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John Deere Tractors Discussion Forum
Show Parts for Model:

H brakes... I won't do that again!

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Jethro Lilley

04-10-2014 16:54:59

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Finished replacing the brakes on my H today, all by my lonesome. Now I know first hand why no H's have brakes. The old pads were like new and the drums were like new. The grease covering everything was not like new. I have had linings for several years but didn't have the nerve to put them on 'till this week.

Charles Lindstrom supplied the new seals and felts for the axles. Bought a rivet tool as it was cheaper than what the Deere dealer wanted to rivet them to the shoes. Took everything apart and cleaned all the old rear-end lube and repacked the outer axle bearings from a 5 gal pail of Panther grease I had hidden in the shop. That stuff is thick and stringy. Stays where you put it. We used to use it on the rollers of two Caterpillars that Dad had back in the 50's. Good stuff that you cannot find anymore. It's not a high temp grease, but then the old H is not a high temp machine.

Put it all back together with the help of an engine hoist. It's great having brakes again, but this job kicked my kadiddlewhiffle. When I finished my legs were sore... my back was sore... then I planted my sweet corn.

3 beers, a hot shower and a plate of chicken gizzards & rice and I feel much better.

I won't do that again!

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04-10-2014 18:30:18

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 Re: H brakes... I won't do that again! in reply to Jethro Lilley, 04-10-2014 16:54:59  
I did it once about 20 years ago, on a package deal of H's I traded a John deere 4 speed B for. New Seals & gaskets, but in 2 or 3 years it went back to leaking & very poor brakes. I decide Not to do anything with it. But this tractor got used alot in those few years. Did a bunch of cultavating & raking hay, fixing Fence running PTO elavator Also buzz'n fire wood.. One day some guy wanted it more than me.. One of the few I resurected & don't have in my possesion today.

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Richard G.

04-10-2014 18:15:46

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 Re: H brakes... I won't do that again! in reply to Jethro Lilley, 04-10-2014 16:54:59  
I have got to do that on my 42 H also. Thanks for the encouragement.
Richard in NW SC

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Jethro Lilley

04-11-2014 18:30:56

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 Re: H brakes... I won't do that again! in reply to Richard G., 04-10-2014 18:15:46  
It wasn't a hard job to do, the axle housings come off easily and I used a roll-around engine hoist to support it. I made a puller out of a thick aluminum plate with three holes, 2 of them 5 1/2 inches apart and one between them and used 1/2 inch ready rod. Pulled the drum/bearing right off. Took a while to clean all of the greasy residue from the pieces and R&R the brake shoes. I had pulled the axle out of the housing to repack the outer bearing and replace the felts. (dig the felt out of the housing and then use a crow foot to pry out the retainer.) I found out that I needed to leave the outer bearing cap loose by a wide margin when I replaced the housing assembly to the tractor case. With the bearing cap tight I slipped the axle housing in place and jiggled the heck out of it as if I was pushing on a transmission in my old Chevy, to no avail. Finally I backed off the bearing cap a half inch and it slid in place. Tightened the bolts to the tractor case and then tightened the bolts to the bearing, but the axle would not turn by hand. Loosened them and it turned. Tightened and it didn't. Took a BFH and rapped the end of the axle twice and it turned like it should.

I did one side at the time... after learning on side one, side two went easier. Be sure you are careful when driving in the new oil seals as they are the failure point for these brakes. Also... there is a seal of sorts between the brake drum and the H442R bearing spacer on mine which is not shown in the parts pic. Put a bead of silicone or other suitable material around the output shaft between the drum and the spacer. (this spacer rides on the oil seal. the silicone will seal the splines) Also... there is a weep hole in the case next to the bottom bolt hole that needs to be clean.

All in all it wasn't a hard job, I'm just getting too doggone old to crawl around on that concrete shop floor two days in a row anymore. Should have done it ten years ago, when I bought the brake linings.

At least now the grandkids can drive it around and it has BRAKES!

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Mike M

04-11-2014 05:14:23

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 Re: H brakes... I won't do that again! in reply to Richard G., 04-10-2014 18:15:46  
I always thought it was a pretty easy job to do ? Of coarse I was a lot younger on the last one I did too ! LOL.

Sure a lot easier then getting into the brakes on a new generation tractor.

I would chain bind a 4x4 to the underside of the front frame and put jackstands under the ends to hold it from tipping over sideways. I would then block the back up on the drawbar frame. If your wheel hubs move your home free. Get the wheels and hubs off then a large floor jack will support the axle housings for removal. They are light enough to remove by hand though. I remove both sides at the same time this way. There is the possibility your tractor has some shim washers in near the diff. used to control side play of the diff. These could fall off upon axle removal. Not even a bad idea to remove the rear cover and check and adjust the diff. side play too.

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