Is It A Hit Or a Miss? Field-Brundage 3 HP Engine


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No, this isn’t an old tractor missing the two front wheels, it just looks like one! It’s actually an old “hit-n-miss” engine, and those two giant “wheels” are actually the flywheels that keep it going in between “hits”. The seller lives in Grafton, Ohio, and the engine is for sale here on eBay, where bidding is below $200 with no reserve.


Unfortunately, the engine is missing several components, is frozen, and has a welded crack in the cylinder. But at that price, what do you expect, an engine that runs smoothly? Heck, even when it was running, it had a maximum of 450 RPM!


Field-Brundage manufactured this type of engine from around 1905 to 1920. We don’t know exactly how old this one is, but here is a video of a slightly larger one running. The flywheels keep the rotating mass circulating, and as they eventually slow down, the mechanism that controls the spark fires the cylinder again.


Here’s a close up of the crack that’s been repaired in the cylinder. Do you think anyone who buys this is cracked? Is this find a hit with you, or does it miss the mark? Happy April Fool’s Day, and let us know in the comments!


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  1. sparkster

    Auto shop class at my high school in Santa Cruz , California had one of these in green and the teacher started it up one day back in 1971. At full rpm’s it would walk across the floor.

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  2. JamestownMike

    Sorry but I thought the idea of “Barn Finds” was to feature CLASSIC AUTOMOBILES and MOTORCYCLES?? Yesterday you featured a beat up dismantled helicopter in someones yard, today you’ve featured and actual barn, an 86′ meat van and now a hit and miss motor!?! I know today’s April Fools Day and all, but come on! Recently you guys have been ALL OVER THE BOARD!……..please FOCUS on actual barn find classics!

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    • grant

      Ya, I get you, and I usually agree, but this is a hundred year old piece of machinery. Totally qualifies. And settle down with the exclamation points. Your like a puppy, I’m afraid you’re going to piddle on the rug. Keep calm, and and enjoy the rusty old cars. It could’ve been a Chevette.

      Like 1
  3. Van

    I think we would all like to have one of these.
    In the man cave, or in the corner of the family room.

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  4. crazydave

    I’d just LOVE to have a real Hit & Miss engine. They sound so neat running as they coast down with a “chuff-chuff-chuff” followed by the BANG BANG as it hits a couple of times to bring the RPM back up.

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  5. Mikey

    Here in the PA Dutch area they have these around in the summer time operating

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  6. Paul R.

    Basically a mobile power plant in the day. Used around the farm from pumping water, milling grain to running the washing machine. Anything you could run off of a drive belt. This one looks fairly complete and could easily be restored. Many used a buzz box style ignition similar to a model T Ford.
    Most all I have seen have had a crack brazed at sometime. Castings were not that great back then.

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  7. Puhnto

    Just about every town in New England has an “antique engine show” from the spring through the summer. A field full of these, in every size imaginable, all popping and huffing and chuffing. Often hauled in on some old antique truck. It’s awesome.

    My dad called them “poppin’ Johns.” The engine POPS and then spins and spins and spins and then POPS again. The idea is to get as many spins from one pop as possible. Good stuff. Should always be welcome in BF.

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  8. Mike

    I have seen these running small generators for farm equipment also lights in barns, these a beautiful when running, and I have seen them with cracks that have been brazed and still running!!!

    Like 0

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