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Garden Tractors Discussion Forum

I finally got to drive my 318 today

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Arvin Haslem

11-22-2022 18:43:57

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I finally got to drive my 318 down the road today. It was fun in spite of the oil smoke, the rich exhaust, the LOOSE steering and the slop in the gearshift. I used the loader to take the top off of a red ant hill. The steering wheel will turn about 2/3 of a turn before the wheels move. The front axle moves back and forth and also twists a bit while I am steering it. I'm sure the front end loader has given it a workout in its lifetime. The transaxle end of the rod that connects the gearshift to the transaxle shift arm moves at least 1/2 inch before the shift arm on the transaxle moves. Is that rod slotted or is it worn out? That appears to be where most of the looseness is in the shift linkage. I found carburetor kits on Amazon and Ebay for under $20 including shipping. Most of them show a new float in the picture. You generally get what you pay for and this seems way too cheap. I don't plan to tackle any big repairs until I get a factory shop manual and the weather warms up in the spring. In its present condition I can push snow with it, if we get any. We have had several winters now of little or no snow. I hope that changes.

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11-24-2022 15:44:00

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 Re: I finally got to drive my 318 today in reply to Arvin Haslem, 11-22-2022 18:43:57  
OEM carb kits are not cheap. I paid about $125 for one for my 318 about 15 years ago. There was also a similar carburetor used on some Briggs and Stratton Vanguard engines that was somewhat cheaper, like $85, but I don't remember the part number or know if it is still available.

My front axle would twist around too. That made the mower wander all over the place when trying to go straight And you were constantaly turning the steering wheel to compensate.

The bolt that went through the center of the axle was well worn. Probably not as badly as a loader equipped 318, though. Deere parts girl looked up the bolt and said it was about $30 back then. She suggested I get a bolt from a local bolt supplier. I think there were bushings in the axle as well, which I did buy from Deere. It also helped to back out the bolts that keep the axle from swinging front to rear. All this together made it much more enjoyable to steer.

I don't know much about about the direction control linkage. Mine must not be worn enough to have annoyed me.

My 318 hasn't done much since I got a zero turn mower. I found that I could cut the area I needed to cover with a 42 Toro Timecutter in about the same amount of time the 50 318 could do it.

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11-23-2022 17:45:33

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 Re: I finally got to drive my 318 today in reply to Arvin Haslem, 11-22-2022 18:43:57  
One other thing to check on a 318 is the bolts that hold the rear axle to the frame,the frames are known the crack at the bolt holes. THe ones I have found was an easy fix,a pieces of angle iron drilled for the rear end, and then welded to the frame.

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