettered and
painted the Maytag signs on it.
I also have several other Maytags that I have restored back to
original condition, but none was as much fun or as challenging as
this one was to build.
My best friend, Doug Coffey, just bought four 1930’s and
1940’s style John Deere ‘A’, and a 1937 Case tractor,
all in various stages of disrepair. So, we have plenty to do to
keep us busy getting ready for those early, springtime shows that
we are eagerly waiting for.
I haven’t as yet been able to find a hit and miss engine
that I could reasonably acquire, but I will continue to look out
for one. I hope that, as with the Maytags, the first one will lead
me to acquiring many more.
Thanks to everyone for all the friendly help I have received
while trying to get inducted into this most enjoyable hobby, turned
obsession. These are certainly a unique group of people that
collect and restore old engines and tractors. I have never met a
more friendly or more willing to help group of people anywhere. See
you at the shows!