John Deere 318 Tractor Specifications (+ Detailed Review)

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Customer acclaim for the brand John Deere stems from their meticulous efforts to produce the best agricultural and forestry machinery.

Meanwhile, some lawn tractor models from this brand continue to hold the number one spot in popularity. One such model was the John Deere 318, a favorite among lawn and garden tractor manufacturer fans.

Introduced in 1983, this model was produced in Horicon, Wisconsin, USA, until 1992. It was the model before the John Deere 317. When it first came out, this tractor was much more sophisticated than similar products, contributing to its enormous popularity.

One of the longest-running products in John Deere’s garden tractor heritage, this was produced for ten model years.

Both those looking for a reliable used machine and John Deere collectors hold this model in high esteem. Therefore, it was reasonable for us to devote a post solely to reviewing the features and capabilities of the John Deere 318.

So, here is our take on this popular tractor model from John Deere. Read us and decide whether or not you would rank the John Deere 318 tractor as #1.

John Deere 318 Specs

As previously stated, the John Deere 318 tractor included several unique features that continue to make it a popular choice among John Deere fans.

The John Deere 318 features are listed in tabular form below. Simply glancing at them will get you ready to delve deep! If you’re wondering what has kept this tractor pertinent for so long, the tables below are for you.

General Specifications:
ModelJohn Deere
TypeRiding lawn tractor
Length (overall)68.5 inches
Weight 780 lbs
Wheel Base46.1 inches
Width44 inches
Height44 inches
Battery12V BCI Group 22F
Cabin TypeOpen
Lawn/turf front16×6.50-8
Lawn/turf rear23×10.50-12
Ag front4.80×4.00-8
Ag rear23×10.50
Engine Specifications:
Engine Type 1- Between 1983 and 1987
Engine Manufacturer/ modelOnan B43G
Engine typeFour-stroke, air-cooled horizontal-shaft opposed twin
Engine Power (Gross)18 hp
No. of cylinders2
Bore and stroke3.25×2.62 inches
Displacement709 cc
Starter volt12
Sparking Gap0.025 inches
SparkplugJD AM38622
Motorcraft AGRF32
Cooling SystemAir
Air CleanerFoam and paper
Rated RPM3500
Oil Capacity1.75 qts
Lubrication SystemFull Pressure w/Filter
Fuel Capacity4.5 US gal
Torque43 N·m (4.4 kg·m, 31.7 ft·lb)
Engine Type 1- 1987 Onwards
Engine Manufacturer/ modelOnan P218
Engine typeFour-stroke, air-cooled horizontal-shaft opposed twin
Engine Power (Gross)18 hp
No. of cylinders2
Bore and stroke3.25×2.88 inches
Displacement781 cc
Starter volt12
SparkplugNGK BPR5EFS
Champion RS14YC
Rear PTOIndependent with electric clutch (option)
Rear RPM2000
Front PTOIndependent with electric clutch
Front RPM3600
Transmission & Chassis<
ModelSundstrand Series 15 Model 90
TypeShaft-driven hydrostatic
BrakesShoe and drum on rear wheels
GearsInfinite forward and reverse
Steering typeHydrostatic power
Chassis4×2 2WD
SpeedForward: 12.4 kmh (7.7 mph)
Reverse: 6.2 kmh (3.9 mph)
Transmission Oil Capacity7.1 L
Turning Radius 26 in. (inside the rear wheel)
Attachments (optional):
John Deere BM16600Mid-mount 38″ 2-blade Mower Deck
John Deere M00595Mid-mount 46” 3-blade Mower Deck
John Deere BM16377Mid-mount 50- inches 3-blade mower deck
John Deere 0611MFront-mount 54- inches blade
John Deere 49 0603MFront-mount 46- inches single-stage snowblower
John Deere 47 2752MFront-mount 47- inches dual-stage snowblower
John Deere 44 Loader
Manufacturing locationHoricon, Wisconsin, USA
Original price$5650 (as of 1989)

Features of John Deere 318 Tractor

The John Deere 318 has a passionate, almost cult-like following, just like any iconic piece of American history. But don’t just rely on claims; learn more about this evergreen (pun intended) tractor’s features and decide for yourself.

Physical Specifications

Let’s start our journey with the most highlighted part of the JD 318- its stylish exterior!

The tractor comes in the signature color coding of the brand- yellow and green. So even if you are a novice with the John Deere tractors, their body color will be easily recognizable. Indeed, a wise strategy by the brand!

Let’s now open the shell up and look inside. The size of this tractor is the first thing that stands out. A typical-sized tractor, the JD 318 measures 68.5″ X 44″ X 44.” (LXWXH).

The machine’s weight of 780 lbs makes it relatively lightweight and suitable for people uneasy around heavy tractors.

The tractor shell material is sturdy and corrosion-resistant, producing a body free of dents. Additionally, it has a 46.1-inch wheelbase, a fantastic feature because it will simplify navigation.

With this wheelbase diameter and a turning radius inside the back wheel of 26 inches, you can easily maneuver through tight spaces and make sharp turns.


Two engines were incorporated into the John Deere 318 Lawn Tractor during production. The company used the Onan B43G engine from 1983 to 1987, and the Onan P218 engine was used starting in 1987.

Both are four-stroke gasoline engines, air-cooled horizontal-shaft opposed twin. The robust 18-horsepower Onan engine provides the strength required to lift and move virtually anything you would want.

In addition, rubber mounts under which the engine is mounted lessen vibration and improve comfort. Needless to say that the twin cylinders run seamlessly and efficiently.

The tractor also has a 12 Volt electric starter, which allows you to start the engine without accelerating. Furthermore, the electric start assists the engine in starting even in sub-zero temperatures. Another notable feature of the JD 318 tractor engine is its 1.4 L oil capacity.

The Onan B43G and P218 engines share almost all features, with a few exceptions. The Onan P218 engine is upgraded with a larger bore and stroke (82.55 mm X 66.0 mm vs. 82.55 mm X 73.0 mm), 781 cc displacement, and 3600 rpm ratings.

Fuel Tank Capacity

The fuel tank on the John Deere 318 holds 4.5 US gal. This is not the best, but it will help with landscaping tasks for small to medium-sized lawns. Furthermore, the hydraulic system holds 1.2 gallons of fluid.

Transmission and Chassis

The John Deere 318’s shaft-driven hydrostatic transmission permits consumers to operate it comfortably for extended periods. The Sundstrand 90 transmission model enables effective energy transfer to the tractor’s various parts.

The tractor’s power steering is the cherry on top because it makes it easy for the rider to steer the tractor over uneven or rugged terrain.

Additionally, the tractor has rear-wheel shoes, drum brakes, and infinitely variable forward and reverse speeds. Besides that, the JD 318 comes with a 4×2 2WD chassis.


The goal of hydraulics is to generate motion through energy. The system draws oil from the fuel tank and sends it under intense pressure to the control valve. The oil then travels to the hydraulic cylinder, where the piston operates to move and lift.

Just to the steering wheel are levers controlling the hydraulic circuits on the John Deere 318. The front and rear-mounted equipment’s movement and the mowing deck’s elevation are both controlled by hydraulic circuits.


The John Deere 318 lawn tractor has16-6.50-inch front tires and 23-10.50-inch and 23-8.50-inch rear tires. The tractor can move without leaving tire tracks on the field because the tires are large enough to disperse the tractor’s weight evenly.

Power Steering

The John Deere 318 lawn tractor features a fully hydrostatic power steering, one of a kind during its initial days. Despite being one of the more traditional types of power steering systems, when compared to electrical ones, this one is very cost-effective.

Without changing the blade’s speed, the power steering helps the rider control the tractor on uneven or rugged terrain. This feature allows the tractor to pull heavier loads as well.

The downsides of a hydrostatic power steering system include increased power consumption and periodic hydraulic fluid replacement.

Additionally, the system is heavier. However, we can assure you that the JD 318 steering won’t let you down if you feel capable of handling these.


The independent front and rear PTOs on the John Deere 318 have electric clutches, which ensures safety when using the tractor. The front PTO spins at 3450 rpm with no load, while the rear spins at 2000 rpm with no load.

Operator’s Cabin

The 318 model has an airy, open operator cabin and comfortable seats. The rider can quickly board and exit the tractor thanks to the empty cabin.

However, it also has a drawback: there is no defense against outside impacts. In addition, the rider is still exposed to the effects of the weather and unintentional rollovers because this tractor does not offer a rollover protective structure (ROPS).


John Deere knows that lawn tractors without attachment options are not worth the money. As a result, the brand gives just as much attention to tractor attachments as it does to its tractors.

The John Deere 318 is compatible with various attachments, including loaders, snowblowers, and mower decks.

You can connect a category 0 three-point hitch to the back of this tractor. Model 318 allows for the attachment of three mid-mounting mowing decks with cutting widths of 38, 46, and 50 inches.

A 54-inch front blade can also optionally be attached to it.

The 318 is compatible with two different snow blowers; one is a two-stage blower with a clearing width of 47 inches, and the other is a single-stage blower with a clearing width of 46 inches. A 44 front-end loader can also be attached.

In addition, the JD 318 allows you to use attachments from the JD 140 and JD 300 series.

Other Special Features

If this tractor has the regular features of every other tractor from John Deere, what makes it so popular and distinguished? Well, the other special features of the John Deere 318 make it stand out from the crowd. So, what are they?

  • Reserve Fuel Tank: When the main fuel tank runs out, the 318 has a reserve fuel tank that can extend operation by 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Power Steering + Precise Turning Radius: The power steering and turning radius have already been discussed separately. However, these two features make the 318 a very maneuverable mowing machine.
  • Hydraulic Oil Cooler: The John Deere 318 comes with a hydraulic oil cooler, which prevents the tractor from overheating.
  • Rubber isolation pads: Rubber isolation pads are used on the engine-to-frame mounts to reduce vibration.

Pros and cons of John Deere 318

The John Deere 318 is an excellent tractor. The tractor has some remarkable features and ease of operation, which we believe is why it is popular.

But does this mean that model 318 is without flaws? Certainly not. After all, it is a machine with flaws to be noted. So, after considering all of its significant features, here are our views on the tractor’s pros and cons.


  • Highly durable
  • Robust
  • Easy to operate
  • It comes with a fully hydrostatic power steering
  • Precise turning radius
  • Hydraulic oil cooling system
  • Annunciator light 
  • Electromagnetic clutch
  • Good look
  • Rust and dent-free outer shell


  • Open operator’s cabin
  • Low gross power output
  • Difficult to access this tractor currently
  • Although John Deere still sells some spares of 318, most parts are challenging to be found
  • Not suitable for large yards
  • Not at par with the modern JD tractors
  • Pricey


The John Deere 318 sold for an average of $5650 in 1989. But today, you might need to spend up to $ 10,000 (USD) if you want to purchase a used or refurbished 318. Do you believe the tractor is worth this astronomical cost?

Factors to Consider While Buying John Deere 318

If you are already impressed by the features of the John Deere 318 and want to buy it, you should not skip this section.

When purchasing a tractor that you want to use for many years, and since the 318 is an older model, it is worth focusing on some factors while buying it. So, here are some helpful buying tips from our side.

  • Verify the tractor’s starting ease.
  • Does it stutter or run smoothly?
  • Does it move along at the anticipated pace?
  • Do the engine’s temperatures rise after a few minutes or hours?
  • Check underneath the tractor for leaks.
  • Examine for general deterioration.
  • When operating, does the tractor vibrate or make noise?
  • Verify the area around and beneath the tractor for rust.

How to Identify the Manufacturing Date of My John Deere 318 Model?

Here is an easy-to-follow guide if you’re unsure of what year the specific 318 tractors you want to buy were manufactured. You can use the quick reference chart below to determine the production date of your 318:

Note: The serial number for JD 318 models begins with “M00318X,” followed by a set of six digits.

YearModel Serial Number


Before parting ways, we would like to conclude that the John Deere 318 is a classic tractor that still holds its shine. Despite being old, it is very dependable.

It is a pleasure to own, use, have nice looks, and run well. And if these reasons weren’t enough, my John Deere is also environmentally friendly. Is it worthwhile, though? We won’t answer this.

Read the features listed above and make your own decision. However, we would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this model. Therefore, don’t forget to share your opinions in the section below.

Other John Deere Tractors

List of John Deere Tractors
John Deere 317 Tractor
John Deere 318 Tractor
John Deere 400 Tractor
John Deere 420 Tractor
John Deere 425 Tractor
John Deere 430 Tractor
John Deere 455 Tractor
John Deere 650 Tractor
John Deere 955 Tractor
John Deere 2305 Tractor
John Deere 4440 Tractor
John Deere 3010 Tractor

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