Will This John Deere Model E Run Again – Part 2

Restoration of a 1926 John Deere Model E continues with fabrication of a new cart and repairs to the mixer and fuel pipe – Part 2 of 3

| February/March 2012

This is the second in a three part series on Peter Rooke's restoration of a John Deere Model E. You can view part 1 here and part 3 here. 

When the engine arrived it was bolted on a battered skid, slightly shorter than its original specification with extra bolt holes drilled in it.

I had considered buying a reproduction cart, but by the time carriage and duty were added to the base price this was well beyond my means. Fortunately, Smokstak members provided me with some help, particularly Jim McCracken who provided photos and measurements of his original cart, and Don Wiley who provided similar information about the cart he made.

The first step was to make a new skid to replace the damaged one the engine arrived on. I had been fortunate in acquiring some lengths of 30-year-old Scots pine (18 feet x 12-inch x 4-inch) which was denser than some softwood and would be cut up to make most of my future carts. After some sawing and planing, I ended up with two 33-inch long pieces of 2.625-inch x 3.375-inch profile. A search on Smokstak revealed details of the precise points to drill the 0.375-inch holes for the various mounting bolts for the iron work of the cart and the base plate of the engine.

The iron work for the truck would not be so easy to resolve. I had already found some four-spoke wheels, which were a little on the large size at just over 9 inches in diameter, but they would do for now as it will take time to find smaller ones. I also had some 1-inch steel rod that could be used for the axles.

The turntable and rear support should really be cast, but by the time the patterns were made and then cast, it would not be much more work to fabricate the pieces required from oddments of steel.