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John Deere Tractors Discussion Forum
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JD B...Farming in 1938 in 1939.

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hay hay hay

05-10-2020 03:53:11




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My father is 99 years old and living in assisted living. He’s locked down right now, so we talk on the phone every day. A few days ago we were talking about him helping his father farm, when he was a 17 and 18-year-old teenager. I asked him what kind of tractor they had , and he explained that it was a John Deere B that could use different fuels. They bought the B used , so it must’ve been a 1935 or 36. He said it would pull 2-14s in that red clay soil. Next he explained how they would use the fuel system. He would start on gasoline and run it till the engine got hot, about 15 minutes. Then he would switch it over to Kerosine And work the rest of the day until just before quitting , then he would switch it back to gasoline and run it until he was sure the carburetor was full of gasoline so that it would start the next day. Apparently kerosene was much cheaper and more available than gasoline back then. He called Kerosine “heating oil.” He farmed with that B until He went into the service for World War II and shipped out to the South Pacific. For 99 years old he is still very lucid and able to discuss technical issues. Interesting how well he remembers these things from 80 years ago. He said that the gasoline tank was 2 gallons and the kerosene tank was 5 gallons. Does that sound right?

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Tx Jim

05-12-2020 04:34:41




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 Re: JD B...Farming in 1938 in 1939. in reply to hay hay hay, 05-10-2020 03:53:11  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

My '45 JD BO operators manual states 1 gallon gasoline tank & 12 gallon fuel tank.



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rla

05-11-2020 14:20:55




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 Re: JD B...Farming in 1938 in 1939. in reply to hay hay hay, 05-10-2020 03:53:11  
At 99 years old his memory is better than most. He might be a little off on how much the bigger fuel tank held. My mother is 91, I'm her youngest at 62. I cut my teeth with a 42 all fuel B, pulling a model 44 plow 2/14's. This B had a power troll installed on it & hydraulic lift instead a rope pull. My Grand father drove a 48 A with 3 /14's. I was too small or not strong enough to turn the steering wheel on the A but could run the B ok at 8 years old. Plowed 8 to 10" deep here in NW Pa. One thing I remember the most was late at night I would be dreaming I was plowing & the tractor was near the end of the field & I couldn't find the clutch handle or the steering wheel. At that time I slept with my old brother in a double bed & I would wake him up at night as I was feeling all over the bed trying to stop the tractor trying to find the clutch. I dreamed that dream more than once..

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NoDakInMN

05-10-2020 08:31:05




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 Re: JD B...Farming in 1938 in 1939. in reply to hay hay hay, 05-10-2020 03:53:11  
Sorry about the double post, site seems to be a bit buggy, it wouldn't let me post and then when it did, it did it twice.



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NoDakInMN

05-10-2020 08:28:13




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 Re: JD B...Farming in 1938 in 1939. in reply to hay hay hay, 05-10-2020 03:53:11  
I belong to about half a dozen different JD forums, though this is by far my favorite. Here when you ask a question, you get good solid answers, often accompanied by illustrations. Other places seem to have a lot of opinions rather than solid technical advice.

But there is one thing every site seems to have in common and I find it kind of humorous, when ever someone posts about how many bottoms a particular tractor can pull, someone always pops up with a version of, "Oh, you'd never do that in our soil!" This perverse pride in having hard to till ground has always struck me as pretty funny. I don't know if it is a regional thing or the pride some people take in having to work harder to make a living off their land. Growing up, we farmed some pretty rocky ground, enough so, that the tractor pulling the rock picker during spring work had more engine hours on it than either the tractor pulling the cultivator or the one pulling the press drill. As "the kid" I got to spend most of my time on the rock picker. We prepared the seed bed by cultivating it twice before planting and because each pass with cultivator dug up more rocks, you had to go over it with the rock picker each time. It wasn't just stones the size of footballs or watermelons, we had a lot of boulders to contend with each year too. In a rock pile not far from the farmyard, there was a huge boulder that had been split in half by lightning after being hauled there, when it was whole, it was over 5' in diameter. My grandfather dug that one out by hand and hauled it with horses, I can't begin to think of the effort that took. Sorry, I'm digressing a bit here, thinking about my youth on the farm, but my point is this, none of the people with rocky ground like ours considered it a curse, not a blessing, and took no pride in it at all. So I guess that is why I kind of shake my head and laugh when some people take delight in talking about their hard to plow soil.

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Fordy20

05-10-2020 09:47:20




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 Re: JD B...Farming in 1938 in 1939. in reply to NoDakInMN, 05-10-2020 08:28:13  
I grew up in the Red River Valley about 20 miles west of the Red River. We easily pulled 5-16s with an R John Deere (45 h.p. drawbar) in third gear which was around 4 1/2 mph. Now I live in the Willamette Valley in Oregon and several of us have or have had a 730 John Deere (54 h.p. drawbar) which have a load at the same speed with 3-16s. Lots of difference where you plow.


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NoDakInMN

05-10-2020 08:24:58




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 Re: JD B...Farming in 1938 in 1939. in reply to hay hay hay, 05-10-2020 03:53:11  
I belong to about half a dozen different JD forums, though this is by far my favorite. Here when you ask a question, you get good solid answers, often accompanied by illustrations. Other places seem to have a lot of opinions rather than solid technical advice.

But there is one thing every site seems to have in common and I find it kind of humorous, whenever someone posts about how many bottoms a particular tractor can pull, someone always pops up with a version of, "Oh, you'd never do that in our soil!" This perverse pride in having hard to till ground has always struck me as pretty funny. I don't know if it is a regional thing or the pride some people take in having to work harder to make a living off their land. Growing up, we farmed some pretty rocky ground, enough so, that the tractor pulling the rock picker during spring work had more engine hours on it than either the tractor pulling the cultivator or the one pulling the press drill. As "the kid" I got to spend most of my time on the rock picker. We prepared the seed bed by cultivating it twice before planting and because each pass with cultivator dug up more rocks, you had to go over it with the rock picker each time. It wasn't just stones the size of footballs or watermelons, we had a lot of boulders to contend with each year too. In a rock pile not far from the farmyard, there was a huge boulder that had been split in half by lightning after being hauled there, when it was whole, it was over 5' in diameter. My grandfather dug that one out by hand and hauled it with horses, I can't begin to think of the effort that took. Sorry, I'm digressing a bit here, thinking about my youth on the farm, but my point is this, the people with rocky ground like ours considered it a curse, not a blessing, and took no pride in it at all. So, I guess that is why I tend to shake my head and laugh when some people seem to take delight in their hard to plow soil.

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NoDakInMN

05-10-2020 07:27:05




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 Re: JD B...Farming in 1938 in 1939. in reply to hay hay hay, 05-10-2020 03:53:11  
I think the conflicting stories of old tractors running on distillate or kerosene stems from kerosene being widely used on the farm before farmers started using tractors instead of horses. We used to have an old 55 gallon barrel of kerosene in our oil shed when I was growing up in the 60's and 70's. Once I asked my great uncle if they used that much in lamps that a barrel that big was needed? He said that they used it for heaters, as a parts washing solvent, as well as for lamps. Then when they got their first tractors, he said they found it worked in them too.

So I think you had farmers not stocking both distillate and kerosene when they could get by with just one.

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rrlund

05-10-2020 08:15:05




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 Re: JD B...Farming in 1938 in 1939. in reply to NoDakInMN, 05-10-2020 07:27:05  
I don't know if Deere ran a different manifold on the two cylinder tractors to burn distillate or not, but the tractors with vertical engines did. I believe the compression was lower on a KD engine too. The last person I remember running kerosene around here was Russell Chambers in his John Deere G.



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rrlund

05-10-2020 06:52:35




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 Re: JD B...Farming in 1938 in 1939. in reply to hay hay hay, 05-10-2020 03:53:11  
I always loved hearing the stories from my Dad and my uncles. At reunions and get togethers while the other kids were off playing,I was most likely with the older folks listening to history. It's all paid off now. I'm one of the old guys now and it's amazing how many stories I know that other family members and even other locals don't know about things that happened around here back in "the old days".

Most tractors used Kerosene and Distillate until Oliver Hart Parr came out with the model 70 in 35. The "70" designation meant that they ran on 70 octane gasoline. Even then,you could get a KD (kerosene distillate) version right on up through the 66-77 and 88s

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NY 986

05-10-2020 07:06:27




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 Re: JD B...Farming in 1938 in 1939. in reply to rrlund, 05-10-2020 06:52:35  
I was very clumsy as a kid so I hung around the adults while the other kids played ball. Learned a lot of interesting history. Such as when dad's father bought the Farmall M how he came to make that choice. He did not like using a hand clutch so scratch JD, Case, and MM off of the list. The Ford dealer pushed on him hard for a 9N but a 9N was too small for the manure spreader and corn picker in the mud plus grandpa wanted the 10 extra HP at the PTO. Grandpa already had an Oliver 80 but wanted the electric start plus hydraulics that the M had.

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rrlund

05-10-2020 08:08:18




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 Re: JD B...Farming in 1938 in 1939. in reply to NY 986, 05-10-2020 07:06:27  
Ya, Uncle Claud had one of the first row crop style tractors around here. He came awful close to buying a Deere from Harry Allen in 37, but Charlie Johnson talked him in to demonstrating an Oliver 70. It was no contest after he drove one. Ironic that in 61, Parr's brought a new Oliver 1800 down here and demonstrated that, but Claud went with a new 3010.



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NY 986

05-10-2020 06:41:49




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 Re: JD B...Farming in 1938 in 1939. in reply to hay hay hay, 05-10-2020 03:53:11  
A 35 B pulling 2 X 14's in the clay would not happen around here. That would be a job for a JD A or Farmall M.



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Mark-IA

05-10-2020 06:06:21




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 Re: JD B...Farming in 1938 in 1939. in reply to hay hay hay, 05-10-2020 03:53:11  
Gasoline tank was about 1 gallon and big tank around 10-12.



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Tx Jim

05-10-2020 05:48:28




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 Re: JD B...Farming in 1938 in 1939. in reply to hay hay hay, 05-10-2020 03:53:11  
It's amazing that your 99 year old father has such a good memory. If I happened to live 24 more yrs to equal his age I could only hope my memory would somewhere close to as good as your fathers memory.



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J.Wondergem

05-10-2020 05:24:54




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 Re: JD B...Farming in 1938 in 1939. in reply to hay hay hay, 05-10-2020 03:53:11  
I the 50s we ha a 38, A an a 36, B. e started them on gasoline an switched over to what they called Power fuel.



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Tx Jim

05-10-2020 05:03:15




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 Re: JD B...Farming in 1938 in 1939. in reply to hay hay hay, 05-10-2020 03:53:11  
I think the fuel you referred to utilized back then that most farmers tractors utilized was called distillate not kerosene. IIRC distillate is a lower quality fuel than kerosene.



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Jd man wis

05-10-2020 04:52:10




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 Re: JD B...Farming in 1938 in 1939. in reply to hay hay hay, 05-10-2020 03:53:11  
We had a 37B on the farm with A,h and we all ran fuel oil in them in the 70s. My dad then got a G about an 52 year and it did like the fuel oil. It had the all fuel manifold on it and we we would get in to the right heat range but the thing would pull a 3 bottom plow in 4 gear on gas bUT only pull it on the fuel oil in 2 or 1. Found out later in a rebuild that it had high compresin pistons in it and that why it didn't like the fuel. The others use to run good on the fuel when you warm th up to about 200 temp and they seem to run smother with the fuel oil. You could always tell on plow day my brother coming with the other B because even on how he was told on how to run the tractor on the fuel he would start the other b we had an switch it over before it warmed up and here he came it popping an smoking because he was to lazy to get back off the tractor and switch it over after it warmed up.There was on time he dI'd that and the tractor on the way out died on him so he just walk back to the house an watch tv. My dad ask me were he was an I told him that I seem him on his way here. The old man made two more rounds plowing and he was gone.?I could see that my brother when they both showed up was crying by his eyes and found out that the old man came in the house and kick his butt out all the way to the tractor lol. He only did that once. The 38 B that I have now I can not walk by it an not smile on all the things I use to do with it cut hay rake hay plow an even go on the silo blower an go get the cows. The only thing I can think of about this B is I how have a hard time getting on an off it lol. Guess I'll have my my grandson put then sreps on it like he wants to.

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