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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, I know pics are darn near required here - so here's a couple I took yesterday...





Yes, I did take the leaf blower to it and got rid of the grass build up! I had just got done mowing just under an acre and was in need of an adult refreshment...:trink40:

My folks got this '87 318 when they bought a large house in upstate NY about 10 years ago. Since moving into a smaller house, it was not needed (as much), and I became the new owner about 5 years ago.:fing32:

It came with a snow blower, plow, cart and a power flo bagging system. There were problems with the charging system - that's it. Stored it outside while I waited for time & money to fix it up a little bit. I have a 8 year old Troy Bilt that has worked fine for the flatland mowing I'm doing around the house.

Got the Technical Manual last year and determined that I was going to get her 'up & running' soon. Testing the electrical system was 1st priority, but I didn't have a claw type ohmmeter. Wasted a lot of time looking for one that isn't $80-$100 and gave up for a bit. The bright idea hit me that the voltage regulator I was going to be testing was only going to be half that, so I replaced it and the battery. While I was at it, I replaced plugs, air, oil & gas filters, oil, hydro, gas lines, hydro lines and generally cleaned it up pretty good.

Runs smooth, (750 hrs on it) and is now the tractor of choice over the TB.

My problems, if you want to call them that, are mainly tied to the hydro. For a GT with power steering, mine doesn't work so well. I can steer it, albeit with some difficulty, but I'm a big guy. No way the wife drives it. Seems to be trying to work and possibly assisting me at times, but I feel this should work a LOT smoother.:confused:

When cutting, it doesn't seem to want to keep a constant speed, especially if the grade (slope) changes. If I travel with the grade, everything appears to be fine. Turn to go uphill, and it stops unless I push the hydro lever a good ways forward to keep the same speed. Turn again to go back along the grade and it speeds up unless I quickly pull back on the hydro lever.

I'm thinking this is not normal - can anybody clue me in?

Other than that, it is a great machine.

I've been thinking that I may want to sell it and the attachments and get an EZtrak as this seems to be much more than I need. I worry about it's age and what I'm getting into if the hydro is balky. I'm a reasonable mechanic, but don't have a machine shop with all the associated equipment. Like most everybody else, time & money are a factor.

I'll most likely be getting rid of the plow and snow blower as they likely won't see much, if any, use in South Carolina. But I'll save that for another thread.

So, can any other 318 owners give me a heads up on my steering and drive issues?

Appreciate it guys!:thanku:
 

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The Magnificent
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Welcome!

I'll give you $100 for everything, sight unseen!

Seriously though, you don't mention whether your hydro fluid level is correct, so I'll ask.

Next step would be to change the hydro fluid and filter, then complete the purge procedure (and be prepared to perhaps adjust a little creep).

As a matter of fact, I think I would recommend the purge procedure prior to the fluid chantge as well just to get everything "stirred up" before you drain the fluid.
 

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Shop = My Therapy
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D-Dogg is right on with your first step. You need to rule out some things before saying the hydro is bad. You are correct in that it should manitian a constant speed uphills. Worst case scenario is what I had to do last year. My hydro was bad so a bought a used one off ebay from someone that had perfect feedback and that I talked to on the phone. I paid under $200 and it works perfect.

Go throught the other stuff first because IMO a 318 with 750 hrs should not have a bad hydro unless the fluid was never changed or ran low on fluid for some time.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the quick responses guys! Thanks for the offer D-Dogg, but I'm inclined to keep it unless somebody blows my doors off with a 'can't refuse' type of offer... and it has some sentimental value as it was my Dad's...

The hydro fluid level appears to be full - I'm supposed to use the clear glass tube located near the back of the frame as a level check, correct?

The clear plastic tubes were gone when I finally pulled it from the weeds, just 1 to 2 inches of plastic were left on the top and bottom. I replaced them and filled the hydro fluid up until it was about a half inch from the top of the glass tube. Don't believe it ran with no hydro fluid - Dad isn't that dumb and I might have run it for an hour a few years back and think that the tubes were still intact.

This purge procedure sounds promising... I know I haven't done that yet. I just assumed with the above mentioned tubes being gone that most of the hydro fluid leaked out and that filling it up was all that needed to be done. As I mentioned, I have the Technical Manual at home, but don't recall seeing anything about a 'purge' procedure. The owners, or operating manual, has never been seen... perhaps it is mentioned in there?

I'll hunt around on this site when I get home tonight and see if there is a thread detailing this purge. When I was cleaning it up and had the body off - I think I saw where the hydro filter was. If memory serves, do I have to remove the engine to change it?!? It looked to be in a very difficult spot to get to...

I do love tinkering with it though, and am thinking of having the wheels sandblasted and powder coated as they are in pretty bad shape. Next would be the body and hood...

Thanks for the info! Hopefully I can report back tonight!
 

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The Magnificent
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Look at the Tech manual again. The purge procedure is there.

It's nothing more than a series of sharp turns, lock to lock turns, fast forwards and fast backups. Put the blade on the front when you try it so you can exercise those cylinders as well.
 

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Well I got my 318 from North Carolina, so $200.00 for everything so I have one from each of the Carolina's! Just kidding!! Never had any issue with the steering but my tranny acted a lot like yours. I was at PA Plow day this year and D-Dogg was there with his 318 and I noticed his reacted to forward and reverse much better than mine. I just happened to have a 2nd Tranny available and just put that in about a month ago and it was like a completely different tractor! Do the purge and if that doesn't do it the Tech manual tells you all the steps to inspect and repair the tranny, but I'd be more inclined to replace it (they aren't that hard to replace!). By the way, welcome to the forum and your tractor looks to be in very good shape!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks PA318! I will do the purge this evening - hopefully that clears it up. The steering is pretty tight - no sloppiness at all. It just seems like I'm fighting it more than its helping... Which leads me to believe its the hydro, and by association, perhaps that is causing the trans issues.

The plow is not hydraulic, so I won't be putting that on to exercise the front cylinders. The snow blower is in the crawlspace under my house, and is a bear to manhandle out of it's confines. Perhaps when the weather is cooler. I saw where someone had done a really fine restoration on one here on the board. Would like to try that... If we ever get a big enough snowstorm here, I have visions of me being the only one in the subdivision with a snowblower! lol!

Found the purge section in my TM - seems easy enough to do this evening. If it's not that, then perhaps a filter change with (more) new hydro fluid. The fluid thats visible in the glass tube does not look too bad. Probably because its darn near new...
 

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What color is the fluid in the glass tube? Red = Automatic Transmission Fluid, Amber = Hydraulic Fluid, JD now recommends Hygard Low Viscosity for the hydro on the 318. However some owners swear by the ATF!

Is this the thread on the snowblower rebuild? Seems familiar!!

http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=98636
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ha! It was a few weeks ago that I read it - very nice job! My blower isn't quite as bad as yours was, but still - if I'm gonna do the job, I'd like to make it last. You've inspired me!

The fluid is amber. Got it at Wally World, but it's supposed to be for hydro transmissions/systems. When I started to pour it in (after replacing the clear tubes to the sight glass), the fluid that came up was almost black. So it didn't have much in it to start with... it soon became clear. I had already decided that I would have to replace the fluid sooner, rather than later, and also do the filter. If the purge doesn't clear up the issues, I'll go that route in a week or two. I did some perusing in my Tech Manual, it appears that when I do that, I may as well test everything just as they instruct and replace the charge relief valve and the like as it's probably never been done. Gonna tear it down that much, might as well do the job right. When I did my clean up/tune up bit a few weeks ago, I wasn't even sure if it would start! So I wasn't as concerned about the hydraulics, but I didn't want it to run dry.
 

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The fluid is amber. Got it at Wally World, but it's supposed to be for hydro transmissions/systems.
Only use the JD HyGard Low Viscosity fluid from your JD dealer...I believe it has been shown that it will make a big difference over anything you would buy at Wally World! JMHO! :fing32:
 

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it soon became clear. I had already decided that I would have to replace the fluid sooner, rather than later, and also do the filter. If the purge doesn't clear up the issues, I'll go that route in a week or two. I did some perusing in my Tech Manual, it appears that when I do that, I may as well test everything just as they instruct and replace the charge relief valve and the like as it's probably never been done. Gonna tear it down that much, might as well do the job right. When I did my clean up/tune up bit a few weeks ago, I wasn't even sure if it would start! So I wasn't as concerned about the hydraulics, but I didn't want it to run dry.
I'd do the hydro oil change (Always with filter) soon! I would'nt worry about purging it until you have changed the fluid. Always use JD oil!!
 

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Ha! It was a few weeks ago that I read it - very nice job! My blower isn't quite as bad as yours was, but still - if I'm gonna do the job, I'd like to make it last. You've inspired me!

The fluid is amber. Got it at Wally World, but it's supposed to be for hydro transmissions/systems. When I started to pour it in (after replacing the clear tubes to the sight glass), the fluid that came up was almost black. So it didn't have much in it to start with... it soon became clear. I had already decided that I would have to replace the fluid sooner, rather than later, and also do the filter. If the purge doesn't clear up the issues, I'll go that route in a week or two. I did some perusing in my Tech Manual, it appears that when I do that, I may as well test everything just as they instruct and replace the charge relief valve and the like as it's probably never been done. Gonna tear it down that much, might as well do the job right. When I did my clean up/tune up bit a few weeks ago, I wasn't even sure if it would start! So I wasn't as concerned about the hydraulics, but I didn't want it to run dry.



As the others have said I'd do a full fluid change (in case anything bad is in there you want it gone!) and filter! The charge relief valves don't go bad that often (this tranny has originals and hour meter showed over 1100 hours on the engine and he had a rear PTO and tiller so I know it was being put through the paces!) so I doubt they need changed. They are about $75.00 apiece if I remember correctly! Here's an aftermarket replacement that are cheaper if your sure you want to replace. Sauer- Danfoss (Sundstrand) part number 3103132 $38.72 each..

The blower ended up being a whole lot more work than I originally thought and if I had to do it over I would have parted that one out and bought a different one! It's done now though so I can't wait for the white stuff to start falling to test it out!!!!
 

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Sir, your grass is like carpet. When I first looked at the pics, I thought you had flat tires.
 

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The Magnificent
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You put anything but Hygard in that tranny and I'm going to come down there and snatch your grill emblem!

Whenever you drag that snowblower out, post a pic or two. I might be interested if you decide to sell it.
 

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:Ah!!! it has the emblem, and looks like it should:drunkie:

750 hours is pretty low for that problem. ODD

I was told by my JD dealer " DO NOT interMIX THE FLUIDS" Do as recommended by the guys and get it to just Hyguard.:goodl:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'll be putting in the Hygard, perhaps even this weekend... The purge didn't do a dang thing. Also a filter...

I appreciate the help guys! I'm just so discouraged right now, and I'm starting to worry that I may have two separate issues at work here. I've got my fingers crossed that it's a clogged filter from when the hoses from the sight tube were gone. Is there a flush or something for a hydro trans? If that doesn't cure it, I guess I'll follow the Tech manual and start tearing it apart this winter. (sigh)

PA318 - That happens to me all the time, I envision a job going smoothly and once I get into it, there seem to be more bridges to cross than I had anticipated. Again, great job! I understand your winter anticipation...

We just got about 3-4 days of rain down here after a few weeks of nothing but scorching temps. Hadn't had to mow a lick! So, yeah - the bermuda loved it, and in most spots it is like a carpet. The back half acre is kinda a weedy mix and was 8-9 inches tall (and thick!) when I went to cut it. I know for a fact that I would probably still be out there cussing if I had to use the Troy-Bilt. The 318 didn't even break a sweat.

Will post pics when I drag the Snowblower out.

Snatch my grill emblem? Them's fightin' words...:tsk:
 

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Don't get discouraged....you have a great tractor and a lot of guys would give their left nuggie for a 318! In your first post you said:
When cutting, it doesn't seem to want to keep a constant speed, especially if the grade (slope) changes. If I travel with the grade, everything appears to be fine. Turn to go uphill, and it stops unless I push the hydro lever a good ways forward to keep the same speed. Turn again to go back along the grade and it speeds up unless I quickly pull back on the hydro lever.
When I re-read this, it made me think that just possibly it is a linkage issue from the hand control to the hydro unit. I know my 25 year old 316 (same hand control and hydro) will sometimes slip back a little when I turn to go up a hill and I need to push it forward again, but it is not too dramatic and is not a bother to me. Yours sounds like it might be a little more pronounced and perhaps it is a linkage problem. Maybe someone else can comment on this. Of course that does not explain the power steering issue that you have....it sound like something is plugged up there and that circuit is not getting hydraulic fluid or something.

I think the complete change-out of fluid to Hygard and a new filter is the first thing to do and see what you have after that. As far as flushing out the old, I am not aware of anyone doing that. Just get the fluid warm and then let it drain for 24 hours, you should get most all of it out.

By the way, you probably already know this but to get to the filter you need to remove all the little screws that hold the belly pan in place and you will need to take the mower deck off first. Good luck and keep us informed! :fing32:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Alright guys, I'm going in this afternoon and changing out the hydro fluid and installing the filter... I'm a little concerned about taking the deck off, but I've gotta learn how sometime...

Finally sc***** together a few extra bucks the wife didn't know about and went to "Lowes". Just so everyone knows, if "Lowes" is in quotation marks - it means the JD dealership... or the local watering hole, depending on the time of day... Got my filter and 2 big jugs of Hygard. Was very happy to get all for $43 and some change. Money has been tight, spent enough money on my dog to buy a new X320, surgery is not cheap - even for a dog! But you gotta do what you gotta do... :dogrun:

Have noticed some noises coming from the transmission - kinda like a grinding - when going downhill mostly. Hoping for the best! Haven't had the Troy-Bilt out since firing up the 318, I just like cutting with the 318 so much more! My cut time has gone from 2 hrs 30 min, to 1 hr 45 min on just under an acre.

Will post results later - would be cause for much rejoicing if this clears up even one of my issues...:drunkie::trink39:
 

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Well let us know how it all works out for you! The good think is there really isn't anything hard about changing it out! No secret filters or drains to find buried in the recesses!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Son of a...

...it worked!

Interesting taking the deck off... got very dirty and swore a time or two, but got the fluid changed out and a new filter put in. Filter appeared to be original.

Wrestled the deck back on and fired it up. Runs a WHOLE lot smoother and the power steering was a dream! Had a blast cutting the backyard and only using one finger to steer!

Thanks to all who offered advice! Now I'm feeling a rebuild/restore this winter!
 
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