Mi 'D' Nice

| August/September 1998

  • Wheel Horse riding lawn mower

  • Homemade tractor

  • 1972 Sears & Roebuck 12 HP riding lawn mower

  • Wheel Horse riding lawn mower
  • Homemade tractor
  • 1972 Sears & Roebuck 12 HP riding lawn mower

3125 Oak Hill Drive Granbury, Texas 76048

Nice maybe! 'D' eceiving probably, but that is as far as it goes, being a real 'D' John Deere tractor that is.

Five years ago, I decided I wanted to build some kind of little 'D' tractor out of a riding lawn mower like a lot of people were doing back then.

So I started collecting all sorts of parts like wheels, seats, a radiator, all sizes of pulleys, an engine, and all sorts of junk that I thought I might need (some I never used). The wheels are factory John Deere round spoke wheels. The rear wheels are 16' and the front wheels are 12'. The radiator is off of a 1936 'B' John Deere tractor. I had to narrow it down some and make it shorter to make it look like it fit. The hood and fenders were made by Tired Iron Farms in Bristol, Indiana. They are built like a big 'D' fender, but shrunk down to fit 16' wheels and 8' x 16' tractor tires. The foot boards on the inside of the fenders, the rear floor board in between the rear fenders that you stand on, the seat bucket, and fender brackets were made in my shop. The engine is a IHC LB 1-2 flywheel engine built in 1936. The lower frame and gas tank in the frame was built by Steven Pneumatics of Boyd, Texas, out of an aluminum channel frame off of an aluminum trailer. The welding was done by Robert Troxell of Troxell & Company out of Boyd, Texas, because my welding is not so pretty. The paint is an acrylithane base made by Jones Blair, in John Deere color.

All of this started out as a 1972 Sears & Roebuck 12 HP riding lawn mower, but not much is left; even the front axle is out of a 10 HP Wheel Horse riding lawn mower.

Two years ago, I started to assemble all this junk, and not being a patient man, several times frustration set in and it was put on the back burner for a little while. Without access to a machine shop, I would have to build each part several times from scratch. Then, some other part would be in the way and I would have to rebuild that part again, like the clutch, the stopping and parking brake. These are all contained in a small concealed area under the top of the rear frame. After all of this, sometimes I would think 'Is all of this worth it?' and the answer would be 'YEAH.'

The closer I got to finishing up, the greater the desire was to get the task over with, and thank God it is over. My wife, Ann, sure does.

We call this little tractor a 'D-' because it falls short of what a real 'D' is. I have really enjoyed showing this tractor and I hope everyone has enjoyed viewing it as much.

It was shown at the Fredericksburg Show at Stonewall, Texas, on June 28-29, 1997 and at the National John Deere Two Cylinder Tractor Expo in Fairview, Oklahoma, on July 26-27, 1997, with a good reception at both.


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