Twisted Crankshaft 'D' John Deere

| July/August 1993

  • 'D' John Deer Tractor
    No, it's not a 'D' John Deere with a Titan engine in it, but it runs like one.

  • 'D' John Deer Tractor

R.R.2, Box 111 Hillsboro, Kansas 67063.

Having grown up on a farm with the familiar 2-cylinder popping, Wilbert K. Bartel thought it would be humorous relief to change the tone of the D's exhaust.

A 200 HP, type S. I. De Lavergne engine inspired him to convert a 2-cylinder John Deere to a 360-degree firing order. He did just that some five years ago in his machine shop near Hillsboro, Kansas.

The guinea pig selected for the project was a styled D purchased from a friend at an affordable price. This tractor was definitely not in showroom condition. The head, block and radiator had suffered from severe frost cracks.

On the inside, Bartel found well burned valves, worn bearings and pistons with at least three-sixteenths-inch clearance, and an oil pump drawing from several inches of sludge. The rest of the tractor was in the condition you would expect when there are boots in each tire.

The crankshaft and camshaft were removed from the tractor. Bartel began the modifying process by cutting the crankshaft at two places with an oxygen cutting torch, allowing the center diagonal to be removed. Then one-half of the crankshaft was rotated 180 degrees, the throws were put together, and then welded back together on a specially fabricated jig. Additional counter weights were added to provide proper balance for the pistons which now traveled together back and forth.