Will This John Deere Model E Run Again – Part 3

Restoration of 1926 1-1/2 HP John Deere Model E is completed with magneto and igniter fixes, a paint job and assembly – Part 3 of 3


| April/May 2012


This is the third in a three part series on Peter Rooke’s restoration of a John Deere Model E. You can view part 1 here and part 2 here. 

The magneto on the John Deere Model E was covered with a coat of dirt and had, at some time in its life, been repainted green. At first glance the casting looked good, but on later examination a crack was seen around the front bearing. At the end of the day, no effort was made to repair this, as the end plate looked strong enough. No attempt was made to turn the shaft of the magneto either, as there were no caps on the oil holes and both were full of dirt.

The output screw and collector were the first items unscrewed from the John Deere Model E. The gear wheel was removed next by unscrewing the nut and then using a small puller, taking care not to lose the small woodruff key. This enabled the cover plate to be removed.

If John Deere Model E’s magneto is stripped, it will need remagnetising if it is going to keep a full charge. The screws were removed from the end cap, which was then slid off, enabling the armature to be removed. While stripping the magneto, the magnet was also removed after releasing the steel band. Not wishing to exert force that might fracture the delicate metal of the main body, a screw-adjustable support used on the milling machine was put inside the magnet to push it open by a few thousands of an inch so that it could be eased off. The same method was used to replace the magnets.



A new spring lid cap was fitted to the flywheel-side oil hole, but no cap was fitted on the gear side as it was difficult to get under the “skirt” of the gear once it was fitted.

After all parts were given a good cleaning and the bearings lightly oiled, re-assembly could start. The armature was replaced, then the front plate screwed on and finally the collector was screwed into place. The cover plate for the crank cover was not yet fitted and the nut on the gear wheel was only finger-tight, as the wheel would later be removed as part of the assembly process to fit the plate and gaskets.














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