John and Kathy Boehm
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John Deere Model AH
Serial #666370
1951 Model Year


Thia Tractor is one of 246 gasoline A High Crops built. It was shipped on August 3, 1950 to San Francisco branch. I bought it in the late 1980's from a collector who lost interest. It ran, but had a bad engine knock, so I put it into storage. On January 1, Matt and I pulled it out of the barn and decided to restore it.

1 January 2008: This is how the tractor looked after many years in storage. The previous owner did some work on the sheet metal, which is in very nice condition.It also had Kileffer cultivators on it when I acquired it. I still have the cultivators and would like to complete the restoration for reinstalling them.

3 January 2008: Matt stripped the tractor down to this point over the last few days. Note all the buckets of watery oil. We drained lots and lots of it out. I think most of the water was from condensation over the years. Also there is some pitting and rust damage, mainly in some governor parts and in the main bearings. The pistons, head, and cylinder bore look surprisingly good, though. The head and block are at the machine shop for magnafluxing and rebuilding.

7 January 2008: We finished stripping the engine, powerlift, and other components. This is a view when we stripped some of the paint off with oven cleaner and paint stripper, then pressure washed. Inspection of the transmission and final drives revealed them to be in very good condition, so they will be cleaned, but not disassembled any further.

11 January 2008: Front end was disassembled, cleaned, and rebushed. The tractor was stripped from the block forward and primed.Also the oil pump, filter, and oil lines were reinstalled.

15 January 2008: Matt spent much of the day cleaning the back end of the tractor after we removed the rear wheels and wheel centers. Front half is covered to keep it cleaner. Also the gear shift and transmission cover was put back on the check out the transmission to make sure all is working okay.

16 January 2008: Today the transmission was flushed with solvent. The crankshaft and new main bearings were installed, as well as the first reduction gear and cover. The lower photo shows why new main bearings were needed. The old one are all pitted and pockmarked.

26 January 2008. The radiator shroud was rusted away at the bottom edge and another one that I had was okay on the bottom, but cut out on the side. Matt cut out the good parts and joined them together by wire welding them together and smoothing the outside. Beats paying $95 for a reproduction.

28 January 2008. The rest of the engine is back together. Also the rebuilt steering pedestal, governor, fanshaft, and radiator have been installed. The Powerlift, Powertrol, and Baker valve has been finished and installed, too. The new tires have arrived from Miller Tire in Ohio, so time to get the old tires off and get the wheels cleaned up and painted.

14 February 2008. Since our last report, the wheels have been removed, cleaned up, and painted, first coat last Friday, second coat on Monday. The sheet metal and other assemblies not yet back on the tractor have all been stripped, rebuilt if needed, and prepped for painting. Yesterday Matt painted the first coat of green and some of the painted pieces has been reattached. The goal is to get the engine stuff back together and try to get it running. We want to do this before the wheels and sheet metal are reassembled so that the tractor can get a second coat of paint first. All the sheet metal will also need to be wet sanded and repainted, probably at least two more coats.


25 February 2008. Well it does not look too different than the last set of photos, but we've done a bit more work in preparation to start up the engine. Note the temporary gas tank on the radiator and the battery on the platform. And we did have success today as we started it and listened to it run for about two minutes until the gas was gone. There are some water pipe leaks and tuning up to do yet, but so far, so good. Matt discovered the source of the engine knock- the flywheel had loosened up some time in the past and hammered on the crankshaft splines. We will attempt a shimmed repair of the splines, which may work. If it doesn't, remplacement with another crankshaft and flywheel will be required.

March 1, 2008, Since last time, most of the final assembly has been completed, plus the final paint job.

March 11, 2008. It was a job to get those rear cast centers back on the tractor. We lifted up the entire rear end with the forklift, then manuvered the centers into place with an engine hoist. There was a small manifold exhaust leak, which we repaired with a relatively new product- Permatex high temperature filler. It will be interesting to see how well it works. Today, I put on the decals. All that remains is to change the water coolant to an antifreeze solution and check all the fluid levels. All the motor oil and gear oil that this tractor requires gets expensive with today's oil prices!