It's 'Mosely' made of John Deere Parts

Nevada Collector makes Unique Tractor from Spare Parts


| April/May 2004



Parts inventory and views of the 'Mosely'

The inspiration that demanded this fun little oddity came from all the representative and 'replica' tractors I see in the pages of Gas Engine Magazine. Reading about the very old Foos tractor (February 2002, page 21) really wound my watch, as did the neat and odd little Case stand-up unit (April 2002, page 17). I also can't forget the various homemade OilPull, John Deere and Case tractors I've read about, which also have really impressed me.

About the same time D.J. Baisch was building his Froelich beauty (November 2003, page 22), I noticed the main drive casting in a John Deere #4 mower sort of resembled a tractor. As it happens, I had four of these mowers to pick from, so I chose one that was broken where the drawbar bolts are usually put in place.

I researched what kind of engine I thought would work best, then I bought a 3 HP 1928 John Deere Type E from a couple I met at a Jerome, Idaho, swap meet in 2002. The engine came equipped with the original spark plug fixture, which 1 hooked up to a 'barbie (think barbeque) lighter' on the pushrod. The 'barbie lighter' uses the quartz guts of a butane lighter for spark - cheap and effective.

The transmission is a Warner T9 from an old dump truck: It should handle 3 HP without breaking.

I bought a 1940s John Deere feed mill for the wheels, sprockets, bolts, pulleys and belt. A very used-up swather provided the right-angle drive box. The homemade tractor's wear washers were made locally, and the king pin carrier is fabricated.

I had the wagon tires rolled of l/4-inch-by-4-inch hot-rolled steel stock. An anvil of railroad track was drilled through with a 1/2-inch drill bit, and the hole was counter-sunk with a 3/4-inch bit. I gathered up 14 'green' 3/8-inch-diameter carriage bolts and hammered each into the die until they were flat on top. I then drilled through the wagon tires and mower wheels with a 7/16-inch-diameter drill and counter-sunk them with a 3/4-inch drill. That made the bolts flush and ultimately gave a much better ride on the tractor.