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John Deere 318 – Your Top 5 Troubleshooting Questions Are Answered

John Deere 318 – Your Top 5 Troubleshooting Questions Are Answered

Below are the five most common questions we’re asked regarding John Deere 318 troubleshooting. As well as the 318, the answers to each of these questions should also apply to the following lawn and garden tractor models:

If you’re looking for more general resources, you may find the following links helpful:

1. My 1989 John Deere 318 runs great, but it stalls after mowing for about a 1/2 hour and won’t restart until it cools off.

A: 1987 and newer 318’s use a Onan p218g engine with electronic ignition. Normally, that problem is caused by the ignition module that is located behind the flywheel.

2. The engine on my John Deere 318 is surging and will only run smooth if I pull the choke.

A:There are a few things that will cause this issue. The most common is a dirty carburetor – normally dissembling and cleaning the carburetor will cure this.

Another cause for this is that air is being drawn in someplace, such as a split intake manifold. The Onan engines in the John Deere 318’s used a 2-piece manifold that can separate.

3. When my 318 gets hot, the mower deck will not engage.

A: Sounds like your PTO clutch is out of adjustment – the proper gap setting is .018. It is is set by tightening the 3 spring loaded nuts around the clutch. For a quick fix, you can tighten each nut equally about a 1/8 of a turn and see if that is enough to get it to engage. This also applies to other John Deere lawn and garden tractor models, including the 316, 318, 322, 330, 332 and 430. 

4. The starter on my 1990 318 doesn’t always engage. Sometimes I have to turn the key 3 or 4 times to get it to turn over. I already changed the starter but it still has the same problem.

A: The way 1986 and newer John Deere 316, 318 and 420’s were wired from the factory did not provide a full 12 volts to the solenoid when you turn the key. Many times, people will replace the starter thinking that is the problem.

The real cure for this problem is to add a relay to provide a full 12 volts to your starter. John Deere offers what they call a starting improvement relay kit – part number AM107421. This includes the relay and wiring harness needed.

5. My Deere 318 won’t start. I have spark, but no fuel. I’ve already replaced the fuel pump, but still no fuel. What would cause this? 

A: Many times this is caused by bad fuel lines – even if they look ok from the outside, they deteriorate on the inside. The main reason this happens is because today’s gasoline contains 10% or more ethanol. I recommend using non-ethanol fuel or treat your fuel with a product such as Startron.

If you enjoy tinkering with your John Deere – or you’re trying to troubleshoot a problem you’ve been having – I recommend getting a copy of a John Deere User’s Manual to reference. Try searching online if you don’t have one already. For instance, this comprehensive manual for the John Deere 318 also covers the 316 and 420 as well – it’s available here, at MANUALSDIR.com.

What about you? Did you ever encounter a tricky problem with your JD 318? How did you figure it out? Let us know and we may feature it in an upcoming blog post!

The Later Generation of John Deere Lawn Tractors: The 425, 445, 455

The Later Generation of John Deere Lawn Tractors: The 425, 445, 455

✪To see if we have a John Deere 425, 445 or 455 available, click here.

From 1993-2001, the John Deere 425, 445 and 455 Took Over as Kings of the Turf

The John Deere 420 (released in 1983), 430 (introduced 1984) and now infamous Deere 318 ruled the turf until the next generation of lawn and garden tractors were rolled out in 1993.

From 1993-2001, John Deere produced a new series of lawn and garden tractors: the 425, 445, and 455. While these are all solid tractors that enjoyed a long, successful sales run, they’re not nearly as well-remembered as some of John Deere’s more popular earlier models like the 318.

One of the key advantages to these later tractors is that they have a foot controlled hydrostatic transmission versus the earlier series such as the 318 that had a hand control on the dash. Many people appreciate the more “modern” conveniences offered on these tractors.

From a body perspective, John Deere got away from using as much metal on these later series versus the earlier models. Some body panels were actually plastic versus metal, so they don’t feel quite as heavy duty as previous models.

Want to know what year your 425, 445, or 455 was made?  Scroll to page 7 on this handy chart.

John Deere 425 Tractor Details425 John Deere

The John Deere 425 boasted a 20HP Kawasaki FD620D 2-cylinder, liquid-cooled V-twin engine. This was a 2WD tractor with power steering and a hydrostatic Tuff Torq K91 transmission.  Buyers could also opt for four-wheel steering.

Mower deck size options included 48”, 54”, and 60” widths, all 3-blade with hydraulic lift. Plenty of useful attachments were offered, including a 54” front mounted blade, 46” single-stage snow blower or 47” dual-stage blower, and a Model 40 loader.

Here’s a link covering the 425 and 445 on Deere.com that you may find useful.

Production on the successful John Deere 425 ended in 2001.

445 John Deere lawn tractor

Specs on the John Deere 445

Part of the successful 400 Series of lawn and garden tractors, the John Deere 445 was a step up from the 425. It offered owners a 22HP liquid-cooled V-twin 2-cyl Kawasaki engine with a shaft-driven hydrostatic transmission.

As with the 425 model, the 445 was a 2WD machine with power steering, though buyers could choose four-wheel steering if desired. 48”, 54”, and 60” width hydraulic lift mower decks were available on this model.

Other attachments included the 54” (front-mounted) hydraulic lift blade, a 46” (single-stage) or 47” (dual-stage) snow blower, and the Model 40 loader.

Here’s a link covering the 425 and 445 on Deere.com that you may find useful.

The last John Deere 445 rolled off the assembly line in 2001.

About the John Deere 455

Another member of the John Deere 400 family of lawn tractors, the 455 offered up a Yanmar 22HP 3-cylinder, liquid-cooled OHV diesel engine with a shaft-driven hydrostatic tranny. Like other members of the 400 series, the Deere 455 was a 2WD tractor with power steering (four-wheel steering was offered as an option).

The same 48”, 54” and 60” mower shaft-driven mower decks were also offered on the 455, as was the 54” blade and the 46” and 47” blowers (single- and dual-stage, respectively). Although the Model 40 loader was an available attachment, it was compatible with two-wheel steering models only.

This model isn’t as common as the 425 or 445, but it remains an excellent tractor that stays true to the John Deere legacy of quality lawn tractors.

As with the 425 and 445, manufacturing on the 455 took place at Deere’s Horicon WI plant and ceased in 2001.

History of John Deere lawn tractorsGoodbye 80s…Hello, Y2K!

By the time the first of these tractors were produced, people had long said goodbye to the “decade of decadence” as the 1980s is sometimes humorously referred to. The 90s were now in full swing, and in 1993, the first episode of the enormously popular TV show The X-Files aired on September 10th of that year.  Remember the famous tagline from that series?  The truth is out there.

And who can forget Whitney Houston famous hit song, “I Will Always Love You,” or “That’s the Way Love Goes,” by Janet Jackson. If the music wasn’t playing, tv was, and the most popular show in 1993 was 60 Minutes, followed by Home Improvement and Seinfeld.  Cheers aired its season finale while Hollywood super couple Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger tied the knot.

Seems like yesterday, doesn’t it?

To view any available tractors we may have in the 425, 445, and 455 series of John Deere garden tractors, click here.

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