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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 98 JD 345 and unfortunately it has the dreaded plastic cam gear. My friend who is a mechanic and a gear head told me I need to replace that cam gear with the steel gear NOW! Before it goes. I was wondering what else I need to do when I do it? My hour meter reads 490 hours. I remember reading about it somewhere and it was said to go ahead and replace the gov gear/arm/washer/sleeve, oil pump and water pump while its apart. Anything else? Also Could someone help me out with the part numbers? I would like to order my parts from greenfarmparts.com while they have this sale going on.
 

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Oil pump gear, and governor gear are also plastic. There are no metal replacement from Deere. Also make sure to replace your tappets when you replace the cam. Not sure why to do it before if goes. My dad owns one and it has around 1350 hours on it and it was just replaced two months ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I ordered all the parts today. Got the 4 tappets, oil pump gear, gov gear parts to go with it. Also got a new water pump and radiator hoses to be on the safe side. My hour meter reads 490 hours. Hope this thing will be bulletproof after this.

Would rather do it now than wait til it goes and I have to replace a bunch of other parts that shouldn't have to be. I don't want mine to be like the tractor in the link posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I started to disassemble last night and got all the radiator and other parts off but I cant get the PTO off the bottom of the motor so the motor is still on the frame. I have some help tomorrow bringing some pullers so hopefully we can get it off. Spent all afternoon tearing it down to where it is now and cleaning parts.
 

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I would not even bother to tear apart that 16 year old motor. Buy a new 25 hp conversion kit for around 1,000 and be done with it and get a significant power boost.
 

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We did the cam gear on the farm's 345 20hp a few years ago, 500-600 hours I think. Stills runs like a champ.

Good luck.
 

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I started to disassemble last night and got all the radiator and other parts off but I cant get the PTO off the bottom of the motor so the motor is still on the frame. I have some help tomorrow bringing some pullers so hopefully we can get it off. Spent all afternoon tearing it down to where it is now and cleaning parts.
Did you get the bolt out?

To get the bolt out, take out a spark plug and put a bunch of soft 1/2" nylon rope in the cylinder. That will keep it from turning. You need to do the same thing when you go to tighten the bolt to put the engine back.

Once the bolt is out you should not need pullers.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I got the bolt out. Had to take it apart down to the flywheel and I wrapped a cloth around the piece the fan bolts to and used a pipe wrench to keep it fron turning as I got the PTO bolt out. The bolt had a lot of corrosion on it and all inside the PTO so its just froze on the shaft. Getting a puller to get it off hopefully before the weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I would not even bother to tear apart that 16 year old motor. Buy a new 25 hp conversion kit for around 1,000 and be done with it and get a significant power boost.
Nothing wrong with the 18 hp motor. A steel cam gear and all the tappets and gaskets is around $250. I have also heard the 25 hp conversion doesn't allow you to use the hood. I would rather just save the extra $750+ and not have to deal with all the extra headaches.
 
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