I've collected tractor replicas for many years and have a ever growing display in my den at home. I have always wanted to own a real two-cylinder John Deere tractor. Up to this point, the only real tractor I had ever owned was my trusty 1026R. One evening, I was sitting at the computer and decided to take a look on eBay, someplace I normally go to pick up older or foreign John Deere toys and replicas. I stumbled upon a listing for a Unstyled Model B and then amazingly discovered that it was located only 8 miles from my home. I jumped at the opportunity and called the lister, made arrangements to look at it, test drove it (it was working!!) and then pulled the trigger. With some help from my father, we loaded it on a trailer and brought it home. So far, I have identified the following issues, most of these I knew about before I bought it.
It does run, the previous owner bought it at an equipment auction. Prior to that, it had been stored in a barn for 20 years. The man that bought it at an auction did some minor cleaning of the magneto points and changed the oil and gas in order to get it to run. He still had to pull it off using a large side-by-side.
It has the correct Marvel Schebler DLTX 10 carburetor.
It has a very nice set of French & Hecht (F&H) round spoke front and rear wheels.
The transmission is solid, no unusual noises, all gears work, and the PTO works.
The rear tires are practically new, no weather checking at all. They are also the correct size: 9.5-36.
There are no fluid leaks anywhere on the tractor. It has sat in my dad's shop on a concrete floor for several months now and there has never been a drop of any fluid on the floor.
It does run, but I have not yet been able to start it using the flywheel; we had been pulling it off with my dad's 1963 John Deere 4010 Diesel (that Deere was recently traded in) the few times that I have driven it.
The carburetor float sticks which can quickly flood the cylinder with fuel.
The fuel tank shutoff valve leaks about 2 drops a minute.
The gas fuel line and three way valve (this is an all fuel tractor) are missing.
The decals are not period correct.
The Wico C magneto is not factory original but is very common as a replacement magneto.
The front tires are shot but the tubes do hold air well.
The drawbar is incorrect, it should have a loop style drawbar.
The clutch will not stay engaged, may just need adjusting but not high on the list at present.
The brake pedals will not return upright; the brakes do work though.
I've picked up a few parts to start restoring it to factory condition. I picked up a working Fairbanks Morse DRV2B magneto for it (correct for this serial number). I located and purchased a loop drawbar. I've replaced the entire fuel bowl assembly including the shut off valve, purchased a three way valve, and all new fuel lines - no more valve leaks.
I have been working on some free weekends to slowly rebuild the carburetor. It was rusty and gunky inside and the brass float had a pin-hole leak, the primary reason for the float sticking. It has been a fun learning experience for me. I had planned at one time to send the carb off and have it professionally rebuilt but I have learned so much by tearing it apart my self that the education alone far out weighs the convenience of letting someone else rebuild it for me. I've spent more money than I thought I would buying parts and tools for this carburetor (in fact it probably would have been less expensive to have someone rebuild it for me) but I believe it will be worth it in the end just for the knowledge and experience.
My goals at present are to get the tractor starting with the flywheel. I've replaced the points and condenser on the Wico C magneto and have now moved on to rebuilding the carburetor. Once I get the tractor reliably starting with the flywheel, I'll probably just enjoy it for a while until I can get my own shop space and tear it down for a frame up restoration. That will be a multi-year project I suspect and want to make sure I have the space and time before starting the leg of the journey.
I purchased most of my parts either from sellers on eBay or from one of the folks below:
Sharp's Antique Tractor Works
Robert's Carb Repair
McDonald Carb and Ignition