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Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone answer these basic questions. Attached are images each question refers to:


  • Is the mule drive belt supposed to touch this little elbow mounted on the deck top?

  • How much play should there be in the steering (see video link)

  • Attempted to level the deck -three good corners, but the front right insists on being lower than the front left. To get it as close to "level" as can be I have to raise the front right wheel and it still sits lower than the front left. Any ideas?
 

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Kish JD 318/420/430
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You can find this information by going to the John Deere Parts web site and doing a model lookup, putting in the 318 model number. Looking under the various sections involved.

For steering:

You need to get a repair kit for the steering. The nuts and bolts there are 24M

These are plates and bolt into place : AM101198 > M88755 $11.14 each; plus bolts/nuts Metric (4) Nuts 14M7273 1.05 each; Bolts 19M7163 $0.54 each

Also check the axle pivot bolt/bushings/spacers, also check axle to see if the hole is wallowed out, if it is then axle needs to be replaced or repaired (drilled out/sleeved).

Bushings P1076H (2) $6.06; Spacers M80030 (2) $5.34; Bolt M85458 (1) $22.17

Front Wheel Spindle Bushings are serial number dependent:

S/N 222001-372595 - M83541 (4) $5.45 each
S/N 372596-999000 - M70808 (4) $6.59 each
S/N 010001-______ - M70808 (4) $6.59 each

Deck wheels:

Front wheels should be set in the same holes, There should be be a sticker showing the height spacing according to the holes, Do you have that sticker? Back wheels are the same way, but should be offset by it being higher by 1/4"

Deck Belt: Check Guide, looks like it have been beaten down on top, belt is to be under it, so that is correct, but that angle looks off to me. No pics in the deck manual showing it with belt under it.

The deck level hanger (left to right height adjustment) (the one that has the threaded bolt needs to be on the right side to allow for adjust the side with the power flow blower weight/balance)

The front to back level is adjusted by the nuts on the arms attached to the mule drive)
 

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Ya gotta bear in mind - a JD 318 L&G tractor - there is an operator's manual - for the tractor.
And then each & every attachment that can be used with it - front blade, mower deck(s), tillers, etc., will have a separate operator's manual. JD is pretty persnickety about posting that stuff on line anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for this information. I have the technical manual, but it doesn't appear to tackle things like the plate and bolt found at the deere site. It does tackle the pivot bolt.

You can find this information by going to the John Deere Parts web site and doing a model lookup, putting in the 318 model number. Looking under the various sections involved.

For steering:

You need to get a repair kit for the steering. The nuts and bolts there are 24M

These are plates and bolt into place : AM101198 > M88755 $11.14 each; plus bolts/nuts Metric (4) Nuts 14M7273 1.05 each; Bolts 19M7163 $0.54 each
So the idea isn't that the bolts are not turned to their proper location (snug, I presume, up against the plate), but that the plate itself is worn (which is visible) and if it is replaced, the bolt head would be in the proper place.


Also check the axle pivot bolt/bushings/spacers, also check axle to see if the hole is wallowed out, if it is then axle needs to be replaced or repaired (drilled out/sleeved).

Bushings P1076H (2) $6.06; Spacers M80030 (2) $5.34; Bolt M85458 (1) $22.17

Front Wheel Spindle Bushings are serial number dependent:

S/N 222001-372595 - M83541 (4) $5.45 each
S/N 372596-999000 - M70808 (4) $6.59 each -this would be mine.
S/N 010001-______ - M70808 (4) $6.59 each

Deck wheels:

Front wheels should be set in the same holes, There should be be a sticker showing the height spacing according to the holes, Do you have that sticker? Back wheels are the same way, but should be offset by it being higher by 1/4" -I have the sticker and attempted to level, with difference between front and back, but the right hand front wheel I could not get to level with the front left. It continued to stay on the ground unless I changed the position of the height adjustment (as in the photos). After messing around for quite some time, it appeared something was wrong I couldn't see. I'll go back to it and mes with the mule drive arms -and if I read you right, place the threaded hanger on the right side to help out with the powerflo (which I do use during leaf season).

Deck Belt: Check Guide, looks like it have been beaten down on top, belt is to be under it, so that is correct, but that angle looks off to me. No pics in the deck manual showing it with belt under it.
I need to pick up a deck technical manual from ebay...but maybe the level issue is what is causing the belt to touch the 90 degree bracket.

The deck level hanger (left to right height adjustment) (the one that has the threaded bolt needs to be on the right side to allow for adjust the side with the power flow blower weight/balance)

The front to back level is adjusted by the nuts on the arms attached to the mule drive)[/QUOTE]
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ya gotta bear in mind - a JD 318 L&G tractor - there is an operator's manual - for the tractor.
And then each & every attachment that can be used with it - front blade, mower deck(s), tillers, etc., will have a separate operator's manual. JD is pretty persnickety about posting that stuff on line anymore.
The previous owner gave me the technical manual and the onan component tech manual -but that is all. I need to pick up a deck tech manual.
 

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Kish JD 318/420/430
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You need the Operator's manual for what you have:

316, 318 and 420 Lawn and Garden Tractor > OM-M72236 Operator's Manual
46" MMRM Deck > OM-M89612 Operator's Manual
PowerFlow for 38",46" and 50" Mowers > OMM121515 Operator's Manual

Make sure the belt guide is straight vertical from the plane of the deck and the top part is more towards 90 degree but still slightly down that is how mine looks
 

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Kish JD 318/420/430
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Thank you for this information. I have the technical manual, but it doesn't appear to tackle things like the plate and bolt found at the deere site. It does tackle the pivot bolt.



So the idea isn't that the bolts are not turned to their proper location (snug, I presume, up against the plate), but that the plate itself is worn (which is visible) and if it is replaced, the bolt head would be in the proper place.


Deere could of originally had them on the machine, but even back then the bean counters were involved. So now you drop the axle and clean up the wear on the old frame and bolt on a new wear plate. With how it is now you will not get the proper vertical travel needed for slops, hills, turns. You also need to check wear on the bolt head too. Then adjust as directed in the TM

Also check the axle pivot bolt/bushings/spacers, also check axle to see if the hole is wallowed out, if it is then axle needs to be replaced or repaired (drilled out/sleeved).

Bushings P1076H (2) $6.06; Spacers M80030 (2) $5.34; Bolt M85458 (1) $22.17

Front Wheel Spindle Bushings are serial number dependent:

S/N 222001-372595 - M83541 (4) $5.45 each
S/N 372596-999000 - M70808 (4) $6.59 each -this would be mine.
S/N 010001-______ - M70808 (4) $6.59 each

Deck wheels:

Front wheels should be set in the same holes, There should be be a sticker showing the height spacing according to the holes, Do you have that sticker? Back wheels are the same way, but should be offset by it being higher by 1/4" -I have the sticker and attempted to level, with difference between front and back, but the right hand front wheel I could not get to level with the front left. It continued to stay on the ground unless I changed the position of the height adjustment (as in the photos). After messing around for quite some time, it appeared something was wrong I couldn't see. I'll go back to it and mes with the mule drive arms -and if I read you right, place the threaded hanger on the right side to help out with the powerflo (which I do use during leaf season).

Deck Belt: Check Guide, looks like it have been beaten down on top, belt is to be under it, so that is correct, but that angle looks off to me. No pics in the deck manual showing it with belt under it.
I need to pick up a deck technical manual from ebay...but maybe the level issue is what is causing the belt to touch the 90 degree bracket.

Even mine touches the top when not powered, but drops down when under power.

The deck level hanger (left to right height adjustment) (the one that has the threaded bolt needs to be on the right side to allow for adjust the side with the power flow blower weight/balance)

The front to back level is adjusted by the nuts on the arms attached to the mule drive)
[/QUOTE]

IF there is a lot of wear in the mule drive, things will bind and it will be very hard to get level front to back or left to right.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
IF there is a lot of wear in the mule drive, things will bind and it will be very hard to get level front to back or left to right.[/QUOTE]

Well I did buy a 35 year old machine! So things could be replaced, as needed. But I will begin with the axle stuff since it feels sloppy. Time to get comfortable working on garden tractors.
 

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Kish JD 318/420/430
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Yes they are old but very hardy and tough. I have a 318, 420 and a 430 all of which are slowly being rehabed because of wear and age. Still use them a lot 50 to 100 hours a year each. But I will give them to my sons when I die.
 

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It isn't uncommon for one of the supports for the gauge wheels to have been knocked up or down a little. If it is then you can bend it back with a long steel pipe or just leave it alone and adjust the wheel off of the level ground. Remember, they are only occasional wheels and do not actually roll on the ground so if one is off a little it doesn't really matter. I'll be honest that I have never heard a good explanation for the two bolts on the axle for intentional slop or play. I usually keep them just off of snug but there must be some reason why people want them to be sloppy. I also grease the gap. The belt guide is definitely bent forward. Hit it with a big hammer towards the rear and it will be fine. The 318 and its attachments are very robust and simple. Don't be afraid to do to them what it looks like you should do. Everything is reversible.
 

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My front axle on my 332 egg shaped and did what your does only worse. Yep replaced it with a used one off a 330. Tightened up the gap in the bolts and she steers wonderful now. :tango_face_grin:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It isn't uncommon for one of the supports for the gauge wheels to have been knocked up or down a little. If it is then you can bend it back with a long steel pipe or just leave it alone and adjust the wheel off of the level ground. Remember, they are only occasional wheels and do not actually roll on the ground so if one is off a little it doesn't really matter. I'll be honest that I have never heard a good explanation for the two bolts on the axle for intentional slop or play. I usually keep them just off of snug but there must be some reason why people want them to be sloppy. I also grease the gap. The belt guide is definitely bent forward. Hit it with a big hammer towards the rear and it will be fine. The 318 and its attachments are very robust and simple. Don't be afraid to do to them what it looks like you should do. Everything is reversible.
Thanks -I'm depending on this machine nearly every season now and can't afford too much down time!
 

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More on deck leveling: The deck should be leveled by measuring from the blades to a hard surface. Orient the blades fore and aft to get that measurement. Rotate 90deg to measure side to side. Set the decks wheels to clear the same surface by 1/4-1/2". They do not really level the deck, they only contact the ground to prevent scalping. All this is covered in the deck manual, but who reads those things, right? Yeah, me neither only as a last resort.

In order to get the axle adjustment to work as intended, the surface the bolt head touches needs to be flat. Otherwise the adjustment won't be correct except in the one place where it was set. As the axle moves up/down it will become tighter or looser. I have welded and reground those to make it better. Of course welding and grinding freehand won't be perfect but it can be better that the worn surface you have.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You can find this information by going to the John Deere Parts web site and doing a model lookup, putting in the 318 model number. Looking under the various sections involved.

For steering:

You need to get a repair kit for the steering. The nuts and bolts there are 24M

These are plates and bolt into place : AM101198 > M88755 $11.14 each; plus bolts/nuts Metric (4) Nuts 14M7273 1.05 each; Bolts 19M7163 $0.54 each

Also check the axle pivot bolt/bushings/spacers, also check axle to see if the hole is wallowed out, if it is then axle needs to be replaced or repaired (drilled out/sleeved).

Bushings P1076H (2) $6.06; Spacers M80030 (2) $5.34; Bolt M85458 (1) $22.17

Front Wheel Spindle Bushings are serial number dependent:

S/N 222001-372595 - M83541 (4) $5.45 each
S/N 372596-999000 - M70808 (4) $6.59 each
S/N 010001-______ - M70808 (4) $6.59 each
Finally getting to this -hopefully before the snow really begins to fall -which it already has here in MN. Should I be spending $26 on a bolt for the pivot or is there a non-JD bolt that can be substituted that costs considerable less? OR, is this so critical that I really should only use the JD part?
 

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I replaced the axle bushing in mine a month ago.
The bolt wasnt worn so I just put it back in.
It's not a special bolt, other than being drilled for the cotter pin. If you can drill that hole, no need for the big $$$ bolt.
 

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Frank, It actually IS kind of a special bolt. You won't find an off the shelf bolt threaded back far enough. If you use a bolt threaded back far enough to adjust nut, bushing is riding on threads and will wear quickly. I longer bolt can be threaded back, cut to length, & cross drilled. For $26, no screwing around, maybe ruining die on plated bolt, or possibly snapping a drill! I just re-bushed & replaced bolt on my 322, BIG difference! Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Frank, It actually IS kind of a special bolt. You won't find an off the shelf bolt threaded back far enough. If you use a bolt threaded back far enough to adjust nut, bushing is riding on threads and will wear quickly. I longer bolt can be threaded back, cut to length, & cross drilled. For $26, no screwing around, maybe ruining die on plated bolt, or possibly snapping a drill! I just re-bushed & replaced bolt on my 322, BIG difference! Bob
I should bite the bolt (bullet) I suppose. Was poking around under there today and interested in the Part Number M88755, the STRAP or Wear Plate part of the axle deflecting bolt setup. I read often that the plate has two holes for bolting on but take a look at my pics -its not quite like that.
  • 318 Serial # x316344
  • The plates are welded on the front side
  • The rear is simply one long piece of steel -part of the frame
  • The bolts are rubbing into this long piece of steel.
Should I be drilling holes to add the wear plates?
By the way, were is the best spot to place the jack for lifting the front end?
 

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Kish JD 318/420/430
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If there are no holes then you will need drill, or tac weld plates in. It is your call your machine.
 

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Frank, I've never done this modification/addition of plates, but looking at the M88755 part diagram on jdparts.com, it appears the holes are not central in the plate. I would think the they would mount to the "long piece of steel" on the frame and one end would overhang, covering the worn area.
Use straps as template/jig, drill 2 clearance holes, and nut & bolt. For maximum support, you could consider filling the worn area with an epoxy. A few pieces of cellophane tape on the back of the straps will prevent the epoxy from adhering to the straps.

You can jack the front end from anyplace convenient...under axle, under front cross member... and THEN PLACE JACK STANDS UNDER FRAME !!!!!! Anyplace behind the axle will work for the jack stands. Bob
 
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