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Discussion Starter #1
I had this John Deere 318 given to me. The last owner said he had the engine rebuilt 30 year ago and that was the last time it had run. Today I was able to get it to run and she does run very smooth for not being run for 30 years. But the hydraulic steering dose not turn the front wheels.. The fluid is in the middle of the check glass so I assume the fluid is full. I have a feeling something has lost its prime over the years of sitting. How do I prime it? Thank you. Will57
 

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Jack the front end off the ground and then turn steering repeatedly. This should help get things moving, then If steering doesn't work when put back on ground it is out. Then you can pull the steering assembly out and rebuild it, normally it has some o-rings that give out and cause it not to steer.
 

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I had the same problem with my 140! Most likely you need new steering linkage worst case! If it is power steering you might need a new cylinder!
 

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You have to check to see if the steering valve (buried in tractor, bottom of steering column) has output (flow/pressure) to move the steering cylinder (ram). From sitting for 30 years it might be dried/broken o-rings in either the steering valve or the cylinder allowing it to bypass in those items.
 

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I would also pull the top line of the site glass off at the transmission and blow the fluid out of the sight glass and let it come back and see if still shows between. Mine was clogged and looked fine but when I did that it did not come back. I added almost 4 quarts to get it to show full again. It was on a 330 so no power steering, but the transmission started working a lot better.
 

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Bad p/s valve O-rings is a good starting point, if it is only the p/s out of commission. P/S cylinder seals would be next on the list.

Before you go any further, try the mower lift cylinder and the drive. If they don't work either, the charge pump drive pin is probably broken. That will take out the p/s, the lift cylinder, AND the hydro.

Did you change the hydro fluid and filter? It's definitely due after 30 years of storage.

Purge procedure for that hydro is to start it up and drive it forward and backward a few feet. With fresh fluid in the rear end and some fluid added to a fresh filter before installation, it should prime itself within seconds.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you everyone for your help, I was running it and it shut down. it seems Iv lost ignition. I had installed a new coil and new set of points. Tomorrow I'm going to change out the condenser and see if that brings back my spark. The points look good so I don't think its the points. Maybe the coil crapped out, I'v seen new coils crap out before so maybe. If not then I guess I'm back to the drawing board. If it goes I will do that procedure. The one filter I did not change was the one for the hydraulics. I will get a new one for before I run it again.
 

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Personally I say K.I.S.S keep It Simple Silly.

Once you get the tractor running as said above blow the fluid back into the site tube. Fire the tractor up and cycle ALL the hydraulics including the steering with it off the ground. Then recheck the site tube to see if there is fluid in the tube. If not fill and repeat the procedure again, continue until it is full.

If that doesn't work i would go to the steering valve assembly.

My .02$
 

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Discussion Starter #10
A big thanks to all that helped. I got her running again. Turned out that cheap $12.00 coil I bought for it crapped out. I was able to use the one that came with the tractor. So I did just what I was told to do and after a few minuets the front wheels turned. At first the steering wheel was stiff but no action on the wheels, Then all at once something must have popped lose and it worked. Not sure if I mentioned that this tractor came to me in several boxes. I think I'm missing some seat parts and some hood parts. I have all the tin work but I'm not sure whats missing sense Iv never seen what it looks like put together.. I believe this tractor according to the serial number it was with in the first 1000 made.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I got this massive grass catcher and a mower deck for it also. I have no plans for either of them. Any idea if they are worth anything or should I just haul them to the dump?
 

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Depends on condition mostly, can you put a picture of them up? JD sells a couple of different grass catchers for it. Decks if they are in fair mowing condition will get about $300 or more.
 

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Woo Hoo yeah buddy! Alive and running! awesome news!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The deck is mostly solid, All the blades are all frozen. Don't know anything about the lawn vac other than its huge and heavy. To my knowledge the tractor and all equipment have all been from Florida.
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Looks like leading edge of the deck is pretty rusty. Probably could get $150 or $200 for it. Is that all of the grass catcher you have, should be more to it? Do you have rear PTO mounted on that 318?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
PA318, Yes I believe there is a rear PTO on this tractor. There are two switches on the dash that control the front and rear PTO clutches.
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There are hydraulic lines that run to the front of the tractor also. Here is everything that I think goes to that big lawn vacuum. I'm sorry I cant get a better photo of the rear clutch. Id be happy to swap all this stuff for all the seat mounting stuff, Hood mounting hardware, Complete head and tail light assembly with wire whips.and maybe a spare OEM working coil. Iv got a lot of never used belts and a bunch of miscellaneous new old stock John Deere parts that I have no idea where they go. Maybe tomorrow I might lay everything out and you might know more than I do about all this stuff. The past owner collected all these new parts in plan to make the mower new again but I guess life got in the way and 30 years later I got everything. I don't ever plan on using this tractor for mowing but instead its going to be my transportation to get around the show grounds when my wife and I go to vintage Hit and Miss engine shows.
 

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Well the rear PTO from the switch to the clutch and all mounting hardware on the back would need to go with the collection system to make it a complete unit.

Here is the link to the JD online parts site for your your hydraulic operated Material Collection System (MCS).


I would recommend looking at this and seeing how complete your setup is, the more complete the better the price would be. I would think with what I 've seen you could start at $400 and if fully complete maybe pull $800 for it. A working complete unit would be a nice add to anyone doing large area mowing private or commercial.

BTW, this is the first time I've given an estimate on one of these, I'd wait till some others wade in this discussion that may have more knowledge on them.

Good luck!
 

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An old friend of mine had a 318 with that same leaf vac. It was run by the rear PTO. Helped him put it on a number of times and it was a bear. Heavy as he!! and hard to get the PTO to line up. Found that when we took it off we put it on a palet with blocks so that he could back up to it and the mounting brackets would line up with out musceling it in place. He used it for a number of years and it worked great. His son in law has it now and I don"t think he uses it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Gary. Your right its crazy big and heavy. I cant move it around by myself. Does this site have a classified? i will put the parts on there for a couple of weeks, If it don't sell I will haul it to the dump.
 
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