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HYTRAN

John Deere 318 needs new engine that is obsolete??

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One of the few John Deere items I own is a 318 lawn and garden tractor that started running really bad. Turns out cam bushing went out plus other items well worn also, this has 2000hrs and had never been touched with a wrench.

Turns out Onan 18 hp engine is no longer made and Onan is no more. Repair would be pricey. There appear to be two kits available one using a Command series 20hp Kohler and the other using either a 20 or 24hp Honda. Price is about the same and am leaning towards the Honda because everything I have ever owned that was Honda powered gave me exceptional service. Plus it would be a red engine under the green hood.

Price is around $15-1700 with the Honda kit $100 cheaper. Anyone on here have similar experience or Know of a Honda conversion? The real bite is this tractor is probably only worth $25-3000 in running condition.

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go to www.smallenginewarehouse.com they are about the best a replacment hondas but you can't go wrong with the ricer

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The Honda motor is the best thing made since sliced bread. You can't beat it.

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I have a 1992 318 that has 844hrs and think I will be lucky to get 1200hrs out of the Onan. I have noticed it does not have the power that it once had. We cut and push snow with it.

I guess when it is time to put a motor in mine I will ask myself is the Hydro/Rear-end going to last another 1200hrs. That is a chunk of change although so is a new mower :rolleyes: . I dont think JD builds a equivalent size tractor today as good as a 318.

Scott

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go to www.smallenginewarehouse.com they are about the best a replacment hondas but you can't go wrong with the ricer

Yes thats who I am looking at. Roughly about $1700 to my door about a weeks wait time. The Kohler is in Topeka Ks. 45 miles away. You know which I would go for if the grass was growing. Glad this happened sucking leaves at the end of the season.

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I'm afraid that we may be in the same boat of needing to replace an Onan 18HP engine. Ours is in our Wheel Horse. Its got a bunch of hours on it. Haven't had much trouble till now.

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I put a Command series Kohler in our 420 quitea few years ago. It was a matter of drilling holes and building an adaptor for the flywheel and a longer driveshaft.

I think it's pretty funny that smallenginewarehouse is selling a kit to repower a Deere mower. I called them when I was looking for an engine to do ours, and the entirely too smart salesman I talked to first told me it wouldn't fit, then when I persisted telling him I was fairly confident in our machine shop ability, he proceeded to tell me they would not sell me anything other then an Onan because he knew it wouldn't work and I'd just try to cause him trouble afterwards because i wouldn't be able to make it work. I hung up the phone and bought an engine elsewhere, for less money incidentally. If I had the sort of digital equipment then I have now, I guarantee he would have recieved an email with video of the mower running with it's new "won't fit" Kohler engine.

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I am leary of any kit and hope it is complete. I don't know how many times I have had to modify things that were supposed to fit but didn't meet my standards. There has got to be a cheaper alternative such as a slug of original Onans in a warehouse somewhere.......... I asked the too smart salesman if he could give me the name of someone who had done the Honda repower in a 318 and he said not off the top of my head, goodbye.

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S.E.W. sells the cheapest engines they can find. Years ago they pushed Kolhers as the repower engine of choice, now they are onto Honda's. Probably going to sell Peugot or KIA next....

As for the Honda durability, that has yet to be made. I know of a few that puked with under 1000 hours on them. For the extra $$$ I would only consider a Kohler. Parts are VERY availible for Kohler and when used for IH/CCC applications, you can do the conversion without buying "unique" or "custom" parts.

Where are you going to get the "unique" parts S.E.W. uses for the convert in a 5 or 10 years???? Will they think of stocking or selling them???

Onan engine is owned by Cummins now too!

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S.E.W. sells the cheapest engines they can find. Years ago they pushed Kolhers as the repower engine of choice, now they are onto Honda's. Probably going to sell Peugot or KIA next....

As for the Honda durability, that has yet to be made. I know of a few that puked with under 1000 hours on them. For the extra $$$ I would only consider a Kohler. Parts are VERY availible for Kohler and when used for IH/CCC applications, you can do the conversion without buying "unique" or "custom" parts.

Where are you going to get the "unique" parts S.E.W. uses for the convert in a 5 or 10 years???? Will they think of stocking or selling them???

Onan engine is owned by Cummins now too!

What "unique" parts are they using?

The only unique things ours required was building a yoke to bolt to the flywheel and a longer driveshaft to reach the hydrostat. Both peices are nothing but pieces of properly shaped steel so I don't see what the need will be for replacements in 5 or 10 years....and since I built them the first time I suppose I should be able to build the replacement anywho.

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I repowered a grasshopper with a honda a couple years ago.All I had to do is build an adapter for the flywheel and put spacers under the motor. It's hard to beat a honda they just start and run no matter what yoy do to them.I ordered my motor from dultmiers in omaha I think it was around $1200 for the 18 hp motor and muffler but that was wholesale.

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I am leary of any kit and hope it is complete. I don't know how many times I have had to modify things that were supposed to fit but didn't meet my standards. There has got to be a cheaper alternative such as a slug of original Onans in a warehouse somewhere.......... I asked the too smart salesman if he could give me the name of someone who had done the Honda repower in a 318 and he said not off the top of my head, goodbye.

Go to ytmag get on the mower board and ask JT he has a shop as well and he may be able to help

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I am leary of any kit and hope it is complete. I don't know how many times I have had to modify things that were supposed to fit but didn't meet my standards. There has got to be a cheaper alternative such as a slug of original Onans in a warehouse somewhere.......... I asked the too smart salesman if he could give me the name of someone who had done the Honda repower in a 318 and he said not off the top of my head, goodbye.

When I repowered my 318 everything fit perfectly.

Only three parts are unique. The adapter bolted to the flywheel, the mounting brackets and the muffler.

I think I talked to the "too smart" salesman once, though not regarding the 318 repower.

BTW...the Honda engine is far superior to the old Onan. Mine was repowered with an 18 horse. Way more guts than the Onan ever had.

Jim N.

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Onans still can be had................But they aren't cheap. Sold under the Robin engine line now.

Maybe everyone could box these "Shot" engines up and ship them to me..............Around here, you have to buy a whole machine to get the engine. I like Onans myself. I do know if I was doing a repower and had to use another engine, It would definitely be Honda over a Kohler Magnum.

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over a kohler magnum yes, but not a kohler command

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Yes it was the Kohler Command series engine. I now have a third option. I located a guy named Jim on the computer that has a business repowering garden tractors, skidloaders, etc with the Briggs & Stratton Vanguard engines. He is there with a toll free number from 9am to 10pm to answer any questions. He owns Jim's tractor repair in Hastings, Minnesota. He has a kit also using that engine at about the same money.

I am not a big fan of B&S engines even though I grew up with them. Jim says he isn't either but the Vanguard engines are made in Japan for B&S and have a good commercial warranty plus cheaper and easier to get air and oil filters for. Any thoughts on the B&S Vanguard engines.

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Yes it was the Kohler Command series engine. I now have a third option. I located a guy named Jim on the computer that has a business repowering garden tractors, skidloaders, etc with the Briggs & Stratton Vanguard engines. He is there with a toll free number from 9am to 10pm to answer any questions. He owns Jim's tractor repair in Hastings, Minnesota. He has a kit also using that engine at about the same money.

I am not a big fan of B&S engines even though I grew up with them. Jim says he isn't either but the Vanguard engines are made in Japan for B&S and have a good commercial warranty plus cheaper and easier to get air and oil filters for. Any thoughts on the B&S Vanguard engines.

I think the Vangard is a world better engine then the old flathead B-S junkers, but I'd still pick the Kohler Command over it.

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the vanguard is designed and built by mitsubishi.

its built to briggs spec but its a good engine.

im a small engine tech in Nova scotia and have been around the onan repower issue more than once.

in my opinion if you can find one of the cast iron onans and rebuild it you have the best engine.

the ideal one would be a CCK and or a CCKB they have the steel rods and the forged crank and the inserts on the rods plus some have the roller bearings on the mains.

if you cant find one of these check out a kawasaki.

they have an awesome warranty ,parts are cheaper than honda and they are quieter.plus deere and husky are using an awfull lot of them in there new tractors so they are out there.

just my 2 cents.

Chris

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Dealers and end users tell me that Hondas are great...but just don't have any warranty issues with them. Honda is terrible at standing behind their engines in approved applications and if it is not an approved application, you are absolutely on your own.

I spoke to a regional sales guy from an OEM manufacturer that I know and asked about Honda engines. He said overall Honda engines are fine, but they had a horror story where Honda drug their feet for over a year on a batch of engines with bad cranks. Honda eventually stood behind them, but reluctantly.

Ask if this particular Deere 318 installation is a "Honda approved" application.

I like Vanguards from what little I've seen. Seems like a good design.

Me? I'd go Kohler.

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I installed a Honda from Small Engine Warehouse in my 784 Cadett. The install was very straightforward and the engine runs great. Very nice update to the old Cadett.

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At our dealer we have done 3 Honda repowers from SEW and the only complaint we have is the price of the filters. Everything fits into them wounderfully. As for the engine quality we have had no problems and when looking for parts for the Onans we were always told they were discountinued because of emisions. If anyone decides to rebuild one I wish you luck getting parts and I hope your packets are deeper than mine :ph34r: , but thats not saying much

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:D Had the same problem a few years ago, same engine and same 318 JD LT. At that time the orginal engine was still available. Since it had been such a good tractor up until then I went for the $2,000 replacement cost for the new engine. What I should have considered was what the value of a running 318 JD LT at that time. One year later when I decided that I wanted a bigger more powerfull unit with POWER STEERING I had one heck of a time just getting $2,000 for the 318. :(:(:(

If I were you I would first establish what the present value of a running 318 is before you invest in these repairs. :blush::blush::blush:

GOOD LUCK

BIG JOHN :D:D:D

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Honda use to be "the Motor" but the last few years they are having problems. If you need warranty work forget it. THEY WILL NOT STAND BEHIND THEIR MOTOR. The parts are expensive, filters are four times what they should be and most of the parts you can only get from Honda. I will not use another Honda in anything. Customer service is not even known with Honda.

The Kohler Command is a real good motor. If you have a warranty problem they will take care of it. Parts are available and reasonable. Look at what motor all the garden tractor pullers are using????

I have used a few B&S Vanguard motors. B&S have came a long ways the last few years. Not quite as good as Kohler but better than Honda.

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:D Had the same problem a few years ago, same engine and same 318 JD LT. At that time the orginal engine was still available. Since it had been such a good tractor up until then I went for the $2,000 replacement cost for the new engine. What I should have considered was what the value of a running 318 JD LT at that time. One year later when I decided that I wanted a bigger more powerfull unit with POWER STEERING I had one heck of a time just getting $2,000 for the 318. :(:(:(

If I were you I would first establish what the present value of a running 318 is before you invest in these repairs. :blush::blush::blush:

GOOD LUCK

BIG JOHN :D:D:D

Saw a running 300 JD with mower deck, sell last summer for $350. (Very similar to the 318, but with a 16hp Kohler.) I was thinking about re-powering my 300 up till that day. :( Now I think it will get used till it dies and then re-tired.

Mikem

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