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318 loosing power uphill

768 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  woodpecker41
Hello everyone, this is my first post.
I just bought a 1983 318. it has a 1997 onan p220 in it that was just rebuilt about 50 hours ago. It runs and starts great but while mowing up hill it will start to spit and sputter until i kill the PTO and then throttle down and then up again. the previous owner could not get ti to idle right so he installed another spring on the throttle to hold it back. if I take it off it idles way to high even on the low throttle setting. I would like to correct this does anyone have the directions from a service manual for this newer onan 20 horse engine.
thank you
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Welcome to the WFM forum! A P220 in the 318 is a very good re-power. The additional spring is not right the way to solve the underlying symptom of proper idle and governor function. the TM1590 covers the 318 and the 420 tractors, so it has information on the P220 engine as well as the P218. You can get this manual on CD or in hard copy from your Deere dealer or online at

Section 220-10 has some good information on how the governor should be set.

Note that the manual indicates that the low idle is specified at 1350 RPM which may seem high to some...

I will send you some other information as well, it is a bit too large to attach here.

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Sounds like the governor is not set right. If you add another spring, then the governor will not react as quickly to loading, hence the bogging down.

If he had to re-adjust the governor, it was either mechanical with the governor linkage, or do to the carb not set right/plugged etc.

1350 idle is actually low for small engines.
I took off his fix it job spring and disconected the throttle cable spring hooked to the governer arm. the throttle on the carb is wide open all of the time now. what is supposed to be there to make the governer arm return the throttle to closed. in the manual it talks about a dashpot but I do not have one. there is a small spring wrapped around the linkage arm from the governor to the throttle but it does not seem to be doing anything. this is a newer 1997 p220G so I can not find any diagrams of the governer throttle linkage.
Power take off switch burns up. replaced 2 new ones. new voltage regulator 2 new batteries, Deck good and spindles electric take off seems good, used only JD parts. HELP. how ,what do I check>
Roger I would measure the voltage of at the battery with the engine at WOT. If it is 14.5 or less volts that is not the problem. Your PTO clutch which seems good might be going bad and drawing to much current (high amp draw) and burns up the switch. Those are just guesses. Have some patience for answers as it is Sunday and not many of out members have a commercial ZTR. In other words it may be a bit of time before you get other responses. Welcome to WFM. Roger
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