JD 140 Garden Tractor

John Deere 140 Garden Tractor 

Built for Greatness in the late 60’s the legendary heavy equipment company introduced a new type of machine that was perfect for lawn maintenance on a large scale. The name of this machine was the John Deere 140 Garden Tractor. This tractor is considered to be one of the best in the industry and here are the reasons for why this is so.

Featuring New and Used John Deere Garden Tractor Parts.

The John Deere 140 has a lot of power for a small tractor. This machine uses a 12 or 14 hp Kohler engine and a Sundstrand hydrostatic transmission. What this means in simple terms is that this machine has a lot of power and flexibility when it comes to doing all kinds of work associated with your yard. Cutting grass with this efficient machine is not the only thing that the 140 can accomplish. The 140 can haul small loads, it can be outfitted to tow a dethatcher to clear off certain parts of land, and it can be outfitted like a regular tractor to perform farming activities as needed. The 140 is also great with speed and flexibility.

There are many extra parts on this tractor that allow it to be converted into other types of machines that will definitely come in handy when you are out on the land and performing some yard work or harvesting or planting of crops. These machines are a lot more expensive than the lawn tractors but they offer more in the way of power and the ability to be utilized for other important land maintenance functions.

Garden tractors in general are of better quality than most lawn tractors and if you are serious about the upkeep of your property and or need an efficient machine to help maintain it then this garden tractor is exactly what you need. So paying the extra cost for this kind of machine is not as bad as it sounds. Over the long run it will be more than worth the current expense. Also, keep in mind that if you do own a crop farm and you have a small fleet of these machines at your disposal think about how much more efficient your workers could be at accomplishing their various duties with one of these.

John Deere’s 140 garden tractors are among the best in its class. Don’t have one of these kind of garden tractors? Then it is highly recommended that you get yours now. Hopefully, you won’t be disappointed.  If you have an opportunity to purchase or restore one of these great tractors the time is now. John Deere 140’s are a great investment for your time and money.


140 Serial Numbers:
1968: 1001
1969: 10001
1970: 22401
1971: 30001
1972: 38001
1973: 46501
1974: 56501
Final: Unknown


JD 140 02


JD 140 06


Building the Little “L”

JD “L” with Hercules motor  (1939-1941)

  I was looking for a project in early winter of 2007 when I saw an advertisement in the Antique Classifieds on the internet.  It caught my attention because it was described as “parts to 4 JD “L” tractors”.  I had never worked on the model “L” so I thought it might be an interesting project.  I bought the lot of parts over the phone and took off to SE Texas to find the treasure.  After 20 hours of driving my truck and pulling a trailer along, I reached the destination.  It wasn’t quite what I pictured it to be, but I brought the mess of parts home with me, never-the-less.  Then I went to work and began the adventure of putting these parts together and seeing what might happen. 

  It took about 6 weeks to complete the first JD “L”.  It had a clean serial tag and and was originally built in 1941.  I selected all the best parts to build the first tractor and everything worked great.  As soon as it was completed, I started on the second one.  Not so nice.  The second best parts sometimes were not complete or working properly, so I needed to find some replacement parts.  Also the motor needed a lot of attention and a complete rebuild.  This one took about two months, because of time to find parts and I did not have as much time available as in the spring.  By the middle of June we had a pair of JD “L’s”.  I advertised the ’41 and sold it within 12 hours to a man in western Canada.  He came by a few days later and took the little “L” to a new home.

  By October I had completed the third “L” and it sold also and went to live in Omaha.  So much fun building these little ones and sending them to new homes.  I did keep the 1939 “L” and still show it during the summer months.  It went to the Iowa State Fair in 2011.


JD "L" parts

JD "L"s


Restoring the little 1941 JD “H”

The John Deere model “H” is a great little tractor to start learning about restoration.  I found this little “H” up in western Minnesota, and although it was running, it was putting out a lot of smoke!  So, the first thing that had to be done was take the engine apart and clean it up, have the valves ground, and replace the rings.  All the bearings and gears were in good shape so they did not need any special repairs.  After the engine is back together and running smoothly, the tractor needed two new front tires.  Then cleanup began and a little straightening of the tin and it was ready for paint prep.  After cleanup and priming were completed, then comes the fun of painting.  I am not a big fan of sleek, shinny power coated finish on the old two cylinder tractors.  That is not how they looked when new, so I give these old ones just two coats of classic green JD paint.  Nothing special, but they come out looking like the originals.  This little “H” cleaned up real nice and made a great tractor to parade and display at shows.  I have always regretted selling this little tractor.  But there will always be another one!


1948 model “M”

  After getting the old “M” home, we quickly realized that there were several badly needed repairs to be made. The first obvious need was new rear tires. The old ones were worn and cracked, and leaking fluid. Also, one of the rear rims needed to be replaced. It took several days to run down replacement rims, and then get new tires mounted. That task was completed about 2 hours before our annual city parade in July 2004. We made it and made our debut in the parade.
The next item was a minor overhaul of the engine. The head was cracked, so we replaced that. And it needed new rings, but the bearings were all good to go. After replacing other minor parts, we were ready to paint. This was a considerable challenge since I do not have a paint room in my shop. So, we covered everything else up and went to work with the painting. You can view some of these pictures at the following link: http://www.acdcresources.com/JD%20M.htm
Finally in the spring of 2006, we had the old “M” completely restored and put back together and she was running and looking like new. In August 2009, the little “M” had the opportunity to show off at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. That was a very proud day in her history.


                                            1948 “M” at the Iowa State Fair


The County Fair

  When I was growing up the county fair was the highlight of the summer.  We would have our calves and pigs there to show with the 4-H or FFA, enjoy the carnival, and take a look at the newest equipment available from all the dealers.  I remember the summer of 1957 when the newest John Deeres were displayed and I crawled on the model 620.  It was very nice and it even had power steering!  We had never experienced that option on any of the previous tractors we had owned.  Wasn’t too long after that fair was over, my dad went in and traded the old model “G” for a brand new 620.  It didn’t have all that much more HP, but the power steering sure helped a bunch with farming.  Somehow we had skipped over the 40, 50, 60 series in the early 50’s.  I never remember driving any of those first numbered tractors.  We went directly from the letters (A, B, G, MT) to the 620.  What an exciting day that was on our little farm in eastern Kansas.



What about the “MT”?

  The John Deere model “M” Tricycle (narrow) front is an interesting tractor.  I found one for sale up in the Waterloo, Iowa area so decided to go take a look.  It was running with a little smoke, and really only needed to be cleaned up and a new set of front tires.  I bought it and brought it home.  There were a few unoriginal parts that were an easy fix, and a big job of cleanup after years of oil and dirt accumulation.  I did not need to open the engine since it was running OK, and that was a big help.  I did strip it down and get all the dirt and rust off, and then a good coat of primer.  Also did not need too much tin work, since everything was pretty straight.  The tool box on the side was from a Fordson, so it had to come off!  After a good cleanup, she was ready for a new paint job.  She also needed new seat cushions and a new steering wheel.  The muffler was replaced and a few other minor parts.  The fluids were changed and she was almost as good as new.  I did put an electronic ignition in and she always started right up.  Also I found a 2 bottom plow for this tractor that had already been restored.   After showing her off for a couple of summers and an appearance at the Iowa State Fair, I sold the “MT” to a man from southern California.  Now the little “MT” is warm the whole year long.


                                                           1950 JD “MT”

                                      The JD “MT” at the Iowa State Fair


Remember When?

  If you were born in the 1930’s or 1940’s, you remember well the days of planting and harvest.  My father pulled the old 7 ft. JD combine with our 1952 John Deere model G.  It turned about 55 hp on the dyno and seemed to have enough power to do most anything around the farm in those days.  It pulled a mounted 3 bottom plow through the soft and the tough soil in the Kansas River bottom, as well as cultivate and disk or harrow too.  I don’t remember so much about the old John Deere pull type combine, but I do remember the day we got our new IH 101 self-propelled combine with a huge 12 ft. wheat head and two row corn picker.  What a day, and it made harvesting so much better!  Those were the days when work was hard and uncomfortable, but that’s all we knew.  Although, one good thing about those days – you could fix most anything that was broke right there in the field!


                                            Harvesting wheat in the 50’s

                                      The new IH model 101 combine in 1964


The good old days!

  Some of my earliest memories of the farm are of the wheat harvest every June.  Dad pulled his John Deere 7′ pull type PTO driven combine with his 1951 JD model G.  It was quite a sight, and it is still today.  No cabs on the tractors, no GPS to guide them across the field, no special monitors to announce the moisture content or the incoming yield of the crop.  What a time to be in farming.  Any of you remember those days?  Leave some feedback or a comment on the good old days on your farm.

                                                    Harvest time in Kansas



What’s up Doc?

  We’re off and running on a new adventure. My name is Al. I was born and raised on a farm just outside Lawrence, Kansas in the Kansas river valley. Some of the best land in the state. We raised corn, wheat, soybeans, and sorghum along with hogs, sheep, cattle, horses, & chickens. I became very familiar with the old green tractors and spent many hours helping dad with the farm work. I was the only son and the youngest child, and farm work came naturally. After graduating from Kansas State University with a degree in Agricultural Education, I moved east and worked as a carpenter for several years. Finally in 2004, I was able to get my first tractor, actually a tractor my father had for many years before he died. That tractor was 1948 John Deere model “M”, and it was assembled in Dubuque, Iowa the very same month and year that I was born. We have a connection that runs deep. I set out to restore that old tractor to it’s original condition, but it was going to take several years.

                                            My John Deere B 1935