About Four year's ago I was Traveling with my son in law to an Out of Town gun show. We had my wife's Mini Van and noticed a John Deere Tri-Agri dealership in the same town as the gun show so I swung in and hit the back row. I commonly run these John Deere dealership's back row's as they usually will have the Older John Deere Lawn & Garden Tractor's or older Impliment's in them. Just as I rounded the last corner of the back row, there sat and Older John Deere 318 that had a flat left front tire. I jumped out of the van to check it oout, and noticed that iot had a brand new Replacement 48" Mowing deck on it. It would not rurn ovber as it's battery was dead, so I got back into the van and headed to the dealership mechainic shop to ask if I could borrow some jumper cables ? The head Mechanic told me that it had xome in the day before on trade and that iot did not run. He went on to say that they had not had time to look at it yet but that it had sat Three year's as it's Previous owner who bought it new, had Passed away and when they settled the etsate it went to his grandson sho Traded it in on one of the new Tin style rider Mowers. I headed back to it placed the Jumper cables on it and it roared to life. it did not smoke or have any funny engine noises so I tried the hydraulic lift and transmission which worked fine, Then I threw in the pTO and the mower deck worked perfect so I shut it off.
I took the Jumper cables back and headed for the main showroom to speak with a salesman. I asked the head sales guy if it was for sale ? he said sure, we need to get at least Three out of it. I asked if he meant Three grand ? he said heck no Hundred just the way it sit's. I Barely let him answer me when I said sold can I leave half of the Payment with you today then return on Monday with the balance ? he agreed to it and Printed me out a sales receipt for $150.00. I was on cloud nine knowing that it ran good and that I had bought it for just $300.00 as I had been watching for a 318 for a long time but most that I came across were priced at $1500.00 or Higher and did not look as good as this machine did. I returned on Monday with my Trailer and a 12-Volt air compressor. I paid the $150.00 balance and told the sales guy that I was going to load it. he said that he would send some guy's out of the shop to help me, and I told him that I really would not need them. By the time they came back to help me I had it loaded and was strapping it down in my Trailer. he asked how I got it in my Trailer ? I told him that I Jumped it's dead battery, Pumped up it's flat front tire and rode it onto my Trailer. He looked at the head mechanic and said I thought that you told me this Tractor did Not run ? The Mechanic told him that it had a dead battery so he figured he would find more wrong with it when they Picked it up so he felt it would not run. I asked the sales guy if it bothered him selling it to me so cheap ? he said that Tractor's this Old they often wholesaled them as they had to warranty them if they sold them, for retail, so it did not matter as he said I had bought a Part's Tractor.
I hauled it home gave it batch and mowed our Yard with it. I had been using a 1969 John Deere 140 prior to finding this tractor but from here forward this would be my Main mowing machine. I changed all of the fluid's and filter's and Placed a new set of Point's & condenser along with a new set of spark plugs, as well as the Mowing deck mule drive belt. We used the Tractor to mow Two fulll acre's of grass each week for our Nine Month Mowing season here in Tennessee for the next Three years. Late last fall I noticed that it's engine power was getting weaker so I Planned to pull it and rebuild it when we were finished with our Mowing season. In the Mean time our Daughter came to me and asked me if I would mind using it along with my Pull behind John Deere model 30 dump cart for our Gradndaughter's First Birthday Party that was on December 11th. I told her I would be pleased to do so but that I had to restore the dump cart as well as the Tractor before the Party. She said that they looked good enough, but I told her this was a way for me to go straight through my 318 and my dump Trailer which was in real rough shape. I have had this model 30 dump Trailer for over 25 Year's and when our daughter was little I used to ride her around in it after I mowed the yard, but she had not seen it in year's and now it was real rusty with Lot's of dent's so I just had to restore it before we could use it for the Birthday Party..
Here is how my 1983 John Deere 318 that I paid $300.00 Looked the day that I brought it home.
Here are some picture's of how the rare John Deere model 30 dump cart Looked before and after I restored it. These cart's had a very short life being about Two year's as they were not a strong sales item for John Deere. They were made by The Radio-Flyer Corp. out of Chicago, Illinois
During it's restoration
All restored as it looks now
This is the start of my 1983 John Deere 318 restoration project, and how my Tractor looked the day I Pulled it into my shop for it's full restoration
The Tractor was Taken down to it's frame,then sanded down and sprayed with John Deere blitz black paint. The engine was Pulled and I ordered a brand new remanufactured Onan P-218 engine from Clark/Racing Small Gas engine's In Minerva, Ohio at a cost of $1475.00 shipped to my door. I got the rolling chassis ready while I was awaiting my new engine
Once I got the rolling Chassis completed I started the body work on all of the body Panel's. I had remembered that I Placed our Daughter's Ertle cast aluminum Pedal Tractor in the attic of our Garage year's ago, so I dug it out so that I could restore it as well so that my wife & I could givve it to our Granddaughter as a surprise Birthday present at her first Birthday Party.
My new Onan P-218 short block showed up so I had to Transfer all of the outer component's over onto it from my old engine here is how that looked, and once I was done assembling it, I set it into my Tractor and got it up and running before I finished up with the body Panels.
With my Tractor running I finished the body Panel's as well as our daughter's 25 Year old John Deere Pedal Tractor
While my Tractor body Panel's Paint cured I decided to Put together our Daughter's John Deere Pedal Tractor. I took it all apart cleaned and Lubricated it's bushings and drive chain, then put all of the Pieces all together which included a new factory decal kit.I was Just finishing it up on our deck when our Daughter & Granddaughter showed up and caught me in the final stretch of restoring this pedal Tractor. Our daughter saw how it came out and cried, saying that she had forgotten that I had kept it all of these year's and that now it looked better than it did when I gave it to her brand new over a Quarter of a Century ago. I was Humbled by her comments.
Here is my 1983 John Deere 318 shown with my restored model 30 dump cart attached to it all back together now and out in the sun after it's total restoration which took me almost two Month's to complete it all and I had less than a week to spare before we were going to use it and the dump cart for our Granddaughter's first birthday Party.