John Deere 345 Lawn Tractor Troubles

basket-caseDecember 19, 2008

During last summer mowing the 8 acres, my 345 just didn't seems to run like it did new. It's a 1999 JD 345 with 560 hours. Every year I change the oil/filter, new spark plugs, gas filter., etc. It always started real fast and run smooth at idle. Now it is hard to start, and surges at idle speed, and seems to have less power at mid and upper speed ranges. I did a carburetor install kit last spring, but that didn't seem to help.

I've decided to make some repairs, like install new thermostat, radiator hoses, fuel lines, fuel pump, and a complete carburetor rebuild. Is there anything you members might suggest one needs to do here. Or I'm I going about this all wrong at this time?



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Not familiar with this tractor and not knowing what engine is on unit, i can only suggest a complete carb rebuild or replacement. The fact that the engine hunts and surges is usually a carburetor fuel mixture problem. By the sounds of it, probably plugged in the idle circuit do to the fact that the surging is at idle and that the idle mixture effects high speed performance and that the starting enrichment from the carb usually comes from the low speed circuit and the transition circuit.
If it is too lean a condition partial choking of the carb may make it run smoother. If it does then thats it.
There are many factors that can cause poor performance and if you go thru and check the health of your compression and ignition components it wouldnt be time wasted.
Good Luck Jim

    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 10:26PM
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bunnyman(Thumb of MI)

Rebuild kit is $70 and a new carb is $130 when I priced them a couple years ago.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2008 at 1:23AM
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Just grasping at straws here, but-
Maybe a valve adjustment if this has mechanical lifters. IF the lash has gotten too excessive, the engine wouldn't "breathe" properly.
They would have to be at the point of being excessively noisy though-

Check intake system for air leaks, including the carb throttle shaft. Air leaks lean out the mixture which can cause surging/loss of power.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2008 at 2:52AM
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johnml(z5 WI)

Check compression.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2008 at 11:36AM
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Tractor will start and stay idle but when I engage the blade it runs for a minute then shuts off. Any suggestions on what the problem is?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 7:22AM
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