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Look - A John Deere 45 Tractor!
Who ever heard of a John Deere 45 tractor? B. L. Uhnken, Jacksonville, Ill., that's who. He built one.
Uhnken's JD 45, built with a specific job in mind, causes a lot of double takes from farmers as they drive by.
The specialty of the JD 45 is roadside mowing, and it does a good job of that. It gets its name from an old 45 combine from which Uhnken salvaged most of the parts.
"A combine has the rear end, clutch, and transmission all in one package, and this helps make conversions easier," Uhnken says.
He built his own frame and mounted the rear end so it would run in a reverse, allowing three forward speeds.
Uhnken wanted the engine to be mounted in an in-line position, rather than in a 90 degree as on the combine. This meant he had to come up with a 90 degree gear box that he could belt to the combine gears. To do the job, he came up with a 90 degree gear box from an old 10-in. grain auger.
Power is transmitted from the engine to the gear box with 5 1/8-in. V belts. Belts also transmit power from the auger-gear box to the combine gears. On the opposite side of the engine, also driven by V belts from the engine, is a hydraulic system.
For a mower, Uhnken obtained a salvage highway road-side machine. It operates from 90 degrees upright to 45 degrees down.
One bad feature of the JD 45 tractor is that the brakes are poor. "I'm still trying to figure out what to do about the brakes," Uhnken says. "When I turned the combine axle to run it the other way, this deprived me of good brakes since they're the expanding disks type and are self energized for the direction of travel."

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1983 - Volume #7, Issue #2