1999 John Deere 345 20HP Crank issue
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Thread: 1999 John Deere 345 20HP Crank issue

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    1999 John Deere 345 20HP Crank issue

    I have a 1999 345 that was in a fire. I cleaned it up, put the flywheel back on and tried to turn the motor over with a socket on the flywheel nut. It turned about a quarter turn and then it would not go any farther. I noticed the intake valve one the left side was stuck. I broke the valve loose but I still can not get more than a quarter turn. All the pushrods seem to be in place. I do not think I have a valve hitting a piston. Is it possible for a tappet/valve lifter to dislodge and not allow the cam to turn?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson63 View Post
    I have a 1999 345 that was in a fire. I cleaned it up, put the flywheel back on and tried to turn the motor over with a socket on the flywheel nut. It turned about a quarter turn and then it would not go any farther. I noticed the intake valve one the left side was stuck. I broke the valve loose but I still can not get more than a quarter turn. All the pushrods seem to be in place. I do not think I have a valve hitting a piston. Is it possible for a tappet/valve lifter to dislodge and not allow the cam to turn?

    Anything is possible with an engine that was in a fire. It all depends on how hot the parts got.
    Why did you have the flywheel off?
    Can you see any discoloration on the parts?
    Did you replace any of the seals or gaskets?
    Can you post some pictures?
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    All four valves move freely. The serial number is past 70000 so I think I have a steel gear on the cam, thinking something is going on there. I am going to pull the pan off next and have a look.

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    Hope it doesn't look as bad as this. lol
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_2099.JPG  
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    2014 X540 with HDAP tires, 54" deck, brush guard, arm rests and cargo bag.
    JD 48" plow with angle from seat kit & heavy duty skid shoes.
    4 suitcase weights and chains.
    JD tow behind spreader.
    JD 42" lawn sweeper.
    JD 10P cart.
    JD JS61 RWD walk behind mower.
    Stihl KM110 power head with pole saw, shaft extension, power scythe, curved shaft edger, 2 straight shaft cutters (string & blade).
    Stihl MS180-CBE 16" saw.
    Stihl SH86C hand held blower vac.

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    Quote Originally Posted by H-D dealer dude View Post
    Hope it doesn't look as bad as this. lol
    That'll buff right out

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
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    Found the problem. The left plastic valve cover melted during the fire. The intake valve was open and water or chemical from the firefighters got into the cylinder. This caused major rust and pitting in the cylinder. Motor is junk unless the engine has a sleeve. Does anyone know if the 345 engine had a sleeve?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson63 View Post
    Found the problem. The left plastic valve cover melted during the fire. The intake valve was open and water or chemical from the firefighters got into the cylinder. This caused major rust and pitting in the cylinder. Motor is junk unless the engine has a sleeve. Does anyone know if the 345 engine had a sleeve?

    It's something with the hot smoke that does the corroding. I had a 2015 Street Glide that I did a damage estimate on. (Among many others). It got more of the beef jerky treatment from a fire. Absolutely no melting but plenty of corrosion. That smoke gets in everywhere just like water from a flood. Even entering places that are supposed to be a completely sealed system.
    Most likely once the valve cover melted the smoke had a unrestricted path into the engine. After that it was all over but the crying.
    2014 X540 with HDAP tires, 54" deck, brush guard, arm rests and cargo bag.
    JD 48" plow with angle from seat kit & heavy duty skid shoes.
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    JD 42" lawn sweeper.
    JD 10P cart.
    JD JS61 RWD walk behind mower.
    Stihl KM110 power head with pole saw, shaft extension, power scythe, curved shaft edger, 2 straight shaft cutters (string & blade).
    Stihl MS180-CBE 16" saw.
    Stihl SH86C hand held blower vac.

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    If water was used on the fire you had high velocity steam impinging on the metal, if not you had caustic potassium compounds directly impinging and mixing with any water (all combustion produces water vapor) flowing into every crack. Not good at all.


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    This reminds of a story of a guy I know who once had a 2-stroke air-cooled dirtbike engine that was in a fire. He somehow got it running again...but when it was running the fins were breaking and falling off of the cylinder because they had been heated and became brittle. lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson63 View Post
    All four valves move freely. The serial number is past 70000 so I think I have a steel gear on the cam, thinking something is going on there. I am going to pull the pan off next and have a look.
    106000 and above has the steel cam.I thought I was good with 105000.
    Tom

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