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Hey Guys new to the group as well as new to GARDEN TRACTORS! Any way here's my story...

Got a small 1 acre lot, but i do my own detatching, aerorating, seeding, small tater stuff (Brinley drag behind). but i got a gravel drive that needs a box scrapper. Well, my runt bolens lawn tractor tranny is about to go. So I went to my local John Deere dealership and got my feelings hurt because of credit issues. ANYWAY... I finally figured that I probably need to be in the market for a 318 or 322 or something like that. Then I found a 330 for $1500 Think Im gonna get it. I would like to know:

1. basic mechanical issues that I will be heading into

2. how hard to find/install front end loader

3. how hard to find/ install cat 1 hitch.

4. and any other helpful tidbits
 

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John makes a lot of sense!! Otherwise, the 330 is a great tractor.
 

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Agree with John on the power steering but I am sure there is a number of 140 owners with Johnson loaders who will disagree.

To answer your questions:

  1. 330 ha no power steering, H1 hydraulic system (single hydraulic circuit). and single brake pedal.
  2. The loader for this tractor would be a model 44. Loader will set you back another $2500-$3000. Loader comes with bolt on subframes which are left on tractor when you need tractor without loader. The pump setup is the most difficult to install the first time. After that you know how it is supposed to go together and will become easier with experience.
  3. Ruegg 3PH, category 1 is very heavy duty and well built. Installs in a couple of hours. Approx $400 ... http://rueggmfg.com/hitchkits.php
  4. You will need counterweight for tractor. Add another $700-$800
No idea where you are located but my opinion the 330 for $1500 is not a great deal. It is a start but think a 318/322/332 would be a better tractor.

Setup offerred above is how mine is setup:

  • 330 tractor w/50" deck ... $2200
  • Ruegg 3PH w/ weight attachment ... $500
  • Model 44 loader ... $2700
  • Fluid in rear tires and 2 sets of cast iron wheel weights ... $350
  • Suitcase weights to fit on A-frame (6 weights) ... $70 a piece
  • Also has new front and rear tires (my preference)
 

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I’ve got a 317 with a Johnson loader. The power steering isn’t a have to have but you will definitely wish you had it. Especially with a full bucket.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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The big things to look for and mitigate:

-- Cooling system. Clean, flush repair as necessary
-- Frame cracks. Sometimes up front and sometimes around the brake pedal pivots.
-- Engine motor mounts.
-- Tranny cross member.

Can't think of too much else off the top of my head.

Well, I forgot the one last bit of trouble a 300 series Yanmar has:
Yanmar Electrical Disease. Basically, an overactive voltage regulator when the battery is too hot.
 

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The 330 was made single year in 1986 so consider the age of this machine when valuing a proper used equipment price. If the hours are moderately low and the overall condition is good and the seller has a reasonable continuity of maintenance records, then that price is not out of line. Look for any signs of overheating, and check the belly screen and radiator pre-screen for any accumulation of debris (an indication of deferred or poor maintenance.) Also check the radiator fins for being free of debris. Look at the fan tips for abrasion as they will rub on the shroud if the motor mounts have sagged -- not a hard fix but again a sign of an inattentive prior owner.

A cat-0 hitch is the appropriate size for this tractor, but a limited cat-1 can be had if you need the dimensions of the mount but not the full lift capacity of the cat-1...

If you don't need to lift materials into the bed of a truck or over a fence, then a lighter duty front bucket like a JBSR or similar will be easier to find, less costly and much easier to put on and take off -- and you don't need a separate pump (but you will have to have a second spool of on-board hydraulics like the 318/322/332 come with as standard.)

I found that maintaining my long gravel driveway was a snap with a center blade -- much less technique intensive than a rear box or scraper blade.

Good luck in your green machine search...a well maintained example of any of the 318, 322, 330, or 332 will serve your needs with the proper attachments and accessories. If you can invest the time and have the skills to bring a bargain unit back to snuff that is the least cash outlay, but any way you cut it these are high value machines when in top form and are priced accordingly. I just sold my1992 322 with less than 512 hours which had a center blade that I made, a 46 inch deck, 54 front blade with hydraulic lift and angle, and the very desirable 30 hydraulic tiller with rear PTO drive for just over twice what the subject 330 asking price is being quoted. It needed nothing other than cleaning up from being in storage for over 4 years (I provided a brand new battery...) A sound machine should look like mine did:

1992 left side.jpg

92 322 with tiller and front weights.jpg

Chuck
 

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I’m with Gabby here. I’ve never had a 330 but I have a 322 with 44 loader so I can certainly appreciate the smooth, quiet power of the liquid cooled Yanmar; but other than the diesel, the 318 is a more capable tractor, (power steering and H2 hydraulics). Thus, buying a 318 would seem to be a better value, especially considering that you might want to add a loader. A few years ago you’d be lucky to find a 318 in this neck of the woods for $1500 or less, but there are currently a couple 318s on Craigslist right now going for under $1000. I would think that for $1500 you could get yourself a decent 318; a tractor that would better fit your needs. Personally, I wouldn’t pay $1500 for a 330 unless it was in fantastic condition.

I’m not sure where you’re located, but at least here in Wisconsin I won’t need a tractor for lawn maintenance any time soon. If you’re in the same boat as me, that gives you time to shop around and find a tractor that better fits your needs. Just my 2 cents.
 

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For this generation of tractor I wouldn't even attempt a loader to switch on and off. I have a dedicated 420 loader, and other tractors for everything else.

I might be mistaken but I'm pretty sure the 44 subframe has to come off for front attachments, at which point it's a several hour operation. I had a 140 loader and without power steering it wasn't bad for moving a thing or two, but if you need to move a pile of material you will feel every muscle in your upper body.

I like the 330 in general, and don't think that price is out of line. They sell at or above what 318's do in this area.
 

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My loader gets used year around. It's primary usage is as a crane/hoist to load/unload truck or trailer. I was going to move it to my rural property for developmental purposes but realized it would be to light. Bought a skidsteer instead. I seldom use my 80 cart anymore because the loader is easier to use but does rip up my yard if not careful.

As Chuck posted above, the Johnny Bucket Senior (JBSR) is a more than capable loader for lighter duty functions. It is a little cheaper to buy. But mostly it is easier to install/remove if tractor has other functions. Mine is a dedicated loader tractor.
 

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I might be mistaken but I'm pretty sure the 44 subframe has to come off for front attachments, at which point it's a several hour operation.
KB is right. A 54 front blade or snowblower would use the same mounting holes that the subframe uses. It's good that I have a dedicated loader.
 

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My 322 is a dedicated loader tractor. I can’t see doing it any other way with a 44 loader. As others have said, switching would be take more time than it would be worth. I think you have to go to the 425/445/455 series to get a quick-tach loader.
 

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get the 330 and another 300 series down the road
 

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I'll go against the grain I love my 330 , it is a 332 minus power steering and H2 hydraulics . I just completed adding H2 hydraulics so that's no longer an issue . I have a Buford Bucket to install so I will reserve commenting on power steering until after I put some time in using it . But I will say right now my steering is smooth as butter , very large steering box in the 330 . I also plan on adding the " poor man's power steering " bearings and changing front tires to either 3 or 5 rib which will also help with the bucket . I have a CAT 0 3 point hitch , one pair of cast iron wheel weights and will be adding a weight box or suitcase style weights . And lastly I have a pair of Ag tires waiting to be installed on a spare set of wheels . I fully expect my 330 will perform very well for what I need her to do .

If the 330 you are looking at is in good shape I say make an offer . Just because they are asking 1500.00 doesn't mean they might not take less , all they can do is say no . Good luck .
 

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We have a pair of 330's left. The one is pretty much a low hour display piece, but the second we have about 1700 hours now. We use it mostly as a snowblower, single stage with a rack of 5 suitcase weights out back. In the past we had two more 330's which we had on grass mowing and bagging duty. I have never had a issue with the steering. The 330 uses a steering box which I find much easier to steer than 317, 140, and the like. As far as putting a loader on...I think you are honestly in for a deep investment, and with a significant load in the bucket you are going to need some arms on you. The steering box will take it, but I don't think that much weight will be fun. I think the Buford bucket or blade is no issue. The fore-mentioned items are spot on as far as what to look for prior to buying. I think with the series you are best off to find one that is close to "right" from the start and maintain it. For heavier loads the bearing idea on the spindles I have heard makes a difference, also we run tri-ribs on one of them. With tri-ribs on the front it steers very easy. 3 point on the rear is reasonable and opens up a whole set of extra uses. If you are using the tractor a lot the fuel economy of a 330 is a huge difference compared to a 318. 332 series has the same efficient engine, and the individual left and right brake pedal, along with dual hydraulics. Typically 332's bring some pretty good money, but you might find a deal. The simplistic nature of a 330 is unique. Some folks in the Deere world ponder the collectible - rarity side of the equation. If you are interested in that part of the equation there were very few 330's made, and only a one year tractor. As far as parts go though, they share most of their vitals with the 318, 332, 322 which are abundant. Most of the items that are not universal between the series are cosmetic in nature...side panes, the slight different notch in the rear pan for the radiator, etc. Basic attachment like the blade, deck, blower, etc are all the same for 318-332. There is a special bracket that was unique to the 330 for a snowblower crank handle mount to clear the rear side covers properly, but other than that, the same. Check it over and if it's clean, well maintained at 1500 it is not overpriced at all IMO. Either way welcome to Deere land!
 

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Bob has hit the nail on the head in describing the 330. I've had my 330 since I bought it new and it just keeps on a runnin'. My son used it early on in its life mowing acre plus lawns for several years before going off to college. With the 75 pound concrete weights and chains, I plowed a lot of snow with a 54 blade on the front, even uphill stuff. I've got filled bar tires on the rear with a 3-point hitch and go to plow days with it and its a work horse. I probably should put rib tires on the front. Also, as Bob said, the steering is easy compared to the 140s, etc as we've got 3 of them and everytime that I mow with one of them, the steering is what I always comment about compared to the 330. I can see though that with a loader it could be a workout. I've got a Kubota with a loader and a weight box on the back end but no power steering and I've learned to pre-steer when I've got the bucket loaded. Its a workout!
 
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Yes he seems very proud of his stuff. He also is listing a 332 with mowing deck for $5500, and an X475 for $3800.
Nice clean toys, though.
 
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