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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I recently sold my Troy bilt zero turn because I wanted a regular style mower. I’ve always liked old garden tractors and I was thinking I would buy one to use as my regular use lawn mower.
I found a 1983 John Deere 318, looks to be in great shape. Paint looks shiny

it has a 46” mowing deck,snow blower and front blade. (Owner says) New fuel and ignition system. The oil Has been changed regularly since we’ve had it. We are the second owners. We have all the paperwork. In last two years It’s got new rings, grind valves, new points, and new rear seal. The fuel systems and ignition systems are new. It stays in the garage.

she sent me pictures of paperwork and looks like the motor work was done at 2133 hrs.

I think it would be cool to mow the lawn with an almost 40 year old machine, and the attachments will come in handy in Colorado. They are asking $3000, with a little wiggle room.

is this a good deal?
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In 1 word, no. It's not a deal.
Engine work is always questionable, unless you have it done. Reringing an old engine is a bandaid at best. It's usually only done to get rid of the oil burning smoke to sell it.
It needs new pistons and a rebore of the cylinder. Plus it's a b43 engine, not my 1st choice. I enlarged the tractor pic as best I could, I didnt see a trace of grease on/around the spindle. An indicator of a lack of mantinence.
The plow is only hydraulic lift, no power angle. The blower looks ok, but cant see much in that pic.
I wouldn't be interested at 3k.
The plow, around 350 for that. No hyd angle really drops the value. The blower I've seen between 500 and 800 here. It's why I dont have one, they all need work. Parts arent cheap.
The tractor, dont know have enough info yet.
But as a package, if I really needed it, maybe I'd go 2k. Really depends how far I'd have to travel to see it.
Theres a lot of expensive parts on that tractor, that are wear items, some are NLA from deere.
If you have the time, read all you can on 318 tractors. You'll learn some of the common issues. Go to you tube and search mr. Beef.
Those vids would be a good start.
 
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Read Gabbys thread here.

A boat load of info in that thread.
 

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I'd keep looking for something simpler and cheaper...like a JD 200 series or maybe a 300, 316, etc. unless you have $3K to bet with...the 318s are great machines, but that one is kinda high priced IMO. Might go look at it though...that's the best way to size up just about anything used...like buying a car, gotta see it, sit in it, drive it to see if it suits you.
 

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I agree with everyone else. That is about top dollar for it.
 

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I am surprised no one commented on the 46" deck. While a 46 on a 318 will do a suitable mowing job the model 50 is always preferred. Like others have offered, you are getting the shot straw with this setup.
  • Blade with no angle
  • short chute model 49. I cannot see condition of the auger which would tell if it was used on gravel drive. Gravel drives have a tendency to beat up these snow throwers.
  • 46" mower deck.
It has been serviced or would look much worse. I can say that because I am currently refreshing a 1200 hr 1983 318. I paid much less for my 83. I actually paid much less than $1000 for the bare running tractor. Mine looked rough and needed attention but ran well ... 1983 JD 318 Cleanup ... Southwest Wisconsin

Seller will likely not accept less because it appears he has been taking care of his equipment.

My opinion. You can offer less but I would keep looking. Deals are out there but you will need to do cleanup on them.

Gabby
 

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Keep looking. My son just picked up a 86 318 with a model 49 thrower. It runs good , just needs some cleanup and a front grille. He paid $1,000
 

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I agree with Gabby that this deal is not any hot bargain... The last 318 I bought some years ago was under $1000 for the 1992 year model tractor with 46 inch deck (tractor ran very well at about 930 hours, but the deck was in rough shape) I cleaned it up and added a Johnny Bucket SR to it and sold it for just under $1900 -- here are some pictures of what it looked like when I sold it:
IMG_1578.JPG


It had a decent pair of concrete/plastic rear wheel weights, and I added a rear weight bracket and a good used seat. I must say that the seat on the one in the for sale ad at he start of this tread seemed like the back was at an odd angle and perhaps broken.

Here is what my definition of a good used seat is for reference:
IMG_1580.JPG


By the way, I mowed for many years with a 46 inch deck in very good condition on my 322 tractor (that machine had under 100 hours on it when I bought it in 1995...) and while it was acceptable it did not have the lift of even my little X304 mower.

Chuck
 

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I’d keep looking as well. My 317 was $300 plus $200 in repairs so far. Came with Honda repower, wheel weights, mower deck, and tire chains. Look in eastern CO, Denver area is over priced. If you’re interested in a cc782 I’ll be selling one soon
 

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I'm no expert on Deere GT's but I do consider myself an expert at getting swindled.

NEVER believe a seller about anything done to equipment. Even paperwork is suspect. Look with a flashlight, pull, yank, push, pry...do whatever you need to to figure out how worn out everything is. Fresh oil before you arrive is suspect, not a 'nice' thing the previous owner did. So is the freshly power washed machine... what kind of oil leaks is all that cleanness hiding?

Check the paint carefully, shiny is good, shiny original or repainted the way a professional would paint a car is best; a rattle can paint job on top of original paint is not good, even if it's shiny.

All that is assuming the seller is not forthcoming with everything he knows. There are actually some honest folks left in the world...just not here in rural Iowa.

With that said...$3000? I'd listen to these guys here...walk away...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks guys I appreciate all of the info and advice, I’ll walk away. I’m new to the vintage garden tractor world, I’ve always wanted one but never had one. I figure with an acre it would be the perfect size with a tiller and a few implements. I have a 1978 ford cl20 for bucket work.
 

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Well, your correct in that it's the perfect size and the implements would be nice.
But just cause its green, doesnt mean it's worth its weight in gold.
Keep an eye out and check this forum for stuff, things do pop up here. Decent items at fair prices or at least within reason.
 

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Patience will pay off...esp if you are south and west of the Midwest. Lots of choices there, but south and further west choices are sometimes very limited. Keep shopping and go and look at the stuff you are interested in. With an acre to mow, I'd go with a 300-series tractor minimum and possibly a 400-series. Being open to road trips helps, too.
 

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There's a couple of good machines for sale in the WFM classifieds right now, but would require a road trip east to Illinois. If I didn't have a project in progress and two other Deere GTs to feed, I might be headed north myself.
 
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