1939 L tractor
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    1939 L tractor

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ID:	5147hello first post here. i'm loooking to buy a 39 L (serial #629988)locally for me and my son to have a good project to work on together. the one i found is all there and in fair condition. from a second hand person he said it was running not long ago. it is a hand crank only. it has no air intake and the exhaust manifold has been welded pretty bad. other than that it looks all there. it has a bad spray paint job and will need new decals. it also has no attachments. any idea what would be a fair price for this tractor? thanks. -ED
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    sorry trying to post pics.
    Last edited by ED S; 12-06-2011 at 10:14 AM.

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    RandyM's Avatar
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    Hi Ed

    I can not help you with price but, I can help everyone else from getting a sore neck.

    Very coooooool little tractor. Should make for a very nice project. Thanks for posting.
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    randy, thank you for fixing that....i tried.

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    DRobinson's Avatar
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    Ed:

    That is a nice looking tractor from the pictures. I can't help you with value, but it looks like a great project. Have you heard it run? It looks as though the serial number plate is still on the right side of the rear axle. A lot of them got kicked off over the years because of their location. You might want to check a thread and posts from UncleWayne on this forum. He bought one last spring or summer. They are a great little tractor. You might also want to pick up a copy of Green Magazine. Most Tractor Supply Co. stores sell them or you can find them at www.greenmagazine.com

    Keep up posted if you buy it. I for one, will be interested to hear about your efforts with it.

    Don
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    thanks. i definitly will keep you posted if i pick it up. i have not heard it run yet.

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    Uncle Wayne's Avatar
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    1939 l

    Congrats Ed on just finding one of these tractors. I'm no expert by any stretch so take this with a grain of salt. I've been looking for a LA John Deere for several years now. There's a thread somewhere on here with a few pictures of what I found and bought.

    Three important things I noticed right off about your tractor: the serial number intact, the crank and the color. The serial number plate makes it worth more, period. These tractors, as DRobinson noted in an earlier post, are very rare that still have the serial number plate in place. With that you can nail down to the day the tractor went into production and the day it was finally shipped and to where. That may not be important to some but for you to mention buying it as a project for you and your son, I'll bet it will be to you in the long run.

    If that is the original hand crank, the value of the tractor is even more. Most have been lost over the years especially so as the generation that owned and used them have died off and the next generation just didn't have the love and concern for the tractor as their ancestors did.

    The color of these tractors varied but the green ones were a deeper green than many restorers use. I've seen some of the 1939 and 40 models that originally were red. Even though the paint job it has now is a poor one, by what you said, I'd recommend putting it back that same shade if you keep it green. During the restoration you may find it was a different color originally. If so and particularly so with the serial number intact, paint it back the original color. I was told one place to tell the original color was underneath the cowl / hood. Rarely does the restorer cover up all of the original paint underneath there.

    As far as the value, running or not doesn't matter to most who are selling them as they are so hard to find. If you can get this one for $1800 to $2400, I'd say buy it.
    Wayne
    2013 JD 4520 CUT with 400X FEL
    1942 LA John Deere
    1910 John Deere Freight Wagon (restored)
    1946 John Deere Series 300 two disk plow

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    wayne thanks for the reply. the hand doesnt appeared to be homemade so i think its the orig. the color does seem dark to me but i'll take your advice and put it back to its original shade of green. heres the killer i might be able to get this tractor for under $1000. the owner is afraid of the hand crank. he just picked up a "M". so he has little intrest in this one. the owner is a white collar guy whos not always around so i'm just waiting for him to return from a buissness trip.if all goes well i'd love to find a belly mounted sicklle cutter for it. thanks for the info. i'll definitly keep you posted.
    heres the tag. wayne can you tell me anything about the production date of this tractor. or can you post a link for that info. thanks again.
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    Uncle Wayne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ED S View Post
    i might be able to get this tractor for under $1000. the owner is afraid of the hand crank.
    heres the tag. wayne can you tell me anything about the production date of this tractor. or can you post a link for that info. thanks again.
    Then you won't go wrong at that price, even if it's locked up. You'd want to go through the engine anyway if someone hasn't already, it's 72 years old you know.

    I have a JD book with that info when I have the opportunity to find it, I'll post what I have. Just had foot surgery and can't get around very good yet.

    What part of the country are you from? I have a contact in Missouri with L and LA equipment.
    Wayne
    2013 JD 4520 CUT with 400X FEL
    1942 LA John Deere
    1910 John Deere Freight Wagon (restored)
    1946 John Deere Series 300 two disk plow

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    i'm from long island new york. i'm going to look at it again tommorrow. its at a mutal freinds house. so i still have to wait for the owner to come back from his trip. also its definitly not locked up. i spun the hand crank around and my buddy said it was running about 4 months ago.

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    A few things to look for

    I have an excellent reference book titled: Original John Deere Letter Series Tractors 1923 - 1954 by Brian Rukes and Andy Kraushaar. If buying the L doesn't upset the Christmas budget too much, might drop a hint for Santa. Again, use all my advice at your own risk!

    Here's what the book says: The first 1939 L had a serial number of 621079. The first 1940 L started at 629000 and ended with 633079 which means your tractor is a 1940 model, if I read the serial number plate correctly.

    Another distinguishing marks between a '39 and a '40: the '39's had a "Spicer" brand transmission where the gear shift lever came out the top. The '40's used a JD designed transmission with the gear shift lever coming out the side and was bent to come up vertical. I'm going to check your photos again and see if I can tell which you have.

    Max drawbar HP for the L series was 9.06 HP according to the u of Nebraska tests of 1938.

    Both year models used a Hercules engine model NXB with a 3 1/4 x 4" bore and stroke.

    One Caveat: the book said that during the war JD sometimes used what they had and while the distinctions mentioned should apply across the board, they don't always. Some 40's will have a "Spicer" brand transmission but not normally. But for our benefit, an odd ball just makes it's more valuable to the collector.

    Another thing I found when I was looking at L's and LA's from Maryland to Florida, some high clearance models were produced with 15" front tires. The front spindles were longer to accommodate the higher clearance needed for the tires. I can't find out much more than that though.

    Good luck.
    Wayne
    2013 JD 4520 CUT with 400X FEL
    1942 LA John Deere
    1910 John Deere Freight Wagon (restored)
    1946 John Deere Series 300 two disk plow

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