What can you tell me about a JD 318? Guy has one for sale with a blade, cab, & "heat tubes"? Looks like turf tires on the front & tractor tires on the back. I'm just looking for something to push snow & pull a harrow.
I believe it was a highly thought of tractor, but the engine (ONAN) is pretty much obsolete with parts getting pricey if you can find them.
What Bill said. IF necessary, a modern OHV twin can be installed with the proper tools and fabrication skills. Otherwise it is a fine tractor,very well designed and built.
The 318 is considered the Best JD garden tractor Made. It will do the Job for the purpose you are considering. The are several aftermarket attachment still avaliable for it From Front end loaders to Slip Buckets You can even get a after market Cat 0 3point hitch for it to pull your harrow. The repower engine for it is a 20hp honda for about $1,500 from the small engine warehouse If and when your onan goes They have kits for the 318. Check the link below for further info on the 318. Myself I own 3 deeres a 1969 JD112,1974 JD140H3 & a 2003 JDX485. The 318 was made between 1983 and 1992
Here is a link that might be useful: WFM
Jerry, if you can purchase the 318 for a decent price then I would say go for it! As for what Bill said about parts for the Onan engine....that is hogwash! Cummins owns Onan and it is NOT hard to find parts for Onan. If your local JD dealer can't get a particular part, go to a Cummins dealer they can. Believe me, my family owns 4 318's and they are awesome. Mine has over 1,480 hours on it and it runs like it is brand new. I would say if you are set on getting one, IMHO I would look for an 87' to 92' year model as those have the P218 Onan engine (electronic ignition) vs. the 83'thru 86' B43g Onan engine (points ignition). Both are great engines that have that raspy Harley Davidson rumble. Good luck with your decision :)
"As for what Bill said about parts for the Onan engine....that is hogwash! Cummins owns Onan and it is NOT hard to find parts for Onan.
Well that is "hogwash". Your not going to go down the the local mower shop and get parts, be ready for a long wait and have a fat pocket book. Like $25 for a set of points, just the points for example.
Walt, I assume that you own a JD or two so I don't have to tell you that anything associated with "GREEN" ain't cheap. Onan parts aren't anymore expensive than Yanmar parts, Kohler parts, OEM JD parts, etc. I am just saying that parts ARE available and can be found.
Sorry, didn't mean to come off as though they were giving them away. They are great machines and were considered to be among the best of lg tractors in their day. I personally would love to have it's bigger brother- the 332 which is a diesel 16 hp. yanmar, or the big daddy of lg's...The 430 which is a beast. We have bigger tractors on the farm but as far as a good mower that is very versital, the 318 can flat out Getter Done.
I had a 317 which was about the same machine but for a couple whistles and bells like power steering. Super extra heavy duty tractor! I used it for the first real clearing of my christmas tree farm. It found chuck holes, large rocks, and ran down small garbage trees without stopping. I loved the sound the engine made... a sweet purr of a tractor song. When stuck I could leave it spinning its tires while I pushed or pried with a 4x4 timber... then ran to catch it when it was free.
Downsides... it leaked, it smoked, it used oil, it lacked safety devices like the seat kill switch. I had to sell it after it died a second time due to wires shorted due to vibration. I liked the 345 that replaced it even better and the x485 is now the 345's big brother in my garage. I kept the 345 for lawn mowing and snow throwing so the big x could stick to work in the christmas tree fields.
The newer machines are much easier to pull the deck for service. New machines have better lights... love the rear work lights on the x485. A low tree branch took me off the 317 during some after midnight mowing so I appreciate the kill switch on the newer machines... the 317 kept going without me.
That old 317 was my first garden tractor so I'll always have fond memories of it.... not that I'll ever trade the 345 or x485 for one (or 318 for that matter).
You must write for a living. I felt that branch hit as I was reading along. Thanks for sharing. I have a customer with a 318 that we'll probably re-power this year. They are beasts for sure.
Tomplum... check the wiring harness good for your customer. Mine shorted under the engine and I didn't have the time or tools to fix it. I also recommend a new sight tube on the back of the hydrostatic unit.... a 10 cent fix that is both functional and nice looking.
Th sight tube hose is a good suggestion and should be watched more. I've noted others around that vintage in where the hoses are becoming brittle. What shorted where on your harness if you know? I tend not to have shorts but things like corroded terminals behind the ignition switches and circuit breakers. Guess that's what you get when you live inna rain forest...
It's a '92 & the guy want $3000.00 for it. Cab, heat tube, snow blade etc.
For that price it would need to have either a rebuilt onan engine or very low original hours (very nice condition).
Its sounds like too much money to me.
The problem with anything that gets the kind of god-like reputation of the 318 is that people think they can ask huge dollars and someone will pay it - and they frequently do... There's a 318 with blower locally for $3900 Canadian dollars. Looks to be in great shape? Oops, looks like it sold!
LOL!... welcome to shopping for John Deere products. Consider just a snowthrower for my 345 was $1400. The most amazing snow throwing machine I've ever owned but I swallowed my teeth when I saw the price tag.
tomplum... I don't know where the old 317 shorted. It was a no start one day and I was working 70-80 hour work weeks. It was only a couple thousand to trade up to a nice 345 so it went back to the dealer. I saw it one last time with the motor out and mechanic cussing at it... figured I'd made a good trade.
They don't build them like that old tank anymore which is both good and bad. Not giving up my x485 to go back! Now I just need to cough up for a new snowblower and get rid of the now old 345 snow rig.
Best JD advice I ever got was, "pick out the perfect size tractor and then buy one size bigger".
To the OP....the Onan P218 michanically is one of the best engines ever made in that class. However, they have a known problem with the ingnition modual (which is located under the flywheel). They tend to fail prematuraly...I know, I have one on a Gravely Tractor...the best price I have been able to find on one is about $87.00. That said.....unless the engine has a mechinical flaw, I beleive they are worth the trouble.
I did have a 318 w/ a shorted stator a couple years back. Maybe you did too.
I am thinking of upgradeing to a compact, Like a Boomer or Cadet. What is a good JD modle to compare. My Husque still in the shop & we are going to get snow eventually. The big New Holland loader is real good at scraping snow & we sold our 3PT hitch snow blade this fall!
I shopped long before buying a 91' JD-318, which replaced a 3 year old cheap cub cadet. The 318 Looks nearly new, and included the power blower/vac system, and a nearly new front mounter thatcher, with very good 46" deck, for $1100. That's an incredible price, even considering the original Onan P218G engine has 2950 hours. ACTUAL. Yes, nearly 3000 hours. I am the 2nd owner, and the dealer willingly let me talk to the original owner, who traded it in for a new one. This tractor has never been used for anything but cutting grass since 1991. Now I'm the second owner, and I've had it 4 months. Believe it or not, except for the huge oil consumption, the engine, with nearly 3,000 hours, still sounds perfect, and everything on the tractor is perfect. Because everything else on the tractor is like, I thought I got a great deal. The 318 is a workhorse. I found a steal on a front mounted dual hydraulic snow blade, and after a little prying and prodding, all the 4-way hydraulics are perfect. All service on this tractor was done at the selling dealer, and I'll do everything from this point forward, and plan to keep it for a LONG time.
Question: Should I rebuilt the original Onan P218G engine, at the 3,000 hour mark, or buy an aftermarket engine? If new engine, should I get the Honda 20 or 24HP from SEW, or a different one??? I have to add about 1/3 qt oil every grass cutting (1.5 hours). Other than that, it definitely runs perfect.
I have always wondered about that engine rumble,was it the muffler or did the engine itself sound different than other ones.I wish my gt235 could produce that sound.
Cummins does own Onan. I have been able to get parts when i need them. I have a 420 LG and I love it. Its as tough as they come. It eats grass and makes short work of snow with the 47 inch snowblower.
If you can get a JD 318 in decent running condition for anything close to a decent price, then I got just 2 words for ya: BUY IT!
In my neighborhood the minimum lot size was 5 acres. I moved in from a suburb area which I'd mowed with a pusher. So realizing that I needed a bigger machine for this new plot, eventually this idiot (that's me) wanders onto Ebay one day and buys a Wards Signature 2000 (yeah that means MTD) which is described by the seller as "seems to run fine". Well, both the seller and the machine were a POS. I have spent about as much time wrenching on the MTD as I have running it.
One day during this 'learning experience' (which anyone who gets an MTD will inevitably have, haha), I am standing in my front yard and watching my neighbor mow his yard with... you guessed it, his JD 318. This machine was probably 10 years old at the time (6 years ago), and it looked brand new. He was mowing in and around his shrubs and trees and hedges... he had a drink in one hand, the other hand on the wheel with a cheater knob, and he was blipping back and forth around his yard with what I could swear was a grin on his face. He had the little toe tapping action going on, with that auto-reversing feature of that transaxle. The motor was just humming along, and the cut quality was beautiful. (The JD was saying, 'Oh, were we cutting grass? I thought we were just out for a stroll in the park... )
Call me nuts, but I actually got out my binoculars to get a closer look at what this awesome machine was. JD318.
Went online for some more research. Kohler 18HP horizontal twin. Transamatic transxale. Power Steering (the 325 model has power deck lift). Used ones in nice shape were going for 5grand back then. Almost slipped over my own drool... went inside and cried when I realized how much he must be laughing at me as I struggle along with this Wards MTD. I shouldn't actually dog this MTD thing tooo much... when it runs it makes a good cut too. But it's that MTBF thing, kills it every time.
Have I convinced you yet? Get it. You won't be sorry.
Contrary to what James said the 318 has a power (hydraulic) deck lift. It has an 18hp ONAN engine. One hand is on the cheater knob and the other is on the hydro lever so a drink in hand is not much of an option unless you are not moving.
James is right though. These are awesome tractors. I have 3! One with a tiller, one with a front end loader and one with a snow thrower. I have a 425 for mowing and general chores. I guess I prefer not to swap attachments.
I rebuilt an Onan B43 last year,in a 1984 JD316 ,getting parts WAS NOT AN ISSUE...pricey yes,but what isn't now a days ...the rebuild was 1K less than a repower ...The 316 mows great ....I'd love a 318 just because :o)
my friend inherited her dad's 318 & it anit for sale!
bikesr2tired is my new hero! One tractor for each attachment....the only way to go. Life's too short to have to changeout attachments. As long as you've got the storage space of course. Great tractor the 318, my BIL has one that I tried out. Well built, big size, I just didn't care for the hand-operated hydro. But otherwise..
Early this spring I came onto this 318 shown at a John Deere dealership. It was the new generations style dealership that sells the new Tin style John Deere riding Lawn mowers like you find at Lowes or Home Depot. It sat way out back with a flat tire and Dead Battery. I could see it had a brand new Retro replacement 48" Mowing deck that sells for $1500.00 on it. I asked the sales guy up front if it was for sale ? He said it had just come in and they had not had time to look at it, but they would sell it as is. I asked the price and all he said was "3". I asked grand, and he replied Hundred !I told him I wanted to look at it a little closer so walked to the garage area and asked if I could borrow a set of Jumper cables. I Pulled my wife's van up to it, hooked the jumpers on it and it turned over twice, lit and ran like a new one no smoke and no engine noise. I operated the Hydraulic lift on it and checked the hydro unit to find them just fine. I returned back to the sales guy and Placed a down payment on it to lock up the deal. I told him I would return tomorrow to pick it up. He informed me that it had been parked in a garage for the past three years with a Futon parked on it's hood. The Old Guy that owned it had died so his grandson had gotten it and traded it in a new Tin riding lawn Mower "Stupid>... I returned the next day with my truck and trailer and took it home. I have been mowing Two 1/2 Acre lawns with it all year and had no problems. A Good Piece of advice is to check the BACK lot of these Yuppie John Deere dealer ships for the Real lawn Tractor deals, and to see this Beauty click on the Picture Link below...
Here is a link that might be useful:
Hey guys new to the site. Looking for some advise. I bought one of those tin plate cub cadets from home depot a couple of months ago and am greatly disappointed. Have recently been given the opportunity to trade my tin plate on a john deer 318. The 318 will come with what i believe to be a 54" push type blade with two hydraulic cylinders on it as well as an extra set of turf type tires. The 318 does not start at this time. I have seen the mower and from what i can tell I think the battery is the cause of the no start. I was told that the motor in the 318 was recently rebuilt. Does any one have any advise on this opportunity. Thanks in advance.
MY opinion (FWIW) is you should approach with caution.
Not regarding the JD 318, but the phrase "recently rebuilt".
Neither of those terms mean anything significant unless there is some genuine proof of when it was done, and just exactly what was done, and by whom.
Some folks have their cousin put in a set of piston rings, and then they want to label it as "rebuilt" and expect that declaration to add the value of a "new engine" to the machine.
If the engine was in fact "REBUILT" by a competent technician, or a reputable shop.........there should be some paperwork attesting to the manner in which it was rebuilt (parts and labor).
If nobody can confirm what was actually done to the engine in the alledged "rebuild", I would probably be tempted to haggle for a price reduction based on the cost of a used replacement engine.
Otherwise, you could possibly be singing the blues when that "cousin rebuilt engine" fails.
The other stuff can be taken as "what you see is what you get", but when they throw things in like "engine was just rebuilt" implying that said work added value, they must also be able to verify that claim.
I have a 318 and when i have the hydrolic snow blade on it i noticed that it raises and lowers perfect, but from left to right angle it starts real slow and then suddenly moves quicker or faster.
Do you have any reasons for this. I think the fluids are fine.
I'm thinking air in the angle pivoting lines/cylinder? Same strainer/filter for both lift and pivot systems so shouldn't be that.
I agree with larsol that air entrainment is basic cause of the sluggish angle piston sporadic behaviour . Top up the Reservoir and purge the air out of the leading cylinder 1st then the secondary cylinder (longest line to ram) . Re-top up the reservoir and check for any leakage causing the air to be drawn into the system . You may have a bad hose or connector which will require replacement or resealing of external threads . Secondary cause could be a Hyd pump causing cavitation (foaming) which will also cause the symptoms , normally you will hear abnormal (noisy)and unusually hot pump action and foam within the reservoir tank .
Agree the 318 is a good one, the only reason I sold mine was I also had the 322. Much quieter with the 3 cyl Yanmar and it takes the same attachments. Basically the same tractor without the Hydro cooler and slightly different sheet metal.
I need to replace the electric toggle switch that actuates the electric clutch for the mowing deck. Can anyone tell me what the amp rating is for this switch (10-20?). I want to replace with an aftermarket switch. Thanks
hi i have been told by several people that the jd 318 was produced with out power steering one year? is there any truth to this? if so could you tell me the year this was? i am not aware that the power steering was an option i thought it was standard on all of these
I did a JD-dealer Onan replacement five years ago, and went so far as to sand-blast the frame and re-paint everything I could. The wife even let me buy some JD chrome 'baby moon' hub caps in honor of the project's completion! But I keep getting the hard-sell from my mechanic at the shop about stepping-up to the 0-turn 800-series (only 10K just for the tractor/deck, so I won't be buying two & paying cash!), due to the scarcity of some 318 parts. He is correct, in that I have had to "cobble" some items for the front-mounted log-splitter and snow blower I initially purchased with it. I would love (and seemingly need) to keep my 318, as I lost my right leg below the knee about 30 years ago. The dash-mounted hydrostatic control is perfect, given my less than daft-control of seemingly any new models, that all have the forward-reverse foot pedal in place of the hand-controlled 318 feature.
Was there ever any type of conversion kit available for transferring the operation of the motion/foot control back to a similar method on the dash or at least somehow by hand in later models- 420-425's, etc? I've looked into the possibility of fashioning something myself, but there's a lot of reverse-engineering in that pipe-dream. I was also wondering what the current wisdom would be on the price of a full-width garden tiller for the 318, if I can even find one. Thank you
I'm looking for a used snow plow with angle and raised hydraulics for a 318 John Deere.
I own a 317 which I'd like to put it on.
I was told the 54" plow unit will fit both 317 and 318.
After many years of excellent service, it is time to repower my JD 318 "P"
Leaning toward the Honda GX630 replacement + kit from Repower Specialists.
Please give me advice and/or warnings about this process and vendor.
I have never posted on this site. Been reading for years. The problem described with the blade raising and lowering normal and the angle moving slow then normal is caused by the angle control is on the same circuit as the one that raises the mower deck and the blade cylinder moves slow until that cylinder is at the end of its travel. I solved that problem by making a bracket that attached to the cylinder or linkage on one end and to the frame on the other which made the angle control more responsive. Thank you all for the wealth of information, I truly enjoy reading the threads even if I don't have that particular piece of equipment.
"I have never posted on this site. Been reading for years. The problem described with the blade raising and lowering normal and the angle moving slow then normal is caused by the angle control is on the same circuit as the one that raises the mower deck and the blade cylinder moves slow until that cylinder is at the end of its travel. I solved that problem by making a bracket that attached to the cylinder or linkage on one end and to the frame on the other which made the angle control more responsive. Thank you all for the wealth of information, I truly enjoy reading the threads even if I don't have that particular piece of equipment."
Not quite the problem, but you are well on the right track. Since both the front left ports for the angling of the blade and the lift cylinder for the deck are on the same circuit, there is the problem.
I have a JD 322 that has the same setup and did have the same problem. I solved the problem by installing a $45.00 shutoff valve for the deck lift cylinder. If I need the deck, I turn the valve on. If I'm running the scrape blade sans the deck, I shut the valve off.
Hi, I just took delivery of a nice used JD 318 complete with snow blade. I like the idea of adding a shutoff valve. If Windcatcher or someone else could say some more about the required characteristics of the valve, where best to install it, and any other advice on installation, I would be most appreciative. I'm mechanically inclined, but beyond bleeding brakes in most every car I've owned, I've not messed with hydraulics. Thanks in advance!
Thombert, it's called a lockout valve kit available from JD. Very simple install. Located on the left of the diff as you look at the back of the tractor.
I have a 1990 John Deere 318 onan that will stop running after about 30 min. or so. After it cools down it will restart fine and run awhile longer before stopping again. I have changed the fuel filter and replaced the fuel pump. I'm now thinging it maybe electrical like the coil. Any ideas? Help
Have two Onan B48 engine blocks. They have different size valve guides in them. What is the difference?
dick-sch - It could be the coil, but doubtful. It could be many issues, one of which is the cooling fins could be clogged with debris. I suggest you (or anyone else on this site with problems) head over to greentractortalk.com and weekendfreedommachines.com and type in your problem in the search. These two sites have TONS of information on the 318, and how to fix most any problem that you might have.