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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Quick update. I hotwired the starter solenoid and engine cranks over. I am about to pull the plugs to check for compression on both cylinders. Once i know there is two good rods and engine has compression ill move forward with diagnosing no start issue. All the fuses are ok. 3 of them. Oh the left or driver side cylinder under the tin next to the spark plug has all kinds of grass etc built up around where the spark plug boot use to be. So I have to clean that out before pulling plug for compression test.

See.

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Good news, both cylinders have compression FTW 👍 Now I just need to figure out why the starter circuit is not working. Oh yeah It would not start with me just hotwiring it like on the older close frame tractors 🤨 The spark plugs did not look bad but not optimal as well.

Spark plugs:
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
She's alive. Bad PTO switch. Now I just need to figgure put how to hot wire that and I can move on to fuel system. Im a happy camper right now. Y'all might be wondering how it is alive yet I want to hotwore the PTO switch. Good question. I have to push down on the PTO switch for it to make continuity in the off position. It is only a matter of time before that no longer does the trick ;)
 

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Congrats on getting her to run! I bought a non-running 318 not too long ago and went through the same drill, it was cool when she finally breathed life!
 
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Discussion Starter · #25 · (Edited)
Thank you Tom.

Right after I bolted the pto switch back to the dash it decided no more free play time. So I ended up having to hotwire it after all. It sounds healthy while it is running.

Ok on to fuel system. Once I get it running on it's own fuel supply I'll record a quick vid and upload it to youtube.
 

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Congratulations on getting it running. You probably already know this but I would not run it very long if there is a lot of grass and dirt/debris under the engine tins like you show in the photo. The tins are sometimes a pain to remove but the only way you're going to know if it's getting good air flow to keep it cool is to check the engine cooling fins under the tins - especially around the cylinders and on top of the heads. Those valve seats don't like excess temps. And if by chance the engine has the slightest oil leak, dust and grass quickly sticks to an oily block and builds up a nice layer of insulation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
Thank you Mike U.

I normally pull the battery tray, and engine and do a good pressure washing of the chassis with the engine out. I will eventually pull the tins on the engine and douse it with purple power followed by pressure wash it as well. The engine oil needs Changing as well as the hydro oil, filter and new sight tube installed.

I tried uploading a video but youtube stopped working on my phone. Basically I was just showing start up, how it runs, talking about the reverse creep and how my pto switch bypass is not working when I go to engage the drive knob. Hmm wondring if that is because of the seat safety not connected while the fender pan is removed.

Edit: yes seat safety switch kills the tractor when motion selector is moved off of the neutral safety switch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 · (Edited)
Installed new 1/4” clear plastic tubing for the hydro oil level sight glass. Then I went to add oil but it started going all over the ground. Not sure if the fill tube is leaking or if it was overflowing from the top. It was getting dark and I was in a hurry. Had to pick up girlfriend soon from school. I'll give it a better try tomorrow when I am not in a hurry, tired and have all day to figure it out.

The tractor was very herky jerky diring forward motion. I’m hoping this is because it is low on hydro fluid.

Pics of todays festivities.

The side vent in the bottom of this pic was on the 318 when purchased. I pulled the vent in the top of the pic from the parts 316 as well as the hour meter sitting at 804 hours and installed those on the 318.

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The freewheel lever is bent out of shape so it does not engauge the psi relief valves. I am thinking this was on purpose so no one could roll it off in the middle of the night.

Is it normal for this freewheel rod to be bent like this so it does not work correctly?

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My quick fix was to place a couple thick washers under the rod.
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More random pics.

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Ok dark clouds were looming around this one. After filling the transmission up and taking her for a quick spin around the house I still observed the herky jerkyness. I pulled into the backyard and hopped off then slowly moved it forward and backwards while watching the transmission. I could see it rocking or tilting forwards, backwards as well as up and down from where it mounts. I shut it off and parked in the dirt “oil leaks” and took a look at the mounts thinking it might have rubber mounts like on an engine and that is when I discovered the broken frame that has been repaired in the past. Crack goes clean through the frame on the right side. Both sides have been welded up and both sides have cracks. Also noticed the drive shaft at the pump input shaft was loose. It is splined and I can wiggle it by hand :(. This might end up turning into a let’s swap frame builds.

The steering ram leaks so that needs to be addressed as well. I just don't have the time to dump into this much of a project at the moment. It will have to wait for me to get my back yard cleaned up a bit more and possibly the garage and shed cleaned up and organized as well. Bummer.
 

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Repower a different machine/frame with the engine?
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 · (Edited)
I could always use the motor in the 420. I’d have to do some more research. Not sure if the mounting is the same for the driveshaft between the 420 and the 318/316. I have always wanted a coveted 318 and now I have one from night of the living dead lol. Eventually I will either make all the repairs and weld this one back up with added support or transfer all the 318 parts to one of the 316’s and eventually have a hybrid 316/318 conversion. They are close enough. I think either way some welding will be involved which ever rout I choose. This is why I’m putting this one on the back burner for now.

I really do want to use the hydro tiller though. Dang it.
 

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Well that is a bummer! Hopefully you can make use of what is good. I had a similar experience with a Cub Low Boy I bought a couple years ago, owner said he had to keep adjusting the clutch. No big deal I thought. So I brought it home, yeah, clutch was a mess. Bought new clutch/flywheel only to discover (after removing tins) that the rear end had been broken/re-welded and it was no longer in line with the motor, that was what was causing the clutch/flywheel wear. Damn said I. It is still sitting waiting for my attention, someday. Luckily (hopefully) when we get these 'projects' we get a deal on them. The Low Boy was $1000, I drove it home 8 miles from where I bought it, fun adventure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 · (Edited)
Well I paid $400 for this beauty queen. It seems that the engine is in decent enough shape. I have no idea how many hours it actually has though. I have not seen the big puffs of black smoke. Which reminds me I need to change the engine oil and filter.

Do these onans use straight 30 weight? The Shell Rotella 30 weight is what I have been putting in the 317’s Onan P218G.

NVM I just found the oil info in the tech manual.

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The frame crack also occurs in the area of the steering cylinder mount. Check both frame rails to. My 318 had this issue.

Check the front hydro crossmember also. The boss on the hydro unit can break off.
Theres an updated crossmember and a shouldered bolt used to update it, if the hydro case isnt broken. The update allows the hydro to shift a little, avoiding the cracked frame.
 
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N2, If you decide to weld your cracked frame, PREP IT PROPERLY! You need to drill a small (3/16") hole at the end of the crack. This prevents the crack from migrating further after welding. Bob
 

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Probably not bad advice to do in the near future for storing it just to help prevent the crack from getting any ideas of growing.
 

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A little late to you dance again but your story was sure interesting until it turned south on you. Sorry to hear that. But anything can be fixed. I personally wouldn't let the cracks stop you. It is an obvious indication this machine was handled very ruff. And it sounds as though you are learning all of the 318 short comings very quickly and all at once. That's not all bad as they can be address while your doing the restore. The trans case would concern me the most.

Sure hope you find the time and restore it. This one is obviously what most would classify as a parts machine but in my mind there is no such John Deere. My current 317 was every bit as bad and I did purchased it for parts. It's now without a doubt one of the best I've had. Sometimes I just sit and look at it. And I swear she sometimes looks back at me and smiles. (OK I'm going off the deep end here!)
 
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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Probably not bad advice to do in the near future for storing it just to help prevent the crack from getting any ideas of growing.
I’ll deal with it all at the same time. One side the ear is completely cracked all the way through. The weight of the tractor and the bolts are all the I’d keeping it together. No drilling required. Not interested it tearing deeper into this problem at this time. Think I’m just going to put all the parts back together where they go so I don’t loose or misplace them as well as forget what tractor they belong to and location of placement.

A little late to you dance again but your story was sure interesting until it turned south on you. Sorry to hear that. But anything can be fixed. I personally wouldn't let the cracks stop you. It is an obvious indication this machine was handled very ruff. And it sounds as though you are learning all of the 318 short comings very quickly and all at once. That's not all bad as they can be address while your doing the restore. The trans case would concern me the most.

Sure hope you find the time and restore it. This one is obviously what most would classify as a parts machine but in my mind there is no such John Deere. My current 317 was every bit as bad and I did purchased it for parts. It's now without a doubt one of the best I've had. Sometimes I just sit and look at it. And I swear she sometimes looks back at me and smiles. (OK I'm going off the deep end here!)
Yes I know exactly what you are saying. It has brand new tires all the way around so all is not lost :)

Thank you for that link. It makes sense now why the tractor creeps in both directions as well as the lurching and herky jerkyness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 · (Edited)
A little late to you dance again but your story was sure interesting until it turned south on you. Sorry to hear that. But anything can be fixed. I personally wouldn't let the cracks stop you. It is an obvious indication this machine was handled very ruff. And it sounds as though you are learning all of the 318 short comings very quickly and all at once. That's not all bad as they can be address while your doing the restore. The trans case would concern me the most.

Sure hope you find the time and restore it. This one is obviously what most would classify as a parts machine but in my mind there is no such John Deere. My current 317 was every bit as bad and I did purchased it for parts. It's now without a doubt one of the best I've had. Sometimes I just sit and look at it. And I swear she sometimes looks back at me and smiles. (OK I'm going off the deep end here!)
My very first thought was oh the frame is cracked. Hmmm well that explains a lot. Then I instantly thought I could probably brace it and weld it up using some angle iron. Doug linked to a thread with someone explaining the exact same repair using angle iron. In all honesty these tractors are very close 316 and 318. If I don’t have to do any frame modifications in the rear that is best in my opinion.

My train of thought is this repair has to be exact and precise otherwise other issues can occur like more cracking or other parts braking like the transaxle which have also been known to break.

Speaking of transaxles, I’m thinking the transaxle on this one has been into before. It has about 1/4” of gasket material hanging from the seam on two half’s of the axle. That is ok though as I previously stated, I’ll probably change it out for the 2 spd locking diff I purchased from a 420.

This is definitely a project I will learn a lot on. Hopefully I can retain all I learn but taking it one step further. Hopefully I document it all here and post a lot of pics with explanations so I can always refer back to this or any thread I post here in an attempt to have something to refer back to for times when I forget what was done or how I did it. I forget things very easily :/
 
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