History of my D Case. As I recall, this 1949 tractor was 19 years old when my brother Carl got it in 1968 when he was age 25 and struggling in his early years of farming near Harveyville, Ks. He paid only $50 for it because the block was cracked behind the manifold from freeze up and because it had no hydraulics. It had big bore aluminum pistons. It would plow much faster that his other tractoróa 1952 B John Deere.
Yup, it has bar axles so itís not a D. It is a modified DC3. It was modified about 45 years ago. We call it a D because it looks like a D.
Dad had discovered that his 1938 C Case and his 1935 B John Deere was a compatible pair for farming. The Case was the powerhouse and the little John Deere was nimble for the light work. Like father like son, Carl saw this combination work for dad so Carlís Case became the powerhouse and his 52 B John Deere was well suited for the light work.
A DC3 was less friendly to drive than dadís C Case. We know that all brands, with narrow fronts before power steering, were difficult to steer. Plow furrows could be dangerous with the narrow front. Many a thumb got broke by the steering wheel. Deere tried Roll-O-Matic. Dadís C Case had no such steering problems. This influenced Carl to put a D front axle under his DC3.
Carl also chose to change to smaller diameter rear tires. Why do that? For plowing and disking, the DC badly needed a speed between 2nd and 3rd. Generally speaking, the D and DC would loaf in 2nd with three bottoms but 3rd tended to be overload. Putting DC final drive sprockets into a D slowed down 3rd into the sweet spot for plowing and disking . The tractor in the video above has that sweet spot because it has the DC final drive sprockets and small diameter rear tires. Some of the video is running in 2nd because it was running with two slower tractors that are mostly edited out of the video. The land wheel needed weights but nothing was available in my stash that would fit the modified rear wheel. This modified tractor is a better plow tractor than any of my standard DCs. Itís the most fun to run of any of my herd of antiques. My DC AWF is a close second. This D plowed and disc the first 10 years that Carl used it. The second 10 years, it was dedicated mainly to grind hog feed using the PTO. He had a BIG hog operation. It would start at any temperature and the hand clutch is a dream for PTO stationary work. In more recent years, I use it on my grain auger. The reason he quit using this tractor was because he got out of the hog business and no more feed to grind. Bigger tractors were then doing the heavy tillage. It sat unused for about 15 years before I got the tractor. Carl was intending to junk it unless I wanted it. The junk man lost. It was trucked 460 miles to my place in central Illinois in April 2003.
All I had to do to the engineís internals was replace the front rod because the babbitt was marginal. It does not smoke or use oil. I fixed and painted it about 2005 when it was 56 years old. The video clips were taken in 2006.
For its future, I am working with others to secure a corner display, as part of a large AG machinery museum. Tentatively, the display will include this family heirloom along with several other tractors that are my familyís heirlooms. The tentative plan is to have the Ag museum near I-74 for easy access off one of the four exits between Galesburg, Illinois and Peoria Illinois. We want the museum to include reality. Reality is this. A lot of Ag equipment got modified by creative farmers and other mechanics to make Ag equipment better. Reality tends to showcase the farmerís creativeness. Company CEOís were not the leaders in AG innovation. The farmers were. My dad had to innovate because we were poor.