Old Tractor Brought Back To Life

John Deere

Content Tools

17 Seventh Street Surf City, New Jersey 08008. 

This is the story of an old tractor brought back to life. I belong to a trapshooting club in the Jersey pinelands near Forked River, New Jersey. We have about 8 acres of cleared land and we were looking for a used tractor to do our mowing and maintenance.

Time went by without finding a tractor within our means, money wise. Finally one of our members whose name is Russell Algor spoke up and said that he had an old tractor sitting in a field in back of his house. He went on to say that it had been given to him by an old farmer who had used it for about 20 years and that it had finally stopped running and had been sitting for quite a few years.

I asked Russell what make of tractor it was and he said he thought it was a Ford but wasn't sure.

One day I took time to go and see what it was like and found it to be in sad shape.

The lower sheet metal and crank bracket were off and lying in the weeds, the radiator had been frozen and was in bad shape, the engine block had a large crack in the water jacket, the tires were flat and rotted, and the hood and other sheet metal were bent up and rusted.

The tractor seemed about hopeless and I was ready to forget about it.

Several weeks later I went to the club and saw the tractor and plow and cultivator parts dumped by one of our storage sheds. Russell had brought it there on a flat trailer.

I turned the belt pulley by hand and to my surprise the motor was free! I could hear the impulse coupling click in the magneto but there was no spark so I cleaned up the points in the magneto and we had spark. We put some gas in the tank and some oil in the cylinder to build up compression and turned it over a few times and to our surprise it started and ran with the old 'putt-putt' of the John Deeres.

The end result can be seen in the picture. It took about six weeks to do the job.

That is Russell Algor in the driver's seat and me (Gus Montrey) standing in back. We now have a self powered rotary mower to pull behind the tractor.

I have been restoring old gas engines and antique machinery for many years. I've subscribed to Gas Engine Magazine for some time and have found it very interesting and a good source of information and suggestions as to locating parts.

The tractor is a John Deere, Model L; Serial #L63113, year made unknown, engine is Hercules NXB, 3? x4'bore and stroke.