R, 80, or 820
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Thread: R, 80, or 820

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    R, 80, or 820

    Hello all.

    I've been obsessed with the John Deere R for a while now. Don't ask me why. Just a cool tractor. Anyway, I've wanted to restore one as a project for a long time, but I have a practical side to and was wanting to use it for some general work around the land. I've been searching for some ideas as to what implements were commonly used on the R. I've also seen videos of people with a hydraulic pump installed but as I understand it the R did not come with one. I'm curious as to the 80 and 820 models as well.

    Thanks in advance for the advice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by n_brunk06 View Post
    Hello all.

    I've been obsessed with the John Deere R for a while now. Don't ask me why. Just a cool tractor. Anyway, I've wanted to restore one as a project for a long time, but I have a practical side to and was wanting to use it for some general work around the land. I've been searching for some ideas as to what implements were commonly used on the R. I've also seen videos of people with a hydraulic pump installed but as I understand it the R did not come with one. I'm curious as to the 80 and 820 models as well.

    Thanks in advance for the advice!
    Hmm I don't think I have ever seen an R without hydraulics? They don't have a 3pth but use trailer type equipment. The R was said to have "weak" pto gears. An R is a pretty fair sized machine for a homeowner as in its day it would have been a large primary tillage tractor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by js5020 View Post
    Hmm I don't think I have ever seen an R without hydraulics?
    That's what I was curious about as I understood that it was a package that could be added on but when I look it up, some places don't list hydraulics as a standard feature.

    Quote Originally Posted by js5020 View Post
    They don't have a 3pth but use trailer type equipment. The R was said to have "weak" pto gears.
    Could you elaborate more on "weak" PTO gears?

    Quote Originally Posted by js5020 View Post
    An R is a pretty fair sized machine for a homeowner as in its day it would have been a large primary tillage tractor.
    No one said I was stuck at just 1 JD!

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    The weak gears were a known issue with the model, they just couldn't hold up to the power of the engine under heavy PTO loads. Hmm I found some info that claims hyds and live PTO were an option, interesting,,,, I don't think I would want to manual lift any of the equip that an R would pull. A real beast.
    n_brunk06 likes this.

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    A guys down the road from us has a R with no PTo or Hydraulics, were both my 80 & R do. Never put any thought into it, but thought I would chime in.
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    Kevin

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    Dad had an R for a couple months.... it was delivered just before Christmas... end of year purchase for tax reasons. He installed Char-Lynn power assist steering.... then I found out WHY... It was MY field work tractor for that spring when I was ten yrs old. Did almost all the disking & plowing with it that spring. Tractor was delivered with the 4-14" bottom plow they typically pulled, but I had to run such a slow gear.... 2nd in sod and maybe 3rd in old corn ground, that I was a rolling road block for Dad on the FARMALL Super M-TA pulling 3-14's. I ended up pulling 3-14's in hillier ground so I didn't have to stop and shift into 1st gear to pull the hills. Another weak spot on R's was their two main bearing crankshaft. They didn't like to lug.... they'd break the crankshaft! Only 2-cyl diesel JD made with only 2 main brgs, and 2-cyl pony motor... and the weak PTO. In all the time I ran the tractor, I NEVER started the thing. We never hooked a single thing to the PTO... but the PTO ran constantly because it drove the internal hyd pump for the live hyd. I remember Dad trying to start it the first time.... we ran the pony out of gas twice trying to warm the diesel engine and roll it over to warm it up, and It was fairly warm for a December day but it wouldn't start.

    We had about 20 out of the 120 acres left to plow and hadn't even got the corn planter out when the road commissioner talked Dad into selling him the R in late April. Commissioner wanted it to drag and rototill scarified roads. The rototiller was run by the PTO. It required about 30-35 HP and the R tore the PTO gears out each of the three years they tried to use it. The commissioner replaced the R with a 770 Oliver diesel after the 3rd time. About ten years later I ran that 770 running the rototiller and the Oliver handled the load easily. Glad I didn't have to run that old R! The spring after Dad had the R I ran a 450 gas FARMALL... was only six more HP than the R but I pulled 4-14's Everywhere at least a gear faster than the R could have.

    ALL the later 2-cyl. diesel tractors had 3 main bearing crankshafts, V4 pony motors, and stronger PTO's.... I'd buy a 70, 720/730, 80, 820/830.... ANYTHING but an R. It ranks right down there with the 1010/2010 as one of JD's lesser successful attempts at a tractor. They're an awfully BIG awkward machine for so little HP. The only thing they did well was turn a very small amount of diesel fuel into a LOT of noise, heat, & vibration.

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    As I have read in another publication, the 1010/2010 series had a "citrusy" smell. That, I believe to be an understatement.
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    Don

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    Quote Originally Posted by POWERSTROKE View Post
    The only thing they did well was turn a very small amount of diesel fuel into a LOT of noise, heat, & vibration.

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