New Life For A 'B' JOHN DEERE

| June/July 1986

  • John Deere B tractor

  • John Deere B tractor

RR#2, Scottsburg, IN 47170

In September of 1984, my wife, Norma, bought me a 1935 John Deere B tractor for my birthday. I've always liked the old John Deeres, and discovered this one covered with hone suckle alongside the interstate. After six weeks of searching for the right owner, the day came to bring the 'B' home. We had decided to pull it home with a homemade trailer, one that carries the front wheels of the tractor. It was a five mile trip back, and with that old 'B' jumping up and down and growling it seemed like it took forever. Especially since at least twice every mile, Norma would ask, 'Are you sure it's out of gear?' After we reached the house, and safely tucked the 'B' into the garage, then came the rather large task of finding all the problems this poor John Deere had. On first glance I saw that the water drain plug was gone. But looking closer I found a cork driven up in the head. Well, I thought, there's a head and maybe a block, too. When I dug the cork out, this dirty, murky liquid ran out, I caught some in a can and checked it and believe it or not it was pure antifreeze. We found out later it had a bent and twisted countershaft, two gears with broken teeth, and every bearing and gasket had to be replaced. So we just decided to start from scratch. That old 'B' had sat outside for about 15 years, and it sure did show it. We had to replace the radiator, radiator cap, breather stack, muffler, exhaust pipe, drawbar, seat, radiator hoses plus the aforementioned shaft gears, bearings, gaskets, plus four new tires and tubes. We even had to replace the mag. It was an old Wico AP, and we were told we couldn't get parts for it anymore. Also while we had it torn apart we ground the valves and put in new rings.

Most things you can buy new, like gauges and spark plug wires, but if it weren't for a couple of friends of mine with some old junk tractors, I would still be paying for new major parts if you can even get them. I just can't put into words how cold you get when you're kneeled down in the snow beside a junk tractor without any back wheels, trying to remove a transmission countershaft.

Finally, it was time to reassemble our garage full of parts, and would you believe, 'it looked like a tractor'! After many hours of scraping and sanding it was ready for a fresh coat of John Deere green and new decals.

After nine months of frustrations and cries of, 'I'm just going to sell it!'' we now have a brass tag 'B' that we are very proud of.


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