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  1. #1
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    444
    Location
    Emporia, Kansas
    Tractor
    Kubota L3130 HST

    Default John Deere 318, is this a good mower?

    Im looking at a JD318 garden tractor.

    It is configured like this:
    electronic ignition (late model, dont know which year)
    48" mower deck
    total hours unknown.
    3 point hitch (cat 0)
    front blade
    rear disc harrow, single gang
    chains, wheel weights
    tractor cab
    always shedded, because it belonged to a school district.

    He says it is in better than average shape.

    He wants $4000 for the total package.

    Is this a good price and what else might I look for, inspection wise...?

    What would the price for all those goodies been when it was new?

    Any recommendations about a JD318 would be appreciated.
    thanks, dwight

  2. #2
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    11,632
    Location
    Upper Midwest USA
    Tractor
    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: John Deere 318, is this a good mower?

    That 318 is a real classic, and sought-after tractor by many enthusiasts. Probably the price is a bit on the high side (IMO), but doesn't mean he won't get it. If well taken care of, it may be selling for more than it sold brand new. That happens with some Deere tractors, as with a few others (like 8N Fords).

  3. #3
    Platinum Member BarryinMN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    860
    Location
    Minnesota
    Tractor
    JD, Allis-Chalmers, Zetor

    Default Re: John Deere 318, is this a good mower?

    Take a look at www.weekendfreedommachines.com

    It's a site dedicated to older JD lawnmowers, you will find everything there is to know about them! I have a '69 JD140H3 predecessor of the 318. Been mowing the lawn, pushing, tilling, even had a Johnson loader on it, since '69. Still runs like a champ! 14 hp gas Kohler is a little thirsty compared to newer 455 diesel lawnmower.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member bontai_Joe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    834
    Location
    northeast PA
    Tractor
    Deere 316 (Kohler) Deere 316 (Onan) Deere 210

    Default Re: John Deere 318, is this a good mower?

    Many consider the Deere 318 one of the best garden tractors ever made. I'm surprised it does not have an hour meter on it. The Onans in these typically last around 1500 hours +/-. As to price:
    1. 3 point hitchs are selling for $350 +/- used
    2. The front blade with both cylinders (lift & angle) sell for $400-500 used.
    3. The cab in good condition sells for around $300-400
    4. A pair of cast metal wheel weights sell for around $125
    5. Used chains are worth around $25.
    6. The disk harrow used, depending on condition and what model it is could be anywhere from $50-200.

    That makes approx. $1425 for the extras, leaving $2575 for the tractor and mower. If the school had 15 acres of lawn, it will have a lot of hours on it and probably near needing a new engine ($1600 +/-). If it was a school in town with a small lawn, that means a lot less hours. I think the price is a touch on the high side, but I have seen them sell for more on ebay. Plus you are getting the 3 point already installed, the cab already installed, thus avoiding the mystery of whether or not they will fit if bought separately. If the tractor happens to have the rear PTO, you can add another $400 to the value. The weakest link in the tractor is the engine which isn't saying anything bad as they typically last 15-20 years under home duty. The rest of the tractor is so over designed as to be a 40-50 year machine. As mentioned above, www.weekendfreedommachines.org is an incredibly valuable resource of info on these machines. So is http://www.geocities.com/jd318_mazz/

  5. #5
    Gold Member johndeere2210's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    347
    Location
    Nebraska
    Tractor
    John Deere 2210

    Default Re: John Deere 318, is this a good mower?

    If the motor starts with no blue smoke and runs smooth through the throttle range, BUY IT!! If the motor puffs a little smoke on start up but then clears up, negotiate the price and then BUY IT anyway. These were excellent machines and are worth the repower if needed.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    1,044
    Location
    Southwest PA
    Tractor
    Deere 4710/reverser, JD 318 (still needs TLC), JD LT160

    Default Re: John Deere 318, is this a good mower?

    Outstanding machine - but be aware that it looks like replacement motors are no longer available. It seems that not only are the exact Onan models (B43 early and P218G late) gone, but so are the various suggested "easy' drop-in replacements like the P220 (20hp!).

    You can replace the motors with several other brand choices - and kits are available to make this as painless as possible but it looks like it's just starting to get to the point where the 318 is more of a 'hobbiest/collector' machine than a normal buy-and-run choice.

    A shame since as I don't think anything quite like it is built today, at any price. What a little bulldog.

  7. #7
    Gold Member KENSFM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    470
    Location
    MA
    Tractor
    JD 2210 JD318 JD332

    Default Re: John Deere 318, is this a good mower?

    All JD 318 lawn tractors came with an hour meter. Lift the hood and look on the right side of the cowl and it should be there. Or are you saying that the total hours are unknown because the meter has been removed or is not working.
    If you post the serial# I can look up the year of manufacture for you. Looks like a good deal, but as others have said if there is a lot of time on the engine it could be due for a rebuild.
    Ken [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  8. #8
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    444
    Location
    Emporia, Kansas
    Tractor
    Kubota L3130 HST

    Default Re: John Deere 318, is this a good mower?

    The seller didnt know what the run time hours were showing. Im assuming that the hour meter works, but Ive not seen the tractor, only talked to the seller over the phone.

    THe responses I got from you all are excellent. . . exactly the kind of info I was looking for.

    thank you!
    dwight

  9. #9
    Gold Member johndeere2210's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    347
    Location
    Nebraska
    Tractor
    John Deere 2210

    Default Re: John Deere 318, is this a good mower?

    I had a 317 with the 20HP Onan replacement engine. The 317 and 318 are pretty much identical except the 318 has power steering. I loved the 317 but out grew it. I passed it along to my son along with the front blade and mower deck. He thinks it is the greatest (of course the price was right).

  10. #10
    Platinum Member bontai_Joe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    834
    Location
    northeast PA
    Tractor
    Deere 316 (Kohler) Deere 316 (Onan) Deere 210

    Default Re: John Deere 318, is this a good mower?

    No disrespect to johndeere 2210, but although visually very similar, the 317 was the last of the "closed frame" models and because of it's notorious engine problems (Kohler twin cylinder Series 1), the 318 was a redesign from the ground up and is referred to usually as the "open frame" design. They can interchange most if not all front implements, but the rear is different as far as a 3 point hitch, rear PTO, rear tiller used, etc. If using only as a mower, these differences don't make themselves known, but when searching for rear attachments, it becomes important. It gets more confusing when referring to the "little brother" 316. The 1978 Kohler powered 316 was the top line 300 series and is very similar to the 317. The later Onan powered 316 is a direct desendant of the 318. Again, I would refer you to www.weekendfreedommachines.org for more in depth info on model breakdown and available attachments, found by clicking on the model info tab at the top of their page.

    As to possible repowering a 318, Some of the small engine warehouse guys have put together kits allowing the use of Honda or Kohler engines to be used in place of the hard to obtain Onan. Be advised to CAREFULLY read ALL the footnotes in related info to be sure of getting ALL the necessary parts for any possible transplant. I just recently dropped a 20 HP Onan P220 in place of a 16 HP Onan B43E engine and it required a driveshaft spacer.Some of the current engines offered require either a custom made exhaust, or cutting a new hole for the exhaust to exit.

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