The John Deere 820
Tractor only available
with a diesel engine
John Deere 820 Rice Special
The John Deere 820 Tractor had the same engine and power of the
tractor it replaced, the John Deere Model 80. Later in the
production run, the 820 was beefed up with new pistons, fuel injection
changes and a new fuel pump which accounted for about
a 12% increase in power.
Also with that change a new cylinder head design was used, the
starting engine had some improvements, a plastic steering wheel
was adopted, and the instrument panel was painted black instead
The 820 could easily pull a 21 foot disk or multiple drills or
cultivators up to 24 foot wide.
The engine had a bore and stroke of 6 1/8 x 8 inches, 471 cid,
1125 rpm, the 1957 model had 67.64 belt and 61.76 drawbar
horsepower; the 1958 engine had 75.6 belt and 69.66 drawbar
Starting was accomplished using the V 4 pony motor introduced
originally on the Model 70 Diesel Tractor and having the improvements
that were made with the 720 Diesel. The 24 volt electric starting
system was not an option until the Model 830.
The Model 820 and the tractors it replaced, the Model R and
along with the 830 were only available with a diesel engine.
John Deere 820 tractors built from 1956 to 1958
This 820 is pulling a Deere No. 66R plow. The Rice Special
decal is right above the back end of the hood yellow paint.
Rear tires are 18-26 cane tires.
The 820 was the first John Deere Tractor with more than 50
The price of a new 1958 Model 820 tractor was $4,900.
Shipping weight was 8,150 pounds
The first Model 820, serial #8200000 was sent to the Waterloo
Tractor Works sales department (probably for photo shoots),
returned to inventory in 1960 and sold as a used tractor to
a dealer in Hampton Iowa.
The last 820 was shipped July 11, 195
Two 820's were given an experimental designation sometime in 1957 as
RX637 and RX638, both of these were later sold as used tractors bearing
serial #8203035 and #8203036.
The Industrial Division offered 820's with yellow paint and various
industrial application options, but there was no 820 I designation.
A three cylinder John Deere Model 820 was produced from 1968 to 1970.
It had zero resemblance to the the original 820.
In 1957 the largest farm tractor in the world was built, the 238 horsepower
Steiger. Other manufacturers were coming out with their own high horsepower
tractors and Deere management pretty much knew that there would
soon be a race for horsepower and the end of the two cylinder tractors.
There were only so many horses that could be pulled out of a two cylinder
engine without making the tractor so large that it would be too bulky
for farmers to want. Had the two cylinder tractors stayed, the higher
horsepower tractors would have ended up as large as the old steam engines.
The huge popularity of the New Generation of tractors proved the move to
eliminate the two cylinder era was a great decision on Deere's part.
A very nicely restored John Deere 820
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