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Not sure about the hours but some 318 owners will chime in I am sure. Do you know if the engine has been rebuilt or not. By the way, that 318 looks to be in great condition.
 

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Deere Owner
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Like buying a used car, much depends on how well it was maintained. I've passed on low hour tractors that were neglected and purchased some with high hours that were well taken care of and I received years of service from them. Hours are only one indicator of the total picture: How does it run? Does it smoke? Does it surge? Does it use oil? Be sure to take everything into consideration before buying...
 

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I agree, that is one clean 318! Can't speak to the hours issue directly, but if the inside of that tractor has been treated as nicely as the outside that Onan will likely be strong for a while.
 

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Like buying a used car, much depends on how well it was maintained. I've passed on low hour tractors that were neglected and purchased some with high hours that were well taken care of and I received years of service from them. Hours are only one indicator of the total picture: How does it run? Does it smoke? Does it surge? Does it use oil? Be sure to take everything into consideration before buying...
Well put. Onan fans will tell you they will almost run forever if maintained correctly, but hours are just one factor.

The parts are expensive, but in the long run if it needs to be repaired its worth it. When running, they run great and it does take a good bit to make one a basket case such as overheating, no oil etc....

That is a nice clean looking machine.:thThumbsU Hope they didnt wax it three times a week and never ever change the oil, lol!:sorry1:
 

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Three of my friends
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If you can get some maintanance records it would helpful,1200 hours is not oo many if the oil was changed as required.If it does not smoke and starts and runs good more than likely it is ok.These motors are built to be rebuilt easy usally a set of rings will bring it back to new condition,the cyclinder walls don't wear out often,they were run on welders and they run wide open a lot.
 

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Deere 330 Killer
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My Onan has about 4000 hours and is just starting to smoke
 

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rollin
when i see a tractor that looks that good,
i will assume that the p.o. took very good care of the engine
thank you boomer (the used onan engine parts guy)
 

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On my 420 the hour meter was not working when i bought it and it read 2000 hours almost exactly. Judging from condition it was hard hours with poor maintance. It still runs though it has blow by, so I personaly would not worry to mutch about the hours if the machine is well maintained.
 

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deerhed
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1,241 Posts
That 318 has been painted.
If it's been WELL CARED FOR 1200 is no big deal...but still effects the worth of the tractor. Personally I would not pay more than $1500 for a 1200 plus hour 318.
 

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I love the old JD iron!

Last summer, I came into a deal I could not pass up.





Although it may not be as "glistening green" as the the 318 above, that is original paint. Not too shabby, for a 1986!

rollin coal, you have been given a lot of great advice above. My advice: keep your eyes and ears open, cash in your pocket, and pull the the trigger if it feels right. Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Wow this is a great forum! How could I know if it was painted, I was thinking the same thing, cause it looks mint. I'm probably going to check it out this weekend!
 

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I ask to do a compression check on both cylinders. That would give you some idea. Should be no more than 10% difference in cylinders and (I'll take some grief here) anything around 100 - 110 is good. My 318 had 120 in both cylinders at 950 hrs!
 

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It's not necessarily abnormal given how old the tractor is. It's still got plenty of life in it if well taken care of, and it totall rebuildable down the line. But, they normally start to show signs of wear @ 1,500 hours (slight smoke, lower power, etc). Just my experience.
 

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GANG GREEN GIZMOW KILLER!
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I ask to do a compression check on both cylinders. That would give you some idea. Should be no more than 10% difference in cylinders and (I'll take some grief here) anything around 100 - 110 is good. My 318 had 120 in both cylinders at 950 hrs!
This.



The biggest flaw in the Onan is where they placed the oil filter.


The filter partially blocks the air flow to one cylinder and can cause that cylinder to overheat. If the engine is kept spotlessly clean it is a small issue. But any dirt build up on the oil filter side and you may have issues at low hours.


Do a Compression check. Cylinders within 10-15psi would indicate a serviceable engine with 15psi difference being a bit suspect, especially if the low cylinder is on the oil filter side, which Im almost positive it will be.

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