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Hello, Im new to this forum. I just picked up a 1949 B. The guy that I bought it from said he remembered that it had a loose flywheel issue when his dad parked it 20+ years ago. Is this a common problem? Does anyone know what the bolts should be torked to? And lastly. What causes the issue with it loosening. We have a 1950 A that my grandfather bought new and never had an issue with the flywheel loosening up. Any help would be great. Thanks, Adam
 

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Welcome to GTT!

It's a fairly common issue that can plague any of the old two-cylinders John Deere Poppers. The engines run slow and the power pulses coming from those big pistons cause the flywheel to rock back and forth on the crankshaft. Not lugging the engine and checking the flywheel bolts are probably the best way to prevent damage.

Now that you know you have an issue, you'll want to remove the flywheel and inspect the splines on the crankshaft and the flywheel's female splines. In bad cases the crankshaft will be damaged and will either need to be repaired or replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks.

Ok. That makes since. Should I be looking for worn and rounded splines on the flywheel/shaft ? Also if everything looks ok, what should I tork the bolts to? I don't want to under tighten and risk it loosening up again,Or, over tighten and crack the flywheel.
 

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Ok. That makes since. Should I be looking for worn and rounded splines on the flywheel/shaft ? Also if everything looks ok, what should I tork the bolts to? I don't want to under tighten and risk it loosening up again,Or, over tighten and crack the flywheel.
You will see any damage to the splines. They usually wear down narrower. It will be very obvious, similar to this picture. (It's not a crankshaft, but you get the idea.)

IMG_2636.jpg

I don't know what the torque specs are for those flywheel bolts, but it's darn high.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks. One more question.

Ok. Thats what I'll look for. Any suggestions on what to do before I try to fire it up for the first time in 20 plus years? Oil, Fuel, Coolant changes etc? I'm just not sure. I haven't been in this situation before. Just don't want to damage things trying to get her going after all these years. Thanks again.
 

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The nice thing about these old Deeres is they are so brutally simple to get back up and running.

The first thing you'll need to do is to make sure everything that is supposed to move does. An easy way to test the engine for any dammage is to remove the spark plugs and turn off the fuel so you can spin the engine over a few times. Listen for grinding or parts catching on each other.

Next, change ALL fluids (engine oil, gear box oil, coolant, air filter cup, and fuel), clean up the ignition system (polish the points, check gaps, new plugs, etc), remove and clean the carb as needed, lube up all the grease points, toss in a new battery, and check the electrical connections.

That's pretty much it. The last step is to press the magic button and see what happens.

A few years ago I spent an afternoon in a neighbor's fence row with a '52 Model G that hadn't moved in 15 years. I was able to drive it home in time for dinner that night. This kind of simplicity is why so many of these tractors are not only still around, but still in service!
 
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The only model I remember loose flywheels being a "common problem" was the 70 diesel. For them, there was a "taper lock" flywheel available at that time.
 
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Adaboy,

I know this is a little late, but i didnt see an answer to your question on the torque specs for the flywheel. If you havent gotten that far yet, the torque spec is 275 lbs. Do not just crank down on it and hope. There are a lot of questionable things i do on these ol tractors, but if i pull a flywheel, i use new grade 8 bolts, a little oil on the threads and torque to spec. I have and have seen what happens to these flywheels when they are over and undertightened. Its not pretty. Overtighten and the webbing can crack, then on a hard or heavy pull, they will break and when they fly apart nobody is safe. Undertightening and it can loosen, starts with a knocking end with at least a new flywheel. The flywheel is a softer cast than the crank, so it could survive, but remember, there are only 2 bolts that hold that monster on even on a later model with a flywheel cover, that aint stopping S.

Somewhere around here i have pics of patched up D flywheels, if your still around or someone wants to see it let me know, trust me when i say you will go WTF haha

Anyway, let us know how the ol B is going
 

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Seen one flywheel loose. Basically you should replace the crank and flywheel since they are weighted/balanced together.

Getting going-if the engine is loose-fluid change, carb rebuild and Magneto/ignition system rebuild is what typically gets these going. In some rare cases the oil pump drive which comes off the governor can break the coupling so watch your oil pressure. One person I knew broke that and it took about 1/2 mile down the road before it seized.
 
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