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In a previous post, we covered perhaps one of the most popular vintage John Deere lawn tractor models – the 318. Here, we’ll go over the John Deere 316, sometimes referred to as the “little brother” to the 318.
Thought it may not be nearly as popular as the 318, if you’re looking for a solid tractor without any bells and whistles, the 316 is ready for duty.
John Deere 316 Specs
Manufactured between 1984 and 1992, what made the 316 notably different from the 318 was that it had no power steering. If you’re used to the smooth steering of a higher end or later model lawn and garden tractor, the 316 can take some getting used to.
The 316 had two different engines: a 16HP B43E Onan 2-cyl gas and an 18HP P218 Onan 2-cyl gas. Unlike its big brother the 318, the 316 had a single hydraulics spool. B43E Onan’s were used until 1987; P218G Onan’s were used from 1987 through the end of production.
Mower decks for the 316 came in 38”, 46”, and 50” widths. All were hydraulic lift; the 38” deck had two blades, while the 46” and 50” decks had three blades. The transmission was a 2WD hydrostatic Sundstrand 90.
Some people may also remember a 316 manufactured in 1978 only – this model featured a 16HP Kohler 1-cylinder gas engine, 2WD hydrostatic transmission, and 38” or 46” mower deck options. This machine is definitely old school – even in comparison to the 1984-1992 316’s that were produced later on. Yet, they’re definitely a nice solid heavy duty machine, and many are still in service today.
Similar Models to the JD 316
As previously mentioned, the 318 was a noticeable “step up” from the 316, with power steering that made all the difference for many owners. Still, for others who just needed a basic, reliable (and well-built) lawn and garden tractor, the 316 has served them well.
Fun fact: In 1984, the same year that the 316 was introduced, the always-growing John Deere acquired Farm Plan Corporation, which was an agribusiness financier at the time.
Finding Parts for the John Deere 316
Need parts for your 316? Our two top recommendations are the original manufacturer, John Deere, as well as Onan Parts for engine-related parts.
Your local farm and garden store or tractor dealer may also be able to help you locate the parts you need. Or try searching on eBay, where the inventory and offerings are constantly changing.
If you need a replacement manual for your 316, do some online sleuthing – it isn’t uncommon to find manuals online for free. If you aren’t able to find what you’re looking for, you can always try one of the resources listed above.
To learn even more about the JD 316 – or any other John Deere model – we highly recommend TractorData.com and the Weekend Freedom Machines Forum.
Flashback to 1978
Are you old enough to remember what was happening in 1978, during the single year the original 316 was produced?
The minimum wage was set at $2.65 per hour… Home Depot was founded in Atlanta, Georgia.
The New York Yankees won the World Series and the Superbowl XII champs were the Dallas Cowboys.
Disco was dying out, but not before The Bee Gees topped the charts with “How Deep is Your Love,” “Stayin’ Alive,” and “Night Fever.” And who hasn’t heard Donna Summer’s MacArthur Park or the crooning love song, Three Times a Lady by the Commodores.
Could nearly 40 decades have passed by so quickly?