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Hi everyone. This is my first time posting here, but I have been lurking for some time. I want to thank you all for the great information that I have gleaned from you all.

First a little background. I recently bought a 1985 (ish) 318. I really like it, it came with a tiller and snowblower.
Hmmm

Anyway. It runs ok, but I know that there is work that I am going to have to do to it. When the engine gets warm, after a few minutes of running, it starts to 'surge' unless i'm running the tractor at full forward speed. The motor changes pitch going louder and softer, but it doesn't seem to affect the power (tiller and mower till work well). Just concerned if this is normal, of if it indicates a problem.

Second, and I KNOW that this is a problem with the pistons/rings, the engine blows oil into the air filter chamber, and when the oil cap is off, it sends back pressure up spattering oil everywhere. Currently, I just make sure that there is enough oil every time that I go to use it.
Does this mean a new engine?

Talk to you soon.

Gordon
 

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Gordon,

Welcome to WFM!! If you can't find your answer here I don't think you'll find it anywhere.

You may have a fouled carb. but that wouldn't wait till the engine got hot. Pull off the engine shields and see if the cooling fins are clean. If a mouse got up in there and built a nest in the flywheel housing the draft will force the junk (and maybe the mouse) into the fins. I had this happen to me twice and it did just about what you are describing and it caused me to replace the engine.

Please keep us posted on your progress!! Good luck.

Jim A.
 

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Gordon,

Your description sounds like it could be an air leak below the throttle plate -- either in the manifold itself or perhaps the throttle shaft bushings. Do a search on air leaks <u>and</u> 318 <u>and</u> surging to get more info... If adding a little choke seems to smooth it out, it definitely is running lean (i.e. with too much air) at low idle.

Since it happens after warm up, most likely it is the manifold which expands a bit when it heats up with the overall engine temperature.

Chuck
 

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Gordon,

Until you solve the problem, be careful with a possible overheat of your motor like Chuck said.
Your spark plug color is a good indicator...
http://www.ngksparkplugs.com/tech_support/spark_plugs/faqs/faqread.asp?mode=nml

I had to re seal the air intake on my 318 to solve a similar problem.

For a leak test, I used a brazing propane torch with a rubber hose to reach every small spot.
The air flow from the fan don't help.
Blocking the cooling fan air intake might help for very short test period.

The speed is supposed to increase when the propane is suck thru the intake but the governor try to bring the RPM back to the previous speed.
I guess it's easier with the governor disconnected.

Also starter fluid is probably better than propane.

Welcome to WFM!!

Andre
 

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Also check the fuel lines for air leaks. My 322 was surging and showing air bubbles in the fuel filter. I replaced the fuel lines and in the process the dip tube in the tank fell apart into pieces. Surging is gone.
 

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Well, I did it... I broke down... I bought a new X500 and took delivery today. My old weekly mow machine, my dear 140H3, vintage 1972, has got major internal engine issues as the result of a sunken carb float (long story). So I went to the showroom part of my Deere dealer and started looking. After zeroing in on the X500's, the salesman asked if I needed any help. I shared my story of cutting the grass weekly with my aging 140 and he was nearly in shock... "You mean you still mow with a 140???" He had the biggest smile I've ever seen. I test drove a new X500 Deere and man have they made these so much more user friendly! Missing some of my old 140's extras, so I'm definitely keeping her for special uses, she'll only see snow, blade, and tiller work from now on since I have the attachments already. The X500 is soooo much easier to steer and more maneuverable... and the 24HP really kicks grass. Seems really solid, even similar to the strength of the 140, but she needs traction on my crazy steep hills, the differential lock pedal helps a bunch, but not if you're trying to turn. I love my old 140 to death, but I'm tired of finishing the yard work and feeling like I just did 2 hours in the gym.

Well, to get to the point, I could only get the X500 with turf tires... no option. Mind you they are about twice as aggressive as the old chevron treaded turf savers of the 60's but still not the bar lugs that I would have gotten if I had the chance. I needed to get a 48" deck, the 54" is required on the X530 that has the more aggressive tread (but still not bar lugs), point is that a 54" would have given me fits with only an inch of clearance total with my 60" yard gates. Anyway, I guess I'll buy a pair of 70 pound wheel weights and switch to bar lug 26x12x12's in a couple of years. I'm thinking the weights will really help going sideways on the hillsides too, like the ones on the 110 and 140 do. Any thoughts?
 

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If the tires are really turf treads (multi-trac C/S tread style...) then you might look into HDAP tread before going all the way to bar tires... Lots of threads here about choices in tires and most members have strong preferences so discussions can be pretty far ranging.

The Carlisle version of this tread is called 'All Trail'
 

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Congrats on the new machine.
Before I even read Chucks reply my advise was going to be the HDAP tires.
I have the same set for 7 years that I swap to whatever I am mowing with.I filled them with windshield washer fluid and they never slip in my backyard where turfs do.

AJ
 

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Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, I really wanted the HDAP tires but the dealer said there was no longer a choice... X500's come with turf tread, 530's have HDAP's. He told me to just get other tires at a local tire shop.
 
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