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Many people have complained about Floppy Bucket Syndrome (FBS) or Droopy Bucket Syndrome (DBS) but sometimes the two are getting confused.  One of the issues is working on being corrected at John Deere Corporate and the other is part of the regeneration function.  So do you know what one is part of the design?

Floppy Bucket Syndrome is the byproduct of the regen function. This is normally noticed when trying to grade or back-drag with the cutting edge of the bucket.  The bucket will move, almost like there is air in the hydraulics. This can be cured by operation the joystick left or right until the bucket stops moving, then holding it there for a few more seconds. This is not really a warranty issue as there is nothing really wrong. Some dealers have added a “kit” to correct this issue per a DTAC, but its only a restrictor to slow the fluid down as is escapes the cylinders.

Now Droopy Bucket Syndrome is when you move the joystick left to curl the bucket up and it drops first before moving up.  This is absolutely a warranty and safety problem, and this is why JD is working on a new valve for these machines since the “load checks” are apparently not working in the current design.  The DTAC solution number for the bucket fade when you try to feather the curl: DTAC 92992.  Here is a picture of the technical reference.



You can learn more about this issue and how to correct it in the Sub-Compact Tractor section at

Categories : Compact Tractors
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 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)


Year Serial Number


30,001 – 55,000
1976 55,001 – 70,000
1977 70,001 – 80,000



Year                                 Serial Number
1977 70,001 – 80,000
1978 80,001 – 95,000


Model 316 (Kohler 16 HP K341AQS)



Year             Serial Number1978            80,001 – 95,000



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


Year                      Serial Number
1979 95,001 – 120,000
1980 120,001 – 155,000
1981 155,001 – 190,000
1982 190,001 – 222,000
1983 222,001 – 285,000



Year                          Serial Number
1979 95,001 – 120,000
1980 120,001 – 155,000
1981 155,001 – 190,000
1982 190,001 – 222,000
1983 222,001 – 285,000


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:

Year Serial Number Engine
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:

  • Cast-iron Tecumseh HH100 ten hp engine.
  • 4speed transaxle with super low for tilling
  • Electric start,
  • Worm gear steering
  • Fiberglass hood
  • 1.9 gal fuel tank
  • Dry type air filter
  • Variable speed drive


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.

Year Serial Number Engine
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)

Typically, the plastic camshaft gear in the Kawasaki FD620D engine will fail between 800-1200 hours.  When it does fail, the amount of engine damage may be just the plastic gear or much more. The last engine I repaired looked like a plastic hand grenade exploded inside the crankcase. I had to replace the camshaft, water pump gear, oil pump gear and the complete governor assembly.  There were plastic teeth in the oil pump and every nook and cranny inside the engine.

Steel camshafts replaced the plastic version in production models starting in February 1998 in FD620 engines so this problem does not apply to the following engines.

FD620D-CS00 – Beginning serial 153727 – John Deere Model F911
FD620D-DS02 – Beginning serial 149283 – John Deere Model 425
FD620D-CS01 – Beginning serial 150198 – John Deere Model 445
FD620D-ES11 – Beginning serial 152490 – John Deere Model 6×4 Gator

These are the Kawasaki serial numbers not the John Deere equipment serial number. The engine serial number is located in the front of the engine under the drive shaft. There was NO recall of the engines since the warranty had expired on the engines.

In general, I would rate the difficulty of this repair a 5 on a scale of 1-10. The most difficult thing is to identify the parts to be replaced. I would DEFINITELY get a copy of the Technical Manual for the engine.  There are bolt torque specifications and important information that are not included in this document.

John Deere Technical Manual TM1517 425, 445 and 455

The procedure to replace the Kawasaki FD620D camshaft can be :

Level 1 Replacing the camshaft before it fails.

Level 2 Replacing the camshaft after it fails.

A Level 1 replacement will require less material since there will be little damage to other engine components.  There are a minimum number of components that must be replaced. There are other optional steps that are not expensive which should be considered since once the engine is apart they are quite simple.

The valve springs and tappets are different for the steel camshaft, but the push rods are the same.  I would also replace the push rods since they may be worn or bent and they are not that expensive.  When a head is removed I always replace the old gasket. The FD620D engines do have a habit of blowing a head gasket on the right side. Leaking antifreeze into the crankcase is also a fairly common problem.  My personal opinion is that I will ALWAYS replace the head gaskets even for a Level 1 replacement.

I would check the compression psi of each cylinder, Level 1.0.  The pressure should be 170 or higher with no more than 14 psi difference between the cylinders. If the pressure is low, you may want to consider honing the cylinders and installing new rings.  Lapping the valves is also recommended.

The water pump is enclosed inside of the engine.  There is only one little seal to prevent the antifreeze from getting into the crankcase. A new water pump is around $70 or you can replace the internal seal and o-ring inside the pump for less than $2.  You will already have removed the water pump to remove the crankcase cover so I ALWAYS include the optional steps 1.17 and 1.18.

There are camshaft replacement kits available on the internet, but the parts list will vary and how do they know what I will need. I order the parts separately to get exactly what I need.  When you open the crankcase cover, you can begin to determine the necessary parts.

I only want to see the inside of the crankcase one time. Do not be penny wise and dollar foolish. (Just my opinion)

The Level 1 repair steps are 1.1 to 1.16.

1.0 Test each cylinder’s compression.

1.1  Replace the camshaft.

1.2  Replace four tappets

1.3  Replace four valve springs

1.4  Replace the water pump case seal

1.5  Replace the water pump seal.

1.6 Replace oil pump gasket

1.7 Replace oil pump O-ring

1.8 Replace crankshaft seal

1.9 Replace crankcase cover gasket

1.10 Remove the oil sump plate and clean.

1.11 Remove the oil screen, inspect and clean.

1.12 Replace the exhaust/muffler gaskets.

1.13 Replace the intake manifold gasket

1.14 Replace the intake manifold gasket

1.15 Replace the oil filter and add new oil.

1.16 Replace the antifreeze.

1.17 Run the engine for 30 minutes.  Adjust the valves and torque head bolts.

I included a column in the parts table titled Part Location. This shows the John Deere Parts Catalog 2351 page locations for 425, 445 and 455 Lawn and Garden Tractors Sectional Index 20 (425/445 Gas Engines).  The location 20-4-(7) indicates the part can be found in Section 20, Page 4, and the item number (7) is in parenthesis. You can start an account to look up and price parts.

Level 1 Parts Table







Part Description Part   Cost






Steel   Camshaft $165 20-4-(3B)




Tappet $37.40 20-4-(7)




Valve   Spring $9.12 20-4-(11)




Gasket,   Water Pump Case $6.83 20-6-(26)




Gasket,   Water Pump Cover $4.93 20-6-(37)




Gasket   Oil Pump $.83 20-2-(36)




O-Ring   Oil Pump $.77 20-2-(37)




Crankshaft   Seal $4.90 20-2-(20)




Gasket,   Crankcase Cover $18.15 20-2-(23)




Clean   oil sump 0 20-5-(6)




Clean   oil screen 0 20-5-(5)




Gasket,   Exhaust/Muffler $7.94 30-25-(2)




Gasket,   Intake Manifold $2.35




Gasket,   Intake Manifold $2.35




Oil   Filterand   new oil $7.68 20-5-(1)




Antifreeze *


Run   engine adjust valves


Check   torque the head bolts
Total   Cost $268.25

Level 1 Optional Steps

The Level 1 Optional Steps are a good idea since the gaskets and seals deteriorate over time. The engine crankcase is open and steps 1.17 and 1.18 will cost less than $15. Valve cover gaskets can be easily replace with the engine in the tractor.

The water pump and oil pump gears are PLASTIC. They should be closely inspected for cracked or missing teeth. These are less than $10 and would require

1.18 Replace Valve Cover Gaskets

1.19 Replace Head Gaskets

1.20 Replace Water Pump Seal

1.21 Replace Water Pump Gasket

1.22 Replace the Water Pump Spur Gear

1.23 Replace the Oil Pump Spur Gear

Level 1 Optional Parts Table

Level   Number Qty. Part   Number Part Description PartsCost



1.15 2 MIU11358 Gasket,   Valve Cover $12.66


1.16 2 M97309 Gasket,   Cylinder Head $32.46


1.17 1 M76118 Seal,Water   Pump $4.05


1.18 1 M176145 O-ring,   Water Pump $.95


1.19 1 M76098 Spur   Gear, Oil Pump $5.23


1.20 1 M76144 Spur   Gear, Water Pump $3.80


      Total   Cost $53.92

These prices are list prices from my local John Deere dealer. I would give your dealer this parts list and ask for a quote.  My dealer took off about 10%.<
My recommendation is to perform steps 1.0 to 1.20 which will cost $318.80

John Deere does have a MIA10941 Kit, Engine Gasket, for $143.77 that includes all of the gaskets, oil screen and a few washers.

Level 2 Optional Steps
This will include all of the Level 1 steps and will depend on the degree of damage to the engine components.  This is a list of problems I encountered on my last engine rebuild.

Some of these steps will not be optional.  When I disassembled my FD620D,

the cam gear looked like it had been wobbling and broke teeth all around the plastic gear. The governor was totally destroyed, the oil pump spur gear had a broken tooth and the water pump spur gear had a crack.  You will need to carefully inspect each component for damage.

Since I had removed the heads, I thought I might as well check the pistons and cylinders.  I removed the pistons to find one had stuck compression rings. I de-glazed/honed the cylinders and bought new rings.  I had a machine shop check the cylinders to be sure they were OK.

2.1 Replace the governor gear assembly.

2.2 Replace the replace the governor Arm.

2.3 Replace the governor sleeve.

2.4 Replace governor arm seal.

2.5 Replace the flywheel end crankshaft seal.

2.6 Clean and lapp the valves.

2.7 Clean water jackets around the cylinders.

Level 2 Parts Table


Level   Number Qty. Part   Number Part   Description Part   Cost



2.1 1 AM105569 Governor   Gear Assy. $7.65 30-32-(16)
2.2 1 M76155 Governor   Arm $5.73 30-32-(9)
2.3 1 PT9996 Governor   Sleeve $4.90 30-32-(14)
2.4 1 M88987 Seal,   Governor 20-2-(29)
2.5 1 M76145 Seal,   Crankshaft $4.90 20-2-(20)

Tools needed.

 Level 1

Cylinder Compression Gauge

Spring Compressor

 Level 2

Ring Compressor

Harmonic Balancer Removal Tool


Article provided by Bouford Buckets.




Comments (3)

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.