My 'Johnny Popper' Tractor

| May/June 1993

  • Johnny Popper tractor

  • Johnny Popper tractor

320 East 15 th Street, Wahoo, Nebraska 68066

Our 'Johnny Popper' was built in the late summer of 1992. The tractor is something I've always been wanting to build.

Power for the tractor is a 1945 John Deere 1 horsepower gas engine. The frame-steering linkage and rear end are from an early Sears garden tractor. The power from the engine is transferred to a side pulley on the rear end by a V-belt and a hand controlled idler pulley. The tractor has one forward speed which is about as fast as normal walking speed. Prior to painting the engine, I rebuilt the igniter, put new rings on the piston, installed a new oil pan and cleaned up the magneto and recharged it. That was really all that needed to be done to the engine mechanically. The engine did have a crack about four inches long on the bottom of the water hopper, right through the water drain hole. It was repaired by Rick Gustafson of rural Wahoo.

I finished the tractor just in time for one of the last shows of the year Old Trusty at Clay Center, Nebraska. As soon as I cranked over the engine at the show, my son Michael jumped on the tractor and drove it around the Clay Center Fairgrounds all day.

This year we plan to attend more shows with our 'Johnny Popper.' One show we will be sure to go to is the Camp Creek Threshing Show, two miles east of Waverly, Nebraska July 17 & 18, 1993.