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A 1991 John Deere 316 Rescue & Restoration Build


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#1 Hammerdown OFFLINE  

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Posted March 04, 2014 - 07:57 AM


Hello All

I have a 1983 John Deere 318 that I restored late last Fall. My son in law fell in love with my John Deere 318 and has wanted one lie it but he is on a Budget and the one's that come up for sale in our area average $2100.00 a Bit too much for him to spend on one. I located him a Nice Older 1992 Cub Cadet a few year's ago with a Kohler Magnum 18 Horsepower twin in it and it was vintage enough that it had the heavy duty frame, Sundstrand 90 Pump and a solid drive shaft, but he wanted to move up to a John Deere so I have been watching for one for him. I noticed an add on our Local Craig's list about Three weeks ago that advertised a John Deere 316, Not running that needed spark plug wires to run with a 50", Power flow attachment, Extra set of rear wheel's & tires and a spare floor pan for $200.00 so I contacted the owner by E-mail sending him my phone number asking for him to Please call me and that I would take it. He called within a Half hour and we set up a meeting later in the day. I hooked up my truck and Trailer and we made the 120 Mile trip to look at it. He called my wife before I got back home that day and explained to her that he had fogot that he had sold the extra rear tirtes and wheel's so he dropped the price to $150.00. When we got there it was a Tough Looking Tractor with a Lot of Rust and corrosion on it. it had it's side engine shields pulled off of it and was Missing most of it's Internal air breather assembly parts as well as the right side steering pedasil cover. The seat cushion was destroyed and off Brand. One thing I did see was that it was a later made 316 that had the open frame design and an Onan P-218 engine in it rather then the earlier style closed frame and Kohler single cylinder engine.

 

 

 

I asked him if I could check out the engine ? He said sure, so I Pulled both spark plugs and placed my Jumper cables on it I had Planned to check the Tractor compression. I noticed when I opened the hood that it hour meter read 349.2 Hours. it had no battery so when I hooked up my Jumper cables the dash light's came on but the starter would not work to turn the engine over. I reached down in and Turned the engine fly wheel by hand it was not froze up, but it did have some issues. The 50" mowing deck that it came with was off the Tractor. it had been hit hard in the front bending it in and causing it to crack all the way to the top of the deck and the mule drive was bent and cracked at the welds. He had Part of the Power flow unit but was missing the twin Hopper that goes on the back of the Tractor. I did notice that the Onan engine did not have any apparent oil leak's so that made me wonder if this was perhaps' a true 349.2 Hour Tractor. he told me that it had lived most of it's life in Florida close to the coat line so that would explain the rust and corrosion due to the salt air. I told him that what I was seeing was a bunch of part's here so what was his best price for all of it. he said he understood and just wanted it out of his Yard then offered it to me for $75.00. I countered with an offer of $50.00 Knowing that it may very well be a Just a part's Tractor here since the engine would not even turn over I had no idea of what I was buying. he accepted my offer so we loaded it up and brought it all home.

 

 

 

 

The following day I had my son in law help me push it in the garage. I reached up under the right rear fender pan and took it's hydro lever to neutral so that we could move it. I had Noticed where it's previous owner had Pushed it around in his Yard without Unhooking the Hydro unit and it left behind skid marks in his grass. it was Very Lucky that he did not destroy The Hydro rear end as these are Not supposed to be pushed without Taking the Hydro lever out of run position.  We removed the hood, Grill  grill support and Floor pan so that we could work on the engine easier. I started checking it's safety switches and running down the wiring harness connections and all of them checked out good so I Pulled the key Ignition switch from the dash. We found a Purple wire laying close to the starter so we placed it back on it's spade lug of the solenoid Once I had the wore back on the starter and the Ignition switch out of the dash  I crossed the S-1 & S-2 Terminal's to hot wire the switch and the starter Turned the engine over.We stopped there and went and got a Can of Gas for it as I did not want to suck Trash from it's gas Tank, so I ran a rubber gas line down to the gas can eliminating it's gas Tank line. I squirted a little either into it's Carburetor and the engine came to life when I corssed the lug's on the back of the key switch. We Let it run for about Ten Minute's and it did not smoke or Knock so I knew that we had a good engine but I could se it was struggling to run so I knew that it needed it's Carburetor cleaned, so we shut it down. Both of us were very happy as the engine proved to be a good one. I knew that it was Not uncommon for these tractor's to eventually Take out the ignition switch as the electrical current has to go through the wiring harness twice before supplying the solenoid starter with electrical current to start the engine and this one was acting funny as when you wiggled the switch connector it would Turn the dash light's on & off Intermittantly. I went to our Local john Deere dealer the next day and picked up a new ignition switch for the Tractor.

 

 

 

When I returned I Placed the new switch but it still would not turn the engine over with the Key switch. I knew we had to have another wiring issue so I started running the wiring harness again and noticed where the previous owner had cut The large Red wire that ran down to the Hot terminal of the starter which hooked to the Tractor's 25 AMP circuit breaker and had shoved it into the Hot side battery cable. I ran a wire from the cut end to the hot terminal of the starter and the Key switch then turned the Tractor over. I Pulled the Plastic gas Tank and flushed all of the Old gas out of it and there was some corrosion as well in it. I replaced all of it's old rubber gas lines with new one's and Placed two clear gas filter's close to the fire wall one in the Incoming fuel Line, The other in the line that feeds the Carburetor. I then primed the Carburetor and tried to start it up. it started then died from lack of Gas. I took the Onan fuel pump off and took it apart. it had some Trash in it so I flushed it good with Gum-Out Carburetor cleaner and put it back together and Placed it back on the engine. That did the trick as it now was Pumping gas. I took the top off of the Carburetor and cleaned the Idle Jet that was Plugged and Placed the top back on the Carburetor. it now started up and Ran good. I let it run for Ten minutes and adjusted the Idle mixture screw until it Ran as smooth as silk. I checked the Hydro lift feature and it worked fine as well as the Hydro lever for movement but it had a Bit of Creep to it which is not uncommon on these Tractors. I then backed it into my shop to work on it some more.

 

 

 

The Tractor was missing some part's so I reached out to some guy's for part's that we needed to build this Tractor. I ordered all of the Internal air breather part's as well as a set of spark plug wire's and a replacement muffler as this one was rusted out on the bottom from Robert Kummer who goes by Boomer. He has ton's of good used Onan part's on hand that he sells and I have dealt with him before ordering part's for my 318 and the part's have always' been like new and were reasonable in price. I Located almost all of the rear tail light assembly part's for it only lacking the actual light's and one left hand black Plastic bezel. Keith Bouchard offered up most of the Tail Light part's for the cost of shipping so I took him up on his offer. The 50" deck that came with this Tractor was very rough and bent badly so I knew my Lawn mower Bone yard buddy had a John Deere 317 that had a decent looking deck on it, so I called him and asked what he would have to get for the complete Tractor as I felt that it had many other Part's on it that we lacked to build this Tractor. We got it for $100.00 but I have to Pull out it's Blown up Kohler K-17 blown engine to return to him as part of the price considered on the Tractor. I got the deck off of it and found that it had Two bad spindle bearings so we harvested the spindle bearings off of the 50" deck that Were good and Placed in the 317 Deck which was a 48" deck. I only had to buy a new Idler pulley as both decks that had them were bad. I used my Gas Torch to heat up the spindle Bearing flange carriage bolt's and all of them came apart for me so we used them over again when we mounted the spindles in the 48' deck. I straightened the bent Mule drive with my Torch and welded up the cracks in it. I then Placed the deck on the tractor for a test fit and function. I adjusted the mule drive rod's and leveled the deck then test ran it and it was fine so I Pulled it back off of the Tractor for sanding down and Paint.

 

 

 

 

I ran the tractor engine some more as I had a slight hydraulic fluid leak at both Charge pump valves. By running the engine some they cured them selves and quit leaking. I then began to Place all of the missing part's on the Tractor that I harvested off the Part's Tractor 317 that we bought as the parking brake knob, Throttle knob, headlight switch, Foot brake rubber and support, and Belly screen. The Only part we lacked was the right side steering pedestal screen cover of which we found on Evil-Bay for a Price of $15.00 shipped to us. We Then dropped the engine oil and filter and placed Shell Rotunda Diesel engine oil. The engine ran much quieter once it's oil was changed I greased all of the Grease fitting's on the Tractor and it now steered very easy. I corrected all of the mechanical issues that it had preparing the rolling Chassis for it's John Deere Blitz Black paint job. I will now jack it up, remove it's wheel's and tires and paint the entire chassis after I remove it's engine. Once the engine is out of it that will allow me to paint the entire engine compartment area and I want to Pull The engine starter to check it's Brushes and clean it's drive as you can Not get the starter off of these engine's while the engine is in the frame and I do not want issues after we are done Painting all of it. Tomorrow I am going to start the disassembly to paint the rolling Chassis. I will be Taking the Pedestal screen's off of it as well as the Key switch panel so that we can sand them down to be painted John Deere Green. Here is how this Tractor Looked the day we brought it home as well as the Progress that we have made on building it. I figure all in and done we will have about $450.00 in it totally restored. I now feel that this Tractor is a True 349.2 Hour Machine it Look's so rusty due to the fact that these Tractor's had a failed Power coat paint job that flaked off and with it living in Stuart, Florida most of it's Life the Salt air took it's total on the metal of this Tractor. Regards, Hammerdown

 

 

 

Here is how the 1991 John Deere 316 Looked the day we got it home about Three weeks ago

 

 

 

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Here it is stripped down for a Good pressure wash cleaning

 

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Here is the 48" mowing deck that we took from the John Deere 317

 

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Here is the 1982 John Deere 317 Tractor that we bought for $100.00 and used it's Mowing deck on our 316 Build as well as some other Parts. it's too bad that the Kohler K-17 Engine's Blew up so early on these Tractor's as this one only has 650 Hour's on it. There are too many difference's between the two tractor's so we were not able to swap body part's but many of the other Part's that we lacked interchanged

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Hammerdown, March 04, 2014 - 08:04 AM.

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#2 dthomp17 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 04, 2014 - 09:08 AM

Thanks for sharing and for the pictures. I can relate to just about everything you had to do to this tractor and it sounds like you made a good find. Good luck.

#3 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted March 04, 2014 - 09:19 AM

Thanks for sharing this with us. You may want to order a valve regrind/decarbon kit for that Onan. Since you have it out, it would be a good time to check things.



#4 Hammerdown OFFLINE  

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Posted March 04, 2014 - 01:23 PM

Hello

I doubt at just 350.0 Hour's that it is ready for a decarbon to the valves or heads. Onan say's to do them at 500 Hour's so we will run it awhile to see if the Tractor work's out or not before pulling the head's on it. Right now it is running perfect I don't see a reason to Pull both head's this early on with Low  hours as it has. Regards, Hammerdown



#5 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted March 04, 2014 - 01:52 PM

Nice description of the restoration. Will a 317 fender deck fit an Onan based later version 316. The original 316 had the closed rear end and Dana axle like the 317. It looks like you have the newer 318 based tractor. 



#6 glgrumpy ONLINE  

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Posted March 04, 2014 - 05:50 PM

Think I would have saved the 317 and  parted the 316, looking at conditions.  Not sure how you found stuff for so cheap, being Green and all.  Wonder why PO wanted that KT17?  Can't get much in parts anymore, even the engine collectors just throw them aside and not work with them.  I had one once out of a PK. Got more cases and cylinders off epay, but never could find pistons of any size to use. Rods were hard to find too, something a little diff on those. I gave up and passed it on to someone else!



#7 Hammerdown OFFLINE  

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Posted March 05, 2014 - 05:32 AM

Nice description of the restoration. Will a 317 fender deck fit an Onan based later version 316. The original 316 had the closed rear end and Dana axle like the 317. It looks like you have the newer 318 based tractor. 

Hello

No a 317 Deck will not fit the later made 316's but the earlier version 316 was a closed frame Tractor that the 317 Pan would have fit on but not this one. This one is towards' the end of the 316 life span they stopped making them in 1992. My buddy that sold us the 317 want's the K-17 back for the engine starter intake and carburetor I did not ask him Why as he priced it cheap. Regards, Hammerdown


Edited by Hammerdown, March 05, 2014 - 05:32 AM.

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#8 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted March 05, 2014 - 05:55 AM

Hello

No a 317 Deck will not fit the later made 316's but the earlier version 316 was a closed frame Tractor that the 317 Pan would have fit on but not this one. This one is towards' the end of the 316 life span they stopped making them in 1992. My buddy that sold us the 317 want's the K-17 back for the engine starter intake and carburetor I did not ask him Why as he priced it cheap. Regards, Hammerdown

 

I have a 314 and 317 but have always wanted one of the newer style 316/318's. You got a great deal on all those tractors. The 318 is pretty hard to come by up here and a lot of them are worn out by the time they come up for sale.



#9 Hammerdown OFFLINE  

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Posted March 05, 2014 - 09:10 AM

Hello Bryan

I had a John Deere 314 about Eight Year's ago it was a good Tractor. I then sold it and found an early John Deere 140 Tractor. I liked it, but came across my current 1983 John Deere 318 that was a Tri-Agri John Deere dealership in the back row. I spotted it while cruising the dealership on the way to a Gun show with my son in law. I went to the shop and asked a Mechanic what he knew about it ? he said that it had been Traded in the day before and that it did not run. He said that it sat in a  garage where they got it from and that it had not run in a couple of Years as the original owner of it who bought it new had passed way and his grand Son had Traded it in on one of the new Tin style cheaper riding lawn mowers. I asked to borrow a set of Jumper cables as I had my wife's mini van and not my truck so they loaned me the shop set and I drove back out to it. It's battery was not all that Old but was dead so once I Placed the jumper cables on it and turned the key it cranked over and it's Onan engine came to life. it did not smoke or have any funny engine noise to it, so I checked it's hydraulic lift and hydro Transmission and they both worked fine so I shut it off. It had an almost brand new Replacement Mowing deck under it that retailed for $1300.00 alone. I returned the jumper's to the shop and made my way to the show room. I asked the sales guy if the Old 318 was for sale out back ? he said that it would be but they had not had time to check it out yet. and that it did Not run. I asked him if he would sell it the way that it sat ? he said sure for "3". it was nice enough shape that I asked 3-Grand ? he said Heck No -3 Hundred and I said sold. I came back on Monday with my truck & Trailer and Picked up my $300.00 John Deere 318.

 

When I got it home I did a complete service on it, the battery only needed to be charged. I learned that it was a first year 1983 318. It ran fine for Two Mow's of our yard then it's engine started to stumble. I found that the point's and condenser needed to be replaced is all and we ran it for almost Four Year's mowing Two acres of grass per week with it in our Long Nine month mowing season with no issues. late last fall I decided to restore it. I ordered a Brand new Built Onan P-218 engine for it that cost me $1475.00 shipped to my door. While the engine was out of it I painted the rolling Chassis and all four wheel's. I then went to work on the body panel's and painted them and Placed a new decal kit on it when I was done Painting it. I replaced it's rear Turf tires with bar tires and Picked up a set of Plastic John Deere rear wheel weight's for it used from my local John Deere dealer for $30.00 for the pair. I Located a Model 30 Hydraulic tiller for it and sold my Old 140 John Deere to fund the tiller for it. I then found a 54" dirt dozer blade for it that as rusty but hardly used and Paid $100.00 for it. When I got it home I stripped it down and painted it all. I have a total of $2600.00 in my 318 with the attachment's Included now and have everything that I need for it. This 1991 John Deere 316 that we are building for my son in law can share all of my attachment's should he want to borrow them they will fit right on and work on his new to him Tractor when we get done with it. here are some Picture's of what my 1983 John Deere 318 Looked like the day that I brought it home as well as what it look's like now with it's attachment's that I have for it. Regards, Hammerdown

 

 

 

 

 

Here is how my 1983 John Deere 318 Looked the day that I brought it home and Paid $300.00 for it

 

 

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Here is is after I restored it last Fall

 

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#10 Hammerdown OFFLINE  

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Posted March 12, 2014 - 06:22 AM

Hello All

I have been pushing to get this tractor completed as spring mowing is not that far off. We Pulled the engine to Paint the frame and rolling chassis as well as the four wheels. I finished that and placed the engine back in and hooked everything back up. Yesterday, I prepared the steering pedastal screen's and painted them with three coat's of john Deere green as well as the battery box with Blitz Black. I want to get that portion of the Tractor back together so that I can pull it out side while I sand down and paint the rest of the body Panels. here is the progress so far. Regards, Hammerdown

 

 

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#11 Hammerdown OFFLINE  

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Posted March 15, 2014 - 06:15 AM

Hello All

For those of you folloing this restoration Thread, I placed the steering pedastal screen's back onto this Tractor as the fresh Paint had cured. Most of the original bolt's and speed clip's were missing when we got it so we bought new one's to put it back together. The right side removable screen that bolt's onto the panel was Missing so we got one off Evil-Bay that I painted with the other part's the other day. We developed another slight hydraulic leak and I traced it down to be one of the rubber hydraulic hoses that ran from the charge pump to the bottom of the Hydraulic Valve. I removed the hose and had a new one made up at our Local Hydraulic shop. By going there Rather than our John Deere dealership I saved almost $10.00 and got a hose with a lot higher Burst pressure. While there I bought some 1/4" Rubber fuel line to replace the original sight glass Tubing that show's how much hydraulic fluid is in the Tractor which is Located on the right rear area of the Tractor's rear end. When I got home I Placed the new hydraulic line as well as replaced the sight glass rubber hose. I had to straighten the bracket that hold's the sight glass tube as it was mashed hard and bent Badly. I then Put on a new Hydraulic charge Pump filter on and had to add Two & Three quarter's of a quart's of Transmission fluid to the Tractor to put it's fluid where it needed to be. EvidentIy The Previous owner Just ran the Tractor with these Hydraulic leak's and ran better than half of the required Transmission fluid out of it, we are Lucky that he did not destroy The Transmission by being Lazy and not fixing the Problem. I  then Placed the steering column screen's, Battery box, Battery and Battery hold down clamp on the Tractor and started it to check for any More leaks. No more leak's so all of the mechanical work it Puis done on the rolling Chassis. I did a final adjustment to it's idle mixture screw on the carburetor and it Now Purr's Like a Kitten. I then  ran it outside so that I could start working on it's metal Body Panels, as I do Not want dirt, dust or over spray on the finished Chassis.

 

I will be a few day's on them as they are Heavily rusted where the Powder coat paint has failed so I will have to feather edge the Paint that is still in good shape and coat the Panel with Body filler to smooth it out eough to look smooth and good for the paint job that we are going to apply to it. Here is how the Tractor look's now with the rolling Chassis completed awaiting it's body panels. I suspect by next weekend I should have this complete project done and the Tractor ready to Cut Grass of which I suspect to be within two weeks. Regards, Hammerdown

 

 

 

 

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#12 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted March 15, 2014 - 07:00 AM

That's looking real good from here! Good luck with the panels!



#13 Hammerdown OFFLINE  

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Posted March 16, 2014 - 06:17 AM

Hello All

We started sanding down the metal body Panel's of this Tractor Yesterday. It has the typical flaked off Power coat paint job. The Powder coat is so hard to sand, that I had to get some 40 Grit sand Paper for my air operated DA sander and it still barely touches the Powder coat as far as Feather edgeing it. The Panel's are heavily rusted and Pitted where the power coat failed to the point where we are having to apply a skim coat of body filler to smooth the panel out enough to apply the paint. I mamanged to get the two engine side tin's into the final stage of body filler yesterday as well as the grill. Today I will be working on the floor pan that is real rough it has rust holes through the foot Treads in each side. Regards, Hammerdown


Edited by Hammerdown, March 16, 2014 - 06:18 AM.


#14 Trav1s ONLINE  

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Posted March 16, 2014 - 07:07 PM

Would a heavy duty wire wheel on an air grinder work?  I used a Dewalt grinder and a wire wheel on my 120 but it was paint. :watch_over_fence:



#15 Hammerdown OFFLINE  

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Posted March 17, 2014 - 03:04 AM

Hello Travis

No I tried that before I got the 40 Grit sand paper that we are using. This Powder coat paint finish is as hard as Porcelin. Regards, Hammerdown


Edited by Hammerdown, March 17, 2014 - 03:04 AM.





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