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
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
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.
They unchecked the cylinder. When the separator was operating
well, the buyer came to the engine and said, ‘where is the
settlement.’ He signed it. I placed it in my case, pulled my
jacket and overalls, bid them good-bye and drove away.
That engine was paid for. The man to whom I delivered it the
second time, praises it to this day. It was worthy of his praise.
No other engine, ever sold or operated by me, did better work than
that old 20 hp. Advance, on its Great Day.