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    JD 345 engine cuts out

    I have a John Deere 345 that we bought new in 1998. It's at about 950 hours right now, and is 70000+ serial number.

    The water pump failed, and that required pulling the engine, so I took it to the dealer for the repair. (Not too bad at $700+), I thought. When it was retruned, the first time it was used to mow, the thing ran fine for about 45 minutes, then just quit, as if you turned off the key. It restarted after about 5 minutes, and then died after about 5 minutes of running again.

    Called the dealer and they picked it up to check it out, and said a "7-pin connector was not fully seated", and it was corrected. Ran it today for about 20 minutes, and it shut down, again. When I tried to re-start, nothing. I left the key in the on position, and in about 10 seconds, the idiot lights came on (as they normally do when you turn on the key), so I cranked it and it re-started. It ran for 10 seconds or so, then quit. Same symptoms/routine, and after about 5 re-starts I limped it back to the barn and the dealer will come and pick it up tomorrow.

    Further, when I picked it up, they went to get it from the holding area, and couldn't get it started (that's when the water pump repair was completed on the FIRST repair trip). They had pressure washed the thing, and the water got in the TDM (timing delay module, a common wet-induced problem on these). He also told me they had pressure washed it when it first came in, pressure washed it after engine removal, and pressure washed it after re-installation was complete, before I picked it up.

    Bottom line is that I feel that because it runs for awhile before it quits, and then a complete electrical shutdown occurs, there must be some temperature-sensor-related feature, OR, possibly the printed circuit board fails when it heats up under the hood.

    ANYONE here had similar symptoms and resolution?

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    TJR345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powrguy View Post
    I have a John Deere 345 that we bought new in 1998. It's at about 950 hours right now, and is 70000+ serial number.

    The water pump failed, and that required pulling the engine, so I took it to the dealer for the repair. (Not too bad at $700+), I thought. When it was retruned, the first time it was used to mow, the thing ran fine for about 45 minutes, then just quit, as if you turned off the key. It restarted after about 5 minutes, and then died after about 5 minutes of running again.

    Called the dealer and they picked it up to check it out, and said a "7-pin connector was not fully seated", and it was corrected. Ran it today for about 20 minutes, and it shut down, again. When I tried to re-start, nothing. I left the key in the on position, and in about 10 seconds, the idiot lights came on (as they normally do when you turn on the key), so I cranked it and it re-started. It ran for 10 seconds or so, then quit. Same symptoms/routine, and after about 5 re-starts I limped it back to the barn and the dealer will come and pick it up tomorrow.

    Further, when I picked it up, they went to get it from the holding area, and couldn't get it started (that's when the water pump repair was completed on the FIRST repair trip). They had pressure washed the thing, and the water got in the TDM (timing delay module, a common wet-induced problem on these). He also told me they had pressure washed it when it first came in, pressure washed it after engine removal, and pressure washed it after re-installation was complete, before I picked it up.

    Bottom line is that I feel that because it runs for awhile before it quits, and then a complete electrical shutdown occurs, there must be some temperature-sensor-related feature, OR, possibly the printed circuit board fails when it heats up under the hood.

    ANYONE here had similar symptoms and resolution?
    I hope they put the steel cam in when they had it apart to do the water pump,unless it was done already.Sounds like a coil problem,when they heat up they'll shut the tractor down till they cool off.There's one on each side.
    Tom

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    Jd 345

    Quote Originally Posted by TJR345 View Post
    I hope they put the steel cam in when they had it apart to do the water pump,unless it was done already.Sounds like a coil problem,when they heat up they'll shut the tractor down till they cool off.There's one on each side.
    My 345 is post-plastic cam/gear model. Also installed with the water pump were new t-stat, all new hoses, etc. Compression I tested was 180psi in both cylinders. I believe the issue is heat-related and some component is shutting off the ignition, TOTALLY. When it quits, it will not even crank, so there's total loss of 12 volts. A coil issue would not prevent cranking.

    The two components I would suspect would be the ignition module (not the TDM, as that is new), and/or the control board assembly. I will talk to the Service Tech to see if they could swap in a good one and test, to prove the existing components are good when they pick it up tomorrow.

    Thanks for the input.
    Last edited by powrguy; 08-09-2018 at 09:40 PM.
    SulleyBear likes this.

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    TJR345's Avatar
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    You must be one of the lucky ones that has the serial number above 106,000.I had 105,000 and changed mine 2 years ago.
    Tom

    2019 X590 with power mulch control and PF bagger
    30" mechanical tiller
    02 X595 with 62" deck,front thatcher and powerflow PTO kit
    3pt hitch with Heavy Hitch 45 JD loader
    12 JD suitcase weights
    JD/Brinly 3pt plow
    Frontier SS1036 3pt pto spreader
    (2) JS63C walk behind mowers
    TS 105 JD weed wacker
    tow behind 15 gal. sprayer
    Turftime 60" lawn roller
    Turftime 54" 3pt core aerator

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    On a scale of One to Ten, Ten being the worst, you have just learned how and what happens when the dealer gets a hold of your lawn tractor. So, you have paid for a "ten" the dealer did on the 345. Most dealers have three or four mechanics that can perform these repairs. The more experience ones (been there longer) work on the big tractors, there is where the money is spent. The ones (mechanics that started yesterday get to learn on the lawn tractors. In your case you know rest of the story.

    So, you let the dealer try to make the repairs and they really mess up the machine. Keep in mind, if it's a fuel problem (not getting fuel) the engine will "sputter" and finally shut down. If it's a electrical problem, the engine shut down immediately... no spark to the plugs. So, which ones does it show the reason for the stoppage?

    BTW, the new so-called mechanic with his new Craftsman tools didn't start and run the tractor after the repair(s), as he would have know there were additional issues.

    Here are some items that will cause any engine not to run or stop on the 345. Fuel Shutoff Solenoid, Magneto Ignition Coil, Interlock Circuit Board, Engine Coolant Temp. Switch, and the Ignition Module.

    If the mechanic knew how to work on the tractor, he shouldn't have done anything to the Interlock Circuit Board in removing the engine from the tractor. A mechanic don't remove all parts that is not reference to the engine itself...

    BTW. Don't pay another red cent to the dealer...
    Last edited by kbeaag; 08-10-2018 at 11:13 AM.

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    I would check the grounds first. First the chassis ground and I would make sure the connection was clean and corrosion free. If they had the engine out, they had the ground connection unhooked for sure........

    Negative battery cable would be next. Same thing. Corrosion can creep up inside the cable under the exterior covering. While the battery terminal is an obvious one, check both ends of the cable very well. Getting moisture in the cables which have corrosion will not help matters.

    Power washing the machine could have also gotten other components in the electrical panel wet and be causing issues.

    Generally, when something seems to shut down after heat build up, it's either a coil related failure as it gets warm or its a ground or other electrical connection issue.

    I will also say that when disassembling the electrical harnesses in the tractor, often, they are pretty rough with the connections. I have seen people yank on the wire loom to pull the connectors apart and get the wires free and they end up pulling one or more of the connections back out of the plug.

    It's a step by step process to inspect each connection and look for any abnormalities. That often means taking the connections apart, cleaning them, making sure the wires and pins are down where they should be and then using a good die electric grease when the connections are put back together.

    Over the years, I have found a wire pulled back or out of at least a dozen connectors where someone had either replaced something or had it apart for some reason. This is a tricky find, but it's also a very easy fix as you pull the pin back into place carefully with needle nose pliers, make sure the connection is clean, zip tire or electrical tape the wires close to the plug so they can't pull back again and reconnect.

    It's most likely electrical and most likely a result of the technicians previous repairs. Who knows, he might have forgotten to tighten the ground connections?

    Here is the page link to the Parts Page which shows the engine coils and electrical harnesses as well as modules to operate. All items which are not power washer friendly.......The technical Service Manual will walk through the testing procedures for these.

    John Deere - Parts Catalog

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    You say the total elec system is dead. So that rules out TDM, safety switches, coils, ignition modules. Could be a bad board or ign switch(part of the board) or a bad connection. I am voting for the bad connection. Be it the battery leads of wiring harness connection.

    Sent from my LGL52VL using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by powrguy View Post
    My 345 is post-plastic cam/gear model. Also installed with the water pump were new t-stat, all new hoses, etc. Compression I tested was 180psi in both cylinders. I believe the issue is heat-related and some component is shutting off the ignition, TOTALLY. When it quits, it will not even crank, so there's total loss of 12 volts. A coil issue would not prevent cranking.

    The two components I would suspect would be the ignition module (not the TDM, as that is new), and/or the control board assembly. I will talk to the Service Tech to see if they could swap in a good one and test, to prove the existing components are good when they pick it up tomorrow.

    Thanks for the input.
    That screams ground connection or ignition key module.......

    Also check fuses, the power washer and or just working around under the hood could have knocked one loose.......There are two fuses on the ignition switch circuit board.

    John Deere - Parts Catalog
    Last edited by SulleyBear; 08-10-2018 at 12:50 PM.

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    John Deere 455 (New in 9/1996) / MC519 Cart /60" MMM /47" Snow Thrower / 7'3" snow plow / Quick Hitch /
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbeaag View Post
    On a scale of One to Ten, Ten being the worst, you have just learned how and what happens when the dealer gets a hold of your lawn tractor. So, you have paid for a "ten" the dealer did on the 345. Most dealers have three or four mechanics that can perform these repairs. The more experience ones (been there longer) work on the big tractors, there is where the money is spent. The ones (mechanics that started yesterday get to learn on the lawn tractors. In your case you know rest of the story.

    So, you let the dealer try to make the repairs and they really mess up the machine. Keep in mind, if it's a fuel problem (not getting fuel) the engine will "sputter" and finally shut down. If it's a electrical problem, the engine shut down immediately... no spark to the plugs. So, which ones does it show the reason for the stoppage?

    BTW, the new so-called mechanic with his new Craftsman tools didn't start and run the tractor after the repair(s), as he would have know there were additional issues.

    Here are some items that will cause any engine not to run or stop on the 345. Fuel Shutoff Solenoid, Magneto Ignition Coil, Interlock Circuit Board, Engine Coolant Temp. Switch, and the Ignition Module.

    If the mechanic knew how to work on the tractor, he shouldn't have done anything to the Interlock Circuit Board in removing the engine from the tractor. A mechanic don't remove all parts that is not reference to the engine itself...

    BTW. Don't pay another red cent to the dealer...
    First, there has been NO CHARGE for the two pickups and deliveries with their truck since the failures began after the water pump changeout.

    Second, a ground does not react to temperature variations, which is what my engine is doing.

    Additionally, because it initially will run perfectly, and start perfectly at first it will run for 20 minutes or so and then it's as if the 12v is totally disconnected. No dash indicator lights, no starter action, etc. If I leave the key in the on position and wait until the lights DO come on, the 12V has returned and it will crank and start, but will only run 10-15 seconds and then shutdown again.

    My personal guess is either the ignition switch control board, or the ignition module black box that is breaking down when the mower heats up. I was hoping someone else might have had a similar experience and could give me some insight.

    I told the service tech my thoughts, and asked that he try substituting a known good component for each of those, to see if they would correct the issue. We'll see. At 950 hours, I don't wanna spend a ton of $$$$ on this tractor. The $90/hr. flat rate will add up in a hurry if it's some component that was NOT caused by their water pump replacement work.

    thanks to all responding

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    My 345 used to cutout after heating up and then would not start up until minutes later. It was the TDM
    powrguy likes this.
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