1102 W. River Rd. Battle Creek, Michigan 49017
A friend recently asked me if I would care to undertake the job of overhauling a John Deere engine for him. He had purchased it at a farm auction and said it would turn over easily, and had but very little compression. Not having worked on one for more than ten years, I said yes, if for no other reason I would, just to prove that I still could. I found it to be very dirty on the outside, caked up with the usual grease and had apparently been used to power a concrete mixer. It had evidently been stored out of doors and had not been run for some time. I found the gas tank to be rusted through in several places and holes were large enough to stick a finger through. On removing the cover of the crankcase I found one tooth broken out of the large timing gear and two out of the govenor drive gear, also the key in the magneto shaft was sheared off.
The Magneto was set up. I removed it, took off the magnet which I found to be very weak, next removed the collector brush (which must be done before attempting to remove the armature). The end bearing was then removed and came off easily. Noticed that the other, or drive end of shaft had very slight play in the bearing, so knew it was not set up there. I screwed the nut on flush with the end of shaft and with my fingers crossed proceeded to drive on it increasingly harder and all of a sudden it came out. I found that the gray metal ends of armature had swollen up, causing this trouble. I went at them with a file and removed enough metal so the armature could turn freely again. A lathe would have been useful for this and quicker, but not having access to one I did it with file. On reassembling it I found it gave a fair amount of spark, in spite of the magnet being weak. The remaining oil in crankcase was about like molasses and took considerable scrubbing to clean properly. I was unable to find only one tooth that had been broken from the timing and magneto gears in this sludge etc. Think water must have gotten into crankcase and frozen, and someone with more brawn than brains tried to turn it over, finally succeeding and breaking the gears, He should have to mix his concrete by hand. On removing gas tank I found the partition between it and the crankcase also to be rusted through in one place, also a double handful of rust etc. in it. Someone had removed the fuel line, lost the ball check valve and poked a hole in the screen, also the line was plugged. I repaired screen, and took the boll valve out of a standard push-on type Alemite fitting, believe the original one was bronze. This was steel, and it seemed to fit and work perfectly, though in time it may corrode and cease to work. The intake and exhaust valves were free and on oiling the pistion found it to have quite good compression, so did not remove the cylinder head. Main and connecting rod bearings did not seem to be loose. I wrote John Deere and they said they could furnish repairs for it. Contacted friend and showed him what repairs would be needed and he took old parts along to show dealer. Dealers mechanic brazed new teeth in gears and made new gas tank out of copper. Think that must have cost him about as much as new parts would. Seemed to have done very good job on gears, but still think new ones would have been better, and as long as they are available would have put them in if engine were mine. Gas tank was a bit wide and about a quarter of an inch had to be ground out of inside of base ring to make it fit properly. The fellow had done a beautiful job on the gas tank however. Removed igniter and found it to be in very good shape. Re-assembled engine, timing it correctly, putting in new gaskets, readjusting governor (by means of set screw inside box side of engine).
We saw this engine while on vacation at Ehle's Shell Oil Station at Rudyard, Michigan near Sault Ste. Marie. It is an International 20 hp. 275 rpm. throttling governed, either gasoline or kerosene. I would say vintage of about 1912, give or take a couple of years. Understand it was originally used to power a large saw. Has not been run in recent years, but believe it to be still in good shape.
This is my Johnson Utilimotor built in the early 20 s by Johnson Motor Co. of Waukegan, Illinois, now a subsidiary of Outboard Motor Corporation which includes Evinrude. It was intended to take the place of a ? hp. electric motor and powered a Sears Roebuck wooden tub dolly type washer. It is of two cycle type with hit and miss governing, similar to Maytag. It needed only cleaning up and new ignition wiring. It starts and runs just fine. I call it one of the lower forms of mechanical life.
This is a 6-H.P. Galloway made by The Wm. Galloway Company, Waterloo, Iowa. This engine was bought new in 1912. I bought this engine from the son-in-law of the original owner in 1961. It is in first class running order and a beautiful engine. To me all engines are beautiful.
Chas. Vornholt of Solon, Iowa used his Case 18-32 cross-mounted tractor about a 1924 model to operate his separator in August 1964. It did a fine job.
Block of 8 hp. Rockford owned by Guy Myers, North Liberty, Iowa. The girl and boy is Jeanie and John Fogwell.
Made slight adjustment on exhaust valve timing (on end of rocker arm where it contacts valve) timing now right on the nose. Mixture adjustment needle valve checked and found ok. Next added quart No. 30 oil, didn't think it would hold that much, and if I recall correctly, instructions call for No. 40, , but most filling stations don't have No. 40. Engine started very easily, and seems to run perfectly, and after a bit of running has developed excellent compression. If the repaired gears stand up, should run for years with the good care I'm certain my friend will give it. I only cleaned, disassembled it, diagnosed the trouble, made some adjustments, 'cut out new gaskets, and then re-assembled it. I feel that considerable credit is due the fellow who did such a good job on the gears and gas tank.
Many mechanics nowadays can install new parts, but cannot actually make repairs to broken or worn parts. It's probably not all their fault, as many things built nowadays are not intended to be repaired. I've noticed many garagemen have refused to work on gas engines, Delco-Light systems etc.; why I can't say, but they seem to feel that it's beneath them to do it. Nowadays it seems to be hard to get even a lawn mower repair man to do a repair job on an old flywheel engine. Another thing, there are not many of the old fashioned general garages left.