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Garden Tractors Discussion Forum

318 Deere hydraulic function speed adjustment?

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03-29-2013 18:05:22

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I recently moved up to a 318 Deere mower from a 140. I moved up a whole 9 years :). I LOVE the powersteering on the 318, and the hydro of the 318 is much smoother when changing directions than the 140. The 318 also turns sharper. The 318 handles like a dream! I've driven the newer premium Deere mowers but still prefer the 318.

My only complaint with the 318 is the speed of the hydraulic deck lift. I raise my deck at the end of each pass to turn. I stripe my zoysia grass. The 140 would raise and lower quickly while turning. On the 318 I have to stop and wait for the deck to raise and stop to wait for it to fall. It is slow to fall and slow to raise. Is there any type of adjustment or is there an orifice in-line somwhere? If there is an orifice where is it located? I'd like to ream it out a touch.

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Traditional Farmer

03-31-2013 05:11:08

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 Re: 318 Deere hydraulic function speed adjustment? in reply to Wilamayb, 03-29-2013 18:05:22  
Cylinder may be bypassing internally.Also you can shim the hydraulic outlets on the hydro to get more pressure and usually that'll speed it up too.
As said already check the lift valve or switch it to one of the aux valves to see if there is a change

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03-29-2013 20:36:44

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 Re: 318 Deere hydraulic function speed adjustment? in reply to Wilamayb, 03-29-2013 18:05:22  
You set the deck height at the back of the tractor not on the deck wheels. If you have the lift set right it barely moves, so it will lift fast. Poke around over at

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03-29-2013 20:42:38

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 Re: 318 Deere hydraulic function speed adjustment? in reply to 504-1, 03-29-2013 20:36:44  
I just thought about one other thing that might cause trouble,on the lift cylinder at the rear of the tractor there my be a valve at the hose. The valve is installed to stop the lift when you have a blade on the front, it really takes the delay out of the front remotes, if it is still closed it will slow down your lift too.

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03-29-2013 20:01:28

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 Re: 318 Deere hydraulic function speed adjustment? in reply to Wilamayb, 03-29-2013 18:05:22  
I don't believe there's an adjustment or orifice in the system. Are you steering, at the time the deck lifts or lowers slow, using some of the charge pump's output for other than deck movement? I also have a 318, and I guess I have never noticed much difference in hydraulic function speed vs. a 317 or 140.

New hyd filter?

If there REALLY is a "slow hydraulic" problem, it could also indicate a weak charge pump, or a leak in the hydro itself, so the charge pump is constantly replenishing the oil in the hydro circuit.

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03-30-2013 05:55:25

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 Re: 318 Deere hydraulic function speed adjustment? in reply to Bob, 03-29-2013 20:01:28  
Bob, my other hydraulic functions work well. The hydro itself is strong, quiet and fast. The powersteering seems to be fine as well. The steering is smooth and very easy. I never get any feedback through the steering wheel regardless of what other hydraulic functions are being used. I do sometimes use the PS while lifting/lowering the deck but steering doesnt seem to really change the lift speed any. The deck lift speed is the same even if the tractor is sitting still without the PS being used. Engine speed has no effect either. It lifts just as fast at idle as it does at WOT. I havent put it to the stopwatch but I bet my 140 lifted and lowered the deck in less than half the time of my 318.

I did not change the hydro filter when I purchased it becase it had less than 100 hrs on it.

I'm wondering now if my mower has the "lock out valve" that 504 speaks about. I had the fenderdeck off of it when I first purchased it for a general "look see" and to service the driveshaft zerks and clean the hydro cooling fins. I dont remember seeing an adjustable valve. If my mower had the valve I'm guessing it would be on the inlet or outlet of my deck lift cyliner? I'm invisioning a needle valve with a knurled finger nut. Is that what it looks like?

Thanks for your input and thought...

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03-30-2013 07:33:23

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 Re: 318 Deere hydraulic function speed adjustment? in reply to Wilamayb, 03-30-2013 05:55:25  
That is just what it looks like, right at the rear lift cyl. I really think you are moving the lift cylinder all the way through its stroke and it only needs to move three inches or so. Make sure that the other lever is centered, if it is stuck off center it will bypass oil and slow down the lift too. I have a 332,318 and a 430, all use about the same system.

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