John Deere B (1935-1938)

The John Deere B, an enduring symbol of agricultural prowess and innovation, holds a hallowed place in the annals of farming history. Produced from 1935 to 1938 as part of the Two-Cylinder Letter Series, this row-crop tractor emerged from the heartland of Waterloo, Iowa, USA. Its remarkable legacy can be divided into three distinct phases: the original “unstyled” B, the “early styled” model B introduced in 1939, and the “late styled” iteration from mid-1947. With its variations catering to diverse farming needs, from orchards to wide row-crop applications, the John Deere B represents a transformative period in American agriculture, showcasing power, durability, and timeless design.

John Deere B (1935-1938) Specs
Model Year1935-1938
SeriesTwo-Cylinder Letter Series
TypeRow-Crop Tractor
Production
ManufacturerJohn Deere
Total Built55,670 (all unstyled)
Variants
BTricycle Front Axle
BRFixed Front Axle
BOOrchard
BNNarrow Row-Crop
BWWide Row-Crop
BIIndustrial Tractor
BO LindemanCrawler
Engine Detail
TypeJohn Deere, All Fuel
Configuration2-Cylinder, Liquid-Cooled
Displacement149 cubic inches (2.4 L)
Bore/Stroke4.25×5.25 inches (108 x 133 mm)
Fuel SystemMarvel-Schebler DLTX-10 Carburetor
Cooling SystemThermo-Siphon
Air CleanerOil Bath
Compression Ratio4.71:1
Rated RPM975
Firing Order1-2
Starter TypeHand-Crank (Electric Starter Optional)
Oil Capacity7 quarts (6.6 L)
Coolant Capacity22 quarts (20.8 L)
Sparkplug Gap0.030 inches (0.762 mm)
Point Gap0.015 inches (0.381 mm)
Intake Valve Clearance0.020 inches (0.508 mm)
Exhaust Valve Clearance0.020 inches (0.508 mm)
Transmission
ManufacturerJohn Deere
TypeUnsynchronized Gear
Gears4 Forward and 1 Reverse
ClutchDry Disc
Power
Drawbar (Claimed)12 hp (8.9 kW)
Belt (Claimed)16 hp (11.9 kW)
Plows2 (10-inch)
Drawbar (Tested)11.80 hp (8.8 kW)
Belt (Tested)16.01 hp (11.9 kW)
Mechanical
DriveTwo-Wheel Drive
SteeringManual
BrakesDifferential Mechanical Expanding Shoe Brakes
Operator StationOpen with Pressed Steel Seat
Power Take-off (PTO)
Rear PTO TypeTransmission-Driven
Rear PTO RPM540
Serial Numbers
19351000
193612012
193727389
193846175 (also noted as *49302)
193960000
194078526
194196000
1942118721
1943136315
1944149219
1945167700
1946179788
1947191303
1948209295
1949230044
1950253025
1951275242
1952293030
Final310772
Belt Pulley
Diameter9.6875 inches (24 cm)
Width7.25 inches (18 cm)
RPM1250
Speed3110 ft/min (947.93 meters/min)
Electrical
GroundPositive
Tires
Ag Front22×3.25 (Steel)
Ag Rear48×5.25 (Steel)
Dimensions
Length120.5 inches (306 cm)
Width85 inches (215 cm)
Height (Hood)56 inches (142 cm)
Weight3,275 lbs (1485 kg)
Rear Tread56 to 84 inches (142 to 213 cm)
John Deere B overview

The John Deere B, an iconic collection model with immense historical value, stands as a testament to American farming heritage and innovation. This revered tractor boasts a unique legacy, represented by three distinct phases.
The John Deere B from 1935 to 1938, often referred to as the “unstyled” version, marked its entry into the farming world as a compact yet robust row-crop tractor. With a hand-crank starter and a simple yet effective design, it became a reliable workhorse for many farmers during the Great Depression. Its streamlined look and durable construction are a hallmark of this era.

In 1939, the “early styled” John Deere B made its debut, signifying a new era of design and functionality. With improved aesthetics, an electric starter, and refinements to the engine, this model catered to evolving farm needs. It bridged the gap between the vintage charm of the unstyled B and the modernity of the later iterations.

The “late styled” John Deere B, produced from 1947 to 1952, brought further advancements to the table. Featuring a pressurized cooling system with a steel radiator and improved front-end design, it offered enhanced performance and durability. The addition of options like the Roll-o-Matic front end and electric starting and lighting made it a versatile choice for farmers.

Comparing these models, the 1935-1938 version, with its unstyled simplicity, represents the roots of the John Deere B legacy. The 1939-1946 “early styled” model bridges the gap between vintage and modern, while the 1947-1952 “late styled” variant showcases the pinnacle of technological advancements in its time. Each model has its unique charm and historical significance, making the John Deere B a captivating collector’s item that embodies the evolution of American agriculture.

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