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General Engines Co. purchase


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  #1  
Old 11-20-2010, 12:06:42 AM
desotonut1953 desotonut1953 is offline
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Default General Engines Co. purchase

I purchased a General Engines Co. gas engine recently. Does anyone have any info. on the history of this company and info. on the engine. Missing the gas tank, but everything else looks good. Thanks for the help.
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  #2  
Old 11-22-2010, 05:02:04 PM
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Default Re: General Engines Co. purchase

There's very little info out there on these engines. They seem to be well built and run pretty good too. I believe they were built right around 1949.

Here's two that I have.



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Old 11-22-2010, 05:08:17 PM
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Default Re: General Engines Co. purchase

Here is a video of one of my Generals.
My other one looks better, but this one runs better...
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  #4  
Old 11-25-2010, 10:25:16 PM
Larry Rarus
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Default Re: General Engines Co. purchase

Hello again Mike,

I too have a GE. I think the only model they ever made was a D21! Here are some pictures of my refurbishment effort.
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Old 11-25-2010, 10:33:14 PM
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Default Re: General Engines Co. purchase

Some more photos.... The short block is now assembled. I need to figure out a complete ignition system for it. The engine came with only a set of poorly deteriorated points and nothing else. I found that a B & S coil is a direct bolt-on fit. Now I have to work on the rest of it. Unfortunately I have somewhat lost interest in this particular project and it sits lonely in the loft of my garage. Also, I have an owner's manual tucked away somewhere. Maybe I could scan it and make it available on-line if anyone is interested.
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Old 11-27-2010, 12:30:55 AM
desotonut1953 desotonut1953 is offline
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Default Re: General Engines Co. purchase

Hi Larry,
I just got this off ebay. Everything is there, had the fan cover off and everything looks good. I'm getting a manual and repro decal from John Newman.

I put my Clintons to rest while I work on my Cub Cadet lately. Is that a Reo motor in the background in picture #4? Got one of them recently also.

How do you get your engines so clean? Do you sandblast them? I'm still trying to figure out how to get the engines cleaned up without a lot of equipment. I'm going to buy a larger air compressor in about a month. Mine currently is made from old Tecumseh Products refrigerator parts.

---------- Post added at 11:30 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:22 PM ----------

Larry,
I was wondering about the ignition. The coil looks like a B&S. Haven't got the flywheel off yet. I can post some pictures of what the points look like when I get to this project. It may be awhile though as icefishing season is about here, and I am trying to concentrate on getting the Cub Cadet done as it is the oldest project, after the Choremaster project. I will wait on starting choremaster with Clinton in spring so the gas doesn't go bad.

BTW, I saw your complete Clinton chainsaw on the Clinton forum. BEAUTIFUL! Where did you finally find the lefthand nut you needed?
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:24:25 AM
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Default Re: General Engines Co. purchase

Quote:
Originally Posted by desotonut1953 View Post

Is that a Reo motor in the background in picture #4?

How do you get your engines so clean? Do you sandblast them?

BTW, I saw your complete Clinton chainsaw on the Clinton forum. BEAUTIFUL! Where did you finally find the lefthand nut you needed?
Yes, that's a Reo in the background. I have a few of them. They're great little runners.

Regarding how I get my engines so clean... It's a multi-step process. First I do a complete tear down. It's impossible to get them perfectly clean otherwise. The grease and crud of years of use always jam into the nooks and crannies. Then I have a degreasing tank ( see here: http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...2051_200422051 ) where I soak these pieces for a few days. The final step is indeed blasting. The key to blasting is to use the correct media. I only use the silica stuff for the coarse cast iron pieces. For aluminum and stamped metal I use crushed walnut shells (no kidding). It gets the surface nice and clean without pitting.

Thanks for the compliment on the Clinton D50 Handy. I never could find a new nut for that. I don't believe they're manufactured anymore. I simply dressed the existing one as best I could. By the way, it's the one that holds the clutch onto the crankshaft.
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Old 12-26-2010, 10:51:08 PM
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Default Re: General Engines Co. purchase

Looks like a well made engine mostly made of cast iron? Funny, I have never seen one of these engines up close that I can recall...

https://sites.google.com/site/hitandmissgasengines/
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:14:27 PM
desotonut1953 desotonut1953 is offline
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Default Re: General Engines Co. purchase

Jack, even the fan shroud is cast iron. Not a stamped piece of sheet metal. Everything looks very well made.

I don't know much about the engine history, although I have googled the company and the brothers that owned the engine company. Probably another company that Briggs & Stratton sued for some minor design infringement, and put them out of business.

---------- Post added at 09:14 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:12 PM ----------

General Engines Co., a division of Leuthesser Brothers, Franklin Park, Illinois.

Any one know anything about this company?
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:39:36 PM
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Default Re: General Engines Co. purchase

The only cast iron part on my General engines is the cylinder. Everything else is cast aluminum. Are you sure your shroud is cast iron? Try putting a magnet to it.
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:42:40 PM
desotonut1953 desotonut1953 is offline
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Default Re: General Engines Co. purchase

Sorry. Its cast aluminum. Unusual though I think. Everything I've ever seen was stamped sheet metal.
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:51:10 PM
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Default Re: General Engines Co. purchase

You'll find that sometimes when things like engines are hastily manufactured, they will be mostly made up of castings instead of stampings. It takes a lot less investment to produce castings as opposed to the presses and dies it takes to make stamped steel products. I would imagine that if the General engines would have been more successful, we'd see later engines with stamped steel shrouds, but as it stands, I think they were only made for a year or two and never really got off the ground. Seem to be good engines, though.
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Old 12-29-2010, 03:04:20 AM
desotonut1953 desotonut1953 is offline
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Default Re: General Engines Co. purchase

Make sense as you said. Have you ever compared the engine parts to B&S parts. They look very close to the same. Even the oil pump looks like an Clinton. Did they buy these from the 2 companies parts department instead of designing all of their own? When I get around to restoring this and my Clinton and B&S of similar size I will compare them. They seem like a nice engine to use on many small applications. NOt use what I will put this one on. Maybe a display cart.
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Old 12-29-2010, 02:31:43 PM
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Default Re: General Engines Co. purchase

Genaral may have been associated with Auburn Cord Dusenberg... see this link

http://home.roadrunner.com/~harg43/GeneralEngines.pdf

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Old 02-12-2016, 09:45:19 AM
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Default Re: General Engines Co. purchase

I picked this one up yesterday day
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:27:14 PM
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Default Re: General Engines Co. purchase

Update from a few years back. I will attempt to attach a PDF file from Gas Engine Magazine --May-June 1979.

General may have been associated with Auburn Cord Dusenberg.
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Old 06-02-2016, 08:18:13 PM
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Default Re: General Engines Co. purchase

Quote:
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I picked this one up yesterday day
What make is that mower? That is the first General I have seen on a piece of equipment. Nice find.
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Old 06-02-2016, 09:12:53 PM
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Default Re: General Engines Co. purchase

I can't remember I'll check tomorrow
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Old 06-03-2016, 03:55:40 PM
Doug Tallman Doug Tallman is offline
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Default Re: General Engines Co. purchase

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkologist View Post
What make is that mower? That is the first General I have seen on a piece of equipment. Nice find.
You beat me to it, Mike. I was thinking the same thing.
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:39:56 AM
Dick DeBuse Dick DeBuse is offline
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Default Re: General Engines Co. purchase

Midget Motors appears to have picked up the factory leftovers, advertised them in their Directory. Also B&B used them in some of their Brogan Cycle scooters in the late 40s, early 50s.
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