John Deere 'B'

Content Tools

3379 Macedonia Rd., Bethel, OH 45106

I have always been interested in tractors and have helped by dad work on them. But three years ago I got the tractor fever. I kept bugging my dad to let me get a tractor, but he wouldn't let me. He had many tractors he said I could restore, but I wanted one of my own. I had my eye on a John Deere 'B' that a lady my mom works with owned. I found out what she wanted for it, but my dad said it was too much. After about a month my mom said that the lady would take a hundred dollars less for the tractor. As soon as my dad got home I asked him if I could get it. He said yes. That weekend we went and bought the tractor. After we got it home, we evaluated it. The John Deere was a 1935 short frame. It had rusted off back rims with bad tires. Somebody had tried to paint it with a brush without even cleaning it or anything. The fellow who hauled it home for us said it looked like it had a camouflaged paint job and he was right it looked bad. They also put a clamp on the clutch lever to keep it in gear, but all the clutch needed was adjusting it wasn't even loose or worn out. It supposedly ran, but who knows how many years ago that was. The carburetor was full of water, the mag was just about dead and many other things were wrong. But after about a day of hard work we pulled it a few feet to get it started. We could tell it needed a valve job, as we could only get it to run on one cylinder and not very good at that. Both radiator pipes leaked also. We tore it apart for what we thought was a simple valve job, but it turned out to be a complete overhaul. We also noticed that the fan shaft gears howled pretty bad so we knew they needed to be replaced. By the time we got the tractor done, we had put into it new rings, fan shaft gears and bearings, governor parts and many other little parts that added up. We then started the tractor up, but it still didn't run right. It seemed like we took the carburetor off a million times but it still didn't help.

There was only one other thing it could be and that was the mag. We found a good mag at a show and put it on. It started right up and ran perfectly. We bought brand new tires, replaced the back wheels, cleaned and primed it and straightened the dents in the hood. Then we painted it and put the decals on. I showed it two years at the Ohio Valley Antique Machinery Show. I never gave up hope of getting steel wheels for it. After the show last year we traded with a friend for two parts tractors. They had everything on them mine needed to be completely original: a flat spoke steering wheel, teardrop drawbar, toolbox, and skeleton steel wheels. The steering wheel had to be all redone because it had been outside for so long just about all of the plastic had broken off. I worked two weeks getting the steering wheel back to its original shape with all of the little grooves. This year was the first year it has been to the show with steel wheels and everything. Now I am looking for another tractor.