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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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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Jd 345

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.
 

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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.
 

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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...
 

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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.

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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
 

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Discussion Starter #9
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
 

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Discussion Starter #11
345 engine cuts out

My 345 used to cutout after heating up and then would not start up until minutes later. It was the TDM
I have been thinking about that. When I picked up the tractor from the repair of the water pump, they couldn't start it. They changed the TDM, and it started. They (and I) thought it had been from the pressure washing.

I guess it IS possible that the TDM is a bad one, or they washed it again. I'm gonna call 'em, as so far, all they decided to do was put on a new battery cable.

When your TDM failed, would the dash (idiot lights) go dark?


thanks
 

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Neither the TDM nor the black ignition box will cause a loss of all power. The key switch module.. Yes. But I have never seen one come and go. I guess it could happen. All power comes off of the starter solenoid lug and goes to the key switch module from there. Its just a matter of getting it to fail and track it down from there.

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Neither the TDM nor the black ignition box will cause a loss of all power. The key switch module.. Yes. But I have never seen one come and go. I guess it could happen. All power comes off of the starter solenoid lug and goes to the key switch module from there. Its just a matter of getting it to fail and track it down from there.

Sent from my LGL52VL using Tapatalk
Looking at the electrical diagram, it appears to me that the 12v goes through the seat switch, the brake switch, the PTO switch, and then to the Ignition Relay (which I assume is on the circuit board), then continues the loop back to the starter. The ONLY thing in the circuit additionally to the Ignition LED is a diode from the PTO switch. The Ignition module is downstream from the LED, so I guess if the LED is not lit (there are two on the circuit board, one RED, and one GREEN, as I recall), so the ONLY thing in the path to the LED is the ignition relay.

I asked the dealer service man to sub a known good ignition control board to see if that corrected the problem, but they have yet to try that.

Thanks for your inpuit.
 

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Looking at the electrical diagram, it appears to me that the 12v goes through the seat switch, the brake switch, the PTO switch, and then to the Ignition Relay (which I assume is on the circuit board), then continues the loop back to the starter. The ONLY thing in the circuit additionally to the Ignition LED is a diode from the PTO switch. The Ignition module is downstream from the LED, so I guess if the LED is not lit (there are two on the circuit board, one RED, and one GREEN, as I recall), so the ONLY thing in the path to the LED is the ignition relay.

I asked the dealer service man to sub a known good ignition control board to see if that corrected the problem, but they have yet to try that.

Thanks for your inpuit.
Correct.. Those are switched power. To have switched power, the unswitched power circuit has to be stable. The yellow, blue, purple, green are switched power circuits. The reds are unswitched and will always be hot.
Some shops keep known good common components in the shop to test with. Some dont. Testing the key switch module isnt that hard.


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I would recommend to replace the module (shot gun shell looking thing located under the fuel filter) it maybe $15 part but you have to solder it in place.
I know the TDM is moisture sensitive, and I've replaced it before. On my 345, it's a plug-in the cables type, not a solder-in. It wouldn't cause total electrical shutdown when hot, I don't think, but I may replace it if the shop can't find the problem.
 

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After reading couple of your last posting that you only have one LED light lit up on the Interlock Circuit Module Board...when there should be two...red and green, bring back memory that I had the same problem back in 2005 with my 345. The original installed "Circuit module board didn't have any LED lights. That all came later (LED lights) when they started replacing the board.

So, I would just consider you need to purchase a new one. here is a source....https://www.ebay.com/itm/JOHN-DEERE-OEM-IGNITION-MODULE-SWITCH-KEY-AM132500-TCA24616-345-GT235-LX277/291798901758?hash=item43f091e3fe:g:VF0AAOSwFNZWvOfQ:sc:USPSFirstClass!67337!US!-1

Before spending $127.00, I would check the fuses on the board. There are about six diodes also on the board, and there's is probably where the culprits come is play. If you let the dealer have (again) the tractor and they find it is the Module board, you are looking at $150.00 for a new board, plus $160.00 in labor. Play the tune...I'm a backyard mechanic.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
After reading couple of your last posting that you only have one LED light lit up on the Interlock Circuit Module Board...when there should be two...red and green, bring back memory that I had the same problem back in 2005 with my 345. The original installed "Circuit module board didn't have any LED lights. That all came later (LED lights) when they started replacing the board.

So, I would just consider you need to purchase a new one. here is a source....https://www.ebay.com/itm/JOHN-DEERE-OEM-IGNITION-MODULE-SWITCH-KEY-AM132500-TCA24616-345-GT235-LX277/291798901758?hash=item43f091e3fe:g:VF0AAOSwFNZWvOfQ:sc:USPSFirstClass!67337!US!-1

Before spending $127.00, I would check the fuses on the board. There are about six diodes also on the board, and there's is probably where the culprits come is play. If you let the dealer have (again) the tractor and they find it is the Module board, you are looking at $150.00 for a new board, plus $160.00 in labor. Play the tune...I'm a backyard mechanic.
I plan on calling the dealer tomorrow, to see what they've done. As I said, there was NOTHING wrong with the tractor before they did the water pump job, and power washed it 4 times.

If they haven't found the problem, I'm gonna get the tractor back and fix it myself.
 

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I plan on calling the dealer tomorrow, to see what they've done. As I said, there was NOTHING wrong with the tractor before they did the water pump job, and power washed it 4 times.

If they haven't found the problem, I'm gonna get the tractor back and fix it myself.
Decided to give the Dealer one more shot....they couldn't get it to start, either.

Wound up that they said I need a new wiring harness, which is NLA/Obsolete, so the 345 is being brought back to me, dead-in-the-water, and I'm gonna try troubleshooting myself. I got a copy of the Tech Manual, and all the wiring diagrams. My sense is that on the removal and re-install of the engine to change the water pump, coupled with 4 power washings, they either messed up a switch or the circuit board, and/or pinched/nicked a wire or two.

Stay tuned......
 
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