The 730 Diesel is a pretty impressive machine. It was Deere’s largest row-crop two-cylinder, and also happened to be the last series to feature the two-cylinder before their introduction of the “New Generation” machines in 1960. The 730 was about the same size as the 3010, which according to Deere literature at the time, was its direct replacement.
Driving a 730 Diesel is unlike any other machine, before or since (with the exception of the 720). This particular machine is a direct-drive electric start. The 720, which was a near-identical model before it, had more pony engine starters than electric starters. The Pony, or cranking engine, was a small gas engine that you would start up first, which would then be used to turn over the large diesel engine. The electric starters were large 24 volt starting systems.
Since not everyone will have an opportunity to drive a 730 Diesel, I thought I’d share this video to replicate the experience as well as I can.
For the last week of January, 2014, I have been at the FETC conference in Orlando, Florida. The end of January is a good time to go to Florida, especially when you compare it to Wyoming’s weather! This is an educational conference that covers a wide variety of technology aspects within education. So far, the conference has been good and informative. I also had the opportunity to attend the most busy Apple store I’ve ever been to…
On a side note, at home they received the largest blizzard of the winter season, with several inches of deep and heavy snow.
Taking the tractors out for a nice winter stroll is a lot of fun–especially when you are able to take more than one out at a time! Here’s a video I shot of the John Deere Model A and Model 630. I was riding the A (same tractor that I restored), so the video mostly shows the 630.
I’ve always enjoyed the look of the 20/30 series two-cylinder John Deere tractors. Once upon a time (before I was born), we had a 630 on our farm. I believe they had a loader on it, and used it to load hay with, but I’m not quite certain. Because of this, the 630 has always had a special interest to me.
A quick history on the 630. If you know me, you know I enjoy the John Deere Model A. The A was replaced by the 60, and the 60 was replaced by the 620, and the 620 was replaced by the 630. In other words, the 630 is basically a late-fifties Model A.
I knew I would like to own a 630, I just didn’t think the opportunity would present itself quite as quickly as it did. My dad has a co-worker that was talking about selling a 630, and knowing that I enjoy the two-cylinders, dad mentioned to me that he was selling one. It wasn’t running at the time, and had been sitting for quite a few years.
Of course, I had to jump on the opportunity. Who wouldn’t, right? I ended up purchasing the tractor, and was fortunate that my grandfather was also able to go with me to pick up the tractor. As much as I enjoy spending time with grandpa, it’s even more fun getting an old tractor with him! He also grew up on and spent his entire life on a farm, and as such gives us opportunities to talk about the “good old days” when these tractors were in their prime.
To spare you the boring details, I had to do quite a bit of work on the tractor throughout the summer and fall. I don’t mind a good project though–that’s the best way to learn about a machine and become acquainted with it.
Although the project is not completed, as you can see from the photos and video, the project paid off. I now have a nice 1959 John Deere 630 to enjoy.
A spark from a welding torch started a recently cut grain (barley) field on fire. It was a little breezy and picked up very quickly. The field is next to our barn, which contains the hay stored for the beef cattle for the winter, and our tractors. Needless to say, it was an instant adrenaline rush. I grabbed a tractor and quickly hooked it up to the plow and made a ring around the fire to contain it. I can honestly say I’ve never hooked anything up that fast before. In the end, everything was okay, except for a few unlucky straw bales.
I had intentions on writing up a photo-book story of the restoration process of the John Deere Model A. I’m having a hard time finishing it, so I thought in the meantime, I’d just throw it up here. If there are any major spelling/grammar mistakes or things you’d like added, please use the comments field below. I’ll add some photos later. Click “Continue Reading” below for the full story.