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Great looking setup and enjoy it. slkpk
 

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Just a heads up around a major difference between the 318 and the 332. Since the 332 is water cooled you will need to pay attention to the radiator and air paths.

The radiator is just big enough for the engine so it needs to be kept blown out. Also, there should be a secondary, removable screen between the rear of the radiator and the steering shaft. I use a long air nozzle and turn the air down a little bit for it (blow toward the rear of the tractor).

Some of the air is drawn in by the fan from around the console but a large portion comes from under the tractor. There is a screen on the bottom of the tractor that is held on with 6 screws. Every once in while this screen needs to be removed and cleaned off.

Like your 318, there is a u-joint on the driveshaft and it has a grease zerk that needs to be hit every once in a while. It is hard to get to from underneath and you need to remove the belly screen to get to it. Most of the time I just hit it when I have the fender pan off if it.

The alternator has two ball bearings in it that have been known to go south. Each one is about $10 and is much cheaper that replacing the whole alternator - worth checking every now and then.

The voltage regulator is directly below the muffler on the inside of the frame rail. I would check the connector and see if it looks burned or melted. In my case, I ended up replacing the ignition switch, replacing the ground strap and cleaning all of the electrical connections. I also eliminated the connector and soldered spade connections for the regulator connections.

If you have a rattle from the front of the machine when the PTO is turned off then you may need to look at the PTO bearings. It is just a couple of bearings and a pretty simple R&R.

If you are going to run snow chains in the winter you might want to reverse the rear wheels. I needed to do this so the chains did not catch on the brake levers.

If you change the fuel filter you need to bleed it after the change in order to get it to start again.

Check the frame rail for cracks right around where the steering cylinder attaches to the frame and the same place on the other side.

It looks like from the pics that your deck has the pulley covers. These create a great place for crud to accumulate and hold water for rust. In my case the PO had already removed them so I did not have to :).

Good luck with the machine - it looks like you got a good one.

FWIW - Frank
 

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Wow that is a big rig there! No you don't have to change your screen name! I decided to stick to my original since that is where I started on the forum. BTW very nice looking yard you have there! You obviously will need to learn a bit about diesel engines but other than that and the electronics not much of a difference between the 332 and 318.
 

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Looks great I bet the MCS really sucks up the grass :fing32:
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Thanks for all of the great comments everyone. FAC I actually had to do some of the things you mentioned. I was mowing a week or two ago I had a problem with my mower overheating when it was hot (like 90 deg). I took the radiator out so I could wash it out with the pressure washer and it was amazing how much dirt came out of it. Also it was a good thing that I did what I did because the serpentine belt was had chunks missing out of it. Overdue for replacement. I have put about 5 hours on it, some of them mowing grass that was over 5 feet tall, and it never overheated. I could not be happier with it. This is one impressive mower to say the least, not a 7xx but still a nice mower. I took the bottom screen off and there was about 3 inches of grass and dirt on top of it. Just for those of you that are asking I cleaned the belly screen before I had the overheating problem.

I was interested to hear about the alternator bearings. I would have never known there were bearings that were replaceable in the alternator until it was mentioned. Thank you for the preventive maintenance tips, I think it will save me some change in the end. I have not tackled it yet but it is on my list of things to do.

FCA it is ironic you talked about the PTO bearings as that shortly after you wrote about it mine started squeaking. If anyone has replaced the bearings in their PTO the tips would be helpful. It is on the short list of things to do and if there are any tricks I would appreciate the help.

Thanks again to all of you who have helped and/or given me compliments.

P218
 

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Thats the first I've heard about using double blades.
Any details?
Is it a significant improvement?
How do you keep them in that position?
 

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PA218:

I have a 322 that I just finished restoring this past Spring. PA318 & I were sharing notes with each other as both of us were doing most of our restores (two 322's) at the same time.

The alternator is an AC alternator. This means you have AC coming from the alternator until it reaches the voltage regulator/rectifier located on the chassis.

I had to have my alternator rebuilt too. It had a bad squeal that I zeroed on by using a foot long piece of heater hose for a hearing device. One end of the heater hose went to one ear, and the other end searched for the squeal.

I bought the bearings from my local JD dealer, then took the alternator to an alternator rebuild shop. They pressed the old bearings off and pressed the new bearings on. They also checked the alternator out as well as it could be.

I was very impressed with the job. I did have to replace the electrical connections for that circuit from the alternator to the voltage rectifier/regulator as mine were burned up real bad. All is well with that system right now.
 

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P218

In my case I was getting a fast rattle from the front of the machine when the PTO was NOT engaged. The noise went away as soon as the PTO was engaged. If this is your symptom then my first guess would be the bearing.

I went back and took a peek at the service manual for the 332 (BTW - if you are going to keep the tractor for a long time it is well worth the purchase from Deere). It ends up that there is one bearing (AM39420).

The overview is as follows:

- Remove the belt
- Remove the wire
- Remove the cap screw in the end of the crankshaft
- Remove the 3 locknuts used to adjust the air gap
- Remove armature, pulley and brake assembly from field coil

- Remove the snap ring on the front of the pulley assembly
- Press out hub and bearing assembly - make sure you support on the pulley
- Press hub out of the bearing
- Press hub into new bearing
- Press in new bearing/hub assembly - make sure the support is on the spring rivet heads and not the springs themselves
- Replace the snap ring

- Reverse to re-install. Cap screw should be tightened to 35 ft-lb. Adjust air gap to .018

Send me a PM if you want a pdf of the procedure - it is too big to attach to this message.

Let me know if this helps - good luck.

FaC
 

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Please tell us more about the double blade set up. Does it cut better? I have a 42" deck (2 spindles) with a mulch kit and Viper blades and unless I mow it very frequently it still leaves grass clippings on the lawn, will the double blades help?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Thats the first I've heard about using double blades.
Any details?
Is it a significant improvement?
How do you keep them in that position?
I got the idea from one of the threads for meg-mo blades. They are similar to a brush hog design, center round disc with blades that swing, but they have 4 blades attached. In the thread someone tried to get the meg-mo blades and they did not make their deck so they doubled up the blades. The person I got the idea from said it does not work as well as the meg-mo blades but it worked better than a single blade. I had an extra set of gators for my 46" deck so I figured I would try doubling them up on my 50" deck. I figured the 46" blades were only 1.5" shorter than the 50" blades, just to see how it worked. They worked awesome when I doubled them up. I forgot to mention one thing, I only did this because the meg-mo setup is about $200-$225 and I had an extra set of gators that I could try it with.

For how I kept the blades in line, originally. I do not recommend doing it this way as that they can come out of balance. I am just letting you know it can be done this way if you just want to try it. I initially bought a piece of pipe that fit inside the two blades. The first blade goes on and is kept in line with the shoulder of the spindle, like the blade normally does. The pipe is then inserted and holds onto the little bit of the first blade that not taken up by the shoulder of the spindle. The second blade is set on top of the first making the X. The pipe should be flush. I then squared them up with each other and squared them up on the spindles, bolted them down and started mowing. I think it works quite a bit better than just a single blade. I have always bagged my grass because I could not find a setup that would not leave windrows unless I mowed every other day. I wanted to remove the bagger so it would take less time and I would not have to run the second motor. This setup chops the grass up so fine and blows it so far out there are no windrows. It works nice.

That being said the above setup had a design flaw. If you hit a big stick or mow in tall grass and weeds, like 5' tall grass like I did the other day, they can stray from 90 deg and get out of balance. So I came up with a soultion.

Design 2: I liked the setup so much I figured I should just get the correct sized blades. I ordered a set of Gator G6's and a speed up pulley for my 50" deck. I wanted the blades to stay in the 90 deg position so I figured why not lock them in and eliminate one of the variables that takes the blades out of balance. I lined the blades up with the Gator Magnums (came with the tractor) on top and the new G6's on bottom and put two tiny tig welds, one in each corner, to hold them. I figured I can sharpen them in the X position and if I have to separate them it will only take me a minute to grind the tiny weld out. I then bought new bolts that were about ¼ inch longer than the stock ones because of the added blade thickness. I wanted to make sure I had all of the threads possible holding it all together. Finally, and I did not do this the first time, I used a micrometer to make sure the blades were equally spaced on the spindle so they would be as balanced as possible. The micrometer made a big difference in keeping the vibration down. I should have done this in the beginning, makes a big difference.

I don’t know if it is the speed up pulley or the G6 blades or a combination of both but this mower cuts like a commercial mower now. It puts in nice stripes, pulverizes the grass to the point where you can’t even find any clippings and blows the grass a good 10-15 feet out. The first set up worked at about a 8-9 out of 10 and the second set up is a 11 out of 10. Awesome! I mowed earlier this week and my grass was about 5-6” tall in spots (I know I was still designing and sharpening the blades) so I was cutting about 2-2.5”off. My dad came over right after I mowed and said it looked like I had bagged it because there were no clippings.

It takes a little engineering but once you get it set up I would recommend it for anyone who has trouble with the grass windrowing and they want it chopped up finer. I couldn’t be happier. One thing I will say about the set up I use; IT TAKES A LOT OF HORSEPOWER, so if your tractor is tired I would not do this. When I engage the PTO on my 332 at ½-3/4 throttle it huffs some pretty good smoke and when I push it to WOT I get a little more smoke. Once it is at WOT though it hums right along and even when I was mowing 5’ tall weeds it never even phased it. I do attribute some of that to the speed up pulley as that it did not smoke as much with the first setup as the second. All that being said I couldn’t be happier.

P218
 

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Thanks for the info!
I'm going to give it a try on my 455, I run a 48" deck and have some Gator blades and the stock medium lift blades. The 23hp diesel should have plenty of power to run them.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Thanks for the info!
I'm going to give it a try on my 455, I run a 48" deck and have some Gator blades and the stock medium lift blades. The 23hp diesel should have plenty of power to run them.
I would have to imagine you will have more than enough power as that my 332 is only a 16 hp Yanmar diesel. You probably won't even notice a difference. That should be interesting with one set of Gators and one standard set of blades. I'll be interested to hear how it works for you.

P218
 

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I doubled them up over the weekend, put the Gators on top and the OEM blades on the bottom. Squared them and then tack welded in place.
Wasn't able to really cut anything because my grass was freshly cut last Thursday but I did run them and didn't notice any lack of power.
Can't wait to cut some grass.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
I doubled them up over the weekend, put the Gators on top and the OEM blades on the bottom. Squared them and then tack welded in place.
Wasn't able to really cut anything because my grass was freshly cut last Thursday but I did run them and didn't notice any lack of power.
Can't wait to cut some grass.
Good camera shot. I hope the blades cut like mine do so you can enjoy them as much as I do. If you notice a difference at all I would suggest you swap the standard blade our for the Gator G6's. They rock. I will try to do a you tube of mine mowing in a bit to show how the double gator blades do. I would like to see the video of your set up especially running that 455 with that extra hp. I look forward to seeing well that monster cuts. Good luck.
 

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I had a chance to cut my grass today with the new double blade set up and I have to say, these are great! Thanks for mentioning this upgrade P218!
I didn't take any video or pictures but the grass was about 4"-5" long and I cut to about 2 1/2". It mulched it up into little 1/4" pieces and blew it out the chute pretty far resulting in no sign of clippings anywhere on the lawn.
My yard buts up against my neighbors yard and I usually have to run 3 rows blowing into my yard before I can blow towards his (because he bags and doesn't want clippings on his grass) but I was able to blow onto his lawn on the first row and there were no clippings visible.
I really think this will be awesome in fall to mulch up all the leaves we get.
One bad thing I noticed is it builds up a lot of grass under the deck so more frequent cleanings are a must. (see pic)
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Allsystemz, glad to hear you like the setup but WOW that looks like a lot of build up of dirt for one cut. I'm not sure but I wonder if you were to put the gator blade on the bottom or just run two gator blades per spindle if that would help with the build up problem. I don't seem to get near that much build up but my lawn is thick grass (no dirt) where the irrigation is and thiner grass with sandy light soil in the other areas (where there is no water). The soil type may just be the difference. Good luck.

P218
 

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It could be mostly dirt build up.
We have extremely sandy soil and if it doesn't rain for 4-5 days, things get really dry.
Some areas I have a hard time getting grass to grow if I'm not constantly watering.
I wouldn't mind trying out two sets of Gators but right now its cutting so good I think I'll just leave it alone.
Also noticed that its like riding a vacuum now. it seems to pull the grass straight up and then cuts it but also every little thing in the lawn (sticks, gravel, acorns) come flying out of the chute. Although it leaves a nice striping pattern.
 

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Update;
Its getting pretty bad, every time I cut there is about 2" to 3" of grass stuck to the bottom of the deck, I can fill a 5 gallon bucket with grass from the deck.
The before and after picture I posted above, is nothing compared to how much it builds up now.
It cuts great but if I don't clean the deck each time I cut, the whole garage stinks from decomposing grass.
So, I pulled the 'anti blowout' plates from the deck thinking this might help the grass blow out from under the deck a little better. Have to wait a day or two to try it out.
I'm thinking this blade set up is causing too much vacuum and blasting the grass into the top of the deck.
 
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