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Old 03-13-2011, 11:09 AM
msrfan msrfan is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1,484
Default Re: Making a Harbor Freight engine look vintage/antique?

Originally Posted by wayne z View Post
Have you seen Mrsfans briggs bikes? He tilts his engines about 45 deg, and has had years of use with no oil related problems.

I think you could tilt the Clone engines successfuly if you took the effort to figure out how to keep the oil level thesame distance from the crankshaft as it is in the stock positon. As long as the dipper hits the oil, yer good.
If you dont wanna fuss with a special manifold, you could use a diphram carb like on the old Tecumseh 2-strokes.
Thanks, Wayne Z, for the referral to my bikes. You're exactly right about tilting the motors while retaining a certain oil level. The dipper action is violent the way it sprays oil everywhere inside the engine. If you want to see how much it splashes, just start one up without the oil cap. I made that mistake inside my garage and it took several days to find and clean all the oil up, and it almost emptied the crankcase. Also, inside oil splash engines there are feed holes and passages that rely on gravity for the lubricant to run down into the shafts and bearings. Tilting will probably not change that dramatically. I recommend taking off the side cover and looking at the oiling system before deciding to run at an angle. The engines I've seen are over-oiled for two reasons I can think of. First, why not? Any excess oil just runs back to the bottom and gets splashed again. Second, all motors burn a certain amount of oil and the mavufacturers know that a lot of people let the level get dangerously low. So just like they go overkill on the cooling fins because they know people don't clean the grass out of them, they do the same to make sure the motor will oil even when very low. We don't treat our bicycle motors like mowers. Most of us keep an eye on our oil levels. Can't afford to burn up a motor 20 miles from home. I've found that the Briggs motors use the same quantity of oil tilted or not. True, the bottom is flat and tilted puts the corner at the bottom, but the dipper still reaches into the oil deep enough. Personally, I own a couple of GX120 Honda 4hp motors along with a clone 6.5 hp and I tried to think of ways to make them look older. No matter how you tilt them, you still have a flat mounting base to hide or cut off, and a valve cover to deal with. As mentioned before, levelling the carb or going with a diaphragm type would be required. I conclude that there are plenty of old motors available for our use that look old. I also own a Wisconsin model AB like the one used on the 1910 Pierce clone by Louie MCman in the DIY category and I would never have thought to use it on a bicycle. Just shows great imagination. One of the problems with "real" old motors is weight to hp. Most are cast iron with low power output. The Wisconsin is rated aroud 3 hp and weighs over 50 pounds. It depends on the look and performance you're after. On the other hand, plenty of Techumseh, Lauson, Jacobson, Briggs, Power Products, Clinton, and many others are still lurking at yard sales, scrap yards, swapmeets and landscape shops that will yield enough power and are fairly light weight and inexpensive to acquire. I have bought complete machines for $20 just to get a motor. Kohler, Wisconsin, Onan, etc are usually heavier. So quit looking at cheep chinese knockoffs and get the local Greensheet or Pennysaver and check the adds for what you can look at near your home. Then scout the older lawnmower shops and wrecking yards. There's nothing like a vintage motor in an older or homemade frame. Not to mention "Made In USA".

Creative trimming of sheetmetal and cooling finns can make a motor look vintage. My goal was to make them look unrecognizable.
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