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Discussion Starter #1
i recently purchased a deere 55 combine. the main part of the machine is in pretty rough shape and im not sure if i want to fix it up or not. however the motor, heavy built 6 cyl gas, looks pretty solid and i was wondering if this 6 cyl motor was used in any other deere equipment? also wondering what the approx horsepower of it was?thanks!
 

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Probably not. Depends on the year. If your 55 is 1967 or newer, the 303 gas engine was used in it and the 95s. No tractors. If 1958-1964, a smaller engine, but not used in any tractors. What year is it? Horsepower of the 303 in the 55 was 65 hp, I believe, but someone can probably check that. Am not home so I can't look at my books.
 

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John Deere 55 square back:
HE217G
217 Cu in
71 hp calculated at 60 degree's F. and 29.92 inches HG at sea level

Information from OM-H62358 Issue K5 John Deere manual.

If the electrical system is original, it is a 12 volt system using 2x6 volt batteries in series to make 12 volts, and is of positive ground. Depending on the combine they use to different types of starter/coils. For the life of me I can't remember the names.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks guys! awesum info! ive went thru the carb and everything looks good. im waiting for a warmer day to try to start it, turns over good tho.pulled plugs and cleaned them and shot a few squirts of marvel mystrey oil in the cylinders.when i get it running im going to prob sell it for parts. id like to run the sucker cutting fescue this year but ive always been a gleaner man and dont have any parts located.
 

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whatever you need for parts i probably have them. we scrapped a bunch of that series. we kept a lot of the common wear parts, pullies,belts etc.
 

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Thanks, Frank. The 217 was used in the squarebacks from 1964 to 1966. Then the 303 was used until 1969 when Jd quit the 55-95-105 for the new MF design. I also believe the 217 was the same engine used from 1958 to 1963 in the roundbacks. If older than 1958, they used Hercules engines.
 

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Frantbk - you are welcome. You are probably right about the round-backs. Do you remember the names of the two starters/coil systems? I think one was press-a-lite, or something like that. I think the press-a-lite was the odd-ball one. That company is out of business. You can still find a replacement start through NAPA, but they are not cheap.

If he has the other system he can replace them with
demco??? sounds something like that??? I just can't remember the names of the systems right now.
 

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We have a 1958 95 with a 217. It seems there were at least a couple of versions of that engine, the HB217 and the HG127. Heard a machinist tell me that after all the trouble stemming from the cylinders sleeves being mounted together (I thought the whole point of cylinder sleeves was to individualize the cylinders) the engineer who designed the engines was taken behind the factory and shot. I have my doubts about that, but I sure hated those engines.
 

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Frank, I don't remember the exact names of the systems you are asking about, but the names do sound familiar.
We bought a new 55 in 1958 witht the 217, ran it for 10 years without a bit of trouble and traded it for a new 55 in 1968, had the 303. Had to overhaul the 303 at around 3000 hours though, ran it a little longer than the 217. The 68 would cut more than the 58 model year.
 

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My name is not frank, my handle is frantbk.


Anyway back to the 55. The reason I keep talking about them is because it might determined if he really wants to fix-up the 55. They're not a bad combine to have, and they are easy to adjust. Which makes them a good combine for starting young children on.

The gas engine on the 55 I have run was pretty good. The major problem I had was the electrical and that was because the engine cover had been removed and throw away by the original owner. If the combine sat out side on wet morning it was a pain to start. Solved the problem by buying a trap and wrapping it around the engine. Problem solve, starts every time unless the batteries are low.

The only other major problem I have had was the starter filling up with bean/corn junk. Solve that problem with a gasket seal kit. Cut out a seal for the spacer, and one for the starter to set against. Now I don't have any starter fill up with junk.
 

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That's OK, I thought when I put the handle at the beginning of my other post you might see. Frank's not a bad name, but if I let everyone call me Frank. Then next thing you know there will be a Frank posting here, and everyone will be confused.

Anyway. Did the guy ever make up his mind on fixing up the 55?
 

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The electrical systems were either Prestolite or Delco. Delco was the preferred of the two. I have a late model EB (square back) out on my son's place in Kansas. It's a major link for me to my younger days in the winter wheat country. Getting to be more difficult to find parts now, (although Mike's Machine down at Buhler (Kansas) still has a good assortment) and sheet metal requires frequent patching. I noticed a curious thing during sorghum harvest last fall - the threshing cylinder shaft is slightly misaligned. It's about 3/8" higher on the right side (viewed from the front) than on the left, and makes the clearance at the concave grate uneven. The bearings are OK, and bolts, etc., seem tight. What's the deal??? Any suggestions??
 

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look for a crack on the side sheets and braces that make up the body. if the bolt holes are wore around the bearing quills it can make the cylinder drop a bit.
 

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Thanks, that's probably it. Maybe a shim fit between the main frame iron and the bearing quill on that side will help hold things up in place(?) It doesn't run many hours each year.
 

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well i bought a JD 55 1967 to harvest fescue in sw mo.
been reading the manuael man its confusing
i was thinking if i had an extra head i could cut out the center bottem of the head & wse it for cuting hay . would sure beat the dearborn 6' sickle were useing
 

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Set the concave and cylinder so you can make some speed, close off the chaffer and seive and you have a mower/conditioner!
 
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