John Deere Gas Engine
De-rusting and un-sticking a John Deere, 1944, Model E, 3 HP, gas engine
This antique gas engine was brought to our plant by David Hillman an Arkansas rice farmer who collects antique farm equipment. The engine had been sitting in a field for many years and was heavily rusted inside and out. The piston had rusted to the cylinder wall freezing the engine.
Monday:
Brett Ingle our plant supervisor cleaned the engine with a water spray rinse and put the engine head first into one of our soak tanks. The tank held about 45 gallon of Evapo-Rust. The engine was allowed to soak over night. NOTE-It is not recommended to partially soak soft steel component for over 12 hours. Etching can take place at the water line and damage to parts can result. If possible, fully immerse the part into Evapo-Rust.
Tuesday:
The engine was removed and rinsed with water. Rust has been completely removed for the soaked area and the head bolts were loosened with slight wrench pressure then removed by hand. Once the head was removed it was apparent that the cylinder was full of mud and rust. The engine was then soaked on another side.
Wednesday:
Wednesday the right side of the engine was rinsed showing the rust had been removed, The bolts on the gear cover were loosened. The head had been soaked separately and now the valve were un-stuck and moved freely. The engine was placed back in Evapo-Rust to de-rust the last side.
Thursday:
Thursday the engine was removed and rinsed well 99% of the rust had been removed. The piston was disconnected from the drive shaft and the wheels spun freely. A 2×4 was placed in the cylinder against the piston. Two taps with a mallet were required to remove the piston. The entire engine was re-soaked for 8 hours to remove the last of the rust. The engine turned freely and there was no damage to any parts. It was then sprayed with Rust Block and is awaiting pick up by Mr. Hillman who assures us he will get it running. We’ll keep you posted on his progress.
FINAL ASSESSMENT
Amount of Evapo-Rust used: 45 gallons which were approximately 15% used up.

Total man hours spent: 3 hours @ $10/hr

Total cost of the project: ~$120 including labor at $10/hr