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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    America The Beautiful
    1983 John Deere 318

    Default 1983 John Deere 318 Starter Replacement Instructions

    I spent more time seeking complete replace instructions then it took to replace the carefully placed starter and write these instructions as i went along figuring it out. IMO, those design engineers knew exactly what they were doing when they set the starter where only a paid John Deere mechanic could smile (over the fees their shop makes for it...) I just happen to like my cash way too much not to first attempt repairing my gear by myself

    If you disagree with these instructions - Note: I wrote down every step after doing it right (the 2nd time in some cases). I'd like to help others and find no need to debate or negotiate. No offense, please just author your own

    I learned what I expected from this - it is definitely 3+ hours of fun and sometimes pain, but it is not impossible and I saved about $900 thru DIY(they wanted $1,000 for P&L, I spent $100)

    PRIORITY - FOR EVERY STEP --> Take "BEFORE" pictures via digital camera or smartphone. Especially useful if/when the project extends beyond the day you started


    1. Remove the front grille then remove the mower deck (including the pulley block assembly and belts at front of engine). Set it all aside

    2. Lift the hood up and leave it up. Remove the Battery Cables(negative first), Remove the Battery + Remove the battery Pan (useful for improved clearance/access to remove the Driveshaft bolts connecting the trans to flywheel - otherwise, you won't be tipping motor w/o a fight on your hands; trust me)

    3. Remove the mesh pan on bottom of tractor frame so in Step 12 you can access 2x rear engine bolts (they screw into bottom of block)

    4. Disconnect headlight wiring @ front of tractor. Alongside where the front grille inserts, you see 2x black painted uprights coming up from tractor frame - the engine hood plate posts slide over these. Unbolt hood plate/posts from the black uprights. Next, lift/jostle the plate/posts up and simultaneously slightly tilt towards front of tractor and hood/plate/post will slide off. This step keeps you from removing the exhaust when having to tip the engine(otherwise the posts confine/prevent you from tipping engine far enough).

    a. After seeing the crud from 30 years of use. I lifted the motor out, degreased/pressure washed it 2x

    b. in a few steps I mention removing all engine shrouds. I highly recommend doing this so you can clean the motor well and get max airflow you'll also need to remove for access to starter, etc

    5. Remove the entire air cleaner assembly. Note where/how the air intake line runs from under the cleaner base and back into the flywheel shroud. This is a great time to give it all a thorough cleaning while in there

    6. Before you remove the Fuel SUPPLY Line (on back right side of motor ). Clean the area up for any caked on debris. Remove external supply line and take it back thru the (for lack of a better word )"firewall" plate. There's obviously also a line that goes to carb, which connects to the pump from behind the shroud pump mounts on. This shroud has bolts located under the flywheel and were only easily accessible after motor was tipped or lifted out. See step 12 about removal of this shroud

    7. Remove the choke and throttle cables and pull each of these back thru "firewall" plate

    8. Located below battery pan area, remove bolts attaching transmission air cooler to "firewall" plate. Wife says I have "Popeye" forearms and this step was very helpful to gain access to Trans Shaft bolts w/o shredding skin Next remove the bolts I needed a breaker bar on socket wrench to break each free

    9. Remove your plug wires and then all accessible engine side covers

    10. Remove the front and rear engine block bolts

    11. Tilt the engine to the right of the tractor or lift engine out in order to remove the starter bolts VERY HEAVY Have room set aside and a plan of attack as to how you will swing it out and set it down - LIFT SAFELY.

    12. For access to rear starter bolts - Remove bottom engine shroud cover bolts under the flywheel. Lift shroud up & away from block

    The local green dealer literally charged $600 of my green for the replacement starter alone(no labor cost in that). Instead, I called a starter rebuild shop and they had me send a picture of the starter from my smartphone. He looked it up in a catalog and ordered the correct replacement off the east coast for $84 + $10 overnight shipping.
    Last edited by 318Rocks; 08-12-2012 at 08:12 PM. Reason: GLC24's reply was spot on

  2. #2
    Platinum Member glc24's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Southwestern, Pa.

    Default Re: 1983 John Deere 318 Starter Replacement Instructions

    Very nice writeup 318!
    Like you,there was no way I was going to spend that kind of money on a starter from JD.
    When you say PTO bolts, I take it you are referring to the driveshaft from the flywheel to the transmission?
    One step you could have eliminated,is removing the hood in step 4. All you need to do is remove the 4 bolts to the vertical uprights and everything comes off at once. I've done that many times. Saves alot of "hood fiddling" later.

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  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    America The Beautiful
    1983 John Deere 318

    Default Re: 1983 John Deere 318 Starter Replacement Instructions

    Right on, changes were just made to reflect your valid points

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