Links to Engine Registries

Still working on it…  Soon

Grey Engines
Des Jardin
Fairbanks Morse
International Harvester
Ruston Hornsby

Published: 22. 01. 2014 | Comments: 0

Links to Historic Parks and Museums

Museums and places of preservation are very important to our history and maintenance of the technology.  Please make sure you support them as without their work we will be in a new dark ages about our past.  Click on the images to link to these other sites.


Canadian Tractor museum westlock stationary engines

The Canadian Tractor Museum

The Westlock & District Tractor Museum Foundation was formed in 1999 with the vision of developing a world-class museum in Westlock, Alberta dedicated to vintage tractors. There are more than two hundred fully-restored antique tractors owned by the museum and members of the Vintage Tractor Club. In 2006 the Foundation added a storage building for steam engines and extra tractors.This facility enables our community to preserve a large part of the area?s rich farming history, and prevent the loss of local collections of historical significance.


Reynolds Machine Museum

Reynolds Museum – Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada

The Reynolds Museum calls itself the machine museum as it’s collection runs the gamut from airplanes to old cars, agricultural to industry.  Check out their website.  They are well worth the visit and if you are able, visit during the harvest fair or one of the special event days.  People from all over bring their antiques to show at the museums grounds.


Pioneer Acres Irricana museumPioneer Acres – Irricana, Alberta, Canada

The Pioneer Acres Thresherman and Plow man’s club of Alberta is my home club. It is also a registered museum. The club owns a large collection of antique tractors and engines. It is also home to the Carey collection of antique trucks (by appointment only). If you have the time to visit, this is a great little museum.

Published: 22. 01. 2014 | Comments: 0


Fairbanks Morse SignFairbanks Morse Company

Yep… they are still around! Fairbanks Morse company of Beloit, WI.  Click on the image to be directed to their site.  They have a great short video that touches on the history of the company.  Fairbanks Morse was the North American leader on the development of the gas and then heavy duty diesel engine. It has a proud history and many of its engines are still around at shows and in museums.

Published: 22. 01. 2014 | Comments: 0

Commercial Links

This page is dedicated to those who support us through link exchange.

Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions

A Major Alberta Attraction – Great For The Whole FamilyEnjoy a complete day on the train!
Alberta Prairie offers an exciting one day adventure on board a real steam or diesel-powered train. Different themes are enacted throughout the season, including murder mysteries, family, dinner theatre, seniors and teddy bear specials. For a day full of activities which is truly different and interesting, read on!

At some point during your excursion the train may be brought to a screeching halt. Look out! It’s the dreaded outlaw “Reynolds Raiders”. They are known to frequent these parts and on occasion hold up the train. But fear not the Canadian Metis hero, Gabriel Dumont, is there to stop them. After a short but furious gun battle, the money the outlaws took from passengers is retrieved. Since it’s impossible to tell who the money belongs to, it is donated to a number of children’s charities.

The train leaves Stettler, Alberta, and  returns five to six hours later. Stettler is located in the Heart of Central Alberta and is a leisurely three hour drive from Calgary; Alberta, two and one-half hours from Edmonton, Alberta.


rusty beer

Rust Belt Brewing Company

A micro brewery in support of our rusty hobby.  Drop in for a pint!

530 Mahoning Avenue Suite A Youngstown, Ohio 44502 (330) 318-9563 rustybrew@gmail.com

To view their Website click here or click the banner


Yetmans' Manitoba lawn garden antiques

Yetman’s Lawn & Garden Ltd., Manitoba

Welcome to the Yetman’s Ltd. Lawn and Garden Power Equipment Directory.

Whether you are a manufacturer or homeowner, dealer or greens keeper, we think you’ll find something of interest here. You can find everything from lawn care tips to multinational marketing information, or locate your local Service Dealer.

There is also a growing collection of technical information. Of particular note are the Illustrated Parts Lookup systems and Kohler Technical Reference pages. Please feel free to use or link to them from your own site.

Published: 22. 01. 2014 | Comments: 0

Links to Collectors

Will Batty is a collector from Saskatchewan.  I met his father when I purchased my second set of engines at auction near Rosetown SK.  You can find Will on Smokstak from time to time and his webpage outlines his adventures in the engine world.Will Batty’s Website:


John Newman: Engine restorer. “Self described Scavenger & Salvager”. John’s Engine site:


Rob Skinner is perhaps the most colorful collector on the net.  His web pages are superbly assembled as are his engines.  Rob and Kelly are a treat to be associated with, and I highly recommend any information they put out as it is always well informed.Rob and Kelly’s Old Iron Page:


Rob and Kelly also actively participate in WAPA  (Western Antique Power Association):  http://wapa.us/

Published: 22. 01. 2014 | Comments: 0

Engine Related Links

Antique Technology Links

Craig Anderson has been, primarily, a farm oriented  business providing parts and repairs for farm equipment. Through the years he has remained a shop dealing mainly with “walk in” trade and most of our customers continues to be farmers.

Craig’s Engine repair shop at: www.andersonofrosholt.com
Yetman’s in Manitoba has a directory of old iron. Primarily, they are a lawn and garden company but their listings under antiques are quite extensive and well worth the look.

Yetman’s: http://www.yetmans.mb.ca

Grain Elevator Links – Prairie Sentinels
Click on this link for a fantastic resource for the pictorial history of the grain elevators in Canada.  I have found pictures of the elevator my Ruston came from.  I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the history.

Show & Club Links


C. Harrold’s Alberta shows: http://www.oldengine.org/members/harrold/event.htm
Pioneer Acres:  http://www.pioneeracres.ab.ca/
Leduc West Antique Show: http://www.leducwestantique.com/


Chemung Valley Old Timers Show 

Chemung Valley Old Timers Show 2009!!!!
Fri-Sat July 17-19 Gates open 8:00 Am
32nd annual show!
3 days of great fun and Great Food!
Featuring Allis Chalmers and Ruston Hornsby Equipment
Antique Gas Engines, Tractors, Tractor Pulls, Working Moon shine Still
Parades Raffles, Shingle Making, Chainsaw Carving, Peddle Pulls, Antique and Vintage Snowmobiles
antique cars, Trucks, Black smith, Church Service on Sunday, And Soooooooo Much more!!!!
Come for the weekend and tell all your friends:
Free primitive Camping
E-mail kdilmore@stny.rr.com
Shane Dilmore


Nuenen – The Netherlands 

Published: 22. 01. 2014 | Comments: 0

Ruston Hornsby CR Diesel (circa 1937)

Ruston Hornsby CR Canadian Elevator Engine

In the Spring of 2008, I was working in Saint Johns, Newfoundland when I receive a call from my buddy Andrew.  He excitedly told me about this engine that was on eBay and that for the price, it was a must for my collection.  I said I would look into it.  Well I did.  This engine was right up my alley as it would be my first side shaft, but also was not supposed to be stuck and very simply restorable.  Now, there is one thing I have learned in this hobby and that is to never trust the statement “it was working when I parked it”; but I digress.  The engine was a little over my age deadline (1929) but was the correct size for what I was interested in.  I emailed and then phoned the owner who was in Saskatchewan and got the full history.  As I like to have the background of the engines I am collecting, I was very pleased with this one as I found out the complete history as well as its former places of work.  Satisfied with this information and the fact that the seller would allow for my payment scheme, I bid and eventually won.  These are the pictures of the engine as posted on eBay.

These pictures were taken by the owner, Les Leis as the engine sat in his barn just outside of Kamsack, Saskatchewan.  The engine had been part of the family for a number of years, and had been working right up into the 1990′s.  Les and his father ran grain to and from the elevators from the early 1960′s.  Les’s father had purchased the old Federal elevator in Runnymeade SK in approximately 1975 and used it for their family farm operations.

Les makes mention that the annex by it’s self in the other pictures is what is left of the Searly Grain Elevator that the two had actually bought grain in for 9 years previous.

The engine pictured here was the second engine for the elevator. By the mid 1980′s the original Ruston developed some problems and needing what was determined to be an extensive overhaul the decision was made that it would be sold. This engine, number 52 came from the Saskcatchewan Wheat Pool elevator in Marchwell, SK to replace it. As a note, the Marchwell elevator had just be converted to electric and was shortly there after shut down.

Initially, the idea for the pickup of the Ruston engine was simple. My Fairbanks Morse Y was waiting in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and this engine was in Kamsack, Saskatchewan. Sort of a straight line between the two, with the option of other trading stops and visitations along the way. But soon a year went by and a number of times, other things got in the way of a timely pickup. A planned family trip to Ontario, with me meeting the others while picking up engines fell apart. The rest of the family still went to Ontario, but I ended up working. Of course, engine shows were still attended. That coupled with Les’s insane schedule all conspired against me obtaining my shinny new object of desire.

Suddenly, the opportune moment arose. It was a long shot; a disparate attempt to make the delivery of a sale as well as the long awaited pickup. It was the first weekend of January 2009. I had literally a weekend to make a 24 hour round trip, in the dead of winter with minus 30 degree snowy weather. This was also my first driving trip under full winter conditions with the trailer. Daunting? Yes, and the weather conspired to make my trip all the more interesting with white out driving, and sections of the trans Canada highway which were so slippery that I was lucky to make it through alive.

Initially, the idea for the pickup of the Ruston engine was simple.  My Fairbanks Morse Y was waiting in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and this engine was in Kamsack, Saskatchewan.  Sort of a straight line between the two, with the option of other trading stops and visitations along the way.  But soon a year went by and a number of times, other things got in the way of a timely pickup.  A planned family trip to Ontario, with me meeting the others while picking up engines fell apart.  The rest of the family still went to Ontario, but I ended up working.  Of course, engine shows were still attended.  That coupled with Les’s insane schedule all conspired against me obtaining my shinny new object of desire.

Suddenly, the opportune moment arose.  It was  a long shot; a disparate attempt to make the delivery of a sale as well as the long awaited  pickup.  It was the first weekend of January 2009.  I had literally a weekend to make a 24 hour round trip, in the dead of winter with minus 30 degree snowy weather.  This was also my first driving trip under full winter conditions with the trailer.  Daunting?  Yes, and the weather conspired to make my trip all the more interesting with white out driving, and sections of the trans Canada highway which were so slippery that I was lucky to make it through alive.

View Larger Map

Les was a great person.  I really would have liked to have spent more time with him and his wife, but unfortunately the very long day and load up was seriously taxing me.  I wanted to try and rest in Regina, but sadly only made it as far as Yorkton.

During the coffee we did have together, Les related to me the family history of the engine as well as the background of why he was not keeping it.  It seems some offers were made to museums as well as other family members and such but it eventually just worked out that it had to put it on eBay.  The engine itself had sat in cold storage in a shed for quite some time as the elevators it had sat in were demolished a few years previous.

The trip itself was long and taxing.  At some points I was the only vehicle which seemingly could stay on the road, with other light trucks, cars, and vans all in the ditch at Walsh near the Alberta / Saskatchewan border.  I even had one heart stopping moment where the trailer was determined to slide forward of me.

This trip is now a distant memory as a few months later I uncovered the trailer for the first time.  It was a long cold January and February and the best thing to do was to keep the engine in its tarped deep freeze.

With untarping the unit and storing all the pieces that came with it, I began to photograph and document the engine for my files so I could reference them when putting it all back together.

In the meanwhile I wrote “THE” Ruston historian to get ahold of any manuals available for this engine. Ray Hooley is the Ruston guy. He seemingly has the keys to the library and any information has to be obtained through him. Peter Forbes in the UK maintains Ray’s site which is full of Ruston information and resources. Click here to view the site. Ray sent copies of the manuals and I felt I was well on my way to having a running engine within a few months.

Well the description that Les gave me of the engine was great. It was in really good condition with original paint. Tons of history which I have documented here. It was also running when he stored it. That statement alone however, should have been my first clue of the impending problems which would become evedent at I began to strip it down for restoration. Les had been running the engine right up into the 1990′s and he had done alot of the maintainance on it. Les had done a great job of it too.

Below are the miscellaneous parts which came with the engine. Yes, one of the ways to start this engine when not using the pressure vessel is with the crank. Actually you place a rolled paper with a glowing ember into a special port and then crank with the decompression valve open. Many swear that this was the best way to start a Ruston from cold. Also pictures were a pair of crank end bronze bearings, a cracked set of main bearing oil slingers, as well as temperature gages and other assorted bits. Sadly the measuring iron which was provided with all Rustons from the factory (for tuning the lengths of rods and arms to exact running specifications) was not included.

The items pictured below here are the additional major support units for the functioning of the engine. The air start vessel with it’s cast iron base as well as the radiator and the day fuel tank.

Rocking the flywheel back and forth
Pulling the piston

Cleaning the piston
Clearing out all valves, orifaces, and checking the bearings

Pulling off the bearing caps on the crankshaft connecting rod was a bit of a suprise.  The shells for the connecting rod were made of bronze, but had a babbit skin.  The babbit had a number of issues as one can see from the pictures.  It was badly scored, delaminated, and cracked.  In all it was in poor condition for any sort of restoration.  Future writings here will include the re babbiting of the connecting rod end, as well as the design and construction of the new base and display cart for the engine.

Published: 21. 01. 2014 | Comments: 0

Fairbanks Morse Y style Hot Bulb – Documentary

Fairbanks Morse Y style Hot Bulb (to be picked up Summer 2009)

FBMY Semi Diesel Hot Bulb Engine

I purchased this engine in the summer of 2007 and have been trying to get onto the long journey to pick it up. My hope is to have it in my hands May / June so I can start showing it at shows. Peter did a wonderful job of restoring this and I think it will be well worth the wait.

Andrew sent me this quote for the FBMY semi-diesel engine:

“Fairbanks-Morse powerplants evolved by burning kerosene in 1893, coal gas in 1905, then to semi-diesel engines in 1913 and to full diesel engines in 1924. In 1916 the company began production of the Model Z single cylinder engine in one, three and six horsepower sizes. Over a half million units were produced in the following 30 years. The model Z found favor with farmers, and the Model N with fishermen. The Company also had brief forays into building automobiles, cranes, televisions, radios and refrigerators, but output was small in these fields. After the expiration of Rudolf Diesel’s American licence in 1912, Fairbanks entered the large engine business. The company’s larger Model Y semi-diesel became a standard workhorse, and sugar, rice, timber, and mine mills used the engine. The model Y was available in sizes from one through six cylinders, or 25 to 200 horsepower. The Y-VA engine was the first high compression, cold start, full diesel developed by Fairbanks-Morse without the acquisition of any foreign patent. This machine was developed in Beloit and introduced in 1924. The company expanded its line to the marine CO engine, and the mill model E, a modernized Y diesel.”


Published: 21. 01. 2014 | Comments: 0

Fairbanks Morse 15/20 hp (circa 1925) – Documentary

Fairbanks Morse 15/20 hp (circa 1925) – Under restoration (Fall 2008 to Spring 2009)

Fairbanks Morse Z series 15/20 hp Grain Elevator Engine

In childhood my long suffering parents used to take me to the local historical park to run out my over abundance of energy and to desperately try and give me some form of education. I used to play for hours around the old grain elevator, placed there in the 60′s as an interpretive symbol of the old west. The engine used to rhythmically tick away daily in the “office” as steam arose from its cooling tank, and outside the muffler would pound out its signature tune. Back then the muffler was installed as with all elevators, just outside the shed on the wall. I occasionally burned myself on its hot metal, and would happily inhale the sweet fumes emanating from it. I would come away from the scene with a sense of joy that this powerful giant was under human control and that I could become lost in its intoxicating presence.

Today this engine still chugs away. Thirty years later I bring my daughter to this site, but it is not quite the same. The muffler has been silenced for little ears, and hidden away from little hands. I am sure that the smell is different too as the fuel today would be unleaded gas with a whole different load of chemical additives. The grain elevator too stands more as a symbol of the passing ways of the prairies than that of our connection to the land. These prairie sentinels that once were scattered on the horizon now number in the very few with more being wantonly destroyed each year.

Here is the video I shot in 2008 of the engine at the historical site.

I had decided that I should try and find such an engine to add to my collection. I had spent time looking on my favorite engine websites but the ones I could find were well above what I wanted to pay and had no local history to me. There was one which was in the correct price range in Newfoundland, but by the time I made the contact it had sold. I did however purchase another engine from this gentleman which is very rare and of great significance.

I began to search out the local auctions. Several engines were at auction in the summer of 2007 / 2008 but one was of particular interest and I felt a good feeling about. This was part of an estate sale near Barrhead, 5 hours north of me.

Marie had agreed to meet me the week before her sale and show me her late husbands engines. A little wary of me, she invited a relative to watch over me. I was near the area working on a project and I thought that it would be a 2 hour journey maximum to visit her… but as the Arrogant Worms song goes, “Canada is really big”. One would think I would have learned that one by now. I also did not account for the 3 and a half hour coffee and chat we had which made for one very long day.

Getting Unstuck

Below you see the engine as I try to get it unstuck.  Although the major part, that is the piston, was free (in fact it was out), Much of the smaller parts were rusted stuck quite badly.  Bathed in penetraiting oils, and gently heated and cooled, the long process of degreasing and removal of rust began.  I use heat, brass wire brushes, hot water and steam baths, as well as electrolosis to clean the various parts.  The fuel pump was clogged solid and alot of heating was needed to turn the internal grease block to dust and then hot oil to penetrate and clean out.

Fairbanks Morse Engine Restoration – The motion base

Although interesting, I was not at all happy with the skids the engine arrived on. They were uneven and crude. I was interested in creating a cart system, but there are a lot of guys in the area who have dedicated a great deal of time in the accurate replication of the Fairbanks Morse Factory Cart which would have come with the engine. The best of which was done by Larry Potter. His engine is a dream. Finely balanced and the cart a highly accurate reproduction.

This engine was most definitely a grain elevator engine, so I felt a base which would give the impression of an engine on a mount in an elevator would be the way to go. I looked to the bases created by Rob Skinner of California and his ideology for moving them around. Robs bases are on removable fixed wheels which are merely tools in loading and unloading. The cart with no wheels, sits well on most surfaces and is not prone to the rock and bounce that wheeled carts are. With the wheels on the unit, it becomes a means to winch the engine platform on to the trailer. Since I go to shows with my tilt deck and use a forklift to load and unload the trailer, I felt this would be adequate for my needs.

Below are pictures of the welded frame before the addition of the wooden platforms. The wood used was 60 year old rough cut fence board. I felt the wood would work well to reduce vibration as well as to create a rustic look matching the engine. The board was milled to size with the weathered surface up and then clear coated with Varathane to protect it from the elements and the staining of oils.

With the completion of the base and a shelf full of cleaned and oiled parts, I was able to start the re assembly of the engine. Beginning with the base, I had applied a mixture of Boiled lindseed oil and Methyl Hydrate to it to protect the rust from further rust. I had decided that this engine would be remain in what looked to be work clothes thus, all cleaned parts kept either a metalic finish which would be coated with the linseed mixture or with some other form of clear coat / rust inhibition system.

The Base firmly bolted in place, I replaced the side running gear. The flywheels followed and were also covered with the Linseed oil mixture. It should be noted that this mixture takes a few days to dry properly so the progress would slow each time a protective coating was added.

The Fun Continues

With the mounting of the engine, the major job which I hated the most and left to very last, that of the piston rings became the paramount source of frustration. I had honed and deglazed the cylinder. Believe me, finding an 8 inch hone was not an easy task. I measured the rings to be 8.040. I needed two at the start. There were two stuck on the piston and one free. I used the technique of tapping to try and free the two stuck rings. Very quickly I needed two more rings as my patience was wearing thin with the tapping and the recomended method of shims was very effective in destroying two more of the remaining rings. I found myself searching high and low for a custom manufacturer of Piston rings.

A ton of searching later I had found a small custom manufacturer of piston rings in the eastern United States. It was a long three week wait, during the mean time I worked on the water plumbing and tank. The tank was built from a piece of rolled steel. To keep costs down I did the welding myself. The bottom is a circular plate welded and checked. Holes were cut with a plasma cutter and threaded ports welded on. The plumbing pipes were added (1 1/4″ pipe) as well as the hoses. The manual made special note that the hose sections were very important to the system. I felt it was as a vibration damper, but the hose flexibility helped in final assembly as well. The water tank and all the piping was coated in Tremclad rust paint hammered aluminum paint. The inside of the water tank was fitted with angle ears and a hole screen. This would act as a damper for water jumping with vibration, as well as a screen to protect from critters and unclean water sources.

Before the fuel systems were finished, however, I just had to give it one go. I shot the following video of it’s inagural run.

It was important to note that I had some high temperatures on the first few runs. This was caused by the new piston rings which had not yet seated correctly and were causing alto of friction heat on the cylinder. The manual is quite clear in stating that the correct operating range is between 140 and 170 degrees.

The cap on the connecting rod was checked for tightness and warmth after the run and then the crank guard was added. The fuel tank was made out of sheet steel and welded. The plumbing was of brass and copper. This became the last of the major items on the restoration. Other than lifting points for putting the wheels on and off for show, only time will tell what more will need to be done to this unit.

Published: 21. 01. 2014 | Comments: 0