Archive for John Deere Vintage
Model 300, 312, 316
Capable of using many of the same attachments as the JD 140, the 300 series of John Deere garden tractors began production with the 1975 model year. In that year, the hydrostatic model 300 was introduced, replacing the John Deere 140 and its seven-year production run. Although it shared many components from the 140, the 300 was upgraded to a 16HP Kohler K-series engine and had numerous styling changes. Major changes included a more squared off hood with integral headlights, engine side panels and a black plastic instrument panel. Realizing the liability of mounting a metal gas tank under the hood next to the battery, the model 300 had a plastic gas tank relocated under the rear fender pan with an increased capacity of 4.5 gallons. The John Deere 300 came equipped standard with a two-spool hydraulic lift system, a departure from the single or three-spool system available on the model 140. The charge pump and differential were largely unchanged from the 140, with the charge pump being manufactured by Sundstrand and the differential assembly by Dana. Individual rear wheel brakes also came standard on the model 300. Notably absent on the left side of the tractor was the clutch disconnect/ neutral return pedal found on the model 140. Identical to the model 300, the model 316 (Kohler powered) was manufactured during 1978 only. This particular model is often confused with the later series model 316, which was produced from 1984-1992. Being distinctly different tractors, there are few similarities between the early and late versions of the model 316. Manufactured briefly from 1977 to 1978, the model 312 provided a basic, no frills 300 series tractor with 12 HP Kohler engine, no engine side panels, no ammeter, H1 hydraulics, narrower rear tires, and a single brake pedal for both rear wheels. Headlights were an option on the 312.
Model 300 (Kohler 16 HP K341AQS)
Model 312 (Kohler 12HP K301AS)
|30,001 – 55,000|
|1976||55,001 – 70,000|
|1977||70,001 – 80,000|
|1977||70,001 – 80,000|
|1978||80,001 – 95,000|
Model 316 (Kohler 16 HP K341AQS)
Model 314, 317
In 1979 John Deere began manufacturing models 314 and 317, respectively. Very much the same as previous hydrostatic models, the 314 and 317 represented the “basic” and “deluxe” versions of the 300 series hydrostatic tractors from 1979 until the 1983-1984 time period. One design change that is readily apparent was relocating much of the steering gear to the left side of the chassis. The 314 was an upgraded version of the 312 that reintroduced engine side panels on the “basic” tractor, increased horsepower to a 14HP Kohler engine, and standard installation of the wider 23×10.50×12 rear tires.
The 317 was John Deere’s first attempt at introducing a twin-cylinder engine into the 300 series tractor. A horizontally opposed Kohler KT17QS engine producing 17 horsepower was mated to a 300 series frame, resulting in the model 317. Offered as standard equipment on the 317 were headlights & taillights, ammeter, dual-spool hydraulics and individual rear wheel brakes.
It is no secret that the 317 has had its share of engine problems. Many of the model 317 tractors suffered catastrophic engine failure as a result of poor lubrication to the connecting rod journals of the crankshaft. The engine utilized a “Pressure spray” lubrication system, which operated at approximately 5 PSI and did not provide pressurized oil to the connecting rod journals. Instead, the connecting rod journals were lubricated with oil sprayed down from the camshaft. This resulted in inadequate lubrication, particularly if the tractor was operated on a side-hill incline. Kohler did not offer an immediate solution to this problem, and as an interim solution John Deere engineered a retrofit kit that would allow an Onan p218G to be installed into the 317 chassis.
Eventually Kohler did rectify the problematic KT17 engine by redesigning the engine with a full pressure lubrication system. Known as the KT17 Series II, the engine operated at a significantly higher oil pressure of 25-50 PSI. Kohler also cross-drilled the crankshaft, which allowed oil to be supplied under pressure to the connecting rod journals. The result was a much more durable engine with significantly longer life. A KT17 Series II engine can be identified by a specification (Spec.) number of 24300 or higher. Well into its last year of production, 1982, the 317 came equipped with a Kohler KT17 Series II engine as standard equipment from the factory. Unfortunately the reputation of the 317 and the original KT17 engine was well established by this point.
|Model 314 Kohler 14HP K321AQS||Model 317 Kohler KT17 QS|
Model 316, 318, 330, 322, & 332
Starting with the model 318 in the 1983 model year, John Deere completely redesigned the 300 series. It was as revolutionary as the 140 had been when it was introduced. From a clean sheet of paper came the model 316 and 318, respectively. Once again all of the attachments that could be used on the previous 140 and 300 series tractors could be adapted to the new 318. New design features included:
- Two-cylinder Onan air cooled engine with cast iron cylinder liners standard on both tractors.
- Rear of frame redesigned to an “Open Frame” configuration, as opposed to “closed frame” design of previous 300 series tractors.
- First use of annunciator lights incorporated into dash panel of 300 series tractors. Electromagnetic clutch for both front and rear PTO.
- Redesigned fender deck resulting in a more “squared off” appearance resulting in greater operator protection and comfort.
- Redesigned front axle to allow more weight bearing capacity. Replaceable spindle bushings.
- Transaxle manufactured by Tecumseh, with a Hydraulic oil cooler as standard on the 318
- True hydrostatic power steering. A first on a Lawn and Garden tractor.
- A reserve fuel tank that allowed 15-30 minutes extra operating time.
- Two spools of remote hydraulics
The 318 was truly a revolution in the Garden Tractor industry. And it needed to be. After the public relations disaster that Deere endured over the 317, Deere had gone back to the drawing board and went above and beyond anything the competition had. Operator comfort had been dramatically increased through the used of hydrostatic power steering. With a tight turning radius on 26 inches, the 318 turned inside many on the previous models.
The 18 horsepower Onan engine was powerful, and had tremendous lugging ability. The twin cylinder design was smooth and the engine was rubber mounted to further enhance operator comfort. As stated earlier, all of the current worktools in the Deere stable that fit previous models, could be used on the 318. In addition to those, a new two stage snow blower was added, as well as a Deere designed front broom.
With a change in the rear frame design, a whole new set of rear attachments was introduced. A rockshaft mounted three point hitch and 2000 RPM rear PTO controlled these attachments.
- 48 inch rear pto driven tiller
- 30 inch hydraulic tiller
- 50 and 60 inch rear mounted grooming decks
- Rear pto driven Material Collection Systems, one with hydraulic dumping
- Also the #44 front mounted loader.
In 1984, the 318 was joined by its little brother the 316. Basically the same tractor as the 318, but without power steering and having only 1 spool of hydraulics. In 1986 the 330 joined the team, Deere’s first diesel powered Lawn and Garden tractor. And in 1988, the 330 was replaced by the 332, a diesel and the 322 was added with a 3 cylinder gasoline engine. The 330, 332, and 322 were all liquid cooled and the engines were sourced from Yanmar, the supplier of John Deere’s compact tractor line since 1979.
During the reign of the 318, Deere produced its 1 millionth Lawn and Garden tractor, and the 318 outsold any of the other models. It remains a very sought after tractor, with resale values remaining very high.
Model 318 Onan
|1983||222,001 – 285,000|
|1984||285,001 – 315,000|
|1985||315,001 – 360,000|
|1986||360,001 – 420,000|
|1987||420,001 – 475,000|
|1988||475,001 – 595,000|
|1989||595,001 – 999,000|
|1990||010,001 – 100,000|
|1991||100,001 – 110,000|
|1992||110,001 – 120,000|
The John Deere 110 Garden Tractor
The model 110 was John Deere’s first Lawn & Garden tractor. In 1962 a design was laid forth to build a lawn and garden tractor that would offer many of the same features and wide range of implements that the bigger John Deere tractors offered. It would offer small rural and urban landowners alike the chance to own an affordable Small Tractor with a Big Farmer feel. The new tractor was designated the John Deere Model 110 in keeping with the current Ten Series Waterloo and Dubuque tractors. Ergonomically designed, with new features way ahead of its time, its exclusive Variable Speed Drive allowed for high speed mowing and super low end tilling. Its stout, and dependable Cast Iron 7 hp K-161 Kohler engine gave the tractor plenty of power to utilize the integral worktools. It was a great design, and was quick to become a big seller with 1000 models built for 1963. Features included:
- Seven horsepower, air cooled, Kohler model K161 cast iron engine with electric start
- Peerless three speed transmission with speed variator that allowed slowing the tractor without interrupting power to the driven equipment
Rear tires and drive belts enclosed and shielded for operator protection. A full hood and grille protecting the engine, battery, starter, etc.
Quick -Tach style mounting of attachments
- Scratch resistant fiberglass hood and fenders
Triple safe starting
- Heavily built frame and front axle to handle heavy loads.
- Adjustable tread rear wheels, important for mowing on hillsides.
Introduced as a seven horse model in 1963, for 1964 an eight horse Kohler K181S was utilized and the fiberglass fenders were replaced with steel. For 1965 the transmission was changed from three speed to four speed, and in 1966 Hydraulic Lift was offered as a factory only option. In 1966 a new 110 with Manual Lift cost $719 and the standard 38″ deck was $148.
Triple safe starting was a feature from the start. The PTO needed to be disengaged, the transmission in neutral and the key used before the tractor could be started. This feature was advertised by showing children playing and climbing on the tractor. Deere considered the safety feature to be a key selling point on the tractors.
The most obvious design change was in 1968 when the separate “round fenders” were replaced by a one-piece “fender deck” that was rubber mounted to the frame. The next significant change occurred in 1972 with a larger, heavier frame, choice of the 8 hp Kohler K181S or a 10 hp Kohler K241S engine. Electric lift became an option in 1973.
The model 110 initially weighed approximately 500# with the later versions adding weight to a total of 775#. The 110 was designed as a garden tractor and Deere offered many integral attachments to suit the homeowner, as well as the commercial user :
- Model 20 Compressor
- Model 38, 39 and 46 (for 10hp) mower deck
- Model 36, 37, and 37A snowthrowers
- Model 30, 31, and 31A rear rotary tiller
- Model 42 and 43 blade
- Model 80 dump cart
- Model 7, 5a, and 5b sprayer
- Front and rear slab weights and rear wheel weights
- Tire chains, hub caps, cigarette lighter, and headlights
- An integral hitch
- Tire equipment options
Serial number breaks are as follows:
|1963||2,550 – 3,550||Kohler K161 (7hp)|
|1964||3,551 – 15,000||Kohler K181 (8hp)|
|1965||15,001 – 40,000||Kohler K181|
|1966||40,001 – 65,000||Kohler K181|
|1967||65,001 – 100,000||Kohler K181|
|1968||100,001 – 130,000||Kohler K181|
|1969||130,001 – 160,000||Kohler K181|
|1970||160,000 – 185,000||Kohler K181|
|1971||185,001 – 250,000||Kohler K181|
|1972||250,001 – 260,000||Kohler K181|
|1972||260.001 – 272,000||Kohler K241 (10hp)|
|1973||272,001 – 285,000||Kohler K181|
|1973||285,001 – 310,000||Kohler K241|
|1974||310,001 – 320,000||Kohler K181|
|1974||320,001 -||Kohler K241|
The John Deere 112 Garden Tractor
|The model 112 came out in 1966. After the successful sales of the Model 110, Deere realized they need a lager size mower for the larger size jobs. The 112 carried on the same sleek styling of the 110, but with a larger motor and of course, a wider deck.. The new model 112 had the following specifications:
The 112 is truly a farm-bred tractor. They bring time saving performance and convenience that owners expect form John Deere. They are designed for everyone to drive with a triple-safe starting system to prevent dangerous unexpected starts. The variable speed drive gives you complete control to match the tougher job conditions without sacrificing engine speed or working efficiency. Hydraulic Lift was a new option for the 1966 model year on the 110 and 112.
The 1966 112 had a base weight of 642 lbs, and carried a $830 price tag. A 12 with hyd lift weighed in at 663 lbs and was $938. The #46 deck was $150.
The 1968 model year showed a lot of new changes. The fenders and platform were combined into a 1 piece fender deck. An adjustable cushioned seat provided great comfort. Slanted footrests provided a place to rest the feet while mowing. Headlights were placed right above the grill just under the front lip of the hood. In 1969 another 10hp was an option. You could get a K241AS 10hp Kohler. Hyd lift was still an option.
1972 brought another hp change. A 12 hp K301AS Kohler was standard. Manual and Hyd lift were dropped and electric lift was the only lift option. An electric PTO clutch was standard 1972,73. In 1974 a manually engaged PTO replaced the electric clutch.
|1966||2,551 -3,550||Tecumseh HH100 (10hp)|
|1967||3,551 – 100,000||Tecumseh HH100|
|1968||100,001 – 130,000||Tecumseh HH100|
|1969||130,001 – 150,000||Tecumseh HH100|
|1969||150,001 – 160,000||Kohler K241 (10hp)|
|1970||160,001 – 180,000||Tecumseh HH100|
|1970||180,001 – 185,000||Kohler K241|
|1971||185,001 -225,000||Tecumseh HH100 (10hp)|
|1971||225,001 – 250,000||Kohler K241|
|1972||250,001 – 260,000||Kohler K301 (12hp)|
|1973||260,001 – 300,000||Kohler K301 (12hp)|
|1974||300,001 -||Kohler K301 (12 hp)|
People have been plowing the soil for centuries. It’s one of the most efficient ways to break up the ground to prepare it for growing crops. It’s also embedded into John Deere’s heritage as it was John Deere’s plow that paved the way for the mega corporation that we know of today as Deere & Company.
What I want to do here, in this first segment, is break down the types of plows available and what is needed to get started. For this article I will only be addressing the plows and options available in the garden tractor class. But some of the principles and terminology will apply to the larger tractor classes.
First, what we need to find is the appropriate garden tractor. Using the John Deere models as an example, here are some of the garden tractors available: 110, 112, 120, 140, 200 series, 300 closed frame series, 300 open frame series, 400, 420, 430, 4X5 series, GT series, 3X5 and GX series, X4X5/X5X5 series, the newer X500 and X700 series tractors. That’s not the complete list but it gives you an idea. What we want is a “Garden Tractor”. Refer back to a previous article, “When is a Lawn Mower a Lawn Mower” to help identify what is considered a garden tractor.
Next we need a hitch. There are two basic type of hitches available, the integral hitch (John Deere’s terminology for sleeve hitch), and the 3 point hitch. Most garden tractors will have the Category 0 in the 3 point hitch type, but some of the newer John Deere garden tractors like the X4X5/X5X5 and the X700 series use a modified Category 1 type 3 point hitch.
The integral hitch would be used for the gear drive John Deere garden tractors, like the 110/112 and the 200 series tractors, and also can be used on the 120/140 and the 300 closed frame tractors and the newer 3X5/GT/GX series as well as the current X500 series tractors. Most of these used the tractors lift system and some may even have an electric actuator as an option to lift the hitch. The integral hitches are usually more economical and simpler in design and are readily available. They used a single point for attaching and lifting the implement, i.e. the plow, and used a standard across the board 5/8 inch pin for attaching the implements.
Below is an example of an integral hitch on a round fender John Deere.
Here is an example of an integral hitch on a closed frame John Deere (140 shown).
The 3 point hitches are found in the 120/140, and 300 closed frame tractors and for these tractors, it uses an auxiliary mounted hydraulic cylinder and is plumbed to the tractors hydraulics. These hitches are more expensive and harder to find than the integral hitch, which can also be used for these tractors. These 3 point hitches are category 0 hitches, which mean they used 20 inch width spacing for the lower arms and 5/8 inch pins. Below is an example of a 3 point on a closed frame John Deere (shown with an A-frame adapter).
3 point hitches are also used on the 300 open frame series tractors, like the 318, 332, etc., the 400/420/430 tractors and the 4X5 series. These will be category 0 same as the above hitches. The newer X4X5/X5X5 and the X700 series used the modified category 1 hitches which means they used a 3/4 inch pins. Some after market manufactures make a combination category 0/1 hitch which will interchange between a category 0 and category 1. I’ve seen some people change out their category 1 implements by just changing out the pins to a 5/8 inch pins. Below is an example of an open frame 3 point hitch.
The plows we’re discussing here is the single moldboard type plow. There are also other types of plows, with multiple moldboard shares, but those aren’t that common in the garden tractor class. Most garden tractors can only handle a single moldboard plow, though the larger garden tractors like the 420/430 can handle a two bottom plow. Single moldboard plows are usually in 8 inch, 10 inch or 12 inch sizes. Manufacturers of the plows include Brinly,Agri-Fab,OhioSteel, and Simplicity, among others. John Deere also has their brand of plows, but they are usually made by manufacturers like Brinly and are painted in John Deere green with John Deere decals on them. Below is an example of a Brinly Sleeve Hitch Plow:
Below is an example of a 3 point Brinly plow:
A “new” John Deere plow (possibly made by Brinly) 12 inch Cat 1 Limited:
A John Deere 15 Plow (12 inch plow):
A John Deere 20 Plow (12 inch Plow)
Depending on what type of hitch you have, i.e. integral or 3 point, determines what type of plow you need. The integral hitches can only used the sleeve hitch type plow, while the 3 point hitches can be used on both sleeve hitch plows and 3 point plows. You can buy an A-frame adapter to adapt your 3 point to a sleeve hitch to use on a sleeve hitch plow. Also you can buy or fabricate a 3 point adapter to use with another adapter to change out the hitch on the sleeve hitch plow to adapt to a 3 point hitch. Below is an A-Frame Adapter:
Brinly type 3 Point Adapter shown below:
Both the sleeve hitch plow and the 3 point plow will be offset to allow for the plow share to be vertical when the tractor’s right tires are in the furrow when plowing. There are a lot of adjustments to be made before you can plow and during your plow, but we will cover those in the next article. Below is a 3 point plow showing how it’s offset from the tractor.
Now that I have given you the basic information on finding a plow and locating the proper garden tractor, it’s time to go out and find the setup that you can afford and locate. Stay tune for the next article: Plowing 101, Part II.
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