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John Deere Tractors Discussion Forum
Show Parts for Model:

1931 john deere GP

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Richard wyld

02-03-2013 18:46:30
69.31.202.35



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Hi fellas. I am looking for more info on this GP of mine serial # 225129A. Build date Jan 29 ,1931 and shipped to Edinburg Illinois, i posted awhile back just looking for more info on it wondering why they put an A at the end of the serial #. some one said they had different upgrades or other stuff, also something that this tractor was close to some serial # break.
Any more info much appreciated

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ecclap

02-08-2013 04:54:57
208.126.114.146



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 Re: 1931 john deere GP in reply to Richard wyld, 02-03-2013 18:46:30  
Great Richard! I will be looking forward to seeing more pictures and I'm glad to hear another "GP" is being restored. They are truly a unique tractor and these running changes throughout the production run are what really sets them apart. They were almost like a half-baked tractor at the beginning of production and were turned into something far more respectable by the time their run ended. It was clear to Deere I'm sure that he "A" series tractors that replaced them were leaps and bounds better, but they filled an important niche at the time. Thanks for sharing and please continue to do so.

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ecclap

02-07-2013 20:38:47
208.126.114.146



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 Re: 1931 john deere GP in reply to Richard wyld, 02-03-2013 18:46:30  
Richard

I believe what you have is a tractor that was originally built as an early big bore (1931). If your tractor has the tall radiator with the c1910 and c1911 sides, and two round openings in the fuel tank, then those features would be the ones that were put on as updates. These features were not put into regular production until 226402. I would also be interested in seeing your intake/exhaust manifold and the two brackets that hold the fuel tank up. This might help ID other parts that were updated. I think it's fairly accurate to say that for your tractor to originally have been a small bore tractor, it would have to have a c300r main case and single bolt main bearings. It seems that your tractor is in really good shape. Are you planning a full restoration?

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Richard wyld

02-07-2013 21:16:28
69.31.202.35



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 Re: 1931 john deere GP in reply to ecclap, 02-07-2013 20:38:47  
oh yes a full restoration in deed i will get you some more pics soon



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ecclap

02-06-2013 06:29:22
208.126.149.38



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 Re: 1931 john deere GP in reply to Richard wyld, 02-03-2013 18:46:30  
Richard

By glancing at your pictures I don't see anything that doesn't look like regular equipment on a 1931 "GP". There could still be something different about your tractor though. Your one picture shows the fuel tank. Does it have two round holes in it, or does it have a small threaded hole and a larger oval for the fuel? This is one of the changes that happened at 226402 according to the parts books. That's not to say it didn't happen to some earlier tractors.

The most evident changes at 226402 were made to the cooling system and fuel tank. The radiator was made taller to increase cooling capacity. The early radiator sides have a C257R casting number and the sides after the change were C1910R and C1911R. The core and other associated parts were also changed. When Deere increased the bore of the tractor to 6" they must have found out that the cooling system was not up to the task with the extra power and the elimination of the water injection system.

The fuel tank design was, in my opinion, a change made for safety more than anything. The tanks previous to 226402 have a small threaded cap for the gasoline portion of the tank and a large oval opening for the main fuel tank. The main tank takes the same cap as the radiator. This designed started with the first "D"s that came out. I believe the oval opening was to allow fuel (kerosene, tractor fuel, etc.) to be poured out of a bucket without using a funnel. The new fuel tank had the familiar round caps that were used on all of the later tractors.

The most important addition to the fuel tank was the addition of a heat shield like one of the previous posters stated. This consisted of two pieces of sheet metal with and "air gap" in between them spot welded together. This shield sat underneath the fuel tank. Sandwiched between the top of the shield an the tank was a sheet of asbestos insulation. This whole assembly was to prevent engine and manifold heat from boiling the fuel in the tank which was a safety and performance concern. I have personally witnessed an early 6" bore "GP" without these updates, boiling the gasoline in the sediment bowl. Talk about scary! The tank on the early tractors sits very close to the manifold and engine and working the tractor hard would tend to have this effect.

Other minor things were also changed at 226402 but they are mostly internal such as the pistons. One other thing you might want to check is the casting number of your final drive housings. This is located right below the brake drum. The housings were changed to the final design at 225841 so that is another possibility for an update to your tractor.

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Richard wyld

02-07-2013 19:11:05
69.31.202.35



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 Re: 1931 john deere GP in reply to ecclap, 02-06-2013 06:29:22  
well did some more looking and the the rad is updated but hard to tell on the final drives,the numbers are hard to see, the fuel tank has two bigger holes in it, but did find any heat shield. again sorry for the bad pics. so i take it this tractor was at one time probably a small bore ? and then updated to big bore hence the A on the serial # to keep tract of it from JD or the dealer. again thanks for your help on the topic of the GP, it is in very good shape and everything is there so it is for sure a keeper, who knows some day somebody else mite spot something on it or know more about it. thanks very much !

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A GURU

02-05-2013 09:12:47
75.228.234.161



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 Re: 1931 john deere GP in reply to Richard wyld, 02-03-2013 18:46:30  
All of this is very interestng stuff too me. Thanks so much for the info ET, ecclap, JDChris, and for initiating the post Richard. I don't own even a piece of a GP, but I still find the history and the details interesting. Too bad there isn't more info that has survived from branch houses, dealers, etc. Even so, I think it's very lucky that the amount of info that has survived, did.
The heat codes (yours Richard, 1-23-31) and case casting numbers (C300R, C1733R) are very telling as to when a tractor was likely first built. If you other guys haven't checked yours, you should do so.
So Chris, was yours originally one of the crossovers or no? Very cool history any way you look at it.
I think a nicely restored GPWT Overhead Steer is one of the coolest looking unstyled JD's there is. Looks like a GPWT ran into the axx end of a prototype model A : )
Would like to own one if I ever win the lottery.

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ET

02-05-2013 08:03:56
134.179.104.127



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 Re: 1931 john deere GP in reply to Richard wyld, 02-03-2013 18:46:30  
I have a GP with serial number 223803 built january 8, 1931. The tractors that were actually rebuilt small bores will sometime show 2 serial numbers when they are researched. One number is the origonal small bore number and the other number is the new number deere gave the tractor when it was updated. These early big bore tractors have main bearing caps held in place with a single set screw, a low radiator (it's a small bore radiator),no heat shield under the tank, the engine has a breather/filler in the crankcase cover like the A's do, the oil filter sets right in the hole for the red head oil pressure indicator, and of course the big bore block and intake wth the ensign K caburetor. I have seen an origonal Deere parts flyer that offered an update kit to bolt the big bore stuff into your old small bore tractor.

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JDChris

02-05-2013 14:29:59
107.205.109.182



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 Re: 1931 john deere GP in reply to ET, 02-05-2013 08:03:56  
ET
Serial # 223803 is the first one that was rebuilt! Wow what a good find! Any pics of it? Chris



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ET

02-05-2013 16:52:16
173.84.184.85



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 Re: 1931 john deere GP in reply to JDChris, 02-05-2013 14:29:59  
I don't have any pictures of on my computer. I restored it over 20 years ago. I have had it at several NYS Expo's. When I had it researched it came back with just one number, so it may not have been ever built as a small bore. The thing I have found with JR Hobbs research on GP's, is he tended to fill in gray areas of information with his own slant. My GP was sold new by Melvin Implement in Baldinsville NY.

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ecclap

02-05-2013 06:30:25
208.126.149.38



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 Re: 1931 john deere GP in reply to Richard wyld, 02-03-2013 18:46:30  
The history of the "GP" series of tractors is very interesting. I am by no means an expert on them but I have spent a lot of time looking at tons of examples. Many of the tractors that I have seen with an "A" on the serial tag have been small bore tractors with updated features such as crankcase breather assemblies and oil filters. There were so many ongoing changes and updates on these tractors it's hard to keep track of them.
These tractors were also being produced during the first few years of the Depression and often sat at dealers and branch houses for months (sometimes years) after they were built and shipped. Documents have been published stating huge inventories of pre-1930 "GP"s into the '34-'35 time period and probably well beyond. It made sense to update a lot of these tractors with "improved assemblies" to make them much more reliable (eg. oil filtration, ventilated crankcase, etc.) I have always thought of this as similiar to the pull- ahead design that auto manufacturers still use to update models before the update is put into full production.

Your tractor serial number is just prior to an important break at 226402. The most obvious changes at this serial number were to the cooling system and fuel tank if I remember correctly. I can get more details if you want. I would love to see any pictures that you may have.

P.S Sorry for the long post!

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Richard wyld

02-05-2013 20:16:27
69.31.202.35



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 Re: 1931 john deere GP in reply to ecclap, 02-05-2013 06:30:25  

well got some pics of the old girl but they are not the greatest, sorry. So at the end of the day i guess i have an GP big bore with some up grades. yes if you could dig a little more would be very helpful. we will be restoring this tractor soon,and thankyou very much to everybody that has helped with the info. some of the pics show the crank case breather like the A and the oil suction pipe, it has an ensign K carb and the same big round air breather and muffler as chris gp has. How wide is a bean gp front axle ? these are sure a mysterious tractor.

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JDChris

02-04-2013 07:27:24
107.205.109.182



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 Re: 1931 john deere GP in reply to Richard wyld, 02-03-2013 18:46:30  
HI Rich! That serial# and build date dont sound right! I have a 1931 that started as a 1930 GP Serial # 224010 Warehouse date Feb 6 1931 sent out Feb 7 1931! That serial # you posted is later than mine so it had to have been shipped in April of 1931! Post a couple pics of your tractor and on of the tag lets see if we can figure this out! Chris



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A GURU

02-04-2013 18:23:54
184.96.112.104



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 Re: 1931 john deere GP in reply to JDChris, 02-04-2013 07:27:24  
I know very little about GP's, might say nothing, but I always find it interesting when there is some kind of discrepancy in numbers or mystery to be solved. I had to do some digging after reading your reply to Richard. I found an article by J.R Hobbs from July 98 issue of GM. The article is a little confusing and there are a couple of typo's here and there but what comes out in the wash is that 223803-224056 were indeed 1930 models still in inventory into the 31 model year. I'm guessing you know this Chris, from what you said about yours? He said this group of 5 3/4" bore tractors were rebuilt into 6" bores (not to be confused with the crossovers) in Jan and Feb 1931 and that they are listed as 1931 model tractors in the serial number register. This would account for yours being "recorded" as being warehoused on 2/6/31 even though the tractor had originally been built in late 1930. Makes me wonder what the original handwritten register said about them in 1930? He went on to say that one telling feature of these "converted" tractors, which were for all practical purposes just like a 31 model, was that they retained the C300R maincase. So I would assume yours would have this maincase and Richard's would have the C1733R maincase? He also states that the true beginning serial number for 1931 is 224100 (leaving out 223803-224056), not the numbers listed by this website or T-C Club, and that tractor being built on 12/18/30.
Quite a story!!!
Did you know all of this about your tractor?

Sorry Richard, I don't know anything about your tractor other than the build date probably is correct and I would completely agree with what others have said that it may have to do with some updates. Probably is or was some record of it somewhere. Probably the dealer that did the work or possibly even a branch house, but also likely long lost.
I too would be interested in seeing a good pic of the tag. A pic of the tag and or maincase number on Chris' tractor would be interesting to me as well.
Love the details.

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Richard wyld

02-04-2013 20:46:27
69.31.202.35



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 Re: 1931 john deere GP in reply to A GURU, 02-04-2013 18:23:54  
well i did some looking and found the number on my main case. 1-23-31 is above the main case # C1733R, this number on flywheel side
i measured the pistons and she is stock 6" as we have it apart right now doing some investigating.
i will get some pics soon as my camera is junk.
wow what history and secrecy about these tractors.



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JDChris

02-04-2013 18:42:19
107.205.109.182



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 Re: 1931 john deere GP in reply to A GURU, 02-04-2013 18:23:54  

I will try to take some good pics of it I will post one now but im working on the tractor now trying to fix some leaks! Its all original and Its a hard tractor to find but looks the same as a big bore GP! I have both serial # on the tractor old serial# 223345 Was sent out and never sold! It has mostly all 1930 small bore parts but the block, head , manifold, carb, airstake and muffler are big bore! It is a very neat piece of John Deere History Chris

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Richard wyld

02-04-2013 18:10:45
69.31.202.35



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 Re: 1931 john deere GP in reply to JDChris, 02-04-2013 07:27:24  
will post some pics soon, thanks chris.



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