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My 84 John Deere 316 #5257073 11/02/19 07:40 PM
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redhat Offline OP
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A couple of months ago I picked up an 84 John Deere 316. Intended use is snow blowing in the winter then mowing for summer. Recently bought a house and really like this era and caliber of Deere tractor. These things are really built like a tank.

Long story short, the original Onan B43E 16HP had some rock knock, so I swapped in an Onan P218G 18HP from an 87 316. This newer Onan ran good, but had some governor issues that I was not ready to tackle (time wise). With winter coming, I decided to repower the 316 with a new Briggs Vanguard 18HP.

The engine swap went really well, and while everything was apart I went through the steering, new fuel lines, and paint in certain spots. Some new pieces (headlight lens), added rear tail lights. I have a model 49 blower ready and a like new deck to go through come spring.

Love how the tractor came out and thought I’d share some pictures. I’ll end up going through the P218G and the 87 316 at a later date.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Video of it running:
https://i.imgur.com/vc7VJ1e.mp4


Last edited by redhat; 11/02/19 07:41 PM.

19 F150 2.7 - M1EP 5W-30, FL2062, 7k
17 Taurus Limited AWD - M1EP 5W-20, FL500S, 30k
84 JD 316 Repowered w/Vanguard 18
Re: My 84 John Deere 316 [Re: redhat] #5257091 11/02/19 07:59 PM
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JC1 Offline
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Looks good. Thanks for the pics.


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Re: My 84 John Deere 316 [Re: redhat] #5257097 11/02/19 08:05 PM
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Chris Meutsch Offline
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Excellent work. Ready for those brutal WNY winters.

(Go Bills.)


2005 Honda CR-V EX, 278k
Re: My 84 John Deere 316 [Re: redhat] #5257126 11/02/19 08:34 PM
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Rand Offline
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Which size deck are you using? Any reason you went with the vanguard 18hp instead of some of the other options?

I was possibly considering repowering the farm 316 with a predator v-twin from HF... but it just wont die.. It has 4k+ hours on it now.

It was rebuilt awhile ago but just valves and gaskets etc.. nothing with the piston/rod/cylinder.


2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 2.0T
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Re: My 84 John Deere 316 [Re: Rand] #5257134 11/02/19 08:45 PM
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redhat Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Rand
Which size deck are you using? Any reason you went with the vanguard 18hp instead of some of the other options?

I was possibly considering repowering the farm 316 with a predator v-twin from HF... but it just wont die.. It has 4k+ hours on it now.

It was rebuilt awhile ago but just valves and gaskets etc.. nothing with the piston/rod/cylinder.


I went with one of the kits from Small Engine Warehouse. With how easy that kit was, and reading up on the durability of the Vanguard — I was sold. It is not your typical big box store Briggs. It is a Briggs/*Toyota* subsidiary joint Japanese V-Twin. Many stories and reviews of thousands of hours.


19 F150 2.7 - M1EP 5W-30, FL2062, 7k
17 Taurus Limited AWD - M1EP 5W-20, FL500S, 30k
84 JD 316 Repowered w/Vanguard 18
Re: My 84 John Deere 316 [Re: redhat] #5257141 11/02/19 08:50 PM
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joegreen Offline
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Very cool. I have an 84 330 which is basically a 316 with the yanmar diesel. It is an extremely durable machine. I have a little over 1000 hours and it runs great. The transmission has held up great considering how hard i am on it. The frames are pretty thick as well.


1978 Chevrolet k20
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Re: My 84 John Deere 316 [Re: redhat] #5257191 11/02/19 09:32 PM
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jhellwig Offline
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Originally Posted by redhat
Originally Posted by Rand
Which size deck are you using? Any reason you went with the vanguard 18hp instead of some of the other options?

I was possibly considering repowering the farm 316 with a predator v-twin from HF... but it just wont die.. It has 4k+ hours on it now.

It was rebuilt awhile ago but just valves and gaskets etc.. nothing with the piston/rod/cylinder.


I went with one of the kits from Small Engine Warehouse. With how easy that kit was, and reading up on the durability of the Vanguard — I was sold. It is not your typical big box store Briggs. It is a Briggs/*Toyota* subsidiary joint Japanese V-Twin. Many stories and reviews of thousands of hours.

I think at one time they sold kits with Honda engines but they had overheating issues with the side shields on. I don’t know if a predator engine would do the same. Don’t know if anyone ever made a Kohler kit. I haven’t heard of any issues with the vanguard engines. I think 10 years ago you could still get an onan p220g to put in them.

Last edited by jhellwig; 11/02/19 09:35 PM.

Sparks fly from my fingers.

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Re: My 84 John Deere 316 [Re: redhat] #5257204 11/02/19 10:02 PM
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cronk Offline
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I have a 317 I repowered with a 16hp Vanguard and it has ran well.
I just picked up a 1992 318 with the p218. Got it at a state equipment auction, I drained the old nasty gas and got it running pretty easy, that onan twin has a nice sound and plenty of power. The power steering on the 318 is going to spoil me!


2008 Ford F350
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Re: My 84 John Deere 316 [Re: redhat] #5257326 11/03/19 06:41 AM
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Great memories. My first job was mowing a large estate for a family friend on a 318. Lots of hours mowing and maintaining with that beast. Would have been 1985/6.


03 Honda Interceptor
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Re: My 84 John Deere 316 [Re: redhat] #5257536 11/03/19 11:55 AM
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Warstud Offline
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Nice ! I love those older tractors. Do these appreciate in value?

Re: My 84 John Deere 316 [Re: redhat] #5257820 11/03/19 07:59 PM
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I would expect them to at least a little bit of a rise as time goes on. And probably not any huge drop in value. I would expect this thing to be worth anywhere from $2k to $2,500 in its current condition. Condition and cosmetic which usually secondary, is huge with these things. Better they look, more anyone will pay. Any new Deere of this size and rigidity I think is around $8k.

Took some pics testing out the new LED headlights and tail lights in the dark today. You’ll see the 87 316 (been used for parts and needs a full resto — will have an Onan P218G) in the pics.

[Linked Image from ]

[Linked Image from ]

[Linked Image from ]

[Linked Image from ]

Last edited by redhat; 11/03/19 08:00 PM.

19 F150 2.7 - M1EP 5W-30, FL2062, 7k
17 Taurus Limited AWD - M1EP 5W-20, FL500S, 30k
84 JD 316 Repowered w/Vanguard 18
Re: My 84 John Deere 316 [Re: redhat] #5258170 11/04/19 09:07 AM
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Love these tractors! Great choice on the Vanguard.


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Re: My 84 John Deere 316 [Re: redhat] #5258490 11/04/19 03:55 PM
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Looks great.


2013 F150 5.0, Delo XLE CK-4 10W-30, Baldwin B7449
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Re: My 84 John Deere 316 [Re: redhat] #5258560 11/04/19 05:27 PM
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JTK Offline
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Originally Posted by redhat
.. I would expect this thing to be worth anywhere from $2k to $2,500 in its current condition. Condition and cosmetic which usually secondary, is huge with these things. Better they look, more anyone will pay. Any new Deere of this size and rigidity I think is around $8k.



Your 316 probably cost in the neighborhood of $7-8K back in 1984. Garden tractors cost about the same as a new econo car in the 60's-80's.

There's nothing built like these anymore. The closest garden tractor or compact utility probably starts around $12K+

Awesome work by the way! You put a ton into it with that briggs vanguard kit. Those kits were never cheap.

Last edited by JTK; 11/04/19 05:28 PM.

2019 Nissan Pathfinder SV
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Re: My 84 John Deere 316 [Re: JTK] #5258942 11/05/19 08:20 AM
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redhat Offline OP
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Originally Posted by JTK
Your 316 probably cost in the neighborhood of $7-8K back in 1984. Garden tractors cost about the same as a new econo car in the 60's-80's.

There's nothing built like these anymore. The closest garden tractor or compact utility probably starts around $12K+

Awesome work by the way! You put a ton into it with that briggs vanguard kit. Those kits were never cheap.


Wow, I would've never thought they cost that much back then. I was looking on Deere's website for some comparable models and you're right, I can't find much that could do all this can for less than $12k.

Thank you, and thanks everyone! It will get put to some good use.


19 F150 2.7 - M1EP 5W-30, FL2062, 7k
17 Taurus Limited AWD - M1EP 5W-20, FL500S, 30k
84 JD 316 Repowered w/Vanguard 18
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