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Were the only differences between the John Deere 140 H1 and H3 the number of hydraulic levers? Is there something different too with the number of hydraulic ports? Also was there a 140 H2?
jdfan - Both the H1 and H3 are virtually the same tractor. Yes, the H1 will only have two hydraulic couplers on the right-hand side on the front to be used for a 2-way 54 front blade or to raise and lower the 49 front snow thrower. Per the Operator’s Manual (OM-M46861 Issue L2) “Tractors with a single hydraulic control lever are factory equipped with a center-mounted rockshaft for raising and lowering center and rear-mounted equipment. However, to raise and lower front-mounted equipment such as a snow thrower or blade it is necessary to install a BM15672 Front Hydraulic Line and Coupler Kit…. Rear hydraulic couplers cannot be installed.

Tractors with three hydraulic control levers are factory equipped with a center-mounted rockshaft and front hydraulic couplers.” Rear hydraulic couplers where an option on the H3 that could be installed later.

In my opinion the H1 series 140's were targeted towards consumers who primarily wanted a riding mower. If at some point they wanted to add a 33 rotary tiller or utilize an integral sleeve hitch using rear Brinly-Hardy attachments they could. Lights, both front and rear, must have been an option on the H1 series because I've seen H1s with and without lights. The OM shows the H1 without lights. So in order to keep the purchase price down John Deere must have offered the H1 without lights.

No there was never an H2 model produced for the consumer market.

Kenneth
 

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Kenneth is right, the headlight and tail light package was an option for the 140H1's as well as the 120's. The 120's were virtually the same as the 140H1's, except the 120's had 12hp Kohlers compared to the 14hp Kohlers found in the 140's. Headlights and tail lights were standard for all 140H3's as well as cigarette lighters.
 

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Actually, when the first 140's rolled off the assembly line in 1968 as John Deere's first hydrostatic transmission Lawn and Garden tractors they had Kohler K301AS 12 horse power engines as well. However, it didn't take long for John Deere and their network of dealerships to figure out consumers wanted a little more horse power under the hood so in 1969 Deere and Company insatalled the Kohler K321AS 14 horse power engines.

Kenneth
 

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Kenneth,

I should have you look at my Dad's tractor. I have ran the details past numerous collectors, and none of them yet, have figured out what is going on. He bought this tractor from the original owner, who bought it new in 1969, and always took very well care of it. It sat in his garage all of it life while he owned it. I typed in the type code and serial number of this tractor over on Weekend Freedom Machines numerous times, and each time it came back as no such code found. Through my knowledge and understanding of the serial number breaks, the tractor to me is a 1969 140H1, with a serial number of 12,xxx, and it has the original motor in it which is the K301AS. I was told over the years, that 1969 model 140's were the only year that didn't have the frame notch for the points. This tractor however, does have the frame notch, and after further investigation, it appears by many, that it indeed is a factory notch and not done by your average homeowner. The K301AS is painted green and has the oil fill tube that comes straight up through the engine heat shield, and not out the side like on your later year tractors. I'm thinking that Deere continued the 12hp K301AS motor into the beginning of the 1969 model years. I would be very curious to see if this is indeed the case, and to see if there are others out there like this.

Getting back to the frame notch not being on the 1969 models, I have in my collection, a 140H3 that also has some collectors confused as well. I used to post this tractor as a 1969 model year, but from getting so much flack about it not being correct, I just starting listing it as a 1970. According to the type code and serial number though, 14,xxx, this tractor comes back as a 1969 140H3. However, the frame is notched, from the factory, for the points access, and the engine and gas tank are both painted black.

This tractor was also purchased from the original owner who bought the tractor new in October of 1969. Nothing on the tractor has ever been replaced, other than oil, tranny fluid, or your normal service pieces. Again, I'd be curious to see how many 1969 140's were produced that might have the frame notch, factory painted black motors and gas tanks, or may have just been ID'd wrong.
 

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I wouldn't think it unusual for a '69 140 to have a 12 hp Kohler. If Deere forward purchase "x" amount of K301AS engines in '68 thinking they would be used for future 140's for '69 and beyond models then suddenly when the K321AS came on board to have a surplus of K301AS engines they needed to use they would find there way into some '69 model year 140's.

Regarding the frame notch; It could be as simple as supply and demand mathematics. So the engineers at Deere now had an issue with incorporating a K321AS into a 1969 model tractor (140) frame. They find out that a points access port is needed and move forward with manufacturing the new notched frame but still have a certain amount of K301AS engines ear marketed for 140's to place. So a surplus K301AS is placed in a K321AS reengineered frame for the '69 model year until there are no more K301AS engines left. Kohler is not in the business of restocking engines that have been sold and are already on the balance sheet for 1968. John Deere was/is pretty good about finishing out an engineered run of product assembly items. Surplus inventory costs a lot of capitol. These days with Just In Time (JIT) inventory this is a far less cumbersome problem/concern now than it would have been 40 plus years ago.

I'm not suggesting these events happened by any means but it's a good probability.

Kenneth
 

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jdfan as they have shown there some other differences but many of them are from the time frame the tractor was built. Different rears , disc brakes or drum, fender decks, number of brake pedals, Clutch or not, Light's or not even the H3's themselfs are very different after the hydro and rear change

And as for John Deere using up parts all you have to do is start looking at sel number breaks and you can see they did not waste but used what they had
 
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