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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a problem with Facebook Market Place. I always seem to find something I think I need to buy. In this case it was a 1944 build Briggs and Stratton Model I engine. The ad and supporting photos suggested it was a replacement engine that had never been ran and was still mounted on the original wooden shipping crate. Finding that hard to believe, but noticing several other interesting items my 5S, 6S, NS, and WM didn’t have (like the spark plug cover, engine stop button, fuel tank shut off, engine dipstick, engine lift handle and an updraft carburetor), I just had to look.

It was painted Army OD green, which made me think it was originally for a military application. It also had a circular mounting bracket on the PTO side (maybe for a generator?) and strange looking material covering the crankshaft. It turned out that the crankshaft was covered in cosmoline and wrapped in a fiber type tape. The same type of tape was covering the fuel cap, fuel cap vent, the air cleaner inlet and breather vent. Even the air cleaner didn’t have oil in the bowl and was taped shut. The part that really surprised me after giving it a quick bath was that there were no indications that the engine had ever been worked on. The paint was not cracked around any of the bolt heads, and the exhaust pipe still had the same OD paint on it. It even had a pipe plug in the outlet of the exhaust. It has surprising good compression rolling it over by hand too.

So here is my dilemma. Do I put some gas in it to see if will start, or just leave it as is for posterity sake?
 

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Having served in the Army, that is definitely military OD green paint. And as you surmised, it was more than likely used for a generator, there are two other options though, air compressor or pump. Can you get any info off of the data plates on the engine? I might be able to do a little research on it. If you find NSN followed by a number string, that will help identify it. Everything used in the Army has a NSN, or National Stock Number, which can lead to a wealth of information on the item.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Since I am convinced that the engine has never been used/ran and from the comments above, I just can't bring myself to try to start it.

As for the NSN number, I didn't find any additional numbers stamped anywhere. There is an additional tag screwed into the blower housing indicating it is a replacement engine, but no other details. See photo attached.
 

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‘66 110H and a ‘66 110
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Depends on what give you joy.will you enjoy just hanging it on a shelf and looking at it? Or would you enjoy hearing it run? I am a gearhead, mechanic, and appreciate the originality of mechanical things very much. But I don’t understand people who buy cars and then put them in storage to just sit for ever.

I bought a 2004 mustang GT brand new and for the first 10 years, never even drove it in the rain. Never a parking lot, never rough roads etc. it was fun, but a lot of work and stress. Life changed, had kids, put it in storage for 4 years then finally said, I want to drive this thing and enjoy it. Now, I put it away for the winter, but it’s basically a daily driver for me now and I enjoy it way more than before!

so, I say, get it running, hear it run enjoy being the first guy to fire it. Maybe reminisce about what the guys did when they were first firing up those machines back in the day. I’m not saying put it on a generator and work the snot out of it and leave it outside. But, ya gotta hear it run!

that’s my unsolicited $.02

ben
 

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You might find someone who restores or maintains war relics that would be able to both put it to good use and preserve it for posterity. I love to salvage and preserve old historical stuff but I often wonder where it will all end up after I'm gone. Hearing my Grandmother tell stories of seeing the early Edison Phonographs got me heavily into collecting these (among many other things) many years ago, but hardly anyone nowadays past the Boomer generation seems to appreciate older classically designed examples of American ingenuity. They just want plastic Star Wars figurines. Even my younger wife could be as likely to toss some of my precious stuff in the trash as she would be to donate it to a museum, not at all appreciating the historical and potentially the monetary value.
 

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As some of you guys know, Dad collected antique stationary engines. Big ones and small one. Over a hundred at one point. Except for a few parts engines they all ran. Getting them running was actually the main reason he bought them. He made parts as needed in his little machine shop. That was the juice for him but some of his engines buddies were collectors and wanted them for displays and didn't care if they ran. Different strokes.. (y).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the comments. I have come to the conclusion that I would prefer to not start it and find someone that has a World War II era military collection that could use it. Maybe someone who needs an engine for the generator they already have.

Additionally, from the comments above, I thought I should mention I also like to hear them run.....hard. I especially like making my 332's get to a point under a load where there is a hint of black smoke from the exhaust and slapping through the gears in my Corvette. In my mind, it doesn't get any better than that!
 
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