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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
John Deere started manufacturing Lawn and Garden tractors in 1963. The 1963 model 110 came standard with a 7hp Kohler K161 engine, a manual three speed transmission consisting of three forward gears, and one reverse gear. The tractor also had fiberglass fenders, a steel tubular front axle, three lug cast rear hubs, and a high mounted manual lift handle. After production of this first year tractor model, John Deere quickly found some glitches in the manufacturing, so they made some design changes for the 1964 model 110.

First design change to the 1964 models, was to change the fiberglass fenders to a steel stamped fender, as the fiberglass fenders were brittle, and since most operators would place their hands on these fenders for supporting their weight while looking back at rear mounted attachments, they easily broke. Although these new steel fenders weren't offered as standard parts until 1964, they were made available to owners of the 1963 110's, if they choose to replace the fiberglass fenders. It was as simple as trading your fiberglass fenders in for the newer steel fenders. Some owners took advantage of the offer, however most owners didn't. The new 1964 model 110, also had the high mounted manual lift handle changed to a lower part of the pedestal tower. With heavy front and rear mounted attachments such as a snowthrower, front blade, ground plow, double discs, a cultivator, etc..., owners of the 1963 110's found that the higher mounted lift handle made it harder to lift the rear attachments, and were breaking the lift handles under pressure. By relocating the lift handle pivot point lower on the pedestal, and extending the length of the actual lift handle, operators found it easier to lift the heavier equipment with less effort. The 1964 110's were also introduced with a 8hp Kohler K181 engine, which gave the owners one more horse power over the earlier 1963 110's. The front steel tubular front axle and the three speed manual transmission remained unchanged.

Now for the introduction of the 1965 model 110. Although the body style and appearance still resembled the earlier 1963 and 1964 110's, some changes were made that pretty much set the standard for the remaining years of the round fender production years. The engine and lift handle set ups remained unchanged on the 1965 model, however the earlier three speed manual transmission was now updated to a new four speed manual transmission. It included four forward gears, and one reverse gear. With the introduction of the four speed transmission, came the introduction of the granny gear, commonly known as first gear. This gear was designed to be used for the rear mounted rototiller, and the front mounted snowthrower, both of which needed slower than normal ground speeds. With the tractor in first gear, and the variator in it's almost lowest setting, the tractor would go it's slowest speed, however the throttle could be used at maximum rpm for the high rpm needed attachments. A second change introduced in 1965 was the mower height adjustment. On the earlier 1963 and 1964 models, the mower height adjusts were made by a special clip that clamped onto the lift quadrant. This clip fit the notches of the quadrant and was held on by a thumb screw. The 1965 model was introduced with the height adjustment built into the deck of the tractor. You simply turned the adjustment knob in or out to acquire your deck height settings. Another change to the 1965 model was the introduction of the cast front axle. This cast front axle was brought out due to the introduction of the optional allied front loader attachments. With the required front end load needed, John Deere didn't feel as though the tubular steel front axle would carry the required weight, so thus the newer cast axle was created as standard for the 1965 model. This newer cast front axle could be bought or exchanged for the earlier tubular steel front axles as found on the 1964 110's, however only on models after serial number break of 4,800. 1963 110's, and 1964 110's up to this serial number, had cast transmission drive pullies, and wouldn't have been able to stop the tractor if the operator would have been trying to stop the tractor on a downhill grade while having a load on the front loader attachment. This was John Deere's way of controlling the operators from purchasing or installing a front end loader on the earlier tractors.

Also introduced in 1965 along with the model 110, were some attachment changes, as well as new attachments. Here is a brief rundown of the improvements or adjustments:

**There were a number of changes made to the Model 38 Mower Deck, however most of the changes were for cost reductions, and to the average homeowner, where never even noticed.

**The Model 42 Front Blade was changed, by eliminating the side-to-side pitch of the blade, which was often known as the 6-way blade. The 6-way blade gave the operator a choice of pitching the blade, meaning the blade could have the right or left edge of the blade lower than the opposite edge. They could angle the blade left or right, fix the blade as for grading, or non-fix the blade so that the blade would trip or flop forward if the operator would happen to hit something hard. Although the initial theory and development was thought to be beneficial, it turns out the pitch angle was quite useless. So in 1965, the front blade was introduced with only the left and right angling, fixed blade, and non-fixed tripping adjustments.

**The Model 36 Snowthrower was changed to improve durability, strength and ease of manufacture. A high carbon blade was adopted. The runner location was changed to improve floatation over uneven sidewalks. The discharge chute was improved for better manufacturing control and to give smoother action, and the lift linkage was improved to withstand hard usage.

**The Model 20 Air Compressor was introduced, and was developed by Fliteway Sales, Inc., and the Horicon Works Engineering Department. Fliteway built the Compressor and it was purchased by the Horicon Works and sold as a John Deere product. The unit mounted on the front of the tractor, and could be used for spraying, painting, inflating tires, and any other job requiring compressed air. The unit has a twin cylinder cast iron pump with dual safety valves. These units are commonly seen painted entirely John Deere Yellow, with a John Deere Green pump, however I have literature that shows the entire unit painted in John Deere Green except for the flywheel/belt guard.

**Also introduced in 1965, was the Model 30 Rotary Tiller. The Haban Company, in cooperation with the John Deere Horicon Works, developed a rotary tiller for use with the 110 lawn and Garden Tractor. The tiller was built exclusively for John Deere and is marketed as a John Deere product. The tiller could be operated to a depth of 7", and the basic unit was 22" wide. Extensions could be added to till a strip 30" and or 38" wide. The tiller ran off of the tractors power take off with a single drive belt, and was geared down through the unit for the required tilling ground speed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
John Deere added a bracket with a wooden shoe in front of the variator pulley. When the brake was applied, the variator pulley would travel forward so that the drive belt would ride hard against this wooden shoe and aid in stopping the tractor. Later in the production year, John Deere changed the transmission cast drive pulley to a stamped steel pulley, although the bracket and wooden shoe was still manufactured and installed on some of these later tractors. I have seen, and still have a later production year 1964 110 that has this bracket and wooden shoe, although the transmission drive pulley is stamped steel.聽聽
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, they still had the brake band, however for some reason, the cast drive pulley wasn't able to stop as fast as the current stamped steel pullies. The cast drive pullies were about an 1" think, and much heavier than the stamped steel, so as you can imagine, it took more than just the brake band to get it slowed down enough for a complete stop.

I don't have immediate access to my '63 110 right now, but hopefully come Spring, I can dig it out and show you the difference between the cast pulley and the newer stamped steel pulley. I'll also try to remember to snap a picture of the brake shoe and bracket, so that you can see how it was mounted.聽
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, I'm sure you would have gotten quite a ride!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just found this John in one of my service bulletins:

"The heavy cast iron sheave used on tractors prior to serial number 3550 produced a flywheel action. The wooden brake shoe was originated to permit easy shifting without gear clashing and for quicker stopping response."

I should add, that the wooden brake shoe did not ride against the variator belt, but instead rode against the walls of the variator pulley.聽
 

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This has been Very interesting. 聽I referenced the online parts catalog to see if the wooden brake assembly was shown, but couldn't discern it in the breakdown. I did see some brackets and arms that may have been the parts in question that were used prior to SN 3550. I could also see where the cast pulley was subbed to stamped. Now I'm wondering how many reports Deere had of unstoppable tractors and ground up gears ! 聽 Thanks for this insight Troy. I enjoy discovering info like this !
 
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