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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I’m new to this forum and am looking for honest advice from experienced members. I have a 317 that was donated to me by a neighbor, because it wasn’t running. I changed all the fluids, filters, hoses etc. and put on a new rear tire. Now, I’m told the engine is seized up on one side. By the way, I also just bought a new (used) wiring harness. I’m trying to figure out how much money to sink into this thing. Should I try to repair this engine, currently it’s a Kohler 18HP Magnum, replace it or stop putting money into it? I’ll have to pay someone to repair it. At what point am I putting in more money than it’s worth? I’d like to have this for smaller projects but want to be money wise also. Thanks for any advice.
 

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I always make sure a newly purchased machine runs before doing any maintenance work.
At the point your at pay an honest knowledgable shop or person to give you an estimate on repair costs to get the engine repaired.
Then decide if you want to spend the $$$.
If you don't spend the money you will probably sell it at a loss.
I have spent way more than what a tractor is worth just because I like it and want it to be running and usable.
A lot of time trying to make financial sense owning repairing/ restoring old tractors cars and trucks just won't happen!😂
 

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The engine is either seized or its not. Idk how it can be seized on one side only. Does it turn over with the starter or by hand?
That’s not the original engine. You can look for another one of the same model and swap
It out, rebuild what you have or swap it some other engine (may require a lot of work!)
Those are good little tractors, although getting up there in age. The ergonomics aren’t up to modern standards. It’s up to you how much money you want to throw at it. Sounds like you’ve already invested a decent amount.
 

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1986 Deere 330, 2003 Deere 4210
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Perhaps he means one jug is seized. If it's seized from sitting, it might be worth investigating. Sometimes they can be freed (MMO/ATF down the jug, slowly rock the crank back and forth ). If it's seized from lack of oil (was there oil in it when you got it? ) or has a thrown rod (does it turn easily until it suddenly locks, or do you feel/hear something rattling around in the case when you turn the crank? ) then that is a different story.

Like MTB says, try to physically turn the engine and see if you can get any movement.
 

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If it's the original Kohler 17hp engine and it's seized up, it's not worth fixing. They were notorious for failing. At some point, Deere changed to a different variant of the engine that had pressurized oil and better lubrication to the crank. I have no idea how to tell the difference between the two, but I bet Google knows. :)

Best,
 

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If it's the original Kohler 17hp engine and it's seized up, it's not worth fixing. They were notorious for failing. At some point, Deere changed to a different variant of the engine that had pressurized oil and better lubrication to the crank. I have no idea how to tell the difference between the two, but I bet Google knows. :)

Best,
The original 317s had KT17 engines with splash lubrication. They had a high failure rate and the later models had KT17 Series 2 engines with an oil pump. Deere replaced a lot of the Series 1 engines that failed with Onan engines. These things are 40 years old or better so the original Series 1 engines are pretty scarce. The Series 2 says “KT17 Series 2” on the engine sheet metal.
The OP has a later model Kohler that’s already been swapped in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all of the advice. I’m not sure what he meant when he said it was seized. Sounds like I better have a professional take look at it. It also sounds like I’ll put more money in it than its value. Guess I’ll have to determine how much I’m willing to spend.
 

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Maybe post some pictures of it. I’m sure the guys here can help you come up with a sale price for you to put it on CL of facecrook
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It does have a mowing deck, but the spindles are in poor shape. I think I’m going to have a local shop give me a quote to get it running and then decide if it’s worth the money. If not, I’ll get some photos and post them here. If i sell it, I’d rather someone here get it. Thanks!
 

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Don't forget it's at least 30 years old and could be approaching 40.
(which is great if that's what your after...but not so much if thinking it's only 10 years old)

318 Lawn and Garden Tractor
MP1128 A.1
1983 Model (Serial No. M00318X222001-285000)
1984 Model (Serial No. M00318X285001-315000)
1985 Model (Serial No. M00318X315001-360000)
1986 Model (Serial No. M00318X360001-420000)
1987 Model (Serial No. M00318X420001-475000)
1988 Model (Serial No. M00318X475001-595000)
1989 Model (Serial No. M00318X595001-999000) *
1990 Model (Serial No. M00318X010001-100000) *
1991 Model (Serial No. M00318X100001-110000)
1992 Model (Serial No. M00318X110001-120000)
Note: Regard 1990 and later model serial numbers (010001-120000) as higher than 1989 model serial numbers (222001-999000) when using
microfiche and ordering parts.
(
 

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Don't forget it's at least 30 years old and could be approaching 40.
(which is great if that's what your after...but not so much if thinking it's only 10 years old)

318 Lawn and Garden Tractor
MP1128 A.1
1983 Model (Serial No. M00318X222001-285000)
1984 Model (Serial No. M00318X285001-315000)
1985 Model (Serial No. M00318X315001-360000)
1986 Model (Serial No. M00318X360001-420000)
1987 Model (Serial No. M00318X420001-475000)
1988 Model (Serial No. M00318X475001-595000)
1989 Model (Serial No. M00318X595001-999000) *
1990 Model (Serial No. M00318X010001-100000) *
1991 Model (Serial No. M00318X100001-110000)
1992 Model (Serial No. M00318X110001-120000)
Note: Regard 1990 and later model serial numbers (010001-120000) as higher than 1989 model serial numbers (222001-999000) when using
microfiche and ordering parts.
(
OP has a 317, built from 1979-1983. A 318 was a more refined version with power steering and built on an open frame with Onan power.
 

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I'll plead 'distracted posting'

317 HYDROSTATIC TRACTOR
(17 HP) KT17QS KOHLER ENGINE
1979 MODEL (SERIAL NO. 095001-120000)
1980 MODEL (SERIAL NO. 120001-155000)
1981 MODEL (SERIAL NO. 155001-190000)
1982 MODEL (SERIAL NO. 190001-285000)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'll plead 'distracted posting'

317 HYDROSTATIC TRACTOR
(17 HP) KT17QS KOHLER ENGINE
1979 MODEL (SERIAL NO. 095001-120000)
1980 MODEL (SERIAL NO. 120001-155000)
1981 MODEL (SERIAL NO. 155001-190000)
1982 MODEL (SERIAL NO. 190001-285000)
Thanks x738. Looks like mine is a 1980 model. I appreciate the information.
 

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1986 Deere 330, 2003 Deere 4210
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I don't want to discourage you from seeking a professional, but you can tell if the engine is seized really easily. Try to rotate it by hand, through at least one full revolution, and report back. Usually this can be done by just spinning the fan cover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I don't want to discourage you from seeking a professional, but you can tell if the engine is seized really easily. Try to rotate it by hand, through at least one full revolution, and report back. Usually this can be done by just spinning the fan cover.
I finally got a chance to try and rotate the engine using the fan cover as you’ve mentioned. The fan rotated fully with a little effort. It wasn’t super easy to rotate it, but I could spin it fully. I did it multiple times with the same result each time.As said, the fan would rotate and I could hear compression coming from the engine area. Don’t know if that’s good news or not.
 

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