G.H. Coates, LLC

Ideas That Work

[Under Construction]










C. L. Barker Engine Reconstruction Project

The Old Marine Engine Board or OME is a clearing house and meeting grounds for people with an interest in antique inboard marine engines.  On OME, information on many, many engines is available and the members are willing to share there experiences and knowledge with those in need.  It was on OME that a gentleman asked for information on a Barker single cylinder inboard engine.  It was in terrible shape but mostly complete.  This page is about the restoration, or reconstruction of this engine. 

My goals are simple.

  • This page will outline the process and progress with the reconstruction.
  • To reconstruct the engine cylinder casting to operable condition using fusion welding of cast iron to produce like new results.  This goal may be unobtainable.  To admit defeat first allows a person to realize nothing is what you're starting with and it might be all you have left when you finish.
  • To readjust, if you will, the mindset of people about what engines are repairable and warrant a spot inside the garage.  The Barker is more than 100 years old.  Most of the engines collected between 50 and 100 years old are in fairly sad shape.  At the Mystic Seaport Show I was talking with some folks and a gentleman came by saying he had a complete engine he'd found in the swamp somewhere.  It had all of the brass still intact and in place, but the cast iron cylinder and base were "so bad" he "stripped the brass and junked the engine".

Here's how the whole project got started.  Old Marine Engine Text

These pictures are very large.  For those of us who live in little towns where JAWS 2 is still in the new releases section of the movie store, it'll take a while to download.

P8210099.JPG (1162195 bytes)    Barker as I brought it home.


P8210103.JPG (1145925 bytes) P8210104.JPG (1118243 bytes) Side of cylinder showing extent of breakage.  Inside the water jacket is some sort of swamp concrete.

P8210107.JPG (1067652 bytes) P8210116.JPG (1142045 bytes) Timing Device and Eccentric.

P8210113.JPG (1359306 bytes) P8210112.JPG (1187646 bytes) Patented oiling scheme.  Reminds me of the Fairbanks Morse chain-type oiler system.


August 31, 2006

P8220001.JPG (1104991 bytes) P8220002.JPG (994799 bytes)  Neat igniter.  It has "C. Barker; Norwalk, CT; Pat. DEC 1 1903 stamped on it.  It shows a lot of wear.

P8220006.JPG (1356386 bytes) P8220004.JPG (1358336 bytes) P8220005.JPG (1219772 bytes)  Water pump and timer eccentric also show a lot of wear and a repair or two.

The Barker must have been a good runner to have so much wear and repair.  I'm hopeful it'll 'bark' again!

The Barker and some other stuff is in the furnace as I write this.   Tomorrow I'll post pictures after the first burn-out.

September 1, 2006

Just out of the furnace this morning from the first of what looks like will take three heats.  Everything looks good, and with  2 hours work it's knocked apart.

P9010006.JPG (1340753 bytes) P9010007.JPG (1127475 bytes) P9010008.JPG (1315711 bytes) P9010010.JPG (1222142 bytes)

P9010011.JPG (1225875 bytes) P9010012.JPG (1150760 bytes) P9010013.JPG (1139479 bytes) P9010014.JPG (1282190 bytes)

P9010015.JPG (1202905 bytes) P9010016.JPG (1255977 bytes) P9010018.JPG (1134541 bytes) P9010019.JPG (1136264 bytes)

P9010020.JPG (1222902 bytes) BARKER AFTER COOK 001.JPG (1284667 bytes) BARKER AFTER COOK 003.JPG (1225874 bytes) BARKER AFTER COOK 005.JPG (1187756 bytes)

BARKER AFTER COOK 006.JPG (1032145 bytes) BARKER AFTER COOK 008.JPG (1044061 bytes) BARKER AFTER COOK 009.JPG (1241200 bytes)

September 14, 2006

P9080009.JPG (1131173 bytes) After the second heat, we found a hole and a crack and needed to remove a part of the water jacket to gain access.  The hard crusties in the bottom of the water jacket are nasty stuff.  You can also really see the hole behind the drain plug.  It sort of an argument against using bronze plugs, isn't it.

September 15, 2006

 P9150012.JPG (1256689 bytes) P9150016.JPG (1191813 bytes) After cleaning that stuff out of the water jacket, we clamped it to the table to pull together some of the cracks and tack weld them.  Then back into the heat for stress relief!!!

September 19, 2006

P9190017.JPG (1147554 bytes) P9190018.JPG (1414126 bytes) P9190019.JPG (1092637 bytes)  These are pictures of the welding in progress.  It's not the Barker, but a small vertical Oil Field engine.  The side was blown out, and the owner wanted it fixed as original.  A patch was cast, and welded into the hole.  The hole is about 6 inches by 3 inches and the patch went in very well.  I'll post finished pictures tomorrow when it comes out of the heat.  This engine is a one of a kind.  At the same time, the Barker went for the 3rd heat and stress relief.  These pictures are taken with the parts at temperature.

September 20, 2006

P9200008.JPG (1153615 bytes) P9200012.JPG (1129551 bytes) P9200013.JPG (1133421 bytes) Here's the oil field engine today.  The first picture is as welded.

February 21, 2008

P2180187.JPG (1115814 bytes) P8230005.JPG (1028588 bytes)  I thought it had been a while since I'd posted an update...  I didn't realize it'd been over a year.  Sorry about that.  The Barker is shaping up nicely and the inside water jacket, the cracks in the combustion chamber and the hole where the plug was are all fixed. This process has taken some 8 heats and over a pound of welding rod!!

P2210195.JPG (1204413 bytes) The next step is to fix the outer jacket parts and cast new parts that are missing from the water jacket.  These are the parts we have from the original.  We are aiming to have this at Calvert this year so folks can see it.

June 2008

P5300114.JPG (1190330 bytes) P5300118.JPG (1212697 bytes) Here are the pieces being fitted.  What a jigsaw puzzle!

P6040108.JPG (1156849 bytes) The puzzle with some glue applied.

P6170117.JPG (1131079 bytes) Pretty well welded together.

P6170120.JPG (1173378 bytes) P6170121.JPG (1139630 bytes) P6170123.JPG (1158222 bytes) Starting to finish the welding.  The old water jacket is back together and looks good.  This is as far as we'll take it until we get the rest of the welding done.  The next step is to cast the missing piece.

P6170125.JPG (1182184 bytes) The missing piece.

PC170352.JPG (1100801 bytes) PC170354.JPG (1106352 bytes) Just got these OEM parts back from the foundry and they look good.  We'll have the water jacket finished over the winter break.

After the water jacket is fixed, we'll start figuring out the piston and get the crank bearings done.

September 25, 2009

I have to do better with my updates...

A lot has happened since the last update.  The cylinder is finished and the new sleeve is in (Thanks JB).  The crank is welded up and finished (Thanks Bob L).  New bearings are done and slingers are finished.  The piston is finished and we have started to work on the rod.  Dad has been working on the igniter and water pump parts.  The starting handle and timer adjustment eccentric is completed.  The water pump strap is brazed up and ready for finishing.  New stainless steel case bolts were made to 1/2 -12 thread just as original.

P9250695.JPG (1250979 bytes) P9250689.JPG (972937 bytes) P9250690.JPG (1141194 bytes) P9250688.JPG (1098147 bytes) P9220687.JPG (1323247 bytes) P9250691.JPG (1185402 bytes) P9250692.JPG (1185090 bytes) P9250693.JPG (1133928 bytes) P9250694.JPG (1169259 bytes) P8040607.JPG (1438883 bytes) P8040599.JPG (1403104 bytes) P9080684.JPG (1210970 bytes) P8040600.JPG (1133772 bytes) P8040601.JPG (1253162 bytes)

The main bearings have o-rings and shaft seals to try and keep the mess to a minimum while running.  The aluminum piston has a 7/8 hardened pin and will float in the piston.  It took about 3 hours to hog out the inside and about 2 to machine the deflector on top. 

October 1, 2009

The Igniter trip and water pump are done

PA010599.JPG (1300401 bytes)

October 6, 2009

Getting everything ready and bolted down to the test stand.

PA060598.JPG (1166114 bytes)

October 22, 2009

Connecting Rod is done!  It needs some fine tuning, but looks like it'll work!

PA210600.JPG (1372448 bytes) PA210605.JPG (1190839 bytes) PA210606.JPG (1120203 bytes)


It Runs!!!  Here's a short movie with no sound.  It'll start by just flicking the igniter trip on compression.  Pretty cool really.  Click on the messed up picture below and the movie will open in a new window.  I'll fix it later...

PC300625.MOV (1621709 bytes)


More to come...


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