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

  • Antique John Deere Left View
    Antique engine restorer Peter Rooke’s latest restoration project, a 1926 1-1/2 HP John Deere Model E, is now complete.
  • Deere Igniter
    The igniter removed from the engine.
  • Stripped Magneto
    The stripped magneto.
  • Deere Moveable Electrode
    The reground moveable electrode taper seat.
  • Deere Igniter No Electrode
    The igniter after the fixed electrode was removed.
  • Deere Igniter No Moveable Electrode
    The igniter after the moveable electrode was removed.
  • Deere Igniter Partially Assembled
    The igniter partially assembled, with main spring, anvil and hammer.
  • Deere Complete Igniter
    The complete igniter, ready to fit on the engine.
  • John Deere Primed Lettering
    The main casting primed, ready to outline the lettering.
  • John Deere Repainted Lettering
    The John Deere name - built up with paint before applying the engine top coat.
  • John Deere Worn Paint
    After the engine top coat was applied, the top of the name was scored with sandpaper, showing yellow paint underneath.
  • John Deere Repainted Yellow Lettering
    Refinished John Deere lettering.
  • John Deere Fuel Tank Fitting
    Fitting the fuel tank, showing the sandwich of gaskets and fuel tank top.
  • John Deere Timing Mark On Gears
    The paint on the timing mark on the gears.
  • John Deere Fitting Bearing Shims
    Starting to fit the second set of main bearing shims.
  • John Deere Piston Ring Compressor
    Using a piston ring compressor when fitting the piston.
  • John Deere Governor
    Governor showing cam follower and hook up lever.
  • John Deere Gasket In Place
    The gasket in place for the crank cover.
  • John Deere Breather Components
    The breather components: The brazed repair resulting from the exit hole being moved for more effective operation.
  • Finished John Deere Restoration
    Antique engine restorer Peter Rooke’s latest restoration project, a 1926 1-1/2 HP John Deere Model E, is now complete.
  • John Deere Completed Breather
    The completed breather in place.

  • Antique John Deere Left View
  • Deere Igniter
  • Stripped Magneto
  • Deere Moveable Electrode
  • Deere Igniter No Electrode
  • Deere Igniter No Moveable Electrode
  • Deere Igniter Partially Assembled
  • Deere Complete Igniter
  • John Deere Primed Lettering
  • John Deere Repainted Lettering
  • John Deere Worn Paint
  • John Deere Repainted Yellow Lettering
  • John Deere Fuel Tank Fitting
  • John Deere Timing Mark On Gears
  • John Deere Fitting Bearing Shims
  • John Deere Piston Ring Compressor
  • John Deere Governor
  • John Deere Gasket In Place
  • John Deere Breather Components
  • Finished John Deere Restoration
  • John Deere Completed Breather

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.