Small Farmer's Journal

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Many Journal readers rely solely on horse or mule power. Quite a few use only tractors and a whole ‘nother bunch prefer to combine power sources. A small group of farmer folk keep an old tractor around soley for belt power for such things as stationery threshing machines. A popular model for such jobs is the John Deere Model A tractor showcased in this article. The information we have is extensive, we are presenting just a small portion.

OPERATOR’S MANUAL

John Deere Model A Tractor

John Deere Model A Tractor

John Deere Model A Tractor

John Deere Model A Tractor

Clutch lever, throttle, fuel control and radiator shutter control are reached easily from the operator’s seat. Under your feet are the brakes, hydraulic power lift foot control pedal, and a large, comfortable platform on which you can stand if you so desire.

Familiarize yourself with all the controls provided for safe and easy operation of your new tractor. Regardless of your previous tractor experience, study this section covering controls carefully before you operate your tractor.

John Deere Model A Tractor

SEAT

The large, bucket-type seat is high up and well forward. You are generally out of the dust where you have a clear, unobstructed view of your work.

The seat (and seat standard) ride on a coil spring that can be tightened or loosened to conform with the operator’s weight for improved riding comfort. When working on rough ground or for heavy operators, more compression should be applied to the coil spring.

Whether you are tall or short, the seat can be adjusted backward or forward to a comfortable position by means of seat attaching bolt located directly under the seat.

John Deere Model A Tractor

STEERING

Due to the high, centered seat location, tapered fuel tank, and narrow, streamlined design, you can easily see what you are doing at either side. This design, coupled with a steering mechanism built to eliminate entirely objectionable wobble, backlash, or whipping of the steering wheel, even in the roughest going, permits you to work in freedom and comfort.

Smooth, responsive steering can be maintained throughout the life of your tractor by means of the adjustments provided for this purpose.

Adjustments can be quickly and easily made by your John Deere dealer’s serviceman.

John Deere Model A Tractor

John Deere Model A Tractor

SHUTTER AND FUEL CONTROL WITH HEAT AND OIL GAUGE

The temperature of the tractor is effectively controlled from the driver’s seat by means of a manually operated radiator shutter.

The engine temperature gauge is located in plain sight of the operator and indicates when to adjust the shutter.

For best operation, the engine should always be operated up to its proper temperature, which is 190°F. registered on heat indicator. This results in greater all-around economy, better lubrication and more power.

A convenient, three-way fuel control lever, located on the instrument panel, enables the operator to switch from gasoline to low-cost fuel or to shut off the fuel supply entirely without leaving his position at the wheel.

Also located on the instrument panel is the oil pressure gauge. This gauge does not in any way tell the amount or condition of the oil in the crankcase. It only indicates whether the oil pump is working. The indicator hand of the gauge should rest between the letters “M” and “H” when the engine is running fast idle. If pressure is not registered on the oil gauge when the engine is started, stop the engine immediately.

John Deere Model A Tractor

CHOKE

When starting the engine, set choke in full choke position. (On tractors equipped with electric starters, choking is accomplished by a button, mounted on the instrument panel.) On tractors not equipped with electric starters, choke lever is on the carburetor.

Over-choking or excessive use of the choke will flood the engine, causing hard starting.

John Deere Model A Tractor

ENGINE CRANKING

Hand Cranking: The flywheel method of starting is simple, safe, and easy. You simply grasp the flywheel and roll it forward slowly.

All controls are within easy reach.

John Deere Model A Tractor

Electric Starting: To start the tractor, pull choke, and step on starter lever.

The starter motor is geared into the flywheel which is protected by a guard.

John Deere Model A Tractor

BRAKES

Individually foot-operated differential brakes makes possible short turns to right or left at the row ends.

If the brakes are pressed simultaneously with both feet, they assure you safe stopping at high transport speeds.

A brake latch is conveniently located for locking each brake when doing belt work or when stopping the tractor on a hill or incline.

John Deere Model A Tractor

CLUTCH LEVER

The power required in putting the tractor in motion is gradually and smoothly applied to the drive system by slowly pushing the clutch lever forward. As the tractor picks up speed, give the lever a quick forward thrust until the clutch snaps into engagement.

By pulling back on the clutch lever, the clutch is released and the engine disconnected from the transmission. The pulley brake, which is a part of the clutch lever, stops the pulley from rotating, permitting easy shifting of the transmission gears.

When the engine is running and the tractor is not moving, the life of the clutch parts and pulley bearings can be prolonged by shifting the gear shift lever into neutral and engaging the clutch. This allows the pulley and crankshaft to turn as one unit, reducing frictional wear, and lengthening the life of clutch parts.

GEAR SHIFT LEVER

Familiarize yourself with the shifting diagrams before you attempt to operate the tractor.

If gears do not shift freely, move clutch lever forward until pulley turns slowly. This allows gear teeth to line up for shifting.

Avoid clashing of gears. This causes unnecessary wear and possible breakage.

POWER SHAFT

The power shaft is started and stopped with the clutch lever and can be operated whether the tractor is moving or not. To put the power shaft into operation, first move the power shaft shift lever to the engaged position, with gears in mesh. With the engine running, engage the clutch and the power shaft will operate.

Whenever the use of the power shaft is not required, disengage the power shaft shift lever.

The power shaft flipper guard should never be removed from the tractor. Do not operate the tractor with the end of the power shaft exposed. If the flipper guard is damaged, repair or replace it immediately.

Note: Make it a standing rule never to dismount from the tractor without first disengaging the power shaft lever.

POWER LIFT

The hydraulic power lift is simple and positive in action and provides a cushioned drop for all equipment. To put the power lift into operation, first move the power shaft shift lever to the engaged position. With the engine running and the clutch engaged, the power lift is now ready to function. To operate the power lift, step down on either pedal with the heel of either foot.

Equipment can be raised or lowered while the tractor is in motion or standing still.

BEFORE STARTING THE ENGINE

Before attempting to start or operate the tractor, familiarize yourself with the tractor and its various controls. Also check the following:

  1. Check radiator water level, and, if necessary, add water up to bottom of baffle. (Use soft water or rain water if possible.) During freezing weather—where water has been drained to prevent freezing, do not start the engine before drain plug has been installed in bottom of cylinder head and radiator filled with water. (Capacity of cooling system, 9 U.S. gallons.)
  2. Check amount of fuel in front tank. Always use clean fuel of the type recommended for your tractor. (Capacity of fuel tank, 15 U.S. gallons.) Gasoline in the small rear tank is used for starting and warming up the engine. Fill with clean gasoline. (Capacity, 1 U.S. gallon.)
  3. Check oil in the air cleaner for quality, weight, and amount.
  4. Check crankcase oil level. If necessary, add a good grade of 10-W oil until oil runs out at the oil level cock. Note this oil must be drained after 20-hour “breaking-in” period and refilled with the weight of oil recommended in “Weight of Oil” chart.
  5. Check air pressure in pneumatic tires before moving the tractor. Inflate to correct pressure according to inflation chart. Tire inflation should be checked at least every two weeks.

John Deere Model A Tractor

TO START THE ENGINE

  1. Close the radiator shutter, set gear shift lever in neutral and pull the clutch lever back into the disengaged position.
  2. Advance speed control lever halfway.
  3. If the engine had been burning low-cost fuel when it was stopped, drain the carburetor.
  4. If the carburetor adjustments have been changed, adjust load and idle needle according to instructions in “Adjusting the Carburetor.”
  5. Turn on gasoline by turning the fuel control lever to the mark “G”.
  6. Open compression relief cocks.
  7. Place choke in closed position. (For hand cranking, choking is done at the carburetor. With electric starter, choking is done by pulling choke button on dash.)
  8. For hand cranking, roll top of flywheel forward to start engine. With electric starter, step on starter control lever located on starting motor.
  9. As soon as engine fires, open choke immediately to prevent flooding.
  10. With engine running with speed control lever in forward position, the hand of the oil pressure gauge must be between “M” and “H”.
  11. Close the compression relief cocks.
  12. When heat indicator shows 180°F., turn fuel control lever to mark “F”. DO NOT TURN ON FUEL BEFORE HEAT INDICATOR SHOWS 180°F. PROPER WARMING UP OF ENGINE IS ESSENTIAL FOR SATISFACTORY OPERATION OF TRACTOR ON FUEL.
  13. Maintain an engine temperature of 190°F. by either opening or closing the radiator shutter.
  14. Regulate engine speed by the speed control lever.
  15. The engine is set to run at the correct speed when the tractor leaves the factory; 975 R.P.M. for full load and approximately 1075 R.P.M. for fast idle. Caution: UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD THE ENGINE BE OPERATED AT AN IDLE SPEED OVER 1075 R.P.M.

WARM UP PERIOD

Before you put your tractor on full load or into too high a gear, be sure it is warmed up (190°F.). This will give the oil a chance to circulate freely and will save undue wear on piston rings, cylinders, and bearings. Avoid racing the engine during the warm-up period because this wastes fuel.

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