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John Deere 300 vs 316


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#1 tom tractor OFFLINE  

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Posted July 28, 2016 - 08:38 PM

I am looking at two tractors. A 1977 john Deere 300 tractor with cab, plow and mower deck. The 300 tractor has the single cylinder 16hp kohler motor. Or a 316 which has the Onan 16hp. Besides the engine manufacturer - is there any differences. The 316 came out a few years later. Which tractor would you all recommend if the condition was the same on both? Is one superior over the other?

#2 dodge trucker ONLINE  

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Posted July 28, 2016 - 09:00 PM

there were 2 316's. the earlier ones had the same 16HP as the 300 has.



#3 dropped82 ONLINE  

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Posted July 28, 2016 - 09:07 PM

The Onan powered machines and kohler powered are different. The Onans are an open frame design setup to take a Cat. 0 3 point only. The 316 onan is basically stripped down 318. No power steering and only a single spool hydraulic setup and single brakes. Also a different hydro and transaxle. The 300 had dual hydro spools, dual brakes, and was considered a closed frame. It could accommodate a cat. 0 3 point or a sleeve hitch. Both made by deere. It shared design with it predecessor, the 140. The Onan 316 was a much newer design and some would consider a better, smoother design. They could share front attachments but could not share rear attachments due to the frame designs. The Onan 316 could also accommodate a 2000 rpm rear pto.

Eric

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#4 tom tractor OFFLINE  

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Posted July 29, 2016 - 05:39 AM

There seems like like there is little interest in the 300 model. Is there a reason why?

#5 dropped82 ONLINE  

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Posted July 29, 2016 - 06:20 AM

I don't know why. The 300's were great models. Granted they were not and smooth and refined as the 316/318 but they had no issues holding their own when it came to comparing powrr and abilities. The hydro/axle combo was very stout. IIRC, the axle was a variant of the Dana 25. The Kohler was a thumper for sure and had plenty of torque just not quite as smooth as an Onan.

Eric

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Edited by dropped82, July 29, 2016 - 06:20 AM.

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#6 Leonard VanCamp ONLINE  

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Posted July 29, 2016 - 07:40 AM

In my opinion I would take the 300, you have a wider variety of attachments to use. I have a 1978 316, which is basically a re-badged 300 and I use it for snow blowing, mowing and gardening.

Edited by Leonard VanCamp, July 29, 2016 - 07:41 AM.

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#7 Trav1s ONLINE  

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Posted July 29, 2016 - 08:54 AM

Ok, facts to add to the discussion:

 

1.  The 120/140/300/312/314/316K/316O/317/318/322/330/332 machines us all of the same attachments

 

2. There are some significant design differences/improvements between the close frame machines (120/140/300/312/314/316K/317) and the open frame machines (316O/318/322/330/332)

 

As to the differences to consider between the two tractors, here is what I see from were I sit

 

300 (same as 316K)

- dual remotes

- Kohler single

- closed frame design

- problematic motor mounts (and potential damage to pump input)

- Produced in 1976 and 1977

 

316

- Onan is smoother (more expensive to rebuild)

- single remotes

- open frame design with additional improvements

- better manual steering design

- 5 to 10 years newer

 

 

If all things were the same, I go for the 316 and I am a huge fan of the closed frame tractors.  After seeing the damage from bad motor mounts, I'd chance the Onan.


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#8 tom tractor OFFLINE  

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Posted July 29, 2016 - 03:08 PM

What does open and closed frame mean? Is it heavier duty or more difficult to work on?

#9 mtoney OFFLINE  

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Posted July 29, 2016 - 03:44 PM

The 316/318 Onan powered machines have an open frame at the rear, where as the earlier 300 series have a plate across the rear and can have the sleeve hitch option or the 3pt hitch.  You can also find(very difficult) 540 rpm rear PTO for the Onan powered 316 and 318 tractors.  Or get the 2000rpm one and get the parts from Peerless to changed it to 540.  Many more implements out there for 540 rpm than 2000.  I plan in time to mow with a 3pt mounted rear finish mower on my 318, instead of dealing with the mid mount mower deck and having to take it off when I want to use the 3pt for work.   The rear PTO is the only option I am lacking on my 318 now.   Onans used to be much more expensive when compared to a Kohler twin.  But the prices for parts for Kohler, espicaly OEM parts have come way up.  You can also get many parts for the Onan's in the aftermarket now, wasn't that way just a few years ago.  I will take my Onan over any Kohler.  Once you know how to properly maintain one, they are every bit as reliable as a Kohler.  Onans make rated torque over a much broader range of RPM's, but you have to adjust the valves and decarbon the piston/cylinder heads every 200 hours(something many do not ever do) along with keeping the flywheel side of the cylinder jugs clean and free of oily debris, and the belly screen clean and clear.   If you have any Onan questions, fire away,  I am the tech at our JD dealership that works on all the Onan powered equipment.    Mike


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#10 backwoods OFFLINE  

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Posted July 31, 2016 - 11:35 AM

I have a 1976 300 with a model 33 tiler a mowing deck an snow plow an love it ive yet to use my steer brake but they are a nice option i also like the fact that i can use most closed frame attachments on it as well.


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#11 jimbowlie OFFLINE  

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Posted August 01, 2016 - 05:36 AM

Interesting!  I have a 300 hydro that I got for a project (77).  It came bare tractor no mule or anything.  I see so many attachments for the 317 but am challenged when it comes to comprehending the variations of the mule, the deck, and the simplistic label of the 300 series tractor.  I assume the changes are slight and minor differences (ie belt lengths and such) allow many of the decks to swap to other years and models.  I have access to a 48" deck and am sifting through auctions looking for a compatible mule that has ranged from 59a to 61a.  I can not see any functional differences and hope you all can put me on the right path to what I can, and can't do with my 300.



#12 Trav1s ONLINE  

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Posted August 01, 2016 - 06:32 AM

Interesting!  I have a 300 hydro that I got for a project (77).  It came bare tractor no mule or anything.  I see so many attachments for the 317 but am challenged when it comes to comprehending the variations of the mule, the deck, and the simplistic label of the 300 series tractor.  I assume the changes are slight and minor differences (ie belt lengths and such) allow many of the decks to swap to other years and models.  I have access to a 48" deck and am sifting through auctions looking for a compatible mule that has ranged from 59a to 61a.  I can not see any functional differences and hope you all can put me on the right path to what I can, and can't do with my 300.

 

Mule drives are the same but you need different length draft arms according to the deck used - a smaller deck (41) uses longer arms than the larger deck (48).  Belts vary according to the engine/deck combo with 4 possibilities out there.  Start a thread and we can offer you assistance.


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#13 jimbowlie OFFLINE  

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Posted August 01, 2016 - 02:45 PM

Deepest regrets,  I didn't realize I was hijacking.  I do love hearing all your inputs and am a bit ADD.  lol  This thread was of real interest to me based on the differences between the Onan and Kohler motor.  I hope more info and opinions are forthcoming.  Meanwhile I will start my own fishing for info thread on my 300.  Regards


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#14 Trav1s ONLINE  

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Posted August 01, 2016 - 08:30 PM

Deepest regrets,  I didn't realize I was hijacking.  I do love hearing all your inputs and am a bit ADD.  lol  This thread was of real interest to me based on the differences between the Onan and Kohler motor.  I hope more info and opinions are forthcoming.  Meanwhile I will start my own fishing for info thread on my 300.  Regards

No worries!  A bit ADD myself.  I find it easier for future reference and for visitor to keep things on topic. 






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