New Life For A ‘B’ JOHN DEERE

By Staff
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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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