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The Find Of A Lifetime My $300.00 1983 John Deere 318

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#1 Hammerdown OFFLINE  

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Posted September 27, 2013 - 06:41 AM

Hello All

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.









The Birthday Party was going to be held at a local Pizza parlor. There was 125 Guest's coming to it. The Theme of the party was "John Deere Green" the guest's had no idea that we were going to use my Tractor and Trailer to haul in the guest of honor. The Morning of the party I Hauled the tractor and Trailer to the Pizza parlor. I got there an Hour before the party. I Placed the John Deere pedal Tractor inside the trophy case with a red birthday Bow on it. My truck & Trailer was hidden ebhind the Pizza Parlor so that the guest's could not see it. Once everyone showed up, Our Daughter announced that she had something special that she wanted to share out front in the parking lot. As I made my way to the front of the Pizza parlor I could hear the country Music song Entitled "John Deere Green" By Joe Diffy being played. We made a wide swing around the front parking lot before stopping by the door. Our Granddaughter was wearing a pair of Homemade Overall's that my wife made with John Deere material, and she had on her Official John Deere boot's. She was snuggled into the dump cart with two John Deere afghan's that my wife's sister made. I had on my Bib's as well as anew John Deere hat. It was quit a day and I will never forget it. It made the Three month restoration project all well worth it to see how happy our granddaughter was. The last gift that she was given was the restored Ertle John Deere pedal Tractor. Once she got on it they could not get her off of it































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#2 KennyP OFFLINE  



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Posted September 27, 2013 - 06:57 AM

Great story you shared with us. Excellent job on the tractors and cart!

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#3 sacsr OFFLINE  


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Posted September 27, 2013 - 06:59 AM

Great story and awesome restoration! Thanks for sharing!
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#4 Newpaws493 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 27, 2013 - 07:07 AM

Sweeet from start to finish! Thanks for sharing the great pics and details  :thumbs: and :welcometogttalk:

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#5 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 27, 2013 - 07:48 AM

Great job. Two restorations and alot of people thrilled. Good Luck, Rick

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#6 Farmette47456 OFFLINE  


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Posted September 27, 2013 - 07:51 AM

Great story.  The restoration of the Garden Tractor, Pedal Tractor, and Wagon are great.  Enjoyed the photos.  Did I tell you it was a great story.

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#7 jd.rasentrac ONLINE  


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Posted September 27, 2013 - 08:03 AM

Great story, great pics and :welcometogttalk:


btw  ildeere.gif

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#8 Robert Webb OFFLINE  

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Posted September 27, 2013 - 08:04 AM

Hammerdown..........glad to see that you made it over here........I remember watching the restoration process on WFM.......AWESOME JOB!....    The next time I get to Pigeon Forge, we need to get together and shoot the breeze.

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#9 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  



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Posted September 27, 2013 - 08:59 AM

That was a great story.  Thanks for sharing it.  Excellent job on ALL the restoration work!

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#10 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted September 27, 2013 - 09:01 AM

Hey HD, Welcome to GTtalk and glad to have you here. That was the deal of the year right there. Very nice!!

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#11 JDBrian OFFLINE  


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Posted September 27, 2013 - 10:20 AM

Great job on the restorations. Thanks for the story. It's getting harder to find good 318's these days.

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#12 UncleWillie OFFLINE  


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Posted September 27, 2013 - 12:00 PM

I bet the dealership was mad. I wouldn't have told them it ran. I would have just said I ate my spinach and loaded it.

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#13 Sawdust OFFLINE  

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Posted September 27, 2013 - 04:18 PM

Great job on all three restores & a Hallmark story for sure. Thanks for sharing.
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#14 Hammerdown OFFLINE  

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Posted September 28, 2013 - 05:37 AM

Hello All

I appreciate your kind comments here. About Two year's ago I set out to locate a Model 30 Hydraulic tiller to add to my 318. I scoured the entire state of Tennessee and there was not one available. I then started hitting Craig's list and found one but it was in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I had a 1969 John Deere 140 that I had been using to till our Garden with but it's model 31 mechanical Tiller took forever to fit the ground, so I decided to sell it to fund the Model 30 Hydraulic tiller. I felt I did good as I sold the 140 with it's tiller for $800.00. The Model 30 tiller that I found in Pennsylvania looked to be real nice so I called the seller of it. At the end of our conversation he said that if I could be there within a day, as he was being Bombarded with phone call's on it but I was the first one to call on it, so he said that he would sell it to me for a cash price of $700.00. I Packed an over night bag and Jumped in my Dodge ram at 4:30 AM The following morning headed for Harrisburg. I mapped it out with my GPS and it told me that the distance was 635 Miles so I had a way's to go. I traveled hard all that day and got there about 3:30 PM. We Loaded the tiller I paid the seller and I was headed back to Knoxville with my new to me Model 30 tiller. I got home at 12;30 AM and hit the sheet's hard for some much deserved rest. The following morning I placed the Lift Bracket's on my Non Three Point hitch rock shaft that lift's the tiller, then I Placed the Belly Pump that operates the tiller behind it's front wheel's in the frame mounted holes. I then placed my Mule drive and mowing deck belt on the belly pump so that it could be operated and headed out of my garage to till a spot close to my garage that had not been tilled before. I was both shocked and surprised as within three passes I had dirt as fine as coffee grounds from this tiller. They are a real animal and one if the best tiller design's to ever come out of John Deere. Here are the Picture's my wife took of my Testing my new to me Model 30 Hydraulic tiller while my Airedale watched on.













With The addition of my Model 30 tiller all I wanted to add to my 318 Package was a 54" dirt dozer blade that had Hydraulic lift & turn. I scoured the state of Tennessee again to no avail. I had a place that I used to vist once in a while and the guy has all Kind's of large Farm Tractors as well as their Impliment's and in the past Five year's hae has gotten into some Lawn & Garden Tractor''s so I took a drive out there to see if he may have a dirt dozer blade like I was hunting.I walked his equipment row and there was just what I had been hunting a 54" John Deere dirt dozer blade. It was rusty and nasty looking but I could tell that it had not been used much as it's cutter bar still looked like new. I used it's delapitated state to my advantage as I asked the seller "How much for that Old Rusty John Deere Blade" ? he said that he needed a Hundred Buck's for it, Take it or leave it. I couldn't get the cash out of my wallet quick enough to pay him as he helped me load it. I was excited when I got it home as these often go for $300.00 or More when you can find one. I removed the lift and turn cylinder's as they both had some minor rust on them from sitting around so I took them off Placed them in my vice and Polished their ram's with some 3-M 2500 Grit sand paper. I was lucky as they had enough Hydraulic fluid left on them that there were no pit's and they cleaned up like new. I Put them back on the plow and when I tried to mount it to the front of my Tractor I had a problem as this blade was evidently made for a 400 series Tractor and it's quick Hitch was 2" too wide to fit my 318 Tractor frame. I then dragged out my Torch and Narrowed the quick hitch frame then welded it all back up & Painted it Blitz Black. I made sure that it fiot my frame then I took it back off my Tractor and completly disassembled it for a restoration. All of the rust came off of it when I used my D-A sander on it so i Placed three heavy coat's of John Deere Yellow Paint on it and the original decals that it came from the factory with. Total I had in it was $130.00 and here it is show before, during and after it's resoration process















During the restoration process of my 318 I decided to change out it's original seat. Most 318's came with a U-shaped spring that supported the seat but as time wore on they got weak and being that I am 6'-4" and weigh 250 Pound's I knew I wanted a better seat for my Tractor. They did make a heavy duty suspension style seat for the 300 series Tractor's but used one's run around $375.00, so I decided to find a substitute that would work for me by spending less on it. I found a Suspension seat on Evil-By for a John Deere 345 at a $25.00 But it now price so I Pulled the trigger on it. It showed up and I mounted it as far back on my fender pan as I could to give me maximum leg room as it has an adjustable slider lever on it, so I wanted it to work for me or my wife. Once I had it mounted I sat on it and could see that the suspension spring's were rather weak so now that I was committed to using this seat I had to Modify it to work better for me. I went to Lowe's and in their hardware section I found a pair of Porch swings coil springs rated at 300 Pound's for $7.00 so I grabbed them and headed home. I Placed them toward's the rear of my adjustable seat Tracks and used a large fender washer and nut to hold them in Place. They worked out perfect, so then I ordered a factory seat cushion repair kit for $69.00 that Included the original vinyl seat cover & foqam as well as a new welting piece to run aroubnd the edge of the metal seat pan to keep it in Place. I sprayed the metal seat pan with some 3-M contact adhesive to hold it in Place then put the new welting on. All in and done I have $101.00 in my new suspension

seat as shown.











Since I got this John Deere 318 about Four Year's ago I have made a Lot of changes to it. I bought a set of Duro bar style tire's for it, a set of Used John Deere wheel weight's, replaced the Original seat with an upgraded suspension style one, fully restored the Tractor incluuding a brand new engine and a Homeade Chrome Exhaust Tip. All in and done now I have a Grand total of $2600.00 in my complete 318 Package including the impliment's and I don't feel that I will ever need another Tractor the rest of my days. Regards, Hammerdown

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#15 LilysDad OFFLINE  


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Posted September 28, 2013 - 07:36 AM

Very nice presentations! What did you do for your G' daughter's next birthday? :D