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post #1 of 17 Old 05-27-2011, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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John Deere 316 running rough and stalling

Hey Guys need some info on a running problem I have with my John Deere 316. Its and 83 or 84 model with an onan engine. Last year the float stuff bad on the carb and was flooding it out bad. I had my grandmother take it to the dealer to fix because I did not have time to fix and had to order the parts. She has recently passed and now I have the tractor. It has been running fine but yesterday when mowing the lawn it sputtered and died on me. I got it restarted but it kept trying to stall out if I pulled the choke i could keep it running but kept having to do that to keep it running. I did replace the fuel filter recently. The dealer did rebuild the carb. It does look like its getting fuel but is not totally filling up the filter. I have read a few things on here about the float sticking to the bowl. I am going to replace the pump and probably the fuel lines as they are just getting old and brittle. Any help would be great as I would like to keep this tractor running for awhile

Also another problem the PTO turns on fine but after running the tractor if you shut it off it will not turn back on until you let it cool. I am thinking the PTO clutch is getting bad but wanted to see if anyone else had a suggestion. Thanks for any info

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post #2 of 17 Old 05-27-2011, 02:56 PM
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Re: John Deere 316 running rough and stalling

Let's not go shotgun troubleshooting, Phil. That fuel pump is expensive to replace.

Have you seen my work in progress, 318 checklist? Much applies to your 316.

1. Drain approximately 6 ounces of hydro fluid from the transmission. Add 6 ounces of Seafoam Transtune to the transmission.

2. Drain approximately 2 ounces of engine oil if the dipstick indicate the oil level is already full. Add 2 ounces of SeaFoam motor treatment.

3. Remove air cleaner cover, and with the engine running ¾ throttle, slowly pour SeaFoam motor treatment down the throat of the carburetor until the engine almost chokes out. Switch engine off. Allow engine to sit for 30 minutes then restart and run until all the smoke clears.

4. Drive tractor for about 2 hours, making lock to lock turns, and forward a reverse high speed runs.

5. Remove gas cap - check vent for obstructions.

6. Remove fender pan.

7. Jack tractor up and support on jack stands.
8. Remove side engine covers.
9. Remove belly screen. Clean and repair as necessary. Baling wire or small nylon zip ties work very well.
10. Drain hydro fluid into a pan of 2 or more gallons capacity. Drain bolt is at the lowest point of the transmission. Remove transmission filter. Allow transmission to drain while proceeding with the checklist.
11. Operate inner and outer hydraulic lift levers and rotate steering wheel back and forth lock to lock until steering stops working (we are doing this to drain the system as completely as possible).
12. With a clean rag over the tip of a 1/8” flat tipped round punch, depress the valve in each of the 4 front hydraulic outlets.
13. Replace front hydraulic outlet o-rings if there was previously any sign of leakage.
14. Install new hydraulic outlet plugs if the old ones are deteriorated.
15. Remove gas tank and fuel lines. On tractors with tanks under seatpan remove seatpan to access fuel tank and lines.
16. Dump old gas and trash. Rinse tank with clean fuel.
17. Clean trash from fuel tank pickups.
18. Replace fuel tank pickup grommets.
19. Replace fuel lines: from tank to fuel valve; fuel valve to new fuel filter; new fuel filter to fuel pump; fuel pump to carburetor (do not connect to carburetor yet).
20. Replace vacuum line to fuel pump.
21. Verify proper fuel flow.
22. Remove carburetor top, clean out bowl, clean needle and seat. Using a pipe cleaner and being careful make sure all orifices are open. Reassemble carburetor.
23. Pull the intake manifold (get your new gaskets and other Onan goodies from, and adjust the valves. Replacing the intake gaskets will let you ensure there are no leaks as well.
24. Clean intake manifold. Inspect intake manifold for leaks. Consider drilling the tabs and using 6-32 machine screws with lock nuts, and sealing with “The Right Stuff” to ensure a lasting seal.
25. Remove cylinder heads, decarbon the heads and piston. Again, head gaskets are readily available from
26. Clean/replace crankcase breather filter.
27. Drip exactly 2 drops oil down on the starter drive. This will fix a lot of starter engagement issues.
28. Unbolt as much engine tin as you can without pulling the engine and clean the heck out of the fins. Replace engine tin.
29. Clean the flywheel fins.
30. Replace air filter and pre-filter (oiling pre-filter).
31. Change oil and oil filter with 10w30 (switching to 30wt in the summer).
32. Replace or clean, and adjust points (where applicable) Change spark plug wires, gap and install spark plugs.
33. Remove battery.
34. Visually inspect all wiring, cleaning each and every connection - especially grounds. Use a bit of dielectric grease on each connection to ward off future corrosion.
35. Ensure battery plates are covered with electrolyte – add distilled water if needed.
36. Charge battery
37. Load test your battery.
38. Clean the oil and hydraulic fluid coolers using a soft brush and compressed air.
If you have a fin straightening tool uses by air conditioning technicians, straighten any bent fins.
39. Install transmission drain plug.
40. Fill transmission filter approx ½ full of fresh fluid. Coat filter’s gasket with fresh fluid, install transmission filter, tightening quickly.
41. Covering carburetor, coil, and time delay module with plastic bags, soak the tractor with degreaser. An old toilet brush is a handy tool to scrub those hard to reach places.
42. After the degreaser has had time to work, pressure wash the tractor.
43. Remove plastic covers from the carb, coil, and time delay module.

44. Sprinkle some baking soda on the battery tray and replace the battery.
45. Grease every grease fitting - there are 3 on the drive shaft, 2 on the front axle, one on the brake arm pivot, one on the steering ram. Also one on the mule drive.
46. Adjust the front axle play with the two huge bolts on either side of the front axle. Grease the contact points well.
47. Adjust your toe-in.
48. Inspect deck and deck drive belts, replacing as necessary. Buy new belts anyway as the old ones always break on Sunday
49. Inspect mule drive pulleys.
50. Inspect deck spindles. Grease all zerks you see and turn deck over and check for grease zerk under the spindle. Grease if present.
51. Slowly fill the transmission with 5 quarts of JD Hygard Low Viscosity fluid. Proper level is indicated when fluid is visible in the middle of the site glass on the rear of the transmission.
52. Inspect tires for severe cracking. Check and adjust air pressure. Repair or replace tires as necessary.
53. Inspect and grease front wheel bearing, replacing as necessary.
54. Set Front and rear (if equipped) PTO gaps to 0.018”.
55. Change rear PTO transmission fluid (if equipped)
56. Adjust brakes.
57. Set parking brake.
58. Add fresh fuel with 1 ounce of Seafoam Motor Treatment per gallon.
59. Prior to connecting the new fuel line to the carburetor, put it into small can or jar and crank engine for 10 seconds. Wait 20 seconds, and crank again for 10 seconds. Repeat until you have a decent fuel flow into your container. This purges any trash which may have gotten into the fuel line during replacement as well as verifies fuel flow.
60. Connect fuel line to carburetor.
61. Reinstall battery.
62. Start engine, allow to warm up at 1/4" throttle for about 4-5 minutes. Check for hydraulic fluid, engine oil, and fuel leaks.
63. Advance engine speed to ½ throttle.
64. Operate steering wheel lock to lock until front wheels move smoothly.
65. Operate inner and outer hydraulic control levers repeatedly. Observe smooth operation of the deck lift or rockshaft while operating the outer lever. Shoot some WD 40 into the shaft going into the pedestal to ensure smooth operation and displace any water collected there during washing.
66. Place a weight of approximately 40 lbs in the seat.
67. Release parking brake and operate the motion control lever forward to neutral then to reverse (repeatedly), watching for smooth operation of the rear wheels.
68. Observe whether the tires continue to turn with the motion control lever in neutral.
69. Stop engine.
70. Set parking brake.
71. Top up transmission fluid if necessary. Fluid should be halfway up sight glass when engine not running.
72. Remove tractor from jackstands.
73. Replace fender pan.
74. Replace belly screen.
75. Using caution if you observed creep previously, start the engine.
76. With your foot on the brake, release parking brake.
77. Purge the hydraulic system by driving the tractor backward and forward quickly, making a series of sharp left and right turns, raising and lowering the deck or raising/lowering/angling the front blade if you have one.
78. Bring the tractor to a stop on level ground. Observe whether or not the tractor creeps either forward or reverse with the hydrostatic control lever in neutral.
79. Research adjustment appropriate to your tractor’s serial numbers and perform adjustment. If unable to adjust the creep out, inspect the hydro linkages for wear.
80. Check engine compression. Squirt a bit of engine oil into the cylinder and retest.
81. With engine at ¾ throttle, test DC output of voltage regulator.
82. Check headlights and taillights.
83. Check operation of seat, PTO, and Neutral safety switches.
84. Check operation of all dash lights.
85. Replace side covers.
86. Securely fasten John Deere emblem to front grill if not present.
87. When shutting your tractor down for the day, get in the habit of closing the fuel valve, and lowering the deck/implement.
88. Check oil and hydro fluid before each use. Document oil consumption.
89. Perform your scheduled maintenance on time.
90. 10 hours from having completed the tranny fluid change, drain approximately 8 ounces of transmission fluid into a clear glass jar. Allow to settle and check for water, discoloration or contaminants. Perform another fluid and filter change if required. Otherwise, top up transmission fluid with fresh fluid.

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post #3 of 17 Old 05-27-2011, 02:59 PM
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Re: John Deere 316 running rough and stalling

what kind of carb does that machine have? you may need a brass float

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post #4 of 17 Old 05-27-2011, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: John Deere 316 running rough and stalling

Not sure what carb but it could not have the brass float. I need to pull the top of the carb and check. That is a huge checklist don't have time for that but I did just cleaned everything and change the transmission filter and oil the normal stuff.
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post #5 of 17 Old 05-27-2011, 03:07 PM
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Re: John Deere 316 running rough and stalling

Try steps 15-22 - all related to fuel delivery.

Also check the filler cap vent for obstruction.

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post #6 of 17 Old 05-27-2011, 06:28 PM
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Re: John Deere 316 running rough and stalling

on 345 had it doing exactly as you described needing the choke just to keep her running. after talking to dealer they said check gas cap sure thing it was plugged. cleaned and had no problem since.
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post #7 of 17 Old 05-30-2011, 10:45 AM
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Re: John Deere 316 running rough and stalling

wow D dog that is a great task list.
I have two old 420' that I will be using parts if not all of that list on. Especially the trans tune part as I have occaisional jerky hydro on the older higher hr 420. I have changed the fluid to JD hygard.

Phil good luck with yours, sure sounds like fuel / carb issue, my novice brain suspects debris in the tank re -plugging passages in the carb. Therefor D Dogs plan of starting at the tank through the carb is likely the best long term plan. I am a novice so listen to him and others first.

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post #8 of 17 Old 05-30-2011, 11:33 AM
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Re: John Deere 316 running rough and stalling

Phil to me it sounds like it could be the gas cap vent and I would put some Seafoam in the gas, but I wouldn't take the carb. apart as yet.
Try the either free or cheaper fixes first.

As for the PTO, you may need to adjust the air gap which should be set at .012.


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post #9 of 17 Old 05-30-2011, 03:52 PM
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Re: John Deere 316 running rough and stalling

Had some troubles with mine this spring! If i was you I would put a good charge or seafoam in the tank and a good shot of Heet with it, then check your points, maybe clean them with a little emery cloth and set the gap. Check for any frayed wires like the wire that gose from the points to the coil, mine had a bear spot where it ran down close to the intake, heat got it! Helped mine, Good Luck!!
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post #10 of 17 Old 05-30-2011, 04:28 PM
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Re: John Deere 316 running rough and stalling

What I would do,remove the carb top,remove the idle jet,check to see if the jet is plugged,if so,clean it out,(i use welder tip cleaner),clean bottom of carb body if dirty.Should fix it,had it happen before to me.PTO problem is air gap,standard is 3 places at 18 thousands(318).


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post #11 of 17 Old 05-31-2011, 09:51 PM
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Re: John Deere 316 running rough and stalling

your engine will have the Nikki carb.
it never had the brass float,BECAUSE it never needed it.
thank you. boomer
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post #12 of 17 Old 02-18-2013, 07:19 PM
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Re: John Deere 316 running rough and stalling

Hi Guys ... I'm new to the forum ... I have a 316 with an Onan ... did a tune up, but am wanting to put new points in, have never done that, I have filed and cleaned the old one a couple of times ... I do not know how to set the gap on a new one ... Thanking you in advance!
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post #13 of 17 Old 05-25-2015, 12:29 PM
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I have a John Deere 316 that will not go in reverse (hydro). Any suggestions?
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post #14 of 17 Old 05-25-2015, 01:34 PM
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Re: John Deere 316 running rough and stalling

Blade chaser you should start you own thread for that issue.

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post #15 of 17 Old 05-25-2015, 01:35 PM
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Re: John Deere 316 running rough and stalling

6005bc you should also start your own thread for your issue.

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