| May/June 1988

Rt. 1, Box 22, Emmett, KS 66422

In December 1980, I bought a 1928 Sears Economy engine from Elmer Hofmeister of Claflin, Kansas. It was used as a stationary engine in a farm elevator, and was still in the elevator even though it had not been used for many years. As it was a very cold day and Hofmeister was too busy to get it out at that time, I did not pick it up until almost a year later.

It was in mint condition, but I did put on a new connecting rod bearing, then cleaned and painted it red. It has 6' pistons, 9' stroke and runs at 400 rpm. This engine has never failed to start on the fourth turn of the flywheel.

For a couple of years, I just put the engine on exhibit in a trailer in a parade we have each year at our Tall Sunflower Festival in Emmett, Kansas. It is a hit and miss engine, so it only hits 13 times per minute at 300 rpm; it only hit now and then during the parade, but it really banged when it hit since I did not put a muffler on it. We had the engine in the parade a couple of years this way, then I started to think, 'Why not let it pull itself?' It appeared to me that a lot of power was going to waste.

I designed and built a frame and running gears during evenings and weekends. The transmission is from a 55 series John Deere combine which is a transaxle-type gear box and includes a clutch, 3-speed transmission, differential, and twin disc brakes. The brakes are not really satisfactory, so I am going to install other disc brakes. The steering sector is from a 1946 Ford truck and the front axle is 2?' square tubing with Ford car spindles. The front tires are 145 space saver spare tires, and the back tires are 1200 x 16.5.

The engine was then placed on the frame and connected to the transmission with two V-belts on 12' pulleys: a one to one ratio. The low gear is 25 to 1, second gear is 11 to 1, high gear is 5 to 1, and reverse is 12 to 1. It runs 7? miles per hour in high and VA miles per hour in low.