Weekend Freedom Machines banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just looked at what I think is a nice 318 for sale w/640 hours. I have the seller down to $1800.

Anyway, there is hydraulic fluid leaking. It looks like the top of the hose that leads to the rear differential. Any thoughts? Not sure what the potential risk is here. Is it just a hose, or could it be a lot worse. I don't mind a $200-$300 repair, but I want to be sure I don't get in over my head.

Thanks for any advice.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
461 Posts
Hi John - Welcome to WFM! Gee, it's hard to know what's going on without actually seeing things. I'd be concerned if the case had a crack. Is the leak a big one, or is the hose just damp? As a precaution, don't use your bare hand to check for a hydraulic leak. The pressure from the leak can sometimes puncture into the skin. If that happens, you will be in for some serious medical issues. It may be worthwhile to pull the fender deck and get a bird's eye view before buying the tractor. The seller may not like the idea, but that's what I would do before buying it. Good luck. - Dave
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Dave. After we ran the mower for a few minutes then stopped, there were probably 5-10 drops that hit the asphalt. I was thinking hose clamp, but I can't afford to be wrong. Maybe I'll see if I can work out a way to get it to a dealer for an estimate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,122 Posts
John
On top of the differential where the trans fill tube is there is a nylon 90 fitting in there and then the hose. If the PO tried to fill the trans to fast it could have leaked out the little vent hole that is on the side of it. That is actually normal.
The fitting may be also cracked and easy enough to replace

JMT
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Romeo,
Maybe that's it. I may hire someone to join me for a return visit.

What's worse case scenario?

Also, what else should I look for? Steering felt a bit loose, but I suppose that's pretty normal for something 20+ years old.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,122 Posts
Worst case is the trans is cracked

The little fitting isn't much though and can be easily gotten to once the fender pan is off.
Look at the point where the axles get bolted to the frame this is a known breakage point amongst these tractors.
Look at the cross-member holding the trans, are the bolts tight or loose? LOOK FOR CRACKS where it bolts to the case

Steering is power steering and should be free and not jerky. Look for slop between the front axle pivot point, may need a few new parts here if the case.

Use your better judgement John and you'll be alright. If it doesn't look right, it probably isn't.

BTW Welcome to WFM!!!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the welcome and the advice. Anything else I should look for that's a common problem with these? I want it bad, but I can't afford to buy a problem. It seems in very good shape to me, but I can't afford to make a mistake. I do need it to cut...this summer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
412 Posts
Had one leaking from the rear PTO stub shaft. It appeared to be leaking from the same hose under the tractor. Then I found fluid around where the Hydro bolts to the rear end case. Pulled the fender deck and after a lot of cleaning, finally found the leak. Less than $10 to fix.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
461 Posts
John - The 318 is more robust, there are more attachments available on the open market. The 325 is really a 200 series frame. I would question 29 hours on an 8 year old tractor. Not saying that's not the case, but I'd want to be certain. 640 hours on a 318 is relatively low, as is 29 on a 325. It's your decision. If all you want is a mower, I'd go with the 325. If you want to add a tiller or a blade later on, I'd go with the 318. Of course, I had a really cherry 318 that I sold last year (been kicking myself ever since), so I'm partial toward the 318s. - Dave
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, I pulled the trigger on Saturday & bought a 318. I inspected the transmission for cracks as best I could, but didn't see anything. It's amazing to me how good and rust-less everything looked. It has 640 hours, but it's still pretty old.

The PO gave me 2 weeks to have everything looked at which I thought was fair. It's amazing what you see when you get home vs. the seller's house.

I cut my 1.5 acre of native (not thick) grass on Saturday. It seems to have missed a few pieces of grass toward the middle of the deck. I sharpened the blades, but didn't notice much improvement. It doesn't seem like the blades really move that fast. Maybe I'm spoiled. I had an Exmark zero turn that I sold when I left PA two years ago, and those blades were moving FAST.

It's definitely leaking more hydro than originally thought. I added 2 quarts in about 2 hours time. We'll see what the JD service department says.

The steering feels loose to me. Any suggestions on how to chase this down?

Other than that, little things. The tail light lenses are there, but not bulbs or wiring. Does anyone know where I can find instx to remove and attach the MMM?

Thanks,

John
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It's back...

Not sure what is happening, but when I checked the hydro fluid sight tube last night, it was about 1" low. I added about 1/2 qt. of hydro fluid and then it started dripping. Is there a relief somewhere if I put too much in? Anyway, the fluid in the site tube didn't move. Makes no sense to me. I ran it a bit tonight and then notices a fair amount of fluid dripping. Not sure if it's left over from fill last night or new, but either way, the fluid is still 1" low in the sight tube. Any thoughts or suggestions?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, I decided to change the transmission fluid and filter today. Took off the rear fender as I was determined to get to the bottom of this. I added 5, then 6 quarts of fluid and still didn't look filled. I thought I finally figured it out when I notice the 90 degree elbow was loose on top. I tightened it, then added a hose clamp. Still no luck. Then I took the top of the tube that leads into the sight tube and blew in it. The fluid moved down. I actually had too much in there and just thought the tube was empty, but it was full. I don't believe it. So the other night, when I thought it was low, added 1/2 quart, then it was overflowing...as it should, it was actually fine. Well, I'll let a little fluid out tomorrow and put everything back together. I guess I did learn a lot in the process.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Can the front crank seal be replaced with out pulling the engine? It appears the seal is installed from the outside. Is it possible to just pull out the old one and slide a new one over the crankshaft nose?
Thanks in advance for the advice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
Yes, the front seal can be replaced without pulling engine. Pull it with a seal puller or small screw driver or pick. Polish up the end of the crank with fine emory or steel wool. Lube the crank and the seal before installing. To reinstall I used a piece of steel pipe to drive the new seal back in.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top