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

  • John Deere Model E
     Antique engine restorer Peter Rooke’s latest restoration project is this 1926 John Deere Model E.    
  • Drilling
    Drilling holes in the axle bars.
  • Rear Support
    The completed rear support after welding.
  • Turntable
    Setting up to profile the top of the turntable.
  • Front Axle Assembly
    First three components of the front axle assembly.
  • Central Turntable Part
    Drilling and milling the central part of the turntable.
  • Rubbing Plate
    Rubbing plate and fillets ready to weld to the top part.
  • Bottom Components
    Components for the bottom part of the turntable.
  • Rough Shaping
    Rough shaping the central part on the mill after welding to top.
  • Turntable to Axle
    Welding the bottom of turntable to axle. Note the use of the block and rod to hold the axle square.
  • Front Assembly
    The completed front assembly.
  • Welding
    Rough shaping the top part of the turntable on the mill, holding it on a rotary table.
  • New Piston Rings
    Fitting the new piston rings using shim stock.
  • Check Valve
    The check valve with new filter. Note the V-cut in the end of the fuel pipe at right.
  • Cart
    Completed ironwork on the cart, ready for painting.

  • John Deere Model E
  • Drilling
  • Rear Support
  • Turntable
  • Front Axle Assembly
  • Central Turntable Part
  • Rubbing Plate
  • Bottom Components
  • Rough Shaping
  • Turntable to Axle
  • Front Assembly
  • Welding
  • New Piston Rings
  • Check Valve
  • Cart

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.