The operator had returned home but stored the machinery with a relative

| March/April 1953

An operator, whom I recognized as a good one, decided to buy the old 20 hp. engine but said, 'I will sign no settlement until the engine proves it will do the work.' I did not believe anything was wrong with the cylinder but requested the company to ship a new cylinder and valve. A cylinder then invoiced at $48.00. I did not care to take chances. The old cylinder and valve were replaced with new ones.

When I went to install the new piston and rings used only half a day in the old cylinder, T discovered the former owner had not properly installed the rings. The rings were tight in the grooves. When the rings were compressed to install the piston they remained compressed. The half day the engine operated, it operated on the piston, The rings did no good.

I dressed the rings until they freely played in the grooves and cut the ends to allow for expansion and inserted the piston. I carefully adjusted the bearings arid reverse gear and thoroughly limbered the engine while the engine remained in the former owner's yard. The one quart Swift lubricator supplied the cylinder with an abundance of oil. I wished to know the engine was in adjustment before I started on the 12 mile drive to the separator. It may have been an accident but I never operated an engine upon which the gears created less noise and the engine operated more smoothly. As I drove the engine from the former owner's yard he said, 'I wish I had not traded that engine.'

The lubricator flooded the engine with oil on that drive. By the time the engine was driven to the separator, the new cylinder, rings and valves were partly polished.

When within a few miles of the separator it was necessary to cross Big Creek, the bridge was narrow, probably 40 feet long, constructed of piling, low and old. The engine weighed 19,500 pounds without water or coal. The bridge appeared safe. I drove the lone engine on the bridge. As the engine neared the center of the bridge, the bridge seemed to settle a foot. The engine rolled across the bridge but those few moments were 'hair raising.'

About 1:30 I backed the old 20 hp. engine into a heavy belt until it was tight as the proverbial 'fiddle string' and had it tightly blocked. The engine was in perfect alignment. The belt traveled the centers of both pulleys. I realized, with that new 32-54 Avery separator, with double spiked cylinder, fully equipped and long extension feeder, tough headed wheat and grain pitchers, well rested, that engine was in for a test. The safety valve was set at 175 pounds, the engine steamed well and the pressure remained near the sizzling point. The lubricator flooded the new cylinder. We had threshed nearly two stacks. Those pitchers were heaving that tough wheat into that long extension. Their moment had come. They lapped large bunches of tough wheat into the feeder and stopped the cylinder. I was1 on the ground firing, when it occurred and was not aware anything had gone wrong until I heard a commotion at the separator. I jumped to the footboard. Smoke was rolling from the cylinder pulley and they were wildly waving at me to stop the engine. Slugging the cylinder had not affected the engine. The belt remained on both pulley and its spinning badly burned the fiber pulley.


Farm Collector April 16Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

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