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John Deere 318


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#1 tom tractor OFFLINE  

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Posted May 31, 2016 - 05:51 PM

I am looking to potentially purchase a JD 318 with three point hitch, dozer blade and power steering. My question is - how good is the Onan 18hp motor? It sounds good once started. The seller says it needs to be chocked before starting which seems strangle -given its an 80 degree day. Anyways the meter says 520 hours. How relable would this tractor be? Given it looks to be in good shape. Is there any known problems with this model? The tractor comes also with a tune up kit and extra carb. How much should I offer? It is located in New England. I would be purchasing it for a weekly mower.

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#2 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 31, 2016 - 06:18 PM

Choking an engine is just a temporary richening of the fuel/air mixture. It may be normal or it could indicate that the mixture is too lean. My JD111 with a B&S needs to be choked even in hot weather. One turn with it choked is usually enough. I'm not familiar with the Onan engine. In general, I stay clear of Onans because parts are expensive. Good Luck, Rick


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#3 Auburn David OFFLINE  

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Posted May 31, 2016 - 06:34 PM

Kohler has to be choked here in Alabama as well..I too avoid Onan..



#4 Bmerf ONLINE  

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Posted May 31, 2016 - 06:37 PM

The techy in the ST/10 is the same; no matter what the temperature. Pull the choke, hit the key to get her spinning, push in the choke, and off it goes.



#5 Leonard VanCamp OFFLINE  

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Posted May 31, 2016 - 07:22 PM

That low of hours I'd be leery, is it the B43 engine or the P218? Like others have expressed, Onan parts are not cheap and they get rarer everyday. Having said that, a well maintained Onan is a torque monster, and nothing matches the sound.
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#6 tom tractor OFFLINE  

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Posted May 31, 2016 - 07:50 PM

Thanks for the info and words of caution. I think I'll pass on the machine.

#7 dropped82 ONLINE  

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Posted May 31, 2016 - 07:55 PM

I'm going to go against the grain and say, I love my Onans. I have a few different ones and they pretty much own the torque bands. You can beat on them and they ask for more. Yes parts can be pricey but not anymore than a Kohler magnum or even a command. Once you learn them, they're great engines. Oh and I can repair the ignition much cheaper than a techy magneto replacement haha.

My 420 needs choke also on every cold startup. That's nothing to really worry. If it's a P, it has the Nikki carb which tends to run a little leaner than the DD. In turn, means choke on cold start. Check your make sure the hour guage is working. I bought an 83 Case 226 with less than 500 hours a few years back. You could definitely tell in the steering and drive linkage. It was like new. There's plenty of tell tale signs of usage. Especially when you start getting up in the 1000 hour range.

Serial number indicates an 84 model. That should have a b43g originally. P218 was not until 87. That's a points engine. Not a big deal just a little more maintenance on the ignition when the time comes. If it has a P218, then the engine has been replaced and I wouldn't trust the hours. If the meter is broke, then assume it has a million hours haha.

Biggest things I've seen on these is to make sure and keep all the screens cleaned to insure a cool engine compartment. They are pretty stout machines. The hydro unit will probably outlast the tractor. Just check your main wear points in the axles, linkages, etc. The machine will tell you if the meters lying.

Around here those range from 1000 up to 3000 depending on condition and attachments. The 4 way blades bring 450 themselves. Used 3 point can bring as high as 400. Usually a nice 318 with just a deck goes around 1800 to 2500 around here.

Eric


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Edited by dropped82, May 31, 2016 - 07:58 PM.

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#8 dropped82 ONLINE  

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Posted May 31, 2016 - 08:04 PM

Oh and by the way, you all keep avoiding the Onan. That's just more for me!!!

Eric

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#9 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

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Posted May 31, 2016 - 08:06 PM

I agree with Eric. The tractor has obviously been repainted some point in it's life, and seeing the condition of the tractor now compared to the amount of hours shown, I'd say the hour meter is broken or has been disconnected. Around here, disconnecting the hour meter seems to be a common thing, especially with the 400 series units, since they are the most sought after tractors. It's really hard to trust a reading on the hour meters, especially from sellers who are trying to flip the tractors for profit. 


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#10 Cat385B ONLINE  

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Posted May 31, 2016 - 09:05 PM

Onan parts are not hard to find, just use the Internet. You will not find stuff for them at Ace Hardware. Boomer or Onan Parts, Onan is a member of this forum even.
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#11 JD318420 ONLINE  

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Posted May 31, 2016 - 11:11 PM

From the looks of the hour meter, I do not think it is original clock, it looks like a replacement by a Non oem supplier.


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#12 Phluphy OFFLINE  

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Posted June 01, 2016 - 12:25 AM

I have a 20 hp Onan in a Sears 917.254422 Limited Edition. Have always had to choke it at first start up for about a minute. Purrs rest of day with no problem. Looking to find another for a rebuild. Right on the torque. Better half sez I'm not allowed to use it for pulling logs with, gets the job done though. ;)



#13 tom tractor OFFLINE  

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Posted June 01, 2016 - 05:44 AM

Here are a few more photos of the machine. The machine has new paint on the rear fenders and dash. All the other paint looks original. The deck has all new bearings and belts.

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#14 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted June 01, 2016 - 07:57 AM

What kind of price are they asking or your just supposed to make an offer ?



#15 Delmar OFFLINE  

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Posted June 01, 2016 - 08:30 AM

Nice tractor.  Three point hitch is a good extra, if you use it.  I like the bug eye headlights on the tractor.  When plowing snow those would be a fine asset to the job.  And power steering is a real nice addition too.

   I have an Onan motor in my Sears FF20, in my John Deere 318, and in both of my John Deere 420's.  They all run fine.  The most important thing to do for the Onan motor, as well as any other make motor, is to check the engine oil before you use it, and keep it FULL.  And remember to change it once or twice a year, depending on use.  And the oil filter too if it has one.    The Onan motors have an awesome amount of power.  As far as parts go there are several on line sites to buy parts. 

   When buying a used tractor with a twin cylinder motor, ask first if it is ok to do so, then compression test each cylinder.  If it has been oil starved in the past sometimes it will have a broke connecting rod, but still run on one cylinder.  My first Case 446 with a 16 hp Onan came to me like this. 

   They will run cooler if you keep the motor clean, free of grass and debris.  removing the tins on the motor and cleaning the cooling fins on the heads is a good thing to do, as with any motor.  And removing the motor from the tractor and removing and cleaning the shroud around the flywheel is something that needs to be done on any old motor.  Good airflow around the motor keeps them running cool.

   Sorry, not trying to scare you away from the 318, but good maintenance for any old tractor is the right thing to do to keep them running right.

 

What you buy is pretty much up to you.  I mow with my 318 every week.  I like it. 


Edited by Delmar, June 01, 2016 - 08:57 AM.

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