1978 John Deere "Spitfire"


Well-known member
Nov 29, 2007
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
This is a 1978 John Deere Spitfire. I know it isn't John Deere Green but it is a 1978. It was redone in more of a 1980 color scheme. This sled was a "Junkyard Dog" but it had most of the parts and it ran. I put way more time and money in it than I will ever get out of it but I have other projects going and not enough room for a vintage sled. Here is a partial list of the new parts and what I did to it. I am sure I will forget something including many spare time hours over the past 4 months.

* The entire sled was dismantled down to every nut and bolt. The chassis and hood were stripped down to the bare metal and fiberglass and repainted. The hood had a couple small cracks that were fiberglassed. The striping is new and a new tachometer was installed. The windshield is new.
* The engine is the 340 Kohler. It was disassembled and then reassembled with new rigs and all gaskets. It has excellent compression and runs great. The carb is the much better slide rather than the butterfly and it has been rebuilt. The guts and cord on the recoil are new. All gas hoses and wiring were replaced as needed and most of it was needed.
* The skid was completely rebuilt with new shafts and straps. The skid now has grease fittings installed. The track is original and only in fair condition but I have been told but some John Deere guys that they have seen much worse and would consider it average for a 35 year old sled.
* The seat was missing so I made a new seat pan and bought a new cover. The foam in the seat is premium grade foam.

** Here is an estimation of the new items I bought for the sled. Recoil guts and cord, bogie wheels, windshield hood and tie downs, tachometer, ski wear bars, seat and cover, Skid parts, engine rebuild kit and rings, dimmer and on off switches (OEM and these are $35 a piece), hyfax, taillight, seat and cover, airbox. and most nuts and bolts.

I have had the sled running and it runs like new. Everything seems to operate as it should and as you can see the whole thing is very clean. I ran the sled with an external fuel supply so the tank has been cleaned and not had gas put in it. As it sits right now there is no fuel in the sled. The carb has also been drained and the engine oil fogged.
This sled is 100% complete and fully functional. It has not been on the snow since it was restored. The pictures do not do it justice. I will photograph anything you may be curious about. I do have an original airbox installed that I did not have when I took the pics. Another $35 invested in this sled.

Anyone who has ventured into a vintage sled rebuild knows they are a money pit but this is now a nice little vintage sled. I do not have a title as it was a salvage but I will supply a bill of sale. I have been told that I can probably secure a title with a little paperwork. I live in South East South Dakota and would help with delivery up to about 200 miles one way from by home. I have a lot of pictures and will answer any questions. I have no room for it. If I do not sell it in one piece I will probably part it out. Make me a reasonable offer but please do not waste my time with lowballs. Thanks


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