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1682 Views 22 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Mvsmuckersbcglobalnet
Hello there, I was curious about the 140 model tractors, I know they are a hydrostatic drive and they seem to be a popular model in the JD world. Right now I am in the middle of fixing up a 78 214 and I also like the older style tractors as well. I was wondering about the durability of the 140's, do they have trouble spots, are the hydrostat units expensive to replace/rebuild if needed? I take it the Kohlers are a good reliable engine in the earlier models? I'm just not sure if I want to get involved with another tractor right now or wait until my 214 is done.I know of a 140 H1 for sale right now, seems to be a good price and it is in great shape. I keep saying to put the money in the 214 but you know, got to have more than one tractor and again it is in good shape. I have read some of the 140's threads in this forum and I don't read of too many problems, just looking for info. Thank you
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Hi Everyone,

Dan S.

I have mowed with several of my 140,s since 1998 and plowed with them and blowed snow since 2005. and have very little trouble at all. The hydrostatic transmission must be built really good. we pull it really hard at plow days and it just keeps going.
The 214 is also a great tractor, But if the 140 is a great price, I think you would really enjoy having 2 tractors!!!!!

Take care Tom B.
140's are pretty much bullet proof if you find a good one.
I have a 72 and it never lets me down.

Just my humble opinion – I would proceed with a great deal of caution if you are serious on purchasing a 140. Not that they are a problematic machine, they are most certainly not. They are well built, strong, durable, and dependable machines. My caution is in the fact as many other members here on WFM’s have found out, including myself – they sometimes have a tendency to multiply. I currently have 3 140’s, not to mention the 110 RF & the 318. It may first start out as a simple need and desire for one. But I along with many others have found, one was not enough. Some members term this as an addiction. Others see themselves as antiquity speculators (I find myself in this frame of thought). And I have heard it from more than one member, they feel they have an iron deficiency.

The good news is, this does not happen in all households. If you are feeling somewhat concerned about this possibly happening (let’s face the facts: you already have a 214, and now you are thinking about a 140 also). I would be more than happy to purchase this 140 that you found, as so you will not have this temptation, and possibly be faced with building a larger Deere shelter to house the growing herd.

Seriously as long as this 140 has been maintained well, runs strong, & the price is right. I agree 100% with Roy & Tom’s comments.

There are many variations of the 140 outside of the common H1 & H3 types, depending on the year & serial number. If you do decide to purchase this tractor, used parts are readily available if needed. Just be careful of certain parts, as they can vary by serial numbers. Also, be sure to get a service manual which matches the serial number.

I would also ask the question: does the H1 meet all your needs? They are very versatile and capable tractors, but sometimes you may wish you had the additional 2 extra hydraulic circuits. Again, not the end of the world as an H1 can easily be modified to an H3 if desired. I am in the process of doing this H3 conversion to my 70’ H1 Patio.

As Tom stated, “I think you would really enjoy having 2 tractors!!!!!”. Or 3, or 4… LOL

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Talk about bullet proof.

I bought my '74 140 used in '76. I kept and used this tractor for 31 years without it ever requiring a rebuild or dealer service.

It plowed snow, moved gravel,and cut grass during that time.

I sold it to a WFM member who is now doing an engine rebuild. Excellent machines!
Dan: I ran several 200 series tractors for a number of years and was very happy- (although both had the earlier versions of the Kohler engines that suffered from too little oil on hills, and I've got a hill) I loved them both. But once you get a hydrostatic drive, you will be in love. The drives are very tough- and rebuild/replacement rate is far lower than that of the engines. I've seen tractors where the fluid was never changed, the hoses cracked or broken, and run on half the amount they should. They probably never saw a new filter. If properly taken care of, I doubt you'll ever see a problem with it.

Tim is right about them multiplying. Ever since I bought the 318, all I can think about is getting a 140 to keep it company. I think they just enjoy being around their own. The vibes are getting to me- and if I find the right machine I'm going to buy mine a friend.
Tim S. they told me that happened with the round fenders not the 140s.
My son bought a 69 140 H3 in pretty tough shape. It's been easy to fix up and not terrible price wise when you consider the things that needed fixing to things we added that we didn't have to. Tranny problems were cured by replacing 2 springs. After that it was able to pull an S10 pick up with a guy on the brakes. sweet!
I thought that everybody had three 140's.........
Biggest problem with 140's seems to be the steering. Boxes wear out, get loose and crack, joints get sloppy, spindles wear out in axles etc.

All adds up to broken parts and hard steering. I have owned 5 140s so far, one the steering box was cracked all apart where the bolts to the frame, another the pin that goes into the box was broke off, another the ball joints were so worn out that they were held together with wire to prevent them from falling apart.

I know Mike Drew will agree on the steering.

IF I were looking for another 140, I would tend to lead toward a 73 or 74 model, you have 1" spindles, a heavier steering box, and the rearend use in all the 300-317 tractors. I think all those changes were made after 71, so a 71 and 72 would work as well, but I'm sure they worked out some buggs by 73/74 with the new designs.
mine is a 72 and has the inch spindles and newer rearend.
Mine steers pretty good even with the loader on it. I did put the bearings under the spindle,and that helped out a lot.
Other than the dang thing is probably the loudest tractor to own ,there tuff.
Mike ....I think you have been driving to many power steering tractors, and now you have girly arms.....LOL.
Roy, tell me about the bearings under the spindles please.

AND...it's true....... 140's multiply (I'm up to three)
I have 3.

Use them every chance I get for everything.
My 420 is jealous when it knows I will use the 140 over it.
Dan – I hope you are finding this thread helpful!!! As Roy pointed out, they are louder than most. There are also steering issues (but most L&G tractors with manual steering have this same problem). And with the age of these machines, one can expect some maintenance issues. But as long as you keep up on the recommended PM service schedule, you should not have any major unexpected problems.

Mike Drew - Yes, it does happen to the Round Fenders also. I am still looking for that elusive 63’ covered up in a barn somewhere that was forgotten. I believe this also happens to all of the classic and collectable machines no matter what model or color.

Mike Duwe – You bring up an excellent point with the later models being a preferred machine over the earlier models for a working tractor. I would look for a serial number 30,001 and higher for a serious working 140 (which my 74’ is). The earlier models are also great tractors, but IMHO are becoming more desirable for collectors. BYW, I am thinking about putting a turbo on my 74’. What would you recommend.

Roy – I am with Dan, tell us more about your spindle bearings. Are these the thin needle bearings with washers, or some other style?
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Hey guys, yes this thread has been very helpful and amusing too I might add, thank you all for your information.
dan salman - Looks as though others have summed up the 140's pretty well. However, I do have one thing to add. You mentioned the 140 for sale you know of is an H1. Well, I can aaaaaaalmost guarantee that if you purchase that H1 you'll be huntin' parts to upgrade it to an H3 in the future. Sure, not everyone is an 140 H3 user but there's a lot more you can do with an H3 than an H1. Is it difficult to spool and plum the H1 to an H3? No, but you can spend some time, as I mentioned, huntin' down parts and needless to say a few dollars for that conversion. If the H1 you're lookin' at is in good shape with a fair price and you don't need to spend a lot of money gettin' it ready to work then I'd say purchase it but if you need to put a fair amount of money in it then you may want to think it over for a minute. Personally, I would purchase an H3 over an H1 every time unless the H1 was an exceptionally nice tractor and a good purchase price after which I would do the H3 conversion.

This goes without saying but this is my own opinion on the 140 and your [opinion] and others will vary to differing degrees.

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I forgot about the steering. That was far from a treat to fix. The biggest problem was that upper bolt. Josh could reach up in there and get it. I think his arms are to big now (lack of power steering).
Buy the H1, if you need it you can find an H3 later.
I'd have a bigger Deere family, but am out of room. I caught the 300 and the 140 talking about a 332 the other day...
Hey there, no I haven't bought it yet, still hemmin and hawin' over it, thinking of other areas where the money could be spent, like the 214 for instance, house, bills, cars, etc. I don't really need a 140, but I like the looks of the 68 thru 74 tractors, all models, 110,112, 120 and of course the 140. It is a nice tractor though, I did go look at it a little while back, maybe in the future I could use it just not now. Still unsure, I know the old adage though, you snooze you lose. As it is now though the 214 is turning into a bigger project than I thought it would be, the deeper I dig the more I find. The bummer is I found the 140 one week after I bought the 214 and have wayyyyyy more money into the 214, I could have bought the 140 two times.
Dan, I sent you an email about the bearings. Hope you got it.
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