Great-Grandfather's John Deere

Engine with Oil Pump Gear

Content Tools

10113 106 Avenue, Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada T8V 1J9.

My great-grandfather, Peter E. Schroeder, immigrated from Kansas in 1921 and bought land in the Peace River Country, west of Clairmont, Alberta, Canada. He brought with him a John Deere type E engine.

I did some research and discovered it was purchased for $24.95 from a John Deere dealer in Kansas and was brought up in an ox cart. It pumped water and ran the forge and grinder for 20 years.

My dad told me that in the winter, grandpa used to heat up the mag, put hot water in it, and after two cranks it started.

After grandpa died about 1960, it sold to another farmer, Ewald Epe, who farms at LaGlace, Alberta. He used it for ten years on his well then replaced it with a Briggs & Stratton. The old J.D. engine was to retire to pasture and there it sat to rust for eight years.

I never knew about this until one day at our farm in Clairmont, I was digging around some old junk and came across the manual with the bill of sale for this particular engine. I had a lot of research to do to find out who now owned it.

I discovered it belonged to Mr. Epe who was a good friend of my dad. I then called him and inquired about grandpa's old engine and when he said he wasn't using it anymore, I asked if he would sell it to me. I paid $50.00 for it, rust and all.

Feeling pleased with my deal and proud of owning something that once belonged to my great-grandfather, I brought it home and had my brother, who is a John Deere mechanic, look it over.

We began taking it apart when to my dismay we discovered two teeth were broken from the timing gear and also five teeth were broken off the oil pump gear. The only thing I could do now was to take it to our local John Deere dealer and ask the partsman if he could still get the parts that were missing. He said he would have to check on it since it was a very old engine. Two days later he called and had the rings for $40.00 and the oil gear for $55.00.

After purchasing these parts I took the timing gear to a local school's shop department and they welded in the new teeth.

Since the old engine was made of cast iron, it took me five hours to file the teeth into shape. I ordered some new decals, found a couple of iron skids from an old McCormick Deering engine, got the unit sandblasted, used two coats of red primer, and sprayed it with some new green paint. I put yellow stripes on the crank flywheels and added some decals from a John Deere garden tractor and now she looks like new.

I took it to our John Deere dealer where they helped me start it and now it runs like a dream. In exchange for the labor, I made up a float using my John Deere type E, 1? HP for our local parade.

According to the owner's manual, it was made in April 1919. Just goes to show what good stuff John Deere makes! By the way, it took me about one year to get it all completed.

I'm a salesman for Grande Prairie Honda and also did some farming before I moved to the city. Most folks feel that Canada is a land of ice and snow, but actually it's much different than that. There are lots of beautiful farms here and lots of oil.

Any comments, please feel free to write.