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1909 Reo single cylinder engine rebuild manual


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Unless someone in recent times has created them, this is something you are not likely to find. It is unlikely that contemporary plans existed outside the factory. The "shop manual" as we know it is a much later invention. The maker would have presumed that anyone taking an engine apart knew what they were doing and, to an extent, they would have been correct because these early engines are very simple. Today, many people attempting this work have never seen the inside of a brass-era engine. Despite the advances in technology, in an odd sense most people today are less qualified to work on them than the village blacksmith was in 1909.

 

Having done this sort of work...go slowly and carefully. It is easy to take a ton of digital pictures as you go. If something is difficult to take apart that is because you aren't doing it right. Look for hidden pins holding things together. Do not assume that the way it comes apart is the way it goes together unless the engine has never been apart. People made mistakes many years ago just as they do today.

 

And...when you get it apart post some photos and ask how you might go about repairing things. There are several very experienced brass car enthusiasts here, with years of practical experience, probably more than you are likely to meet anywhere else.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Keep in mind that dynamic balancing was not invented in 1909. It doesn't appear until much later. Auto engineers understood the value of precise balancing much earlier but the only effective way to accomplish it was to make certain that the weight of the reciprocating parts was equal. I am not certain how this works out in a one-cylinder engine where there are no counterbalancing weights on the crankshaft. The one-cylinder engines I've worked on (not many) did not have any facility for balancing. That said, I suspect that you are more likely to have a problem with flywheel balancing or other parts like the transmission. I'm assuming the 1909 REO has a planetary transmission but I'd look at parts other than the engine first.

 

Dynamically balancing the crankshaft will do no harm and will likely make some improvement but I'm not sure it will solve the problem is the imbalance is pronounced.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Well what happened was engine builder replaced cast iron piston will aluminum piston so this Leeds is to believe we are out of balance. Any Higher rpm then idle and the genders almost shake the car apart. 
So we are not entirely sure if we are doing the right thing but we will find out. Thanks again

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That is an extremely common repair and doesn't generally cause problems. I have done it myself with a one-cylinder Cadillac. But, I don't know the one-cylinder REO engine so, were it my car, I'd certainly look at it and, if possible, balance it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I replaced a cast iron piston in a 1907 Brush with aluminum piston. Several reasons for this replacement but one of the first and foremost is there is less stress on the crankshaft because of the lighter piston, second you will have better compression and oil wash on cylinder wall because of the modern rings. I believe you may have the spark advance to high, try reducing the amount of advance and it should help with the vibration. (especially if you are experiencing the vibration while the car is not under load).  You will find that there is a "sweet spot" for the advance and it is usually much LESS than you think for maximum power assuming the engine is properly timed. I did have the flywheel balanced when I rebuilt  my motor and found it was only off by 1 gram which we corrected by drilling. Amazing considering the era! Good luck with your project. 

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