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Discussion Starter #1
Hello to all wherever you may be in the good old US of A.

I own a 1999 John Deere 345 with a 54" mower deck. It has 896 hours, and I have used it to mow about 7 acres many times during the mowing season. This 345 with the 20 hp FD611V water cooled V-Twin engine has been a very good tractor engine... Not so good with the 54" deck and it's expensive parts to replace. The first four years and about 55 hours I replaced 17 deck drive belts and 9 deck pulleys. All due to John Deere made a few mistakes in making the deck. Had to re-engineer their mistakes and since used like 4 belts.
But, that another story to tell later.

Today, I received a very nice and clean Tuff Torq K70A transmission from a ebay seller in Wisconsin who said it came out of a 345 with 400 hours. Either the owner washed and shined the K70A after each use, or the seller pressure washed it and repainted it the original black paint.
The Serial Number is #029634. I would say the year is about 1996-1997 model year when made. My 1999 345 K70A has a S/N 080926.
Any of the you Members here can give accurate year on when this K70A was mfg.

BTW. The transmission in my 345 is running fine, with exception it makes some whining noise when I have mowed for a hour or more. So, I bought this one to keep as a spare. Sort expensive spare at $615.00
 

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How often do you service your current transmission? While some whine to hydro transmissions is a bit normal, too much may indicate a need of a service or possibly wearing out. I believe the former is probably the culprit, but having a spare is a good idea just in case. These 3X5 machines are great machines.
 

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Why didn't you just order new cylinder blocks from Tough Torq?

I kind of wonder about my 345; "if" it has an issue. Reverse seems slow and gutless to me. I guess I simply don't know what "normal" is.
 

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Response to T-Mo and Rowdy33.

From the year..1999 I bought the 345 new from the dealer, it has been service....new filters and fluids approx. 50 hours. Come to think about it, there's always been a whine from the transmission. The dealer told me it would quit as I would use it. Something about the tight fit on all internal parts. Of course that person at the dealer didn't stay there very long. I called Tuff Torg about it, and they didn't seem to be too concerned. However, from reading reports from another JD forum, there's trouble brewing inside the unit as hours are added.

I considered buying parts for the one on the tractor, but, Tuff Torg quit making the K70 and K70A years ago and parts are not all available as I write here. In fact, there's very little they have in stock. John Deere keeps parts for these 345...so they say. By the time to add up the parts costs, it may be worth taking a chance on buying a used one....like I have done. Of course that would depend on how old and the hours on the used one.

Thanks for the comments.

Fred
 

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54" deck mods?

I would be interested in the 54" deck mods you had to make. 345 w/54" is a contender when I replace my 285. I will be buying used.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I would be interested in the 54" deck mods you had to make. 345 w/54" is a contender when I replace my 285. I will be buying used.
After spending something like $540.00 for the mower drive belts in those 50 hours, I decided it was time to look into the cause for the belt to get hot and come apart. A church member has a 345 with a 54'" deck, and we agreed to compare both to see something was put together wrong. Sure enough, the bracket..Jacksheave (AM117036) that the sheave mounts on was welded good 1/2" off allowing the (AM118794) to be at a angle some 23 degrees off, allowing the belt to ride high on the pulley. I remove this Jacksheave and welded it in the proper location and since only replaced four belts in the last 847 hours. Still not perfect, but, it sure made a difference. That also cured the belt wear on the three mower deck pulley wear. John Deere never would claim they made some decks wrong, although, I found a dealer shop foreman admit John Deere made several hundred wrong.
 
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