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John Deere 310A hydraulic issues

Discussion in 'Tractor/Loader/Backhoes' started by Thomas Vukonich, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Thomas Vukonich

    Thomas Vukonich New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2019
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Michigan
    I am considering buying a JD 310A. The owner is very up front about the issues with this machine and I was hoping that someone could help with advice and or diagnose a problem.

    The machine starts fine runs well. When just started hydraulics work well seem strong and the machine moves well in all gears. When warmed up though (15 minutes) the hydraulics are weak and the machine won't move in the high range. While looking the machine over I did notice that the oil cooler was packed with oily dusty fine grit.

    The owner said that he had changed oil, trans fluid, filters and checked the screens. When this was done, the machine was operating properly and strong for 30-45 minutes before reverting to the weak hydraulic problem.

    Would anyone be able to make an educated guess as to what is going on with the machine? And any thoughts on repair costs? I am new to machines like this but like to have a relatively inexpensive backhoe for several projects around my personal property. If I can fix this it may be worth the low asking price.

    Thanks
     
  2. colson04

    colson04 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2016
    Messages:
    362
    Location:
    Delton, Michigan
    How much are they asking for the backhoe? You need to set a budget on what a good running backhoe is worth to you because this is gonna get expensive quickly.

    If the machine won't move with engine running, then you have a problem in your power reverser/charge pump and that requires the machine to be split to repair. That said, draining the hydraulic fluid and checking the charge screen again is a simple and cheap first step, along with replacing the filters.

    The service manual has a procedure for checking pressures, what they should be, and where the pressure taps are located. I bought my manual for $125 off eBay. Buy the manual first, diagnose the machine, then decide if its worth buying the machine to repair. If you buy the machine and then dump several thousand into splitting the tractor, you could end up spending way more than buying a newer backhoe in better shape. You can always resell the manual if you don't buy the machine.


    I have a 310A that I bought 5 years ago. It ran very well when purchased and low hours on an engine overhaul. 40 operating hours after I bought it, the main hydraulic pump went out. It would randomly work, and then quit. Instant $1000 for a pump. I struggled through my own troubleshooting before I figured it out and then did the repair. I was glad it wasn't the charge pump.
     
  3. Thomas Vukonich

    Thomas Vukonich New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2019
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    Location:
    Michigan
    Colson,
    Thank you for the quick reply. The machine moves under its own power when warm, but only in the low range. Possibly still a reverser/charge pump? Cost on that repair?

    I just spoke with a mechanic friend and he mentioned that it's possible that the wrong viscosity hydraulic fluid was used. In theory thick enough to pump when cool too thin to pump when warm. Could this be?

    The cost of the machine would be sub $3,000. I'm not sure the seller would be tolerant of the time it would take to me to get a manual and troubleshoot the machine. He's not pushing for a sale but he wants it gone. I know it's old and will need repairs. Also, anything in this price range will likely have issues.

    If you wanted an older backhoe that looked reasonably clean and worked without issues, what would you expect to spend?
     
  4. showrguy

    showrguy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Messages:
    64
    Location:
    Marysville, Pa.
    That machine will not move from a dead stop in 7th, 8th gear..
    It should grab and roll from 5th on somewhat level ground, then you upshift..
     
  5. chroniekon

    chroniekon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Messages:
    200
    Occupation:
    Retired Electrical Technician
    Location:
    Albany, Or
    Mine wouldn't move in the upper gears and all it needed was a clutch (dry) adjustment. The loader and hoe worked fine though, so not sure this would be the problem in your case.
     
  6. colson04

    colson04 Senior Member

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    Location:
    Delton, Michigan
    Well, under $3000 is cheap enough if everything else is tight. How is the engine? Easy starting? Does it smoke or have a lot of blow by? You could have $5000 or more in repairs quickly if you have to take it to a shop for repairs. If you can turn wrenches yourself, then you could save on the labor, but parts still aren't super cheap. I'm thinking worst case here is charge pump plus reverser rebuild. Do you think you could split a tractor? What about pulling finals to replace internal wet disc brake linings? Those are probably the two hardest repairs that come to mind for this machine.

    When they checked the screens, did he mention if they were plugged with debris or clean? Because after re-reading your first post, I'm wondering if the brake linings are disintegrating and plugging off the suction screen. Those screens are easy enough to check, just have to drain the fluid out of the trans first.

    I bought mine for $8000. It had a couple small hydraulic leaks, but the engine was recently overhauled and most of the hydraulic cylinders had been repacked or replaced. I've since put another $1500 or so into it, most of that being a main hydraulic pump and related repairs. I felt that was reasonable for a small farm machine.

    As for the fluid, as long as they didn't put 80w90 in it, it should be fine. John Deere HyGard is the recommended fluid, but most guys don't want to pay the money for it and run whatever is cheapest. I ran mine for a bit on 303 Tractor Fluid to flush the system out, then replaced with HyGard.
     
  7. colson04

    colson04 Senior Member

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    Location:
    Delton, Michigan
    Where is it located?
     
  8. Thomas Vukonich

    Thomas Vukonich New Member

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    Location:
    Michigan
    My experience with heavier gear is pulling and replacing (reinstalling the clutch) on an Oilver 1800. Splitting a tractor doesn't seem like it would be high on my want to do list but I believe I could.

    It's located in Howell, MI about 90 miles away from Delton.
     
  9. colson04

    colson04 Senior Member

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    Location:
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    To me, $8,000 to $10,000 is a max budget for a low use personal backhoe. It's not cheaper than renting a machine or hiring out work, but I enjoy having a machine available anytime I need it. I also take on more projects or use it for small 15 minute jobs just because it's available. I also plow my drive in the winter with it when it gets too hard for my snowblower.

    So, if you could keep your purchase plus repairs below $8000, I think that would be reasonable. For 10-14k, you could get a D series and 4WD.
     
    GregsHD and T-town like this.
  10. AzIron

    AzIron Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
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    Location:
    Az
    If the function seem weak after warm up that's a good sign of a weak pump most hydralic fluid would not be that much of a difference from OEM that it thins down that much unless it's really hot

    Colson is right at 10000 you can buy something a lot newer for 15000 you have multiple options that will perform better

    I was told by a deere mechanic that hygaurd is formulated specifically for JD wet clutch and brakes that non OEM oil works fine but it wont prevent the lining from deteriorating not sure how true that is but it wouldn't surprise me