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i'd greatly appreciate your help gents: i was just cutt'n the grass, no heavy loads or anything adverse, and all of the sudden, i see white'ish gray smoke which appeared to be coming from the area between the engine and the rear end, and then it died... all in about 5 seconds. when I turn the key- zilch, nothing... no clicks, burrs, hums,... nothing. any thoughts on where to start? when i think about it, occasionally i have been smelling a slight odor of gas, but not major, and no drips.
 

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i'd greatly appreciate your help gents: i was just cutt'n the grass, no heavy loads or anything adverse, and all of the sudden, i see white'ish gray smoke which appeared to be coming from the area between the engine and the rear end, and then it died... all in about 5 seconds. when I turn the key- zilch, nothing... no clicks, burrs, hums,... nothing. any thoughts on where to start? when i think about it, occasionally i have been smelling a slight odor of gas, but not major, and no drips.
I would pull the spark plug see if it turns over and if any oil ect comes out the plug hole. Sounds like a blown piston to me. If it is air cooled. If not then might be a blown head gasket or piston rings and water was the white smoke? Not much info unless I look up a 445 to see what it is. But it does not sound good or cheap to fix if it is? Take a look at the plug/plugs. Could be Fuel Related also. Take a look at what others found causing this.https://www.google.com/search?ei=v9MIW7WwDJLG0PEP5-q5mA0&q=JD445+white+smoke+stalls&oq=JD445+white+smoke+stalls&gs_l=psy-ab.12...3662.23183.0.25749.23.21.0.0.0.0.1275.5540.6-5j1.6.0....0...1.1.64.psy-ab..17.4.3486...0i10k1j33i21k1j33i160k1.0.rvMUqLno9WU
 

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Remove the side panel and check the blade fuses on the control board below the steering wheel.

Nothing happens if no power is available.

Not sure why it would blow. PTO solenoid shorted?? Wire grounded out under the seat pan??

I would do a good visual before hitting the key.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Many Thanks

I would pull the spark plug see if it turns over and if any oil ect comes out the plug hole. Sounds like a blown piston to me. If it is air cooled. If not then might be a blown head gasket or piston rings and water was the white smoke? Not much info unless I look up a 445 to see what it is. But it does not sound good or cheap to fix if it is? Take a look at the plug/plugs. Could be Fuel Related also. Take a look at what others found causing this.https://www.google.com/search?ei=v9MIW7WwDJLG0PEP5-q5mA0&q=JD445+white+smoke+stalls&oq=JD445+white+smoke+stalls&gs_l=psy-ab.12...3662.23183.0.25749.23.21.0.0.0.0.1275.5540.6-5j1.6.0....0...1.1.64.psy-ab..17.4.3486...0i10k1j33i21k1j33i160k1.0.rvMUqLno9WU
Many Thanks
 

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I doubt it is the engine based on where the smoke came from and the fact there is no power to anything with the key. There is a circuit board when you take off the side cover in the area that you seen smoke from. I can’t remember but I think this is where there is fuses as well I would check out the circuitboard or wiring.

If it was from the exhaust the first thing I would check is the oil level and see if it is over full because in fuel is getting into the oil.
 

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When something like this happens, it tends to throw us out of "sync" and we kind of "panic" and end up not following the normal start up steps. So make sure you have the PTO switch turned off before you attempt to start it. Otherwise, you will get "NOTHING" when you try to start it. In fact, pull and push the switch a few times to make sure it is in the off position.

You could also have a bad seat switch.......:dunno:

I would suggest

A. -setting the parking brake

B. - making sure the PTO switch is off (cycle it as I described above)

C. - and then trying to start it. If nothing, then proceed to the electrical panels.



As Herminator stated, start with the electrical panels which are at the base of the steering column, pull the side panels to check them.

You also want to make sure the battery is good and connected. You may have had a battery fail or even a cable work loose. The control modules in these machines do go bad. That would mean a dead tractor as well.

Also, the alternators on these machines are known to give up the ghost and if the battery is weak, you would also get nothing.The alternator is near the radiator screen under the hood, behind the engine. I have seen alternators fail and cause a appearance of some smoke and is some cases, its actually dust from the parts coming apart. It's more "mid tractor" than front, so that might be what you saw. If the alternator wasn't charging, the battery would be dead and nothing would happen. ( By posting the above, I am thinking out loud, which is why I am posting the things I am thinking about to help you consider what to check, etc.........)

Start with the simple stuff first, before assuming catastrophic failure. That means all switches off, good battery, check engine oil level, check all fuses, etc. I personally doubt it's a blown engine. Those tend to provide some advance warning with excessive smoke, running rough or other issues. Rarely does the Kawasaki in the 445 "just give up the ghost".

Ok, follow these steps after completing A. B, C above.........,

1. Confirm the battery is good first. It should test 12.5 volts with an Ohm meter..... or battery tester.

2. Make sure the fuses aren't blown in the electrical panel. Not only should you test EACH FUSE, pull them out and clean them as they tend to get all of the dust and crap from the radiator fan pulling in the dust when mowing. Spray each fuse with electrical contact cleaner and reinstall. If you have ANY doubts about the fuses, replace them all with the same mp fuses.

3. When you turn the key "ON", before actually trying to start it, do you hear the fuel pump running in the tank? You should hear a faint "humming" coming from the area under the seat.

4. Are you sure there is gas in the tank? Actually look, don't rely on the fuel gauge and they fail over time.

Let's start there and see what results you get.

Important questions to help us help you.....

Also, how many hours are on the machine?

How long have you had it?

Do you know if the camshafts have been replaced in this tractor engine (likely, many years ago....)?

This is going to be a "step by Step" process to rule things out to find the culprit. But as I stated earlier, always start with the simple stuff first before assuming a major failure.

Please make sure to follow up with replies so we can try to help........

We will do what we can to help you find the issue. I have a 455 diesel, so I know these machines very, very well.......
 

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I'll just throw something into this. Years ago, I had the battery go bad (open cell) in my '87 Wheelhorse, while I was mowing. It was getting dark, so I had my headlights on. Suddenly, the headlights got really bright as did all the idiot lights on the dash. Turned it off and everything was dead, no lights, no crank, nothing. Checked battery voltage, and got zero. Bought a new battery and all was well.

Not much electronics on that old machine, matter of fact, none that effects engine function. Battery opened, alternator saw no "ballast load" and charge voltage just skyrocketed (hence the sudden brightness of the headlights). I'm sure that if there were electronic circuit boards on the tractor, the overvoltage could have fried them.

So did you get a whiff of the white smoke? Did it smell like electronic smoke, or oil smoke? May help you diagnose.

Just something else to check. 2 cents. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you every one

With respect to the smoke, it didn't smell like oil or gas or anything 'cumbustive' (i think i just made up a word there...). Based upon the post regarding no engine issues that would 'provide some advance warning with excessive smoke, running rough or other issues', there's been nothing, just John Deere reliability. The seat dead-man switch has started to get touchy...lean your weight a bit to one side and it trips? but the smoke I saw definitely came from the mid-section of the tractor. I have a suspicion it's a healthy electrical failure based upon some of your comments.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Beautiful beaches, moderated summer heat and lake effect snows...

When something like this happens, it tends to throw us out of "sync" and we kind of "panic" and end up not following the normal start up steps. So make sure you have the PTO switch turned off before you attempt to start it. Otherwise, you will get "NOTHING" when you try to start it. In fact, pull and push the switch a few times to make sure it is in the off position.

You could also have a bad seat switch.......:dunno:

I would suggest

A. -setting the parking brake

B. - making sure the PTO switch is off (cycle it as I described above)

C. - and then trying to start it. If nothing, then proceed to the electrical panels.



As Herminator stated, start with the electrical panels which are at the base of the steering column, pull the side panels to check them.

You also want to make sure the battery is good and connected. You may have had a battery fail or even a cable work loose. The control modules in these machines do go bad. That would mean a dead tractor as well.

Also, the alternators on these machines are known to give up the ghost and if the battery is weak, you would also get nothing.The alternator is near the radiator screen under the hood, behind the engine. I have seen alternators fail and cause a appearance of some smoke and is some cases, its actually dust from the parts coming apart. It's more "mid tractor" than front, so that might be what you saw. If the alternator wasn't charging, the battery would be dead and nothing would happen. ( By posting the above, I am thinking out loud, which is why I am posting the things I am thinking about to help you consider what to check, etc.........)

Start with the simple stuff first, before assuming catastrophic failure. That means all switches off, good battery, check engine oil level, check all fuses, etc. I personally doubt it's a blown engine. Those tend to provide some advance warning with excessive smoke, running rough or other issues. Rarely does the Kawasaki in the 445 "just give up the ghost".

Ok, follow these steps after completing A. B, C above.........,

1. Confirm the battery is good first. It should test 12.5 volts with an Ohm meter..... or battery tester.

2. Make sure the fuses aren't blown in the electrical panel. Not only should you test EACH FUSE, pull them out and clean them as they tend to get all of the dust and crap from the radiator fan pulling in the dust when mowing. Spray each fuse with electrical contact cleaner and reinstall. If you have ANY doubts about the fuses, replace them all with the same mp fuses.

3. When you turn the key "ON", before actually trying to start it, do you hear the fuel pump running in the tank? You should hear a faint "humming" coming from the area under the seat.

4. Are you sure there is gas in the tank? Actually look, don't rely on the fuel gauge and they fail over time.

Let's start there and see what results you get.

Important questions to help us help you.....

Also, how many hours are on the machine?

How long have you had it?

Do you know if the camshafts have been replaced in this tractor engine (likely, many years ago....)?

This is going to be a "step by Step" process to rule things out to find the culprit. But as I stated earlier, always start with the simple stuff first before assuming a major failure.

Please make sure to follow up with replies so we can try to help........

We will do what we can to help you find the issue. I have a 455 diesel, so I know these machines very, very well.......
... sounds like the shores of Lake Michigan?
 
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