John Deere B (1947-1952)

The “late-styled” John Deere B tractor marked the final major upgrade to the Model B, with production commencing in February 1947. This version saw several significant improvements, including an increase in engine size for the third time and the availability of a gasoline-only configuration. The frame was now constructed from pressed steel, and the tractor came equipped with a padded seat positioned on top of a battery box. Electric starting and lighting became standard features. The Roll-o-Matic front end was introduced, and the BNH/BWH models were phased out as separate models. Instead, the BW and BN models remained, with a convertible front end that allowed for interchangeable front-end configurations. A notable distinction was made in the rear axle, with casting B2405R used for the plain Model B and B2406R used for the BW/BN models.

John Deere B tractor Specs
Model Year1947-1952
SeriesTwo-Cylinder Letter Series
TypeRow-Crop Tractor
ManufacturerJohn Deere
Built inWaterloo, Iowa, USA
Total Built109,253 (Late-styled B)
Original Price (1952)$1,900
Drawbar (Claimed)25 horsepower (18.6 kW)
Belt (Claimed)28 horsepower (20.9 kW)
Drawbar (Tested)24.62 horsepower (18.4 kW)
Belt (Tested)27.58 horsepower (20.6 kW)
Engine Detail (Gasoline)
Configuration2-cylinder, liquid-cooled
Displacement190.4 cubic inches (3.1 liters)
Bore/Stroke4.6875 x 5.50 inches (119 x 140 mm)
Fuel SystemMarvel-Schebler DLTX-67
Cooling SystemThermo-siphon
Air CleanerOil bath
Compression Ratio5.87:1
Rated RPM1250
Firing Order1-2
StarterElectric (6 volts)
Coolant Capacity36 quarts (34.1 liters)
Engine Detail (All Fuel)
Configuration2-cylinder, liquid-cooled
Displacement190.4 cubic inches (3.1 liters)
Bore/Stroke4.6875 x 5.50 inches (119 x 140 mm)
Fuel SystemMarvel-Schebler DLTX-73
Cooling SystemThermo-siphon
Air CleanerOil bath
Compression Ratio4.71:1
Rated RPM1250
Firing Order1-2
StarterElectric (6 volts)
Coolant Capacity36 quarts (34.1 liters)
DriveTwo-wheel drive
BrakesDifferential mechanical expanding shoe brakes
Operator StationOpen with padded seat
TypeOpen center
Pressure750 psi (51.7 bar)
Pump Flow7.7 gpm (29.1 lpm)
Tractor Hitch
TypePower Lift
Power Take-off (PTO)
Rear PTOTransmission-driven
Rear RPM540 (1.375)
ManufacturerJohn Deere
TypeUnsynchronized gear
Gears6 forward and 1 reverse
Oil Capacity18 quarts (17.0 liters)
Above 32°F (0°C)SAE 90 GL5
Below 32°F (0°C)SAE 80 GL5
John Deere B Tires
FrontAg tires 5.50×16
RearAg tires 10.00×38
Length120.5 inches (306 cm)
Length (with attachments)134.25 inches (340 cm)
Width85 inches (215 cm)
Width (with attachments)86.687 inches (220 cm)
Height56 inches (142 cm)
Height (with attachments)59.625 inches (151 cm)
Operating Weight4300 lbs (1950 kg)
Ballasted Weight5000 lbs (2268 kg)
B Serial Numbers
Belt Pulley
Diameter9.6875 inches (24 cm)
Width7.25 inches (18 cm)
Speed3110 ft/min (947.93 meters/min)
Charging SystemGenerator
Battery Volts6
John Deere B Overview

The John Deere B, a revered collection model with significant historical value, stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of American farming machinery. Produced between 1947 and 1952, it belongs to the Two-Cylinder Letter Series and epitomizes the Row-Crop tractor genre. Crafted by the esteemed manufacturer John Deere and built in Waterloo, Iowa, USA, the B model left an indelible mark on the agricultural landscape.

What makes the John Deere B truly exceptional is its “late-styled” variant, introduced in 1947. This marked the pinnacle of its evolution, with substantial enhancements. Its engine underwent a size increase for the third time, unleashing even more power. Additionally, a gasoline-only configuration became available, catering to diverse fuel preferences. The transition to a pressed steel frame represented a pivotal structural shift, while the introduction of a padded seat perched atop a battery box, coupled with standard electric starting and lighting, exemplified an embrace of modern conveniences.

The versatility of the John Deere B is highlighted by the Roll-o-Matic front end, which significantly improved maneuverability. The model’s adaptability was further exemplified by the availability of convertible front ends for the BW and BN models, allowing users to customize their tractors for specific tasks. Notably, the rear axle configuration, with casting B2405R for the plain Model B and B2406R for the BW/BN models, was a key distinguishing feature.

In terms of power, the John Deere B boasted remarkable drawbar and belt horsepower ratings, making it a formidable workhorse on the farm. Its two-cylinder engine options, whether gasoline or all-fuel, showcased reliability and performance. The thoughtful incorporation of features like an air induction mowing system ensured a consistent and pristine cut with every pass.

The tractor’s mechanical prowess extended to its transmission, featuring unsynchronized gear shifts, and an oil capacity that facilitated smooth operation. Its robust construction, paired with two-wheel drive, manual steering, and differential mechanical expanding shoe brakes, made it a dependable companion for farmers facing diverse challenges in the field.

The John Deere B’s historical significance is further underlined by its serial number progression, serving as a timeline of production from 1947 through 1952. Belt pulleys, an essential component for various farming attachments, were a part of its design, adding to its versatility.

This tractor’s enduring appeal lies in its pivotal role in American agriculture and the craftsmanship of a bygone era. Its unique features, including the late-styled enhancements and adaptability through interchangeable front ends, have made it a collector’s gem. The John Deere B is not just a tractor; it’s a symbol of agricultural heritage, embodying the transition from traditional farming to modern mechanization, and it continues to captivate enthusiasts and historians alike.