John Deere 1020, 301A Tractor Engine Oil

John Deere 1020/301A Diesel Engine Oil Specs, Parts List, & Service Guide

Although aging, the John Deere 1020 and its industrial counterpart, the 301A, remain in service around the World today. This article pertains to 1020/301A models equipped with the John Deere 3 cylinder 2.5L naturally aspirated diesel engine. John Deere recommends replacing the engine oil and filter at 200 hour intervals, although the age of these machines suggests that they should be serviced more frequently to combat wear and oil contamination.

John Deere 1020 & 301A Engine Oil Specifications, Service Intervals, Parts List

The original service specification provided by John Deere recommends that the engine oil and oil filter be replaced at 200 hour intervals. However, due to the age of the John Deere 1020 and 301A models in service, we recommend replacing the engine oil and engine oil filter at 100 hour intervals to combat fuel dilution, blow-by contamination, and other conditions that cause more rapid breakdown of the engine oil. See subsection below oil viscosity chart for synthetic oil recommendations. John Deere 1020 and 301A models powered by the 2.5L 3 cylinder diesel have an oil capacity of 6 quarts (with filter change).

John Deere 2.5L Diesel Viscosity Chart

Oil Viscosity

Ambient Temperature Range


SAE 40

68° F to 122° F

Required in extremely hot weather conditions

SAE 30

32° F to 104° F

Recommended within temperature range; good all-around oil above freezing

SAE 15W-40

8° F to 104° F

Recommend within temperature range; good all-around oil, widely available viscosity

SAE 15W-30

8° F to 86° F

Suitable within temperature range; not preferred over 15W-40 due to narrower operating temperature range


-12° F to 50° F

Suitable within temperature range; not preferred over 5W-30 due to narrower operating temperature range

SAE 5W-30

-32° F to 50° F

Suitable within temperature range; recommended cold weather oil

SAE 5W-20

-32° F to 26° F

Suitable within temperature range; not preferred over 5W-30 due to narrower operating temperature range

John Deere 1020 & 301A 2.5L Diesel Engine Oil Recommendations

John Deere 1020/301A Diesel Oil Recommendations | Amsoil Synthetic Diesel Motor Oils

Amsoil full synthetic engine oils offer:

• Superior protection against fuel dilution, oil consumption, and blow-by contamination

• Superior resilience against thermal, mechanical, and chemical breakdown of engine oil

• Improved oil flow and engine protection in sub-zero temperatures

• Greater protection for equipment that is stored for long periods of time or operated infrequently

Amsoil is a leading manufacturer of synthetic oils and lubricants, including a line of engine oils engineered to meet the demands specific to diesel engines, including those that predate modern emissions regulations.

John Deere 1020 & 301A Oil Change Parts List

Part Description

Part Number(s)


Engine oil filter

John Deere T19044

Recommend OEM John Deere replacement or one of the quality replacements listed.

Baldwin BT259

WIX 51243

Donaldson P550020

Oil pan drain plug

John Deere R515346

Can be reused as long as the threads are not damaged; replace as necessary.

Oil pan drain plug gasket

John Deere T13213

Aluminum "crush" washer type gasket, approximate dimensions: 29/32 in ID, 1-3/16 in OD, 1/16 in thickness. Recommend replacing at least every other oil change.

Filler neck cap

John Deere T20294

Replace as necessary to eliminate oil leaks.

Filler neck cap gasket

John Deere T20328

Filler neck

John Deere T23614

Filler neck flange gasket

John Deere R97352

Engine oil level indicator (dipstick)

John Deere AT21534

Replace as necessary if dipstick is bent, kinked, or otherwise damaged.

John Deere 1020, 301A Oil Change Procedures

Note that the tractor shown is an industrial 301A model, but the procedures are familiar for 1020 farm tractors equipped with the 2.5L 3 cylinder diesel. Recommend allowing engine to sit OFF for at least 30 minutes before servicing to allow engine oil to cool and drain into the crankcase.

Click any thumbnail to view fullsize, detailed image

oil pan drain plug

• Place a suitable container below the engine oil pan drain plug to collect oil as it drains (minimum 6 quart capacity, recommend larger).

engine oil draining

• Remove the engine oil pan drain plug with a 1-1/8 in socket or box end wrench and allow the engine oil to begin draining.

oil filter location

• While the engine oil is draining, locate the oil filter. It is positioned in front of the starter motor on the right side of the engine, next to the fuel pump and engine oil dipstick (note that this engine has been converted to an electric fuel pump, thus the original mechanical pump is missing).

cleaning oil filter base

• Remove the oil filter by rotating counter counterclockwise. It may difficult to grip the oil filter due to the position of the fuel pump in the engine block, but a large pair of channel locks or oil filter wrench can aid in breaking the seal loose.

• Clean the oil filter base thoroughly with a clean, lint free shop towel and verify that there are no remnants of the old oil filter gasket stuck to the flange.

lubricating oil filter gasket

• Generously lubricate the gasket/seal on the replacement oil filter using clean motor oil.

new oil filter installed

• Install the replacement oil filter in reverse order. Once the oil filter gasket contacts the base, rotate the filter an additional 3/4 to 1-1/4 turns to ensure that the gasket mates snug against the base. The oil filter should only be tightened by hand.

drain plug inspection

• Clean the engine oil pan drain plug/gasket thoroughly and inspect there condition. The drain plug/gasket should be replaced as necessary if either is found to be damaged. Note the stripped threads on the old drain plug (right) in the image; it was obviously not reused.

• The drain plug gasket is a crush-type aluminum washer and should only be reused a few times before being replaced, as it will have a tendency to leak as it deforms from use.

new drain plug installed

• Reinstall the engine oil pan drain plug and torque snug; do not overtighten. Clean any residual oil around the plug so that leaks can be easily detected.

oil filler neck location

• Locate the oil fill tube (filler neck) on the right side of the engine, in front of the oil filter and below the alternator.

refilling crankcase with engine oil

• Remove the oil fill tube cap and place a funnel in the tube.

• Add 6 quarts of new motor oil through the fill tube.

Amsoil SAE 30 synthetic engine oil

• We've chosen Amsoil's SAE 30/10W-30 heavy duty synthetic diesel oil due to its high TBN level, which combats the acids created by combustion blow-by and fuel dilution. This machine, while fully functional, has seen considerable use and benefits from the extra layer of protection.

verifying oil level on engine oil dipstick

• Verify the crankcase oil level on the engine oil dipstick. Note that the oil level is above the indicator marks because the oil filter is currently empty and thus the crankcase is holding slightly more oil.

• Start the engine and allow to run for 3 to 5 minutes while you check for leaks around the oil filter and oil pan drain plug, then shut the engine off.

• Recheck oil level after engine has sat for 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust oil level and address leaks as necessary.