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Old 07-12-2011, 09:19 PM   post #1 of 30
mfabe
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Default 318 Losing power

My brother gave me a 318 that was sitting idle in garage for 2 years with 38 inch mower deck installed on it for entire time (belts and all). The battery was dead and after replacing the battery the tractor ran smoothly without PTO being engaged.

The symptoms are this..
-Tractor loses power and almost dies if PTO is engaged (with deck installed)and driving uphill (especially if turning to right).
-PTO shuts down periodically when tractor loses power and switch needs to turned off then on again.
-Sometimes PTO won't engage , but if I put tractor in reverse slightly it will engage.
no strange noises or smells or smoke happening.

What I have done to fix is new fuel filter, oil and filter change, new plugs (all bought fron John Deere), new battery with 545 CCA (just brought it to shop and guy tested it and said it was fine), new battery wire leads, took off, cleaned and greased deck, set gap in clutch to .018 in., hydro oil and filter not changed, but fluid level O.K.
My brother said everything was running fine when he stopped using tractor two years ago and it had been maintained by John Deere mobile team up to that point.
I'm pretty much out of ideas at this point and would appreciate any advice or insights.
Could it still be the battery? It seems like the elsctrical system isn't giving enough juice to run the machine and PTO. Would a different battery with more CCA be an option?
Thanks for your help
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:45 PM   post #2 of 30
PA318Guy
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Default Re: 318 Losing power

Sounds like you need to test the rectifier/regulator to make sure it is returning enough voltage to the battery to keep it charged.
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:48 PM   post #3 of 30
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Default Re: 318 Losing power

Sounds like you might have a few problems.
Possible intermittent seat switch, fuel delivery problems, possible grooved clutch disc(try 0.012" as gap), voltage regulator problems.

Try running through this list:
http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=194994
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:20 PM   post #4 of 30
mfabe
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Default Re: 318 Losing power

Thanks for your replys, D-Dogg and PA318Guy. I don't have tools to test voltage regulator but it looked a little corroded so I installed new one. Still losing power. I also set gap to .012" which did make things a little better. I have a little more power and its not stalling, but still not enough power to cut lawn. Think its a grooved clutch disk D-Dogg? I think fuel delivery is O.K. since tractor runs fine without PTO being engaged.
Thanks
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:02 PM   post #5 of 30
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Default Re: 318 Losing power

Interested to see how this one turns out!
Good luck with the fix...hope it's an easy one!
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:18 AM   post #6 of 30
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Default Re: 318 Losing power

Have you checked the points? Make sure that they are clean and set properly. It sounds like a weak ignition. Does the charge light work? It should come on when the key is turned to on, and go off after it is started and running. knowing this would help diagnose the problem further.
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:40 AM   post #7 of 30
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Default Re: 318 Losing power

Now that you have eliminated PTO gap, and the voltage regulator (hopefully you checked the output after installing the new), we need to address this power issue.

How does the tractor perform driving up hill wihtout the mower deck running? Better or about the same? Does the engine bog down, or the tractor simply slow down?

If better, let's attack the deck and mule drive first.

How do the spindles turn? They should spin very freely. Same with the mule drive pulleys. Is your belt routing correct? Is the belt the correct belt, rather than a narrower fan type FHP belt?

If the tractor is simply slowing down going uphill, then let's check the hyrdo linkages for slop as well as the brake adjustments (make sure you're not dragging the brake). You really should change the tranny fluid and filter as well.

Let's check the engine compression when hot. You may want to perform a valve adjustment also.
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:37 AM   post #8 of 30
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Default Re: 318 Losing power

Verify that it's running on both cylinders.
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Old 07-23-2011, 03:18 PM   post #9 of 30
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Default Re: 318 Losing power

Quote:
Originally Posted by rscurtis View Post
Verify that it's running on both cylinders.
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:35 AM   post #10 of 30
mfabe
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Default Re: 318 Losing power

Deck checks out O.K., al is moving smoothly and tractor works great uphill without deck being engaged. Interesting thing about the cylinders. I don'y have equipment (or skill) to check if cylinders are working, I believe both are firing, but one spark plug is really fouled with fuel and when I unplug it during operation there is no noticable change to engine performance. Can it be a carb. problem?
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:37 AM   post #11 of 30
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Default Re: 318 Losing power

Quote:
Originally Posted by mfabe View Post
Deck checks out O.K., al is moving smoothly and tractor works great uphill without deck being engaged. Interesting thing about the cylinders. I don'y have equipment (or skill) to check if cylinders are working, I believe both are firing, but one spark plug is really fouled with fuel and when I unplug it during operation there is no noticable change to engine performance. Can it be a carb. problem?
Nope, you have (hopefully only) a bad plug wire on that cylinder. Replace it and the fouled plug.
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:50 AM   post #12 of 30
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Default Re: 318 Losing power

Switch the wires at the coil and see what happens. If the other cylinder starts running, you have a wire or coil problem. If nothing changes, there is a problem specific to that cylinder, such as a dropped valve seat, broken or disconnected valve spring, or at worst, a broken rod. Don't worry about the carb.- it's common to both cylinders.
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Old 07-24-2011, 02:56 PM   post #13 of 30
mfabe
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Default Re: 318 Losing power

Switched wires at coil and tractor won't start.
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Old 07-24-2011, 03:32 PM   post #14 of 30
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Default Re: 318 Losing power

Did it start after you switched them back?

You switched the plug wires, right? Not the primary wires.
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Old 07-24-2011, 03:34 PM   post #15 of 30
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Default Re: 318 Losing power

Broken rod?

I have seen 4 lately with broken rods. All start but have no power
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