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84 John Deere Hydro shock #5436173 05/22/20 07:58 PM
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redhat Offline OP
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I have an '84 John Deere 316 with hydrostatic drive. Part of the system uses a gas-filled shock, maybe about 6 inches long. This shock wears out and the result is jerky hydro action.

Replacement is easy, however the part is no longer made, and any used ones fetch a hundred dollars or so. Does anyone know of any universal dampener companies? I am thinking I could measure the shock at full close and at full open and then buy accordingly. Thanks.


20 Accord 2.0T - M1EP 5W-30, PLM A02, 2k
19 F150 2.7 - MCSB 5W-30, FL2062, 18k
84 JD 316 Repowered w/Vanguard 18
Re: 84 John Deere Hydro shock [Re: redhat] #5436178 05/22/20 08:04 PM
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jhellwig Offline
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How are you wearing that out? There are other adjustments that affect the firmness of the lever movement.

My guess is that the original one was sourced from a seat suspension so that might be a place to look. They are about the same size.


Sparks fly from my fingers.

1995 Chevy K2500 Suburban lt 5.7
2014 Toyota Sienna
1983 Chevy K5 350
Re: 84 John Deere Hydro shock [Re: redhat] #5436184 05/22/20 08:11 PM
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redhat Offline OP
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It has been worn, about a 1/4 inch of slop within the lever. I would figure after 36 years it's finally given up the ghost.


20 Accord 2.0T - M1EP 5W-30, PLM A02, 2k
19 F150 2.7 - MCSB 5W-30, FL2062, 18k
84 JD 316 Repowered w/Vanguard 18
Re: 84 John Deere Hydro shock [Re: redhat] #5436189 05/22/20 08:17 PM
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jhellwig Offline
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That is slop in the linkage. There are adjustments under the dash for lever creep and to put neutral in the correct position. And all sorts of steel bushing that can wear out. I wouldn’t link the shock would be toast unless you can see it leaked oil.

Is it a new style 316 or an old style one?


Sparks fly from my fingers.

1995 Chevy K2500 Suburban lt 5.7
2014 Toyota Sienna
1983 Chevy K5 350
Re: 84 John Deere Hydro shock [Re: redhat] #5436191 05/22/20 08:18 PM
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CT8 Offline
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Is that an accumulator?


2015 F150 2.7
2018 F350 6.2
Re: 84 John Deere Hydro shock [Re: redhat] #5436200 05/22/20 08:22 PM
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jhellwig Offline
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No there is a dampener on the hydro lever to keep you from giving yourself whiplash.


Sparks fly from my fingers.

1995 Chevy K2500 Suburban lt 5.7
2014 Toyota Sienna
1983 Chevy K5 350
Re: 84 John Deere Hydro shock [Re: jhellwig] #5436210 05/22/20 08:34 PM
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redhat Offline OP
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Originally Posted by jhellwig
That is slop in the linkage. There are adjustments under the dash for lever creep and to put neutral in the correct position. And all sorts of steel bushing that can wear out. I wouldn’t link the shock would be toast unless you can see it leaked oil.

Is it a new style 316 or an old style one?


First gen hydro linkage. So old style. I should probably take the battery tray out and look at all of the linkage before just sourcing parts. Now that is is raining here for the next couple of days, won't need it to mow.


20 Accord 2.0T - M1EP 5W-30, PLM A02, 2k
19 F150 2.7 - MCSB 5W-30, FL2062, 18k
84 JD 316 Repowered w/Vanguard 18
Re: 84 John Deere Hydro shock [Re: redhat] #5436228 05/22/20 08:44 PM
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jhellwig Offline
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I guess I meant did it have an onan engine or the one cylinder Kohler. Either way I have been having luck limping my 318 along with some well placed grade 8 bolts and washer to renew pivot points.


Sparks fly from my fingers.

1995 Chevy K2500 Suburban lt 5.7
2014 Toyota Sienna
1983 Chevy K5 350
Re: 84 John Deere Hydro shock [Re: redhat] #5436235 05/22/20 08:48 PM
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redhat Offline OP
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It had an Onan B43E


20 Accord 2.0T - M1EP 5W-30, PLM A02, 2k
19 F150 2.7 - MCSB 5W-30, FL2062, 18k
84 JD 316 Repowered w/Vanguard 18
Re: 84 John Deere Hydro shock [Re: redhat] #5436270 05/22/20 09:46 PM
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cronk Offline
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Shows available on the john deere parts site. Like $100 though!

Last edited by cronk; 05/22/20 09:46 PM.

2008 Ford F350
2008 Kia Spectra
2011 Nissan Quest
1986 Pontiac Trans Am
1940 Ford 9N Tractor
Amsoil lubes and filters!
Re: 84 John Deere Hydro shock [Re: redhat] #5436456 05/23/20 07:07 AM
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gman2304 Offline
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I replaced the hydro shock on my 1992 332 about 10 years ago. The piston could be pulled in and out with two fingers. It made a world of difference as far as jerkiness from the hydro. It’s still available from JD, part # am35220, though pricey at $96.00.

Last edited by gman2304; 05/23/20 07:10 AM.
Re: 84 John Deere Hydro shock [Re: gman2304] #5440107 05/27/20 12:07 PM
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cvlw Offline
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That damper inevitably goes bad. The modern parts are reportedly built better than the originals so if you do replace it try to get a modern one assuming fitment. More info can be found on an extensive site called Weekend Freedom Machines.

I have owned two 316s over the years. I have never replaced one, I just finesse the arm.

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