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That's a shallow deck on the 330. Looks more like a 46 to me ....
 

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318 Deere with a 20hp Onan, 46" deck, Powerflow bagger system, and Snow Blower.
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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
You can also get 24x12 R12 versa turfs and use your stock 300 series wheels. This size you have to watch for as they sell out often. You can also get 23x8.50R12 .They really are worth it for the traction they provide!
That's what I've read. Lots of guys not even needing chains when running them.

My rear tires are still "good" but almost 40 years old. I'm hoping by next spring I can invest in a set of the 24x12R12's, and a matching set for the fronts. I do have 2 of the block style new ones for the front that haven't been installed, but I'd rather get the Versa Turf's.
 

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My property is on a hill too, turf tires were useless. I wound up breaking my diff lock because I was using it so much. After installing Versa Turfs I rarely use the diff lock, but use the split brakes all the time.
The tires are not 100% traction though, I still have to wait 2-3 days after rain to mow.
 

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The fronts were 18x6.50-8 on the original rims. The rears are 26x12-12 on the original rims. As far as the deck I was told it was 50”… it may have been 46” though. Hmmm.
Visually, it's pretty easy to ID a 46 or 50 deck.
A 46 deck (M00595X, M00596X) is somewhat flat, or shallow, and the front edge at the center has a very noticeable reverse "V", when compared to a 50.
A 50 deck (M01011X, M01012X, M01013X) is deep, or taller, and the front edge is a gradual, sweeping, round curve, when compared to a 46.
Pic 1 is a 46.
Pic 2 is a 50.
I have no idea if either one normally rides closer to the rear wheels, which might impact the ability to run bigger tires.
Luke's deck on the 330 is the same as Pic 1.

Tire Wheel Vehicle Car Automotive tire


Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Lawn mower
 

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My property is on a hill too, turf tires were useless. I wound up breaking my diff lock because I was using it so much. After installing Versa Turfs I rarely use the diff lock, but use the split brakes all the time.
The tires are not 100% traction though, I still have to wait 2-3 days after rain to mow.
Ive heard that same story many times that’s why I went there. I can’t speak from experience though. I have diff locks on 3 420’s and not sure if they work or not. Doesn’t matter to me, yet,…. but it will when I get to my conversion. I have one tractor I run chains on year round and it doesn’t hurt the grass but I’m totally flat. You’ll get it figured out!
 

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Visually, it's pretty easy to ID a 46 or 50 deck.
A 46 deck (M00595X, M00596X) is somewhat flat, or shallow, and the front edge at the center is a very noticeable reverse "V", when compared to a 50.
A 50 deck (M01011X, M01012X, M01013X) is deep, or taller, and the front edge is a gradual, sweeping, round curve, when compared to a 46.
Pic 1 is a 46.
Pic 2 is a 50.
I have no idea if either one normally rides closer to the rear wheels, which might impact the ability to run bigger tires.
Luke's deck on the 330 is the same as Pic 1.

View attachment 282071

View attachment 282072
First off, that 46 is absolutely amazing!! That’s not the one you just did is it?? Second, are you a retired electrician? That webbing looks like the stuff they use to pull heavy wire 👍🏻
 

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Hey Brenainn, yes, that restored 46 deck has the correct center pulley you sent me. I'm saving that 46 deck for a very nice 318 I'm going through next.
Webbing? Do you mean the flat white nylon "strapping"? If yes, I've had that kicking around for years. Don't recall where it came from.
I tow my decks around with it.
Electrician? Not me, my eyes glaze over quickly when I get into electrical troubleshooting...
 
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What are your plans for the 40yr old tires? Since they've lasted 40 years, they're definitely quality and if I didn't already have a set of 40yr old turf tires on my 430 (original to the tractor I was told - is there a way to verify?), I'd be interested if I could make them fit.
 

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318 Deere with a 20hp Onan, 46" deck, Powerflow bagger system, and Snow Blower.
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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
My property is on a hill too, turf tires were useless. I wound up breaking my diff lock because I was using it so much. After installing Versa Turfs I rarely use the diff lock, but use the split brakes all the time.
The tires are not 100% traction though, I still have to wait 2-3 days after rain to mow.
95% of the time for me I know I'm going to slip the tires, so it wouldn't be a harsh engagement.

It's great to hear that the Versa Turfs are that much better. Other than time, the rear diff swap, vs the tires looks to be roughly the same cost. I'll probably try the tires first, because the 40 year old tires I have are starting to show their age.
 

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318 Deere with a 20hp Onan, 46" deck, Powerflow bagger system, and Snow Blower.
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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
What are your plans for the 40yr old tires? Since they've lasted 40 years, they're definitely quality and if I didn't already have a set of 40yr old turf tires on my 430 (original to the tractor I was told - is there a way to verify?), I'd be interested if I could make them fit.
I'd probably dispose of them. I'm not sure if there is a way to tell on tractor tires. Automotive they have a DOT number that gives the week and year.

If you are around southern MN, I'll keep you in mind when I do replace them. You can have them if you want them.
 

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I did the rear end swap in a day by myself in my garage. Very easy and worthwhile swap. As I understand, there are a couple different rear ends depending on the year. Different gear ratios. Mine is of the later* variety, where turtle max ground speed at 3400 eRPM is 5mph, vs 7mph for the standard 318 rear end. Rabbit is like 11mph, which is like warp speed. I personally like the low gear due to the ground speed resolution you get out of it.

I planned it all out thoroughly first though, prepped the new diff, made sure I had all the parts, did the cutting and welding of the gear shift/diff lock levers. I might have measurements of where to drill holes and such still, will take a look. I know I have photos. I'll see what I can dig up.

Sent from my SM-G781V using Tapatalk
 

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318 Deere with a 20hp Onan, 46" deck, Powerflow bagger system, and Snow Blower.
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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
I did the rear end swap in a day by myself in my garage. Very easy and worthwhile swap. As I understand, there are a couple different rear ends depending on the year. Different gear ratios. Mine is of the older variety, where turtle max ground speed at 3400 eRPM is 5mph, vs 7mph for the standard 318 rear end. Rabbit is like 11mph, which is like warp speed. I personally like the low gear due to the ground speed resolution you get out of it.

I planned it all out thoroughly first though, prepped the new diff, made sure I had all the parts, did the cutting and welding of the gear shift/diff lock levers. I might have measurements of where to drill holes and such still, will take a look. I know I have photos. I'll see what I can dig up.

Sent from my SM-G781V using Tapatalk
That doesn't sound bad at all.

I found a local guy with a rear, linkage and 420 seat pan for $450, but there are a few others in my area as well.

I like the sound of that ground speed! That's great for mowing and blowing snow.

I'd love to see your measurements and pics.

I'll have to do some research on which tractors had which ratios and how to tell them apart.
 

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OK, less info than I thought I had. I went as far as looking at some of the photos available online, referencing bolt hole that are in the frame same as my 332, measuring those holes so I know the actual size, then measuring them on screen with lines in PowerPoint, made a scale to real life size, then finally translated those measurements from screen measurements to the tractor. It came out really good, a lot of work though. Probably don't need to be so precise...

Rear diff break-point is SN 475000. Prior is faster ground speed, newer is slower ground speed.

I slid the axles/diff/trans assembly back into place and out of place several times while I checked fitment of the linkages, held in place by a bunch of well placed magnets. For the gear shift, I cut the square hole in the top of the frame first. Used this photo below as my reference. This doesn't need to be very accurate. Drilled 4 holes in the frame for the corners, hack it open, deburr. Keep in mind, I'm less familiar with the 318, I know there are frame differences. Mine is a 332.

Amber Fluid Liquid Wood Gold


Once I had that square hole, I could angle/place the gear shift rod in, and orient the knob threads as vertical as possible, slide the rear end assembly in place, and roughed the amount to cut out of the rod. I think it's like 1-2" removed, but please don't quote me. I made a cut, then a second cut to the shift rod in order to remove the length that was required, then welded the long part of the rod back to the part that attaches to the new diff, being careful to keep the threaded part aligned with the original orientation of the bracketry at the diff end. I did something very similar with the diff lock linkage too. Once the length is set, you can mock up the support braces (just focus on one of them at a time, do the gearshift stuff until it's complete, then do the diff lock). Once you have it apart you'll be able to see where there is room to put stuff, and how it can go together. I marked all the fastener locations on the inside of the frame, measured like 6 times, and translated the marks to the outside of the frame, where I could then blast them open with a drill.

I used the hole in the side of the frame like everyone else, but I did not carve a larger hole. The small 1.5" ish or whatever it is, is plenty large enough for the linkage to operate, you just have to heat and bend end of it to put it where you want, (notes on that further below). Due to using this hole as is, I recall having to take a few inches off the total length.

For my final diff lock knob placement, I elected to place it further outboard because I didn't like how it appeared in the factory location. Though I had previously had zero experience with it. This was a mistake, as it is way harder to press it down in the location that I chose. I'd choose the factory intended location every time.

Sorry that's a lot of kinda cryptic info, and not really what I thought I had available. It sounds daunting, but I assure you it is not difficult if you have any experience at all in minor fabrication/mockup/ect...
 

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Good pictures and description there! The one I installed in my 330 was the older faster type as well It did over 11 mph with the larger tires. In comparison, my ‘91 430 is significantly slower.
 

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318 Deere with a 20hp Onan, 46" deck, Powerflow bagger system, and Snow Blower.
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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
KnockKnock332 Thanks!

That doesn't sound to bad. Once I get a few other things taken care of (3pt, and stuff for it... tires...) I'll probably do this mod. Mowing it would be nice to have the slower max speed. I find myself pulling back to about half on the hydro lever, and never really let go of it. It would be nice to be able to let it go and actually enjoy a beverage while mowing! LOL

But it also would make the slower moving around things movements less jumpy and that I'd really like. This new 20hp is really a beast (seems like it's more than that really!) so the little things that didn't happen with the 18hp happen now.

But on the up side of things, when the mower is going, bagger included, up hill, even at Wide open on the hydro, it never bogs down, even in thick grass. Sadly, the blade speed could be improved, because it seems to leave a strip if I go to fast (even with new sharp blades) But, I'll take that! Before I had to feather the hydro with just the mower up the same hills to keep the thing running.
 
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