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John Deere Tractors Discussion Forum
Show Parts for Model:

Unstyled A project

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Sbradstreet

03-04-2014 13:44:39
76.179.81.56



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Hey folks! Been reading a tons of post lately, but new to YT. Ive just recently started tearing into my gramps 37 Unstyled A that has been sitting for 30 years in the back of the shop. It was locked up and fluid in the #2 cylinder. After remove the head and block the tractor spins freely. Drive train looks good and solid with minor wear from shifting. My father and I tore it down yesterday and everything looks sound and fair shape. It's all original, and everything is there. Block has never been touched with original pistons, rods and bearings. The bottom of the head has a triangle shape of iron missing which I'm pretty sure froze at one time. See below. Would like some advice on the head repair as too if anybody has had luck welding that area, and on what to do the block. The pitting on the liners is not to bad but I don't believe just honing will get all the imperfections out. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. If we do .045 the block i would need new pistons and rings and possibly rods to where these are the early A107 con-rods. Any advice on the boring the block and .045' kits with early styled rods would be huge thanks.

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SBradstreet

03-07-2014 10:52:42
76.179.81.56



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to Sbradstreet, 03-04-2014 13:44:39  

few more pictures



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Sbradstreet

03-06-2014 18:02:04
76.179.81.56



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to Sbradstreet, 03-04-2014 13:44:39  
Getting a parts list together looking for helping verifying part numbers. Tractor serial # 453xxx

Standard Piston Rings PN: AA 2047R

Looking for a set of original rings standard bore if anyone has some to purchase



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SBradstreet

03-05-2014 19:14:20
76.179.81.56



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to Sbradstreet, 03-04-2014 13:44:39  
Cleaned and lite hone the cylinders.

Pistons are nasty, all surface junk. They came apart easy.

Wanted to see how bad the ring gap was but couldn't find my feelers...look like I'll be buying some.





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A GURU

03-05-2014 14:38:07
184.99.197.70



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to Sbradstreet, 03-04-2014 13:44:39  
Just a couple things I would add in addition to everything else that's been said, not really even related to the repair work. Truly "original" blocks do freeze bust easier that replacements, on the flat bottom. If the block has a large crescent on the bottom and no heat code on top, then it's not original, but does resist breaking a lot better. If the short intake pipe is not a "cutdown", hang on to that jewel, because they are pretty scarce, and the muffler would have been the same height.
Nice looking project. Keep the updates and the pics coming!

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SBradstreet

03-06-2014 07:59:18
76.179.81.56



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to A GURU, 03-05-2014 14:38:07  

here is a couple head pictures



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A GURU

03-06-2014 15:41:34
184.99.197.70



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to SBradstreet, 03-06-2014 07:59:18  
Your block is indeed an original, not a later replacement. The code indicates the 102nd heat for the 37 model year. Your maincase will have a similar number next to the maincase part number, A1140R. It's on the right side, below/ahead of the clutch pulley. This maincase heatcode number almost certainly will not be the same as the block, possibly not even close but it usually does have a fairly close relationship to the serial number. If you have any interest in such details, I could elaborate more.
I have been gathering serial number/heatcode number/powerlift number/misc. info, on unstyled A's (and others) for some time now (there are lots of posts in the archives). No pressure whatsoever, but if you don't mind sharing the info with me sometime, I would sure appreciate it. I can't offer much in return, other than giving you a build date estimate based on the serial number. Like I said, no pressure, and email is open if you prefer.
Love the tractor. Keep up the posts/pictures as you go

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Sbradstreet

03-06-2014 16:06:25
76.179.81.56



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to A GURU, 03-06-2014 15:41:34  
Thanks a ton and definetly interested in all you can offer. I'll grab them other case numbers too. My 80 year old grandfather (owner) is baffled by all the info on the internet. Especially with info from gentlemen like yourself. We do have an older 36A that I'll get the numbers off that as well if your interested. Thanks again



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A GURU

03-06-2014 16:32:47
184.99.197.70



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to Sbradstreet, 03-06-2014 16:06:25  
No, Thank you. The obscure kind of stuff that is interesting to me is of little interest to most folks. Guess it's the history/details/info junkie in me. I'm always looking for a clue or trying to solve a mystery of some kind. It's always good to see someone younger interested in the old tractors too. Sorry to say that I'm of no help on the actual questions that you originally asked.

I would be glad to know the info on the other one as well, and will elaborate on the heatcode, serial number connection after you post that, or email. I would be interested to know the powerlift serial numbers as well, if they are still there and legible. Those tags frequently are damaged or gone due to their location on top of the rockshaft housing. I can also tell you whether the powerlift(s) are likely originals or not, based on their number in relationship to the tractors serial number (powerlifts are frequently added/swapped from another tractor). You can have your serial numbers researched by Two-Cylinder Club, for $35 each plus shipping, but I can give you a pretty good ballpark estimate (usually within 3 or 4 days of actual build) for free. Thanks again and no hurry.

I'm also interested in the large engine/ship background. I used to be an engineer on a Mississippi River towboat years ago. We had Fairbanks-Morse OP's on one and EMD's on the other.

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SBradstreet

03-07-2014 06:49:16
166.182.83.251



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to A GURU, 03-06-2014 16:32:47  

rockshaft#
powertrol
case tag#

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A GURU

03-07-2014 09:58:57
184.99.197.70



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to SBradstreet, 03-07-2014 06:49:16  
Thanks for the pics. You can just relate the numbers without pics if you like, and email is always open if you prefer to keep it private/not jumble up the post. No matter to me either way.

Heat codes are often difficult to read from photos due to them being poorly cast. It looks to me like the heatcode is 111-37, this would equate to being cast maybe about the 3rd/4th week of March 37. The powerlift number is very clear (an exceptional tag, very nice). If I had to take a wild stab in the dark at a serial number I would say something right around 454000, but that could be off some. That would be in the range that would best match both of those numbers. Your powerlift (it's not a power-trol, just a decal) is just right and I would say is original to the tractor. Can't give a very close estimate on a build date without the SN but 454000 would be about the 2nd week of April 37. This is when model A production was at it's peak, about 114 model A's per work day.
Looks to me like you have a good "part matching" tractor. I wouldn't try to sway you either way, but my advice would be to hang onto these tractors if they mean anything sentimental to you at all. Your Grandfather having had them since the 60's, would be all it would take for me. You won't find too many folks saying they wished they had gotten rid of something their Grandpa had, years down the road : )

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SBradstreet

03-07-2014 10:32:31
76.179.81.56



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to A GURU, 03-07-2014 09:58:57  

The SN: 453655
454000 is pretty damn good.
Thanks for your info.



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SBradstreet

03-05-2014 17:29:49
76.179.81.56



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to A GURU, 03-05-2014 14:38:07  
I'll check the block out in the morning. You have me wondering tonight!



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greenday

03-05-2014 12:17:10
204.185.166.101



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to Sbradstreet, 03-04-2014 13:44:39  
if the block is original then there are no sleeves



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SBradstreet

03-05-2014 09:34:16
76.179.81.56



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to Sbradstreet, 03-04-2014 13:44:39  
What is the max tolerances on the sleeves you would go for original standard rings an pistons. I have heard 5.510" for standard rings?



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SBradstreet

03-04-2014 20:57:25
76.179.81.56



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to Sbradstreet, 03-04-2014 13:44:39  
Die penetrant is very simple. The stuff I use comes in spray cans. Alcohol, die, developer.

Clean the part with alcohol then wipe clean.

Spray on the die penetrant typically red die.... Let soak for a few minutes...then wipe clean. And dry for a few minutes.

Then spray developer which is like white spray powder .
Any cracks with hold the die penetrant and the developer will pull it out showing immediately if there is a crack. I have had really good luck with it. Especially on rollers, lifters and cams!

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SBradstreet

03-04-2014 20:47:12
76.179.81.56



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to Sbradstreet, 03-04-2014 13:44:39  
The oid man is dead set on trying to weld the head. I'm leaning more too it now after hearing it's been successfully done.
The old man also doesn't want to rob that head off the older A too. So trying to weld it out is what's going to happen. I will let ya know! Thanks



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41B-boy

03-04-2014 20:38:19
172.242.252.133



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to Sbradstreet, 03-04-2014 13:44:39  
BTW, bottom picture. Looks like blood on the rags.... With MY mechanical skills that would actually BE blood. mine.

:) Bob



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Mark-Ia

03-04-2014 15:48:31
207.177.117.7



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to Sbradstreet, 03-04-2014 13:44:39  
That head is an easy fix. A piece of steel and Nickel 99 welding rod. It will look good.I've repaired several that were broken there. Best thing about it, it's underneath where it isn't seen.



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jeo46

03-04-2014 15:15:10
184.20.40.156



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to Sbradstreet, 03-04-2014 13:44:39  
You can use sleeves for the block if pistons are still OK(assuming the block needs to be bored). You have the cost of sleeves but no piston cost.
I have done this many times and it has worked well.



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41B-boy

03-04-2014 14:48:58
172.242.252.133



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to Sbradstreet, 03-04-2014 13:44:39  
Welcome!
Keep the pictures and progress reports coming.
Sounds like a fun project, especially working w/ your Dad.
Bob



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metal seat man

03-04-2014 14:07:44
69.35.195.246



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to Sbradstreet, 03-04-2014 13:44:39  
your gunna need a new head and i'd bore out your block



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JD1520

03-04-2014 14:38:28
69.77.185.200



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to metal seat man, 03-04-2014 14:07:44  
ditto - find a undamaged head and have it rebuilt

Boring the block should do the trick nicely but as the head frooze I would have the block hot tanked and checked for cracks first before spending the money on machine shop work ... a good quality rebuild kit and you should be 100%



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JD1520

03-04-2014 15:29:43
69.77.185.200



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to JD1520, 03-04-2014 14:38:28  
sleeves an option if pistons are really good but check wrist pin for fit and bosses for cracks ...if pistons suspect/wore/badly scuffed then the full rebuild kit a better option



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Sbradstreet

03-04-2014 15:47:12
76.179.81.56



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to JD1520, 03-04-2014 15:29:43  
Still in the progress of getting everything scrubbed and cleaned. Then was thinking just die-penetrated to check for cracks. Has anybody had good luck just die-pen all parts? I' work on large marine engines on ships and die-penning is pretty standard for checking hairline cracks.The block and sleeves are cleaning up a lot nicer than it first appeared. We also have an older 36 A that gramps bought in late 60s for parts that is pretty complete as we'll. thinking of borrowing the head off it to get this one going first. The other 36A is in rougher shape but it's a nice machine with round spoke wheels with 10 spline still holding air. Both these tractors were used up to the late 60s and parked when gramps bought a pair of 4020s followed by 5020. Both 4020s are still are go to tractors where the 5020 was parked in a barn and is waiting for a turn in the shop now. I'll keep posting progress. Thanks everyone

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D-

03-04-2014 16:46:10
166.137.10.15



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to Sbradstreet, 03-04-2014 15:47:12  
You would be surprised how many tractors have welded heads. I would use the piece of metal and stainless rod like another poster suggested. You can grind off high spots where it will never show.
Also if you need boring but not pistons have it sleeved like some others suggested. Normally "A" heads freeze crack but not blocks. Usually shops have them magnafluxed for cracks but the dye will work since you have access to it.

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41B-boy

03-04-2014 20:43:02
172.242.252.133



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to D-, 03-04-2014 16:46:10  
D,
very briefly; how does the dye process work?

thanks, Bob



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D-

03-05-2014 07:16:10
166.137.10.15



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to 41B-boy, 03-04-2014 20:43:02  
What I have seen done in a shop that repaired broken crankshafts for factory stamping presses (not engine crankshafts) they sprayed red dye on then a white dye. I don't really remember the sequence and I could have the colors reversed but they heated the area with a torch and the red dye showed the crack. Maybe they heated it first? They ground out the crack and welded the shaft and reground it. It's been years ago that I saw it done.

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Sbradstreet

03-04-2014 21:05:07
76.179.81.56



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 Re: Unstyled A project in reply to 41B-boy, 03-04-2014 20:43:02  
Check out Grainger Dye-pen kits



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