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The 420 John Deere

a little tractor

ready for Big Jobs

The John Deere 420 came in 8 Different Variations

Model 420 manufactured from 1956 to 1958

The first John Deere Model 420 tractor was introduced about 8 months
ahead of it's sister series 20 tractors. However, the first 420's didn't
have the flashy yellow and green paint job the rest of the Deere 20 series
tractors had.

In mid summer of 1956 when the rest of the 20 series tractors were
introduced, the yellow and green paint job was put on the 420 tractor.

These early all green tractors were called Phase 1 tractors. Phase 2
420's started with the new paint job. Phase 3 420's saw the steering
wheels of the hi crop and LP gas tractors slanted and made of plastic
instead of the steel covered steering wheel.

The engines used on the 420 tractors were basically the same as those on
the 40, but with an increase in power of about 20%.

Bore and stroke was 4 1/4 x4, 113 cid, 1850 rpm, compression ratio
of 5.2 to 1 and 27.1 drawbar and 29.2 belt horsepower

A new cylinder head with improved combustion chambers and larger
ports were used along with a higher lift cam and a new carburetor.

Variations of the John Deere Model 420 Tractor include:

420 S (standard)
420 U (utility)
420 T (tricycle)
420 W (row crop utility)
420 C (crawler, 4 and 5 roller)
420 H (hi crop)
420 V (special)
420 I (special utility)

1958 John Deere Model 420 Tractor

The 420 Utility replaced the 40 U which had replaced the MI.

The 420 V was only half as high as a high crop. This tractor was intended for
use with crops grown on high beds. Only 86 420 V's were ever built.

In February 1958 a new piece of equipment was introduced by Deere.
It was a hybrid tractor using a variation of the 420 U having a 3 ton
capacity forklift designed and manufactured by Holt Equipment Company.
25 of these were built, one having an LP gas engine. Deere built 11
of them and Holt built the rest.

Starting with the Phase 2 tractors a direction reverser was an option for
all 420 tractors except the Hi Crops.

A new 1958 420 S cost $1970.50
Shipping weight was 4311 pounds.
A new crawler cost $3300

About 55,000 420 variations were built.

Our 420 Dozer

This John Deere 420 Crawler was originally purchased by a logging
operation near Morgantown, West Virginia where it spent most of it's life,
and a hard life it was for the machine as you can see. It was then
sold to a neighbor of ours who used it to....drag logs in for fire wood.
We are the third owner.

Mechanically it was a mess. Typical of this series of crawlers, the
final drive housing on the right hand side had cracked and also the
top bearing housing had the bolts stripped which allowed the top
shaft to have a lot of play.

We redid the clutches in the final drives, new pins and bushings
for the tracks, had the drive sprockets re-ringed, and the entire engine
rebuilt. When we took the transmission apart the drive shaft
had about 2 inches of for and aft play. It was amazing the thing
ran at all.

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