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Grandpas JD-B Home Again

Back in around 1973 or 74, I was around 10 or 11 years old, and being brought up on a farm. My grandfather and Uncle went to and farm auction, and we brought home around 10 old John Deere Tractors. Mostly B s. But I remember there was an old G. because of its size, It looked to be much bigger than the rest.. I was amazed at all the toys we had to play with. Ha.. Most needed alot of work, most didnt run anymore, and a few was just parts.. ... We began to rebuild them the next day, starting on the best looking ones first. And is a few weeks most were up and running and repainted.. they were the first 2-cylinders that I have ever heard run.. It was great to here them run, because they sounded much different than the rest of the farm tractors we had at that time.. (International 856), (AC-XT 190) and a couple (AC D-17)And a (MF 185)

But in among all the JD s we drug home, there sat one John Deere B, that stuck out to me, and I couldnt wait to get started on it with my Grandpa and uncle.. the motor needed to be rebuilt. We gave 150. 00 for it at time. The little B had flat spokes in the rear, and round spokes in the front. It also had two row cultivator on it. It had a metal spring loaded seat, in which I sat on and pretended to drive. But I was in a world of my own setting there. I would grab the hand clutch, and give it a shove forward, and I could fell the power of the little tractor thoughing me backward in my seat, and see the smoke come out of the exhaust, as I pretended to cultivate Grandpa s corn..

Then one day as I got off the shool bus at my Grandparents house. I could see my Grandpa and Uncle working on the little tractor, taking it apart.. I couldnt run fast enough to get to it and see what was inside and what they thought, My Grandp joking, told me it was NO GOOD!.. It would only make parts, and then starting smiling.. (Knowing how much I treasured it) But that pause between saying that and smiling was a long bitter let down for me, I could feel tears starting to build up in my eyes! But when he started smiling, My heart had to come back out of my throat, And I returned a Big ol Smile!!! He said It had broken rings in it and had to be rebuilt.. So I tryed to get my hands dirty with them both.. I would hand them wrenchs, and occasionally grab some grease off a greasy part and wipe it on my hands to show that I was helping also... ha... We worked a few days to get it back together, and we put oil, and gas back into the little tractor, And then I got to here my Grandpa say. (Lets pull it and see if it will start)... Yes!!!!!!!! I was ready!! My Grandpa started one of the John Deere A s that we fixed and hooked a chain on the little B, and my uncle got onto the little B and waved his hand toward my Grandpa. meaning to go ahead and start to pull.. .. .. .. .. I can remember Grandpa reaching up toward the throttle of the JD A and giving it more throttle to pull the little B.. My uncle on the little B put it in a higher gear and pulled the hand clutch back until they built up speed.. Finally I watch my uncle shove the hand clutch forward to engage the motor. I watched as one rear wheel went forward and the other went backwards.. I couldnt understand that at the time.. but then they both began to rotate forward.. I could here the open pit cocks blow out the new compressed air from the big pistons.. I could then see gas coming out of them, and my uncle then shoved in the choke, and a few feet more, I heard the birth of the new rebuilt motor hit. and smoke came out of the muffler.. and then a little more.. .. .. All of a sudden, the motor started and began to slack the tight log chain.. He motioned my Grandpa to stop pulling the little B. And my uncle pulled back the hand clutch, and the little B was finally running again, My uncle set the brake, and jumped off the back of the little tractor and shut off the pit cocks. and was adjusting the carbrator.. I could see my uncle look towards my Grandpa and smile... And then my Grandpa looked at me and smiled. (ear to ear) shaking his head up and down.. I knew what that meant.. I was jumping for joy.. .. .. ...

A few days later after gettin a new battery for it.. My Grandpa started it and said to me. (Do you want to try it) I shook my head up and down for yes!... He showed me the power take-off and to watch out for it.. and got me onto it.. It felt great to finally sit on the little tractor that I played on so much.. He told me to put it in 1st gear and push up on the clutch slow... I did so and away I went.. I remeber how hard it was to steer.. No power steering.. like the 806 International... I reached up and gave it alittle thottle and it was great.. I kept looking back at my Grandpa, and smiling, and he would return a smile. It was greatest day of my life at that time.

My Grandpa said he would give me the little tractor, but I would have to take care of it, and he wouldnt let me have it until I got older.. I have never owed a tractor before.. I felt like I had everything, and went to school bragging about it.. We used the tractor for several years in the garden, We used the cultivators to bread up the ground.. And the was the only time we got it out. But I do remember one summer. I talked Grandpa in starting it for me so I could make one round down the corn rows to cultivate the corn.. Boy was the a mistake.. .. We have hilly ground and on slopes.. I was down to 1st gear, and still couldnt keep it from taking out the corn rolls.. Grandp said he couldnt afford me to take another round! Ha.. The little tractor had fluid in the rear tires, and after a few years, it began to eat at the rear rims bad.. we removed the fluid but it was too late.. we took off rear tire and bent meat in shape of rim and welded inside to re-infoce the rim.. It worked for time being.. But the tractor sat in shed for a few years, not running because it wouldnt hold water anymore because the metal pipe going to the radiator was rusted through.. and the battery was bad.. .. And the rim began to get bad again... I finally put a charge into the battery, and some fresh gas, to get it running again.. and it did.. I let it run for only a short time.. because it was out of water.. that was back in 1978 or 79.. It was never started again.. I was then into girls and things. and I was around 16 years old.. should I say more!

My Grandpa Died serveral years later, And I was Lost.. My Heart broke into.. .. My Grandpa and Grandma was my heros.. .. .. The did alot for me, and gave me what I needed.. I still miss my Grandpa alot. And my Grandmother is still alive and well.. She moved to town, and I live in the farm house. Grandma and I put out Garden every year. She will never quit working.. she is great.. But I worry about her not beeing her someday... About 10 years ago, I was still married to my EX. and we lived here at the farm.. My uncle pulled the little B out of the barn to make room for the bigger equipment.. It sat out in the wheather for about a year.. It was sad to look at it. and rim falling off it.. One day when I came home It was gone, I had talked about selling it to someone who would fix it.. And my ex. did that.. She said it was an eye sore, and we needed the money.. It was sold for 800. I was very upset.. But I could only think that it is better off in a new home and fixed up.. But a few years later I found it setting half way in a metal shed. I slamed on my breaks to stop and see if it was really it.. and it was.. I could see the patch we welded on the rims years ago.. It looked like a pile of junk. I grabed the fan, and it wouldnt move.. I found out who the ower was, and he was a nice older man, he collected JDs.. he had many. but never fixed them.. And he didnt want to sell it to me.. ... This was worst.. ... I just had to try and forget about it... A few years had past and I decide to go look at it again, and take my camera, and see if he wanted to sell it yet.. But to my suppise, I was gone, and so wasnt all the other JD collection.. I was upset at my self. I found it and now its gone forever.. I went to the owner home and he wasnt there. so I went to the next house, and met a man, and asked him what happend to the tractors in the shed... He said they belonged to his dad, and his dad died last year, so they had an auction, and sold them all.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... I felt a big lump in my stomache.. .. .. I told him my story.. and he asked which one it was. I told him the little B with the spokes.. .. ... He looked up at me and said I know who bougth that one.. It is still here locally.. I could ask fast enough.. .. .. Who! He then told me the mans name and the town where he lived.. but also said he wont sell it. He bought it to fix up and keep.. He said he used to work on them at John Deere.. I began to search for the man, and found him at home one day. I asked him if he bought a little JD B with spokes at that auction.. .. He said yes he did, and asked me WHY? I told him I would like to buy it from him.. but in return he said he didnt want to sell it.. I droped my head. Not wanting to here that.. Thinking Ill never get it back... I began to tell him my story, how my Grandpa and I rebuilt the little tractor when I was 10, and that he died and my EX sold it on me.. and how I found it once, but only to loose it again.. That I really wanted back home... He looked down at the ground and said, well I dont want to get rid of it.. but I also dont want to stand in the way of centimental values.. That he understood... I almost fell to the floor. Yes! Yes!! I thought inside, and felt another tear trying to exscape from my eye lid.. ... But he said he wouldnt want to go in the hole on it.. we would like to have his money back that he gave for it.. .. ... I thought. OH NO.. ... How much did he give for it.. .. .. .. .. .. He said he had 860 in it.. .. .. .. I couldnt beleive it.. It was sold 10 years ago for 800 and I can buy it back for 860. I told him he had an deal.. and told him how much that meant to me.. .. ... He said the rims are gone... they almost fell of it.. when the truck brought to his shed to unload it... And at the auction. It wouldnt start.. but it did crank over as they pulled it.. .. so that was a plus.. .. .. .. .. ... I finally got a roll-off truck and brought it back home. I unloaded it in front of my shop. but couldnt get it in the shop. The rims were down to the spokes. But it was home.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... He next day I bought a battery in hopes the 6 volt starter would still work. My dad showed up about then, and said what is this thing.. I should have left it where it was.. and smiled at me... I said it will run.. And he said I wouldnt be too shure of that.. there isnt anything here son! ... I poured gas into tank, and began to clean out the gas bowl and lines to carb. The carb was rusty also.. I figured the mag wouldnt fire after setting for nearly 23 years and has not been ran since I was 16.., And now ill be 40 this month.. But I finally got gas to the carb, and opened the cock pits, and pulled the choke out. and give it a little throttle.. I hit the starter, and it cranked over about 6 times. and gas started come out of cock pits. so I shoved the choke in, thinking this will not start because there is no way the mag will still fire after 23 years of setting.. But when I hit the starter again. the tractor hit once and kicked the starter out.. .. .. .. .. .. ... My eyes opened wide, and I began to smile, and look over my shoulder to my dad, thinking to my self, there is NO WAY.. .. .. I then hit the starter again, and it hit again, and again.. and then it began to run.. blowing years of rust out of exhaust, and dust into our eyes. but it was running.. It sounded great.. after letting it run for a minute I pulled the throttle back all the way. and it sat there and idled so slow and smooth.. .. .. .. I was pround.. I could see in my mine, My Grandpa smiling at me.. His memories were with me, and it felt great.. I could shift the little tractor into any gears, because it was stuck.. but my dad messed with it for a while, and got a couple of gears unstuck.. and Reverse was one of them, but it wouldnt go into reverse all the way.. .. but I could keep pressure on it, good enough to back it into the shed on the spokes. !! Ha.. My dad was amazed, and wanting to help me work on it.. He got real interested in it when I told him it was Grandpa s old tractor. He couldnt beleive it.. .. So he is pleased .. I put it one stands and changed the oil and filter and gaskets, I even took off top plate of motor and scooped out old build up oil. and washed it out good... I start it almost every day, when I get home. It take right off in about a 2 seconds.. Im trying to get new rims made now for it. I will have to weld the spokes back into new rims.. They are 36 inches.. I got to find tires also.. I think they are 10 or 11 ' wide.. But my grandmother was here working our garden the other day, and I told her to go look in the shed.. She was shocked, and walked up to the litte tractor teary eyed and with her voice cracky, said welcome back home.. and she reached up and patted it on the hood.. I was really fighting back the tears then. I never knew that would mean so much to her.. That made it worth wild.. Im going to get it worked over this summer, and finish it with a new paint job and decalbs, this fall.. I will then post it on tractor pics... Im going to leave it for my son Josh(19) Hope he dont make the same mistake I did. !!. I went out and started it last night. And I was setting on the seat listening to it run, and putting it in gear and watching the spokes turn.. I didnt know my wife was watching me from the house.. She laughed at me, saying I was a still a big kid.. And You Know What? I Am! !!

Thanks Dave Hill ILL. 8/1/03.

Dave Hill, IL, entered 2003-08-15
My Email Address: Not Displayed

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