One of a Kind: Engine and Tractor


| January/February 1998

  • Tractor

  • Hit and Miss Engine


  • Tractor
  • Hit and Miss Engine

By Richard Eisenreich,

6807 24th Street, Rio Linda, California 95673-2801

Fourteen years ago, I received a small hit and miss engine from an uncle for whom I had done a favor 49 years ago. My uncle had passed away and I flew to Wisconsin from California to pick up the engine in 1983.

I didn't have any history of the engine but enjoyed running it with a pump that came with it.



I had only observed stationary engines pumping water by windmills at the county and state fairs when I was then working on a dairy farm fifty years ago.

A year after I received this engine I decided to build a small tractor to put it on, so my grandchildren could drive around our place. I am not one for drawing plans to build items but make a sketch on a board and what turns out is what I get.

The hardest part of this project was to determine the horsepower I could get out of this small engine. The engine had a 1' bore, 2' stroke and 8' flywheels. After much trial and error with three shafts and pulleys, I was able to drive the tractor using belt tighteners as a clutch.

The grandchildren really enjoyed the ride but became afraid of the noise. The engine under power would hit on every compression stroke and with small ' exhaust pipe it would really POP!

Since I became interested in rebuilding old engines and tractors, three years ago, I decided to restore Little Red Engine and to locate a background of engine makes. After some research, it is assumed that this engine is a one-of-a-kind and was built by my uncle.

Presently, I have modified the tractor to battery powered electric drive, and now the grandchildren like it much more as the noise is gone.

I really am enthused about old engines and tractors since I first started to get Gas Engine Magazine, and now have subscribed to eight other magazines about vintage equipment. I am 69 years old and look forward to reading about other projects.



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