Color of 420C blade

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bookman51
420 crawler
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Color of 420C blade

Post by bookman51 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:26 pm

What was the original color of the blade on a 1958 420C. The remaining yellow on my crawler's hood and grill looks like a brighter yellow than the yellow on the blade looks like a darker yellow. Were the blades painted the construction yellow and the crawler grill and hood had more the agriculture tractor yellow? Or were did the shade of the yellow vary....and I have seen some pictures where the blades were green, but is that a later nonfactory painting?

Thanks in advance

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Lavoy
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Re: Color of 420C blade

Post by Lavoy » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:39 am

Blades on green crawlers were all green, industrial yellow crawler the blade would be industrial yellow. Not that you won't find different combinations, but they didn't leave the factory that way.
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Parts and restoration for antique and late model John Deere crawlers.
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bookman51
420 crawler
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Re: Color of 420C blade

Post by bookman51 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:17 pm

Lavoy, Thanks. However, a few observations. This crawler has been in the family ever since my grandfather purchased it new in 1958. It replaced an MC he purchased in 1949 after the infamous '49 blizzard in the area when isolated ranches were cut off from the rest of the world for weeks. The crawler is green. Now under the green paint is yellow, but I do not know if it was originally painted industrial yellow or if this is a primer. The blade and its supports arms are yellow, and I am pretty sure the blade (and the crawler) were never repainted after my grandfather purchased them. It is a model 62 blade. It spent is life in the Sandhills of Nebraska where it was used to clear snow in the winter, move haystacks in the fall off the wet hay meadows there, push sand up around the water tanks in the spring, and during the summer it was used as the "stacker team" to pull up the head of the overshot stacker when haying. I remember the crawler from 1961 and 1962 when I worked for my grandfather during haying season, but I could not swear 100% to the color of the dozer then. Nevertheless, I seriously doubt he or my uncle ever had it repainted. The ranch is about 35 miles from the nearest town, and the low humidity of the area results in very little rust on tractors. So, it would be a big inconvenience for them to get it to town to paint it nor not much reason to do so except for cosmetics. When I got it from my uncle in 2004, I think it had about 1300 hours on the tach and it had never sat inside during its life.

My guess is that if the blade was either painted green for the green tractors or industrial yellow for the industrial tractors that this blade was originally industrial yellow and for whatever reason put on a green 420C or the crawler was originally industrial yellow and repainted the agricultural green for some reason. Therefore, in either case the blade not have been painted the yellow of the hood and grill trim of the green of the 420C. Is this a reasonable guess? I wonder if a dealer or someone between the factory and my grandfather purchasing it would have put an industrial blade on it. I am pretty sure my grandfather purchased it new from a dealer. Maybe I can check with John Deere to see where it was sold. Thanks much.

bookman51
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Re: Color of 420C blade

Post by bookman51 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:39 pm

Lavoy, I had forgotten that I did get the history from the crawler from John Deere (February 12, 2004...so it has been awhile). There is no indication of a blade on the crawler under "Special Equipment." Therefore, it may well have left the factory without a blade but one was put on later, perhaps by a dealer. Here is the information I have, "Assembly Date: April 14, 1958; Finish Date: April 16, 1958; Ship Date: April 21, 1958" Now I do not know to what dealer it was shipped. I assume the John Deere dealer in Alliance, Nebraska (about 70 miles from the ranch) or Bridgeport, Nebraska or possibly Ogallala, Nebraska, or maybe if there was one at the time at Oshkosh, Nebraska (the nearest town of some size...45 miles from the ranch.

I assume the blade would be listed on the Special Equipment list, but it is not. Here is that list, "Fourteen-inch steel trackshoes with 46-inch tractor center, with five-roller track frame, with rockguards and long track frame; Speed-Hour Meter for four-speed transmission; single remote-type hydraulic system for operating one 3-1/2 inch x 8 inch remote cylinder; less AM2435T Cylinder and Oil lines; antifreeze; grille and light guard with special bumper; dry-change battery with packaged acid, instead of wet-charge battery; sprocket shields for five-roller track frame, yellow seat cushion and back rest; clutch-type directional reverser for four-or five-speed transmission for tractors built February 3, 1958, and after (will not work for LP fuel attachment); high-altitude gasoline engine (for altitude of 4000 feet or more)"

Now two things: it does look like it was set up for a blade since it has the hydraulic system. And, it does have a five speed transmission. Would dealers or distribution centers (I assume John Deere had block houses like IH) typically do some modifications with equipment to meet customer requests? Thanks again.

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Stan Disbrow
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Re: Color of 420C blade

Post by Stan Disbrow » Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:30 pm

Hi,

My 58 420c has yellow paint under the green for the direction reverser housing. This machine was sold new as it still is by my uncle to a dairy farmer. In 66, he traded it back in and my dad scarfed it up. So, the reverser in it is the one from when it was new. I figure that when this order hit the line, the Ag line was out of reversers and so wandered over to the Ind line and grabbed one and a can of green paint.....as good a story as any. ;)

When looking at the yellow stripe on the tin, keep in mind that the original is ink, not paint. They silkscreened that for fast and easy alignment during production. Ink dries faster than paint, so they could then silkscreen the letters on the hood and the numbers on the grille. Mine still sports the original ink, which has faded to white over the years even though the old girl was always kept under cover. So, and color differences there can be ignored.

Stan
There's No Such Thing As A Cheap Crawler!

Have: '58 JD 420c 5-roller w/62 inside manual blade
Have: '78 JD350C w/6310 outside manual blade
Useta Have: '68 JD350, '51 Terratrac GT-25
Also Have: 1950 M, 2005 x495, 2008 5103 (now known as 5045D)

bookman51
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Re: Color of 420C blade

Post by bookman51 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:25 pm

Stan, Thanks. I kind of wonder if some parts did not get repainted from yellow to green along the way too...and maybe an entire crawler. Kind of reminds of when I toured the IH-Case Doncaster, England Plant almost 20 years ago (now closed). They had painted a tractor plaid because some Council (I think sort of the equivalent of our county) had wanted it that way. The plant masked and painted and masked and painted and masked and paint, etc. So what maybe 99.9% of the crawlers were painted a certain way, who knows on some Friday when the right colored parts were not available or what some dealer did later to satisfy a customer.

On my steering levers there is yellow under the green and it shows up in other spots, such as on the frame near the hitch. For good or bad, I took the fenders, hood, grill, and rock guard off and had a paint shop paint a good DuPont paint them when I had them paint my Farmall Super C. So, the yellow is now painted on the grill and hood. I suppose I could paint the blade parts whatever but I probably will stick to the color for the blade and parts that I recall. If it looks too odd with with regular yellow on the crawler and industrial yellow on the blade parts, I may just paint the blade parts all green. Fifty years from now (or less) someone will see the industrial yellow under the green and wonder what was going on. Thanks

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Lavoy
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Re: Color of 420C blade

Post by Lavoy » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:00 am

Blade was most likely dealer installed, not at all uncommon.
Green paint over yellow is very common. Many stories written how a dealer may have had a yellow crawler in stock, and a farmer wouldn't buy it so they were repainted green to get it to sell. Or it went back to Deere, and Deere repainted it because they had an order for a green one, then shipped it to another dealer.
I have also in the past talked to a guy that worked at Dubuque when these crawler were made and he told me stories of finished crawlers being pulled of the lot outside and repainted. In this particular instance it was Terex green, but still means they did it.
Deere's primer is also yellow, sometimes that will show through.
Lavoy
Parts and restoration for antique and late model John Deere crawlers.
Owner and moderator www.jdcrawlers.com

bookman51
420 crawler
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Posts: 40
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 10:20 am
Location: Kearney, Nebraska

Re: Color of 420C blade

Post by bookman51 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:03 am

Lavoy, Thanks for the information. As you may recall, about ten years ago you redid the pins for the tracks for this one. Larry

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