This tractor is originally a John Deere 318 and still has the original 318 body parts.† We removed the 18 HP Onan engine and installed an 18 HP Subaru Robin engine.† That engine did not have the torque we wanted, with the short stroke it had, so we installed a Briggs and Stratton 23 HP Vanguard engine.† The nick name ďBirdĒ came from the first transplanted engine, Robin.
We built the rear roll bar with the intentions of having the lights shining forward for working at night with the front end loader.† That turned out to be a bad idea.† The lights blinded us when we looked behind us to back up.† They then were turned around to face backwards.† We liked the light shining towards the rear for backing up.† We also gained the added safety of having a roll bar.
The front end loader we started with is a Johnson Workhorse.† We removed the original bucket from the front end loader and had the current one built to order, extra large for snow. Itís also used often for dirt.† We then† installed head lights in the bucket.† This works great for working at night.† The lights shine anywhere you steer the tractor and tilt the bucket.† And no, they donít break.† They are in the upper part where there normally isnít anything in the bucket.
There is a 110 Amp alternator system installed that we hooked onto the front PTO clutch. I can turn this on anytime I want some auxiliary power.† Jumper cables are hooked up permanently that wrap around the rear on a hinge that can fold up and out of the way when not in use. We installed a size 31 (normally used in a semi) battery under the hood for all the power we could need. We can jump any size vehicle with this. There is a switch to turn the electricity to the jumper cables on and off.† It has an amber light that shines when the power is on so we donít forget to turn it off.
On the back we added a seat to carry an extra person.† We use this all of the time to bring† customers to see equipment that isnít in close walking distance.† The extra small steering wheel gives more room between the seat and steering wheel.† The John Deere 318 has power steering so it works quite well.
On the rear are oversized tires, 31 X 15.50 X15.† Each are filled with 200 lbs of liquid.† Hung on the back bracket are approximately 14 John Deere suitcase weights at 42 lbs each.† This is a total of 588 lbs of iron on the back and 400 lbs of liquid equaling 988 lbs.† The front end loader weighs about 400 lbs empty, the tractor weighs about 800 lbs., the roll bar is 200 lbs., totaling 2388 lbs with nothing in the bucket.† The bucket is adjusted to lift 1000 lb capacity.† This works as well as a compact utility tractor. Bigger tires were put on the front to level the tractor off because of the large back tires.† 400 x 12 tires were used from trailer hubs and wheels and cut down to fit the John Deere front wheel bearings.
We removed the rear end and transmission from† this tractor and installed a John Deere 430 Diesel tractor rear end and transmission.† Doing this I gained the posi-lock rear end and also the 2 speed behind the hydrostatic.† We used these big tires and the 2 speed transmission shifted on the high side. Then we disassembled the hydrostatic transmission and hopped it up.† It will travel at 18 to 20 MPH.
The 4 gal per minute oil pump was removed and replaced with a 22 gallons per minute oil pump and 2 stage pump.† Also added is an extra large front end loader oil filter. We took off the 2 levers that operate the loader, one for up and down and one for tilting the bucket, and installed one big control valve that has one lever that does all.† With this we can drop and tilt and raise up the bucket simultaneously.
For fun we added a car horn.† This evolved over time with a lot of† friends helping.