345 vs 320
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Thread: 345 vs 320

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    javjacob's Avatar
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    345 vs 320

    I have heard people use the term garden tractor for the 345 and lawn tractor for the 320. I was curious of the definition and differences of a lawn tractor and a garden tractor? Reason I ask is because I have a 98 345 and my brother has a 92 or 93 320. Both tractors appear to be the same size and have the same size tires and wheels and the same engine. I know the tranny is different between the two but what are the big differences? Is the 345 built more heavy? I have heard the 345 is the most heavy duty belt drive tractor JD made.

    Also I have done some reading and found out my 345 has the plastic cam gear but I can replace it with a steel cam gear. What all parts will I need to get? Sounds like the plastic gear is the only weak point on the 345 and I have heard its only a matter of time before they fail so I want to replace mine with the steel gear as soon as possible. Guessing the 320 has a steel gear.

    I have had the 345 since 2011, bought it with 440 hours and it now has 490 hours. I use it to mow and push snow.
    The 320 was bought new by my dad and my brother got it maybe a year ago broke down and not running and now he has it running good.

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    T-Mo's Avatar
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    Check out this article: When is a Lawn Mower a Lawn Mower? :: John Deere TechTalk – The Source for John Deere Technical Information

    Both the 320 and the 345 would be considered garden tractors. They're both designed to do more than mow grass. You can buy integral (sleeve) hitches for them to use ground engaging equipment that a lawn tractor wasn't designed to do.

    As for the steel cam gear, you can get a kit from JD that will include the parts you need I believe. Here is a tutorial from WFM that may help. It shows the cam gear being replaced in a 345 with the steel cam gear. Weekend Freedom Machines: Kawasaki Cam Replacement FD590V

    Both the 320 and 345 are excellent machines.
    Without ice cream, there will be darkness and chaos!
    Olympian Don Kardong

    1965 110s, 1966 110, 1967 112, 2001 LT150, 2003 GT245, 2004 GX345, 2006 X320

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    javjacob's Avatar
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    Thanks for the links. That explained a few things to me.

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    Dave Shaver's Avatar
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    Both the 320 and your 345 have FD590v engines which have the plastic cam gear in them. I've had two done, one in a previous 285 and my current 98 345. Do both before they strand you somewhere, when they break, that's where it sits.......... My 285 broke at 942 hrs and when I got the 345 w/650 hrs I had it done before it happened.
    2004 GX345 w/diff lock, 48" mulching deck, 42" snowthrower, 30"mechanical tiller.

    1998 345 w/44" Pirahna deck and a spare 48" deck, 42" snowthrower, 48" blade, 30" mechanical tiller, Johnny Bucket JR.

    1967 Simplicity 2010 w/blade, very heavy roller, thatcher, aerator, Agri-fab broadcast spreader, Agri-fab dump cart

    1978(ish) Simplicity 7016 w/ 20hp Kohler Command including 50 amp alternator to run lights, wiper and heater for steel cab, 36" snowblower modified to 42", 42" mower deck

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