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Discussion Starter #1
First, a little background:

I bought it new, 1998, 54" deck, powerflow bagger, and has the FD611V, liquid cooled, so it does NOT have the plastic cam gear.

I have maintained it regularly, and had a water pump replaced BY THE DEALER, about 2 months ago. It has been running fine, but in the past couple of weeks, there started to be some intermittent noise up front, that sounded like a rattle. I thought the PTO clutch mount bolts might have come lose, but there was no play in the bearings and the mounting bolts were fine. Also, the noise occurs with and without the PTO engaged.

I am afraid it may be coming from the engine, but don't know where/how to start looking for the problem.

Any tips or experience with this would be appreciated.


thanks

(I've posted on another forum, also)
 

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Idler pulley underneath up in the front.Had the same problem with mine before I traded it in. Take the spring tension off the drive belt and spin the idler near the pto.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Idler pulley underneath up in the front.Had the same problem with mine before I traded it in. Take the spring tension off the drive belt and spin the idler near the pto.
You're talking about the main drive belt idler pulley, right? I am almost sure that my mower still has the original drive belt, as I don't recall it ever being replaced. I'll check that out this week.

thanks
 

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I think the 21 years I had my 345 I replaced that belt once.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Idler pulley underneath up in the front.Had the same problem with mine before I traded it in. Take the spring tension off the drive belt and spin the idler near the pto.
I brought it into the garage this morning, and was determined to find where it was coming from. I removed the deck to crawl underneath to check what I could find. I looked at the main drive belt idler pulley, and what I found was the front idler pulley was fine. I looked further and found the second idler pulley toward the rear was totally wasted, and the bolt was in there, but the center of the pulley was gone. I guess the bushing was the only reason it stayed in place.

mower jack and deck removed.jpg

idler arm pullu no. 2.jpg

idler arm pullu no. 2 fail.jpg
 

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Good to hear you found it.They don't cost much but they can be a bugger to change out.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Good to hear you found it.They don't cost much but they can be a bugger to change out.
Yeah, that tension spring is a pain to remove/replace sometimes. I've done it on other JD lawn tractors, and it can get to be tedious. Especially for me with a fracture and 15-stitched index finger on one hand from a Gravely 50" deck that fell on it while working on the pulleys.....LOL

Thanks for the tip!

finger wound.jpg
 

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To remove the idle pulley you referred too, your best bet and don't ask me how I know, is to remove the rear fender and platform and the fuel tank. It is much easier to get to and replace....you shouldn't get any fractured and cut finders. I know all about how it is don...I've been there... you see I also have a JD 345...1999 year. BTW: John Deere didn't install the Kawasaki FD611V in a 1998 year model... Only started in 1999.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
To remove the idle pulley you referred too, your best bet and don't ask me how I know, is to remove the rear fender and platform and the fuel tank. It is much easier to get to and replace....you shouldn't get any fractured and cut finders. I know all about how it is don...I've been there... you see I also have a JD 345...1999 year. BTW: John Deere didn't install the Kawasaki FD611V in a 1998 year model... Only started in 1999.
Well, maybe the ol' memory is a year off, because I DO HAVE an FD611V in mine, and, I bought it new.....might have been in 99, but I sweated out the plastic cam gear issue until I found out the FD611 has the metal gear, and I've got 1011 hours on it right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, single-handedly (reference the fractured and stitched finger), I was able to remove and replace the destroyed main drive idler pulley. That includes removing the tension spring with just a large screwdriver as a lever, and re-installing the main drive belt, re-installing my 54" deck, and re-installing the powerflow bagger system. Did it all in 2 hours, and it's purring like a kitten, again.

Thanks for the help.

345 sale 1.jpg
 

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Well, single-handedly (reference the fractured and stitched finger), I was able to remove and replace the destroyed main drive idler pulley. That includes removing the tension spring with just a large screwdriver as a lever, and re-installing the main drive belt, re-installing my 54" deck, and re-installing the powerflow bagger system. Did it all in 2 hours, and it's purring like a kitten, again.

Thanks for the help.

View attachment 694200
Looks like the old boy I traded in.
 

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