John Deere 120
During the 1970 and 1971 model years, Deere attempted to offer a price break in a hydrostatic tractor with the John Deere model 120. Designed very close to its successful cousin, the model 140, the John Deere 120 was marketed as a tractor for large estates, farms and commercial use. The model 120 incorporated several of the features of the model 140.

* Twelve horsepower, air cooled, Kohler model K301AS cast iron engine with Bendix style starter
* Sundstrand hydrostatic transmission, unlimited forward speed to 6 ¾ mph
* Hydraulic attachment lift
* Quick -Tach style mounting of attachments
* Electromagnetic PTO clutch for front and center mounted attachments.
* 1 ¾ gallon fuel tank with gauge
* High back deeply cushioned seat adjustable for height and reach
* Live rear power take off, used to operate the #33 tiller.
Featuring New and Used John Deere Garden Tractor Parts
Deere offered the model 120 with a 12 horse motor, 2 hp less than the 140. The transmission used a new style to Deere’s hydrostatic line. The new style used a pinion and ring gear design. This version of the transmission was not introduced to the model 140 until the model year of 1971. Like the 140, a single lever on the right side of the steering wheel controlled direction, speed and braking. The John Deere 120 also had a single pedal on the left side that functioned as the clutch and the brake. Independent brakes were not offered on the John Deere 120.

The model 120 offered hydraulic lift to the owner. A single lever on the left hand side of the steering wheel provided lift to the rockshaft and to an optional set of spools in the front of the tractor. Three lever hydraulics, like those available on the model 140, were not an option for the John Deere 120.

Unlike the model John Deere 140, the rear of the fender deck on the model 120 did not offer the cutouts for the upper link on the 3 point hitch or the rear hydraulic openings.

Headlights, taillights and the cigarette lighter were all optional equipment on the John Deere model 120 while being standard to the model 140.

In order to be started, the John Deere 120 had to have the PTO disengaged, the transmission in neutral and the key be used.

During its production run, patio colors were also offered for the model 120. Along with the standard John Deere green, a buyer could get the 120 painted dogwood white and then pick a hood and a seat in the following colors: Spruce Blue, Sunset Orange, Patio Red, and April Yellow. The John Deere 120 is the only model lawn and garden tractor that offered both the green and patio versions throughout the entire production run.

The John Deere model 120 weighed approximately 650 pounds. The John Deere 120 had several options for attachments and accessories.

* Model 41 or 48 mower deck
* Model 54 front blade
* Model 49 front snow thrower
* Model 33 rear tiller with a 26, 34, or 42 inch width and live PTO
* Model 80 dump cart
* Model 5a sprayer
* Model 54C center mounted blade
* Model 542 PTO
* Front and rear wheel weights
* Tire chains and hub caps
* Sleeve Hitch
* Tire equipment options

Many of the attachments supplied by allied vendors for the model 140 also fit the model 120. Many of these can be seen in the allied attachments section under the Model Info tab.

With a smaller motor, lack of independent brakes, single hydraulic lever, and optional accessories, Deere attempted to give consumers a price break when selecting a John Deere hydrostatic tractor. The theory in doing this did not last long since Deere discontinued the production of the 120 shortly after it started. The tractor was only produced for 2 years.

Serial number breaks are as follows:

Year - Serial Number - Engine

1970 - 1,001 - 7,500 ---- Kohler K301 (12 HP)
1971 - 7,500 - ? ---------- Kohler K301 (12 HP)

Summary by Mike Horn, Photo courtesy of forum member. 06/03/2002
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