You haven't lived
until you've ran a
John Deere 730 Tractor
Our 1959 John Deere 730 Diesel
Modern Styling, safety features and ease of operation
made the John Deere Model 730 the ultimate row crop tractor
of the two cylinder tractors.
John Deere 730 tractors constructed from 1958 to 1961
Bore and stroke was 6 x 6 3/8, 360 cid, 1125 rpm, 53.05 drawbar and
59.12 belt horsepower (gasoline).
Front end options for the row crop were: double front wheels, regular and
heavy duty Roll O Matic, single, adjustable wide front, and a fixed tread
A fully enclosed all steel cab was an option for Standard tractors.
730's were produced as Row Crop (general purpose), Standard and
John Deere Two Cylinder 730 Diesel Tractor
The 730 Diesel Tractor was mechanically the same as the 720 Diesel,
only difference was the same styling and external improvements the
gasoline 730's had.
The 730 diesel engine had a bore and stroke of 6.12 x 6.4, 376 cid,
1125 rpm and 53.7 drawbar and 58.8 belt horsepower.
Starting options continued with either the 24 volt electric or the same
pony motor that was on the 720 Diesel. One change that did appear was
a foot pedal for decompression rather than the lever on the 720.
Same tractor after a paint job
Our 730 Diesel had electric start. It was a great running tractor.
I have no idea on the prior history of this tractor and we sold it
after about 4 years, to a logger who was looking for a cheap source
of energy to pull logs.
The main reason it was sold was to buy a 2510 Diesel.....a poor
choice on our part, although the 2510 was a beauty of a tractor
to drive and maneuver.....but this 730 would pull a 2510 in
half if it wanted to.
We did have a lot of problems with the electrical system. I think the
4, 6 volt batteries had something to do with it. All 4 batteries would
need to be in about an equal state of charge to maintain system balance,
and it was rare that happened. We finally figured out the electrical
system when we switched our 70 Diesel from pony to electric start.
This tractor got started a lot by drifting it. Some folks think that
you can't start a 2 cylinder diesel by pulling or drifting it, but
that's not true. We did it a lot cause the electrical system on
this tractor just would not be counted on to start it.
What we did was put the tractor in 6th gear and engaged the
clutch. Then decompress the engine. This allowed the tractor to
start rolling. Once it got going, releasing the decompression
lever allowed the engine to start. In warm weather it only took
about 10 or 15 feet to get it started.
One event happened that is almost never talked about in Deere Land.
We were traveling on a highway and going down a long hill at full
throttle. All at once the engine started to rev very high. We had
over run the governor. What happened was one of the weights in
the governor had actually gone past it's normal stop and somehow
It was easy to put the weight back in it's right place once we
figured out what happened.
We rarely went down hills at full throttle after that.
Speaking of going down hills, decompressing the engine on these
diesels actually had the effect much like a Jake brake on a
big truck, it would help slow engine speed down.
The sound of a running decompressed two cylinder diesel is
really cool....it's one of my most favorite sounds of a
John Deere Tractor.
There are some Deere owners who believe doing this
has a bad effect on the valves, but decompressing the engine on
shut down certainly saves the crankshaft splines.
Read more about this on our John Deere 70
explanation of the John Deere 24 volt starting system
A 1000 rpm PTO became an option on all models March 02, 1959.
A pre cleaner with air stack was an option on the
530, 630, 730 and 830.
730's continued to be manufactured at Waterloo until early 1961 for export
overseas. 730's were produced in Argentina until 1970.
Even though about 90% of the 730's had power steering, it was an option
that had to be ordered. Power steering option cost an additional $138.50.
A new 1960 Model 730 with gas engine cost $3,700.
A 730 with diesel engine and electric start cost $4030
Weight was 6219 for a gas 730, for the diesel 7390.
24,495 Row Crop tractors were built, 5,095 Standard, and 123 Hi Crops
for a total of 29,713.
There were 4 all fuel, 28 LP Gas, 6 gasoline and 85 diesel Hi Crops built.
The Industrial Division offered 730's with a complete yellow or custom paint
job if desired, but there was no 730 I tractor designation.
Steel wheels were available as an option on the above models.
||Beginning Serial Number
Serial numbers 7328801 to 7330358 in 1961 were built for
export. Some 730 tractors were manufactured throughout
the 60's in Argentina.
The End of the Two Cylinder Era
On February 29, 1960 the Dubuque plant ended all two cylinder tractor
production with a Model 440 IC. Waterloo Tractor Works followed
with their last two cylinder for domestic use, a 730 shipped on
June 15, 1960.
In early 1953 a top secret project at Deere& Company began.
The culmination of this project resulted in the end of the two
cylinder era on June 15, 1960. On August 30, 1960 that top secret
project was unveiled at Deere Day in Dallas Texas.
The introduction of the New Generation of John Deere Tractors was
the impetus that made John Deere the number one tractor manufacturer
in the world.
But as writer J. R. Hobbs so adequately put it, "As long as there are people
who remember the glorious sound of a two cylinder under load, doing what
it was designed to do, the two cylinder era will never be over."
Amen to that Mr. Hobbs.
Mr. Hobbs frequently writes articles for Green Magazine and is one of the
most respected modern authorities on the two cylinder tractors.
Deere 830 Tractor
John Deere 630
History of the Green Tractors