John Deere GPO
RUSTY ACRES RANCH
1931 Model Year
This GPO was the ninth off the assembly line on the
first day of production for John Deere Orchard Tractors. It was
the second tractor that I ever owned and I bought it in 1979 for
$125.00. It was the first restoration that I did and it was completed
in 1981. I showed it a few years, then stopped using it as it
became hard to start. It was put into storage. In the meantime,
I've acquired the correct fenders and fender brackets, including
the citrus overfenders. I know the valve guides are worn, so I
plan a mechanical restore as necessary to get it running right
again, then a cosmetic restoration, including reinstallation of
the rear lugs, front guide bands, and fenders and new paint and
decals. I plan to have it looking as close as possible to the
way it came off the assembly line.
This is a photo of the tractor in May 1980, shortly
after I acquired it.
This photo was taken at the 1983 EDGETA National Show
in San Jose, after the first "restoration" was completed.
Matt is pressure washing the dust off, prior to putting
it in the shop
Here it is in the shop with the old and new fenders,
fender brackets, lugs, and guide rims
Above four photos were taken on June 15, 2005
Above three photos on 5 September 2005, tractor is
pretty well; stripped down, sprayed with oven cleaner to loosen
grease and dirt and to degloss the paint. An expected problem
was replacement of the worn valve guides. The new guides are shown
in place (valve guides are not available from Deere, but Greg
Stephan has reproductions). The unexpected problem that was discovered
during disassembly was the freeze crack on the bottom of the block.
This is a hard one to replace, so it was pinned at several places,
veed out and sealed with JB weld. Hope it works!
This photo is on 10 September 2005, Further cleaning and disassembly
was done before it and many of the loose parts were primed. Today
I also put the radiator back together after getting a new core
for it. Hopefully will shoot some green paint tomorrow, then start
the reassembly of the engine. That will be the easy part, as I
am not looking forward to doing the fenders!
26 September 2005- Above two photos after reassembly
of engine and radiator (new core) and the first coat of paint.
It is almost ready to start up to test the engine, then on to
finishing the wheels and fitting the fenders and citrus overfenders.
April 2006- Since the original fenders and fender bracket
were mostly cut off, Matt welded the back angle iron (from a Massey-Harris
Pony frame) onto the piece that was remaining. This will be cut
later to the correct length.
Also April 2006- The tractor runs, new radiator core,
some leaks to take care of yet.
6 August 2006- Matt has spent some (a lot, actually)
of time over the last few weeks fitting the fenders, pulley and
flywheels shields, fender irons, and the citrus overfenders. The
cross braces need to be installed, then the citrus overfenders
will be removed for the final paint job.
16 November 2006 - The finished product Fenders and
citrus fenders are a lot of work!