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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm seriously looking at a john deere 300.

The owner said the exhaust leaks, it needs some tlc... He wants $650 for it. It has rear pto, other than that it's just an ordinary john deere 300 that could use some work...

What should I look out for? Are there any problems?
 

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Problems include the drive shaft couplers which can wear away at the hydro input shaft and make it un-servicable. The 300 had balance gears in the engine. If the engine is original that can be an issue. If the 300 used rubber engine mounts and they are still the originals that is a problem area and the front ones are expensive to replace. The front axle centre bushings tend to wear but are a cheap fix, Front spindles and axles wear and there are no bushings in the axle. The hydro linkage and neutral detent adjust usually need work, there is a follower that goes into the detent for neutral and a spring that often are problems, Rear axle bearings can also be an issue. Generally a lot of wear items to check. The parking brake linkage is often stuck as well, but just requires a clean and lub to get it working.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Problems include the drive shaft couplers which can wear away at the hydro input shaft and make it un-servicable. The 300 had balance gears in the engine. If the engine is original that can be an issue. If the 300 used rubber engine mounts and they are still the originals that is a problem area and the front ones are expensive to replace. The front axle centre bushings tend to wear but are a cheap fix, Front spindles and axles wear and there are no bushings in the axle. The hydro linkage and neutral detent adjust usually need work, there is a follower that goes into the detent for neutral and a spring that often are problems, Rear axle bearings can also be an issue. Generally a lot of wear items to check. The parking brake linkage is often stuck as well, but just requires a clean and lub to get it working.
Thanks
 

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I have a 1970 JD 140 H3 and it works good. I suppose if I looked hard enough, some things will be worn. Any attachments come with the 300 ? I payed $500.00 for the 140 and came with a mower deck.

Noel
 
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The 300 and 316 are pretty much identical. JD switched from engines with balance gears to no balance gears early in the 316 production. I couldn't remember if the 300 had the vibration isolated engine mounts or not. All the later 300 series, 312,14,17 had those rubber mounts. Make sure the rear PTO is complete. There is a coupler on the fan end of the hydro shaft and there is a short shaft and a pulley assembly that mounts to the back of the tractor. My 317 has the coupler but nothing else.
 

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If you can get the serial number I can check my service manual for details. I would say it is a solid machine that likely needs some TLC. the others have posted lots of good info. Here are my thoughts on the Pro/Cons of those tractors.

Pros

- H2 hydraulics to run a 4 way blade

- steering brakes

- Built like a tank

- essentially a late 140 with new skin

- K341 is a torque monster

- 300 is a two year model and the 316 with the Kohler is a one year model

- rear PTO

- bigger gas tank than a 120/140

Cons

- Rubber motor mounts that wear out and do bad things to the driveshaft/pump input (I have a 312 with damage to the pump input for that very reason)

- No power steering (compared to newer machines)

- age/need for repair

- no attachments

Here are pics of the damage to the input shaft

http://gardentractortalk.com/forums/topic/31137-1977-312/?p=600065
 

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From WFM model info page:

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.
 

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Not yet... My dad wants to see category 0 3 point hitch though. I'm voting for sleeve hitch...

What are the good and bad to both sleeve hitch and the 3 point hitch?
Is the sleeve hitch hydraulic operated?
Yes, the sleeve hitch is operated by the existing lift cylinder under the tractor. You use a lift rod that attaches to the deck lift linkage and goes out through that slot in the rear of the frame to the hitch.

No comparison in capabilities between the 3 point and sleeve hitch. 3 point is a much better system. The hitch however is much more expensive and harder to find. You can build either one yourself but again the 3point would be more costly as there is more metal in it and it has it's own cylinder.

The biggest consideration may be attachments . If you have sleeve hitch attachments available then it makes sense to go with that. Same for cat. 0 3point. I have the sleeve hitch on my 317. I have had 3 points on other GTs and on compact tractors. Sleeve hitch gets the job done but it's not nearly as easy to use as a 3 point especially one with position control.
 

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Price depends on area and condition. I have watched them sell for $200 to $1000+ out here.

As for that exhaust leak - could be head gasket leaking at the exhaust valve. Not that gaskets are expensive or hard to do but still knock money off for that.
 

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I have some more questions...

On my new 300 there is only one set of remotes (hookups) on the front end. But the mower deck lift is hydraulic. Is the mower deck lift using the other set of remotes?

What is the hydraulic capacity? Like gpm and total amount of fluid excluding the transmission.

Would it be able to use a 4 foot wide 7 S tine cultivator? I don't want to strain/overwork the transmission...

I assume plowing would be fine... I've seen a 318 run a 2 bottom semi-mount.

30" wide atv disk with about 100 pounds of weight is ok?

Are the onboard stock hydraulics capable of running continually? Like for if I were to run a hydraulic powered rotary broom or similar...
 

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Have you verified by the serial number it is a 300? From what I have read and encountered the 300/316k machines had H2 systems with two levers and hydraulic ports on both sides.

The H1 machines of the closed frame 300 series were the 312 (some had front ports and others did not - I have one of each) and the 314. A simple hood swap could have taken place in the past.

WFM info on the 312:

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.
WFM info on the 314

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 23x10.50x12 rear tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Have you verified by the serial number it is a 300? From what I have read and encountered the 300/316k machines had H2 systems with two levers and hydraulic ports on both sides.

The H1 machines of the closed frame 300 series were the 312 (some had front ports and others did not - I have one of each) and the 314. A simple hood swap could have taken place in the past.

WFM info on the 312:

WFM info on the 314
It has the pair of control levers for the remotes. I will ask the guy I'm buying it from for the serial number...
 
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