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Restoration CornerJ4 Restoration by Ed Jeter
Little Rock, AR

12 March 1998

As Dick has announced, my 89 year old father recently gave me a 6 HP Oliver Model J-4 manufactured in 1958 and I've decided to put it in first class mechanical and cosmetic condition.  If anyone has had experience tuning, rebuilding, or restoring an Oliver 6 horse I'd love to hear from you.

This engine may not even need any mechanical work.  It may start on the first pull of the starting lanyard and run like a hungry cheetah.  But since it has been over 30 years since it was last cranked, I'll be very surprised if it even tries to start during the first session, which is scheduled for this coming Saturday.

On occasion, I will enlist the aid of my associate in mechanical things, Robert Voll.  Robert is an aerial mapping photographer, a trader in high tech equipment, a cinematographer (for several years was the photographer for a nationally syndicated fishing show) and was a technician at Cape Canaveral for NASA during the Saturn-Apollo moon missions.  (He can be reached at rvoll@aristotle.net)

We'll start the project at his shop since mine is currently overcrowded with other projects.  Our first session will be to put Ollie in a barrel half filled with water and lubricate and free it up.  We will then mix a small quantity of fuel/oil mixture and try to crank it.  If it cranks, we'll then give it a longer test checking for water flow, leaks, and then compression.  If it doesn't crank, remove the flywheel and check the ignition system.  I know it's somewhere under the flywheel because the hi-tension cables to the sparkplugs come from somewhere under the flywheel.  The one that emerges from the port side goes to the top cylinder and the one emerging from the starboard side goes to the bottom cylinder.  Anytime we remove a part we'll take close-up pictures of what we find.

So, keep your fingers crossed and we'll report back later in the week and probably show a picture or two.

'til next time,

          Ed Jeter

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