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214 vs. 317


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#1 middleageddeere OFFLINE  

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Posted February 15, 2011 - 06:25 AM

So, I have a 214 and a 317. Both pretty much original and in pretty good (ish) shape. There are certain things I like about the gear (simple) and there are certain things I like about the hydro (easier). I can't decide which tractor I like better. Just hoping to start a little conversation. Thoughts?

#2 Tmo OFFLINE  

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Posted February 15, 2011 - 07:35 AM

I had a 214, and a 210, but I never owned a 300 series. So, for me, I would like to have the 317. I think if Kohler would have done their homework and made the KT17 correct in the first place, the 317 may be talked about in the same circles as the 318, though it doesn't have power steering.
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#3 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted February 15, 2011 - 04:34 PM

Maybe this is a good place to ask. I have always heard to stay away from the 317s because they had a bad engine. What was wrong with them? I don't see many 317s for sale.
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#4 bhts OFFLINE  

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Posted February 15, 2011 - 04:46 PM

The kohler used in the 317 is the kt17. If you get a series one they have a weak oil pump and made most blocks air conditioned. The series two was a good engine and kohker made them with a stronger oil pump. All and all the kt17 is a good strong running engine and just had a poor desinge of the oil system at first.
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#5 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted February 15, 2011 - 04:50 PM

317's had a Kohler twin on them, Kt17. The first series of that engine had a splash oil bath system for the lower end, if you ran them on hillsides alot, they would throw a rod. Kohler quickly fixed this issue with the Series2 engine that used an oil pump and filter system like the Onan's use. This solved the problem and most of the 317"s have ben converted to the Series2 engine or something else. The 317 was a good tractor, it took the place of th 300 Jd. that had replaced the 140. I just bought a 317 with series 2 Kohler yesterday as a matter of fact. I think they are still a good tractor, but remember that like all others, they are getting old..
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#6 mikebramel OFFLINE  

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Posted February 15, 2011 - 04:58 PM

I had a 214, and a 210, but I never owned a 300 series. So, for me, I would like to have the 317. I think if Kohler would have done their homework and made the KT17 correct in the first place, the 317 may be talked about in the same circles as the 318, though it doesn't have power steering.

They did their homework, they knew what they were making.
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#7 middleageddeere OFFLINE  

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Posted February 15, 2011 - 05:51 PM

Not sure what you meant by that Mike. You mean JD knew they were making crap? My 317 has the series one and has never had any work done to it (as far as I know) and runs great. Loads of power and just purrs. I know they got a bad rap but I really like it. I like having the gears on the 214 too though. Just put it inna a gear and go. Great when the little ones on yer lap. I love im both. Each one has good and bad. I think honestly, I like the 214 best. My runs a little funny right now but, if it didn't I would use it for pretty much everything. I do like the hydro's but for most things lifting the attachments is no biggie.

#8 middleageddeere OFFLINE  

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Posted February 15, 2011 - 05:53 PM

Just re-read the quote...You meant Kohler not JD. I really don't think it was an intentional thing I guess.

#9 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted February 15, 2011 - 07:06 PM

Thanks Mike and Brian. If I look at a 317, I would do better with one having the oil filter, meaning series two. Good to know
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#10 Meangreen OFFLINE  

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Posted February 15, 2011 - 08:01 PM

I have a JD212 and a JD317. I like my re-powered (Onan) 317 better because of the hydro, the 212 does great but going from forward to reverse is MUCH better on the 317...
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#11 Tmo OFFLINE  

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Posted February 16, 2011 - 07:46 AM

Just re-read the quote...You meant Kohler not JD. I really don't think it was an intentional thing I guess.


True, it was a Kohler thing.

#12 Tmo OFFLINE  

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Posted February 16, 2011 - 07:50 AM

Here's the info for the 317 from wfm.

"... Many of the model 317 tractors suffered catastrophic engine failure as a result of poor lubrication to the connecting rod journals of the crankshaft. The engine utilized a "Pressure spray" lubrication system, which operated at approximately 5 PSI and did not provide pressurized oil to the connecting rod journals. Instead, the connecting rod journals were lubricated with oil sprayed down from the camshaft. This resulted in inadequate lubrication, particularly if the tractor was operated on a side-hill incline. Kohler did not offer an immediate solution to this problem, and as an interim solution John Deere engineered a retrofit kit that would allow an Onan p218G to be installed into the 317 chassis.

Eventually Kohler did rectify the problematic KT17 engine by redesigning the engine with a full pressure lubrication system. Known as the KT17 Series II, the engine operated at a significantly higher oil pressure of 25-50 PSI. Kohler also cross-drilled the crankshaft, which allowed oil to be supplied under pressure to the connecting rod journals. The result was a much more durable engine with significantly longer life. A KT17 Series II engine can be identified by a specification (Spec.) number of 24300 or higher. Well into its last year of production, 1982, the 317 came equipped with a Kohler KT17 Series II engine as standard equipment from the factory. Unfortunately the reputation of the 317 and the original KT17 engine was well established by this point."
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#13 tomlepage OFFLINE  

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Posted February 23, 2011 - 05:47 PM

I have a '79 214 w/ electric lift. The thing I like better about the 317 is that it had more than one hydraulic circuit so you could raise AND angle your blade.
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#14 middleageddeere OFFLINE  

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Posted February 26, 2011 - 11:10 AM

I think I am leaning towards the 214. I like just putting it in a gear and going. Maybe if my 317 had foot controls I would have a harder time deciding.

#15 mikebramel OFFLINE  

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Posted February 26, 2011 - 12:35 PM

Not sure what you meant by that Mike. You mean JD knew they were making crap? My 317 has the series one and has never had any work done to it (as far as I know) and runs great. Loads of power and just purrs. I know they got a bad rap but I really like it. I like having the gears on the 214 too though. Just put it inna a gear and go. Great when the little ones on yer lap. I love im both. Each one has good and bad. I think honestly, I like the 214 best. My runs a little funny right now but, if it didn't I would use it for pretty much everything. I do like the hydro's but for most things lifting the attachments is no biggie.

No sorry, I meant Kohler knew what they were making. Trying to make the engine lowest cost




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