1937 3 HP John Deere EP

Green and clean


| February/March 2010



john deere 1

This view of Richard Dechant’s 1937 3 HP John Deere Type EP engine shows the enclosed cylinder head, air cleaner and enclosed pushrod. The assembled pushrod is attached to the crankcase with the packing gland nut.

Photo by Richard Dechant

1937 John Deere Type EP
Manufacturer: John Deere, Waterloo, Iowa
Year: 1937
Type: EP
Horsepower: 3
Bore: 4-1/2-inch
Stroke: 5-1/2-inch
Flywheel diameter: 20-3/4 inches
Flywheel width: 2 inches
Governor: Hit-and-miss
Ignition: Sparkplug with WICO impulse magneto

John Deere introduced the EP stationary engine in 1937, starting with serial number 343975. The EP engine was designed primarily to power John Deere implements and as an all-purpose engine for the dusty conditions of Southern potato and peanut fields. The “E” stands for “environment” while the “P” stands for “protected.” The EP engine is also called the Southern E and the peanut engine.

Some of the EP engines were shipped from the factory to Deere & Webber Co. in Minneapolis, Minn. There, the oil bath air cleaner and the large muffler were removed and replaced with the regular 3 HP Type E mixer body (part number E 89 RT) and muffler (part number AE 70 RT). The Deere & Webber branch house sold these engines on the Dain No. 14 hay press. (Our generation would know the hay press as a hand-feed and hand wire-tied hay bailer.) This engine became know as the Northern EP.

The EP engine was only made in the 3 HP size, with an enclosed head and pushrod to protect the valves and exhaust lever from dust. The EP engine also has an oil bath air cleaner, main bearing dust shields and a cover for the water hopper. The crankcase is vented. The muffler used on the EP is similar to the muffler used on the John Deere BR tractor. The hit-and-miss governor controls the RPM of the engine by eliminating the power stroke (the pushrod holds the exhaust valve open until the engine RPM decreases). The WICO impulse magneto will fire the spark plug on every fourth piston stroke, even though the exhaust valve is being held open by the hit-and-miss governor.

The search begins
Before buying my 1937 John Deere EP engine, I made a list of the casting/part numbers along with pictures of the individual parts that make up an EP engine. (The casting/part numbers and pictures were copied from the January 15, 1945, Repair Catalog No. 4 – T for John Deere models “E”, “EK”, and “EP” Engines.) With my list in hand, I set out to find a John Deere Type EP engine. The following is the result of my research.

The enclosed cylinder head
The front of the cylinder head is completely enclosed to protect the intake and exhaust valves, the exhaust lever pivot-bearing surface and the pushrod pivot-bearing surface from dusty environments. The exhaust lever is lubricated with an oiler cup on the end of the exhaust lever cap screw that extends to the top of the enclosed cylinder head.