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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking about purchasing a John Deere 314 garden tractor to pull with. 16hp Kohler engine in it. Would this be a good tractor to pull with? Anything I should be worried about?
 

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Was the original 14 HP replaced with a 16 HP? The 314 is a good solid machine which replaced the 300/316 with the Kohler K341. It shares most design elements with the 317 and is a very different tractor than the later 316/318. The biggest problem with the 314/317 tractors are motor mounts and driveshafts. Bad motor mounts cause the driveshaft to go bad and both mounts and driveshafts are expensive.
 

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What Travis said. If I were using one for pulling I'd solid mount the engine and beef up the couplers/ isolators on the drive shaft. The Dana rear end is strong on these but you should check the wheel bearings before buying. They wear and it shows up as end play in the axle. You need to lift the rear end to check this. The price of the bearings from JD is about 100$ a pop. There must be a cheaper way to repair them. It's something you'd want to have in good shape if using one as a puller.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What Travis said. If I were using one for pulling I'd solid mount the engine and beef up the couplers/ isolators on the drive shaft. The Dana rear end is strong on these but you should check the wheel bearings before buying. They wear and it shows up as end play in the axle. You need to lift the rear end to check this. The price of the bearings from JD is about 100$ a pop. There must be a cheaper way to repair them. It's something you'd want to have in good shape if using one as a puller.
Anybody have a diagram showing these?
 

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Tool Airplane Wood Auto part Machine

I can do better than that. Heres one of the axles from a 317. Same rear end as 314. Just for size reference the piece of aluminium rod next to the axle is 25mm or close to 1" in diameter. You can see the wheel bearing. I think they starve for grease when left un maintained for a long time and begin to wear. The retainer ring gets loose and then the axle /bearing can slide in and out.

If you want parts diagrams you can get them on jdparts.com. Do a model search for 314 and pick the 314 garden tractor out of the list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Any ideas on how I would mount the engine directly to the frame? Also how could I "beef" up the drive shaft? Remember I got a budget to keep.
 

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All you need to do for the engine mounts is to measure the height of the rubber mounts and then build up a metal mount to use in their place. If your mounts are Ok then don't worry about it, but the front ones in particular are very pricey. The couplers are the issue on the drive shaft. If you are inspecting the tractor and can reach up under it and grab the drive shaft, check for rotational and up and down play in the shaft. On my 314 the rear coupler was shot. I got a replacement from JD but I'm not sure they are still available. When the coupler wears out and the tractor is run that way it can chew up the input shaft on the hydro. This is a big issue unless you have another hydro available or can find another input shaft and do the replacement yourself. If you take a look at the parts diagrams you will see how the drivetrain is configured.

Shaft drive is nice, but in general I find it can be more expensive to repair than a belt and pulley system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you are inspecting the tractor and can reach up under it and grab the drive shaft, check for rotational and up and down play in the shaft.
If they're good should I let it go at that or "build up" the drive shaft somehow?
 

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If you could come up with a solid replacement driveshaft there would be a market for the plans. The K341 will bolt into the engine cradle on the 314.
 

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Couldn't you just replace the fiberglass discs with pieces of metal?
Possibly. My 312 shares the same shaft so I will take a look at it the next time I am out to my storage unit.
 

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The 300/312/314/316k service manual shows them as plastic discs to allow for variations in alignment and to help with vibration isolation. I would think you could duplicate the plastic discs in a different material. The same shaft is used on the following tractors:

  • late 300 (>70,000)
  • 312
  • 314
  • 316
 

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Cf would be a great choice! I was thinking aluminum as it is relatively soft.
 

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If you are hard bolting the motor down to the frame then the amount of movement to be compensated would be smaller. I think the 300/316 used a slightly different setup for the driveshaft. If you check the diagrams you should see the differences. I'm thinking the 300/316 used a metal disk with rubber isolators rather than the fibre disks used in the 314. The 317 has a u jointed drive shaft because the twin cylinder engine has a higher crankshaft and won't line up with the rear end without the u joints. If you post this question on the Garden Tractors Pulling forum you should get some advice on how to optimize the drive train for pulling.
 

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I got my complete 312 without a deck with a broken rod for $250. FWIW
 
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