Older JD 345 getting spark but won't hit a lick
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Thread: Older JD 345 getting spark but won't hit a lick

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    Older JD 345 getting spark but won't hit a lick

    Hello all,

    I have an older 345 garden tractor. It's ran great all summer but yesterday I went out to start it and she hit for a brief second and then just stopped. I turned it over probably way more than I should have and she just wouldn't fire at all. It's just like she wasn't getting gas or zero fire. I put a new fuel pump on it at the beginning of the season so I'm pretty sure it's not a fuel pump issue. I pulled both plugs and replaced them. I left the plugs sit outside of the cylinder heads and turned the motor over. Both plugs are sparking. I also poured just a little gas in the carb still nothing. I then sprayed a little starting fluid into the carb nothing. This thing is just flat not hitting a lick. I'm at a loss. Could it be that I've burnt a valve or something internal?

    Has anyone got any suggestions. Any help or guidance would be very much appreciated.

    Max

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    GTT's Pilot in Command (PIC) farmgirl19's Avatar
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    I don't have any answers for you, but...



    Trust me, with the minds and helpful folks on this site, someone will be along to try to help.
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    Chuckv's Avatar
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    Max,

    Welcome to the forum -- hopefully an owner of a similar tractor can offer some specific hints...below are some generic things to try for all small gas engines.

    Have you done a compression test?? Sounds like you may have sufficient spark and fuel, but a visible spark at atmospheric pressure does not always mean that you will get enough spark at engine pressures. Were the plugs wet with gas showing that it was not firing but getting gas/air mixture? Were they oily/fouled? Were they set to the correct gap?

    I don't have any specific information on your model of tractor -- perhaps another member here has some troubleshooting lists from the service manual...

    Chuck
    Last edited by Chuckv; 09-14-2014 at 11:08 AM.

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    Thanks Chuck for the reply. I checked the gaps on both plugs and they're spot on. On one of the cylinders I did see what looked like a little bit of oil on the plug. I cleaned both plugs up and reinserted them. I cranked it over several more times but couldn't get the oil to show back up. I haven't done a compression test but I guess that'll be my next step.

    If anyone is reading this thread and might know what the correct compression should be, I'd sure appreciate the knowledge

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    Old Pa-pa Old Cajun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coachcabe View Post
    Thanks Chuck for the reply. I checked the gaps on both plugs and they're spot on. On one of the cylinders I did see what looked like a little bit of oil on the plug. I cleaned both plugs up and reinserted them. I cranked it over several more times but couldn't get the oil to show back up. I haven't done a compression test but I guess that'll be my next step.

    If anyone is reading this thread and might know what the correct compression should be, I'd sure appreciate the knowledge
    Does the spark you're seeing appear dull white/orange or blue/white.
    Have seen the dull white/orange spark on outboards that had a bad coil.

    I like seeing a bright blue/white spark.
    Neil

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    Hello,
    I had a 2002 JD 345 and had the same problem/symptoms as you. I can't remember the name of the part that fixed it but, it is located on the drivers side of the engine toward the driver. It is shaped kind of like a AA battery, black in color and has 3 or 4 wires coming out of it. I was able to tap mine a few times to get it running but finally had to replace it. I think it was around $19 bucks or so. I hope this helps.
    2014 John Deere 2032R, 4WD
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    javjacob's Avatar
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    What year is your 345? Does it have the plastic cam gear? I know my 98 345 does so a steel cam gear is on my list of things to do.

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    Dave Shaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by javjacob View Post
    What year is your 345? Does it have the plastic cam gear? I know my 98 345 does so a steel cam gear is on my list of things to do.
    Take a valve cover off one side and crank the engine. If nothing moves you most likely have a broken plastic cam gear.
    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.

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    Depending on year and which Kawasaki engine you have, the first two things that come to mind are the plastic cam gear and time delay control module.

    Good luck and let us know what you find.

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    Thanks

    Thank you all for the advice. I finally got a compression test done and one of the cylinders isn't holding any pressure at all. I also found out the mower is a 1996 model. I guess I'll be tearing it down sometime in the near future. If anyone can point me towards a guide with helpful tips on the rebuild, I'd be grateful.

    Thanks again for the feedback.

    Max

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