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What color was the 140 engine originally?????

778 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  mike_l
I'm trying to figure out what color the engine was on a 1973 140 when it came from the factory. Most 140's that are restored have a black engine, but when I look at the Model information page here it shows the 140 with a completely green engine. Also a couple of years ago there was a low hour 140 for sale on EBAY and the entire engine was all green.

The reason I am interested is I purchased a well used 140 once for parts and the engine block was green which made me believe it was original. The other day I decided to use the frame and was going to pull the engine and just before I did I pulled the head. The piston and cylinder looked so good and the piston was STD, so I knew it wasn't original.

The block on this engine is painted green but almost all of the tin is black or silver. Not at all like the pictures of a complete green engine I saw on EBAY and what is on the Model information page. When you look close this green block was not a spray can paint job, looks more like a factory job.

Did John Deere sell replacement engines like this at one time?

Here are a few pictures of the engine. Any ideas why this engine is painted like this. Also I can not see any where this tractor has ever been repainted, just used and abused. It might have been on a golf course or something at one time as it was number 6.

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To the best of my knowledge, the engine color for a 73’ 140 was black. The 1968 block was painted green (and this was a K301AS 12 H.P. engine). I am not sure when the exact color change happened, if this was the end of the 68’ run or not. There may have been some early 69’ models also painted green.

The photo on the model info page is a 68’, also verified by the front guard around the hydraulic hook-ups.

I am not sure what eBay 140 you saw, but if the restoration was correct, and the engine was green, it would have more than likely been a 68’. All other years 69’ (I believe the majority of the run) – 74” had black blocks with the exception of the 69’ Patio which had a white block.

Several possibilities exist for the engine in your parts 140 with the green block. Check the bore diameter. Being as how the piston is marked STD, if it is a K301AS 12 H.P. it will check at: 3.38”, and if it is a K321AS 14 H.P. it will check at 3.50”. Judging from your posted photo, it appears to be a 3.50” bore. But please check this to be sure.

I will also note, even though the piston is marked STD, and the cylinder looks good, does not mean it is not original. It may in fact could be, just low hours and repainted. This also could very well be a replacement engine, in which case it may not have been painted at all. The individual doing the install could have painted it green.
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Here's the shot of that ebay tractor that Richard was talking about. It was listed an all original, untouched '74:

My '71 came with an all black engine as well.
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Hi Richard. From what we can tell, the engine colors changed during the 1969 model year from green or white to the standard black that was used from there on out. I'm not sure how early replacement block were done, but I'm wondering if somebody had a 1969 shortblock that was painted green and then used all of the OEM 1973 accessories to finish it out. Of course, maybe even back then the replacement engines were black or unpainted, I'm not sure. Just from the pictures though with the breather cover, dipstick tube assembly, etc. being black as a 1973 engine would have been, that is what makes me think a shortblock as been put in.

A couple of things that I noticed was the green paint looks like it was done before the engine was put together as it is everywhere, even on the back of the cylinder where you couldn't get at it with the engine assembled. It looks like the paint was done very professional not a spray can job.

Also the aluminum plate between the engine and the flywheel is not painted. I've never seen a Kohler that didn't have that plate painted.

It makes me think it had to be some kind of aftermarket engine.
Richard, I agree 100% with your assessment. It is defiantly a pre “D” spec block being as how the exhaust valve diameter is smaller than the intake. On a “D” spec block, these would be the same.
Both engines that I'm currently working on, a spec. A (1971) and a spec. D (1973), neither of them have the aluminum bearing plate painted. The spec. D engine is the original engine to my 140 that has been in the family since new. Both engine blocks are black too. However both cylinder heads had black over spray on them.
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