John Deere B (1939-1946)

The John Deere B, a legendary tractor model produced between 1939 and 1946, stands as an enduring symbol of American farming history. Known for its iconic green and yellow design, this Two-Cylinder Letter Series Row-Crop tractor was crafted in Waterloo, Iowa, USA, and left an indelible mark on agriculture. The “styled” version introduced in 1938 represented a significant upgrade, featuring a larger engine and sleeker sheet metal. Its versatility was further demonstrated by various variants catering to specific needs, from orchard use to industrial applications. With its rich heritage and timeless design, the John Deere B remains a beloved collector’s item and a testament to agricultural innovation.

John Deere B tractor Specs
Model Year1939-1946
SeriesTwo-Cylinder Letter Series
TypeRow-Crop Tractor
ManufacturerJohn Deere
Built inWaterloo, Iowa, USA
Total Built (Early-Styled B)136,863
NoteIn June of 1938, production commenced for the “styled” John Deere Model B, intended for the 1939 model year. This upgraded B featured a larger engine and new sheet metal.
BTricycle front axle
BRFixed front axle
BNNarrow row-crop
BWWide row-crop
BIIndustrial tractor
Drawbar (Claimed)25 horsepower (18.6 kW)
Belt (Claimed)28 horsepower (20.9 kW)
Plows2 (14-inch)
Drawbar (Tested)18.26 horsepower (13.6 kW)
Belt (Tested)20.52 horsepower (15.3 kW)
Engine Detail (All Fuel)
Configuration2-cylinder, liquid-cooled
Displacement175 cubic inches (2.9 liters)
Bore/Stroke4.50 x 5.50 inches (114 x 140 mm)
Fuel SystemMarvel-Schebler DLTX-10 (early), Marvel-Schebler DLTX-34 (late)
Cooling SystemThermo-siphon, water pump (for serial number 96000 and onwards)
Air CleanerOil bath
Compression Ratio4.71:1
Rated RPM1150
Firing Order1-2
StarterHand-crank (electric optional)
Starter Volts6
Oil Capacity7 quarts (6.6 liters)
Coolant Capacity25 quarts (23.7 liters)
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)
Transmissions variants
4-speedunsynchronized gear
6-speedunsynchronized gear
Transmission (4-speed)
ManufacturerJohn Deere
TypeUnsynchronized gear
Gears4 forward and 1 reverse
ClutchDry disc
OptionalAB1432 low-speed and AB1298 high-speed gearing
Transmission (6-speed)
ManufacturerJohn Deere
TypeUnsynchronized gear
Gears6 forward and 1 reverse
Clutch8-inch dry discs
Oil Capacity18 quarts (17.0 liters)
Above 32°F (0°C)SAE 90
Below 32°F (0°C)SAE 80
NoteIntroduced in 1941, replacing the standard four-speed transmission. Not available on tractors with steel wheels.
DriveTwo-wheel drive
BrakesDifferential mechanical expanding shoe brakes
Operator StationOpen with a pressed steel seat.
Tractor Hitch
TypePower Lift (Optional)
Power Take-off (PTO)
Rear PTOTransmission-driven
Rear RPM540 (1.375)
Serial Numbers
Belt Pulley
Diameter10.625 inches (26 cm)
Width6.2 inches (15 cm)
Speed3,200 ft/min (975.36 meters/min)
Charging SystemGenerator
Battery Volts6
John Deere B Tires
Front (Ag)5.00-16, 5.50-16
Rear (Ag)7.50-36, 9.00-36, 8-38, 9-38, 11-38
Wheelbase85 inches (215 cm)
Length125.5 inches (318 cm)
Width83.5 inches (212 cm)
Height (Hood)58 inches (147 cm)
Rear Axle Diameter2.5 inches (63 mm)
Rear Tread56 to 84 inches (142 to 213 cm)
John Deere B Weight
Shipping2,898 lbs (1314 kg)
Operating3,800 lbs (1723 kg)
Ballasted4,500 lbs (2041 kg)
Attachment 40 Loader
Lift Capacity (Full at Pin)800 lbs (362 kg)
Breakout Force (Bucket)1800 lbs (816 kg)
Height at Pin114 inches (289 cm)
Bucket Width36 inches (91 cm)

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