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Discussion Starter #1
First let me say hello, My name is Greg and I am a new member in the Dallas Fort Worth area.

I have had JD mowers before but not this fuel injected type. I am on the verge of taking it to the shop for diagnosis, but thought I would give this forum a whirl first. Any help at all will be greatly appreciated.

I have had this high hour JD445 mower for about a year now and it has been running well up until recently. I love this JD, the best I have ever owned.

The first thing I noticed was that after starting it on half throttle, it took longer to warm up enough to go full throttle and turn the blades on. The next couple of times starting it, was hard to get it started. It seemed like I had to advance the throttle all the way up then put it back in mid position as it fired to get it to start.

THEN.... a couple days ago I went to start it, it would only idle with the throttle on low and would die every time I advanced the throttle. Weirdly, for a while it actually did idle roughly for several minutes on full throttle. (but usually died when I raise the throttle to high)

I have unplugged the fuel line and it is pushing a lot of fuel so I think that rules out the fuel pump. When it was sputtering along the other day I took the breather off and dripped fuel in the carbs and it briefly sounded just like it used to before the issues at hand.

Today I tried to start it again and it would only pop off for a second when I had the throttle in the lowest position... I cannot get it to run...although I didn't try the gas trick again.

Anyway I was guessing maybe the fuel injectors until I googled around to find out about MAP sensors and other electrical gremlins. I am hoping someone here has an idea what I can do to diagnosis the cause so I do not end up buying parts i don't need or incurring the time and expense of taking it to the JD dealership.

Thank you in advance for reading and contemplating my situation.
 

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Have you looked at the ignition system? There is a box that fires the coils which in turn fire the plugs On the 445 it is the called the fuel injection/ignition module. Otherwise the single injector could be plugged. What is the status of the red and green LEDs on the safety interlock board? What is the status of the dash lights? (fuel injection lamp)?
 

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Welcome!

You didn't mention any maintenance. Is the oil clean enough to support compression? Are the air cleaners clear? Has the fuel filter ever been replaced? Plugs?

Possibly look at the spark plugs and verify spark. One cylinder tends to be richer and can fowl the plug over extended run times. (Years) Ignition coils also fail on these tractors.
You can pull the air cleaner off and look into the throttle body and see fuel spraying down on the butterfly while cranking the engine. Because it's fuel injected the fuel pressure is critical. Should be 25-27 PSI. A plugged fuel filter will mess that up. And no, pulling the return hose is not a valid fuel test.

A weak or dead cylinder would exhibit the same issues you described on throttle up.

Let us know what you find.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all for the help. I don't know why i didn't get an email notice that there were responses, but glad I checked back in.

I hope its not something serious like a bad cylinder or head gasket issue... although there is oil dripping a little from the valve covers.

I did not see a fuel filter but I will look again. The air cleaner looks fine and actually I had the cover off when dorking with it and it didn't make it run any better....except when I dribbled gas in the carb.

The oil looks brand new, but I have not run a compression check on the cylinders but will do that tomorrow.

I dont have a Fuel pressure tester so I suppose I will have to take it in to the JD dealer to have that done. I did pull the gas line and turned the key on and it spewed fuel for a couple seconds ... about 3 to 4 ounces.

I put new plugs in it the last day I fiddled with it.

I did not notice any lights on the dash light or fuel injection light but I will take another look tomorrow.

I have not looked at the ignition system and dont know what to do to trouble shoot that question.
 

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Sorry to ask such basic questions but troubleshooting from a computer screen has it's challenges.


It seems like a fuel issue. The fuel filter is up along the frame, under the foot pan. I would pull the mower deck for easier access. Snap a vise grip on the fuel line entering the fuel filter. It still dumps quite a bit of fuel and most likely will be dripping off your elbows by the time you get the old one out. The couple I have worked on had the automotive type plastic release clips. Just make sure the O-rings and new filter are clean when you snap the new one in. This filter is in a very dirty location. I use the pressure washer and clean the area by the filter and let it drip dry.


It could be a fuel pump, fuel line, or pressure regulator. I would start with the basics first.


Also, I always ran seafoam in my fuel. Not worth the gamble in my opinion.
Good Luck!

 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for this advise and especially on how to find the filter. I will change it out first with my fingers crossed.

Sorry to ask such basic questions but troubleshooting from a computer screen has it's challenges.


It seems like a fuel issue. The fuel filter is up along the frame, under the foot pan. I would pull the mower deck for easier access. Snap a vise grip on the fuel line entering the fuel filter. It still dumps quite a bit of fuel and most likely will be dripping off your elbows by the time you get the old one out. The couple I have worked on had the automotive type plastic release clips. Just make sure the O-rings and new filter are clean when you snap the new one in. This filter is in a very dirty location. I use the pressure washer and clean the area by the filter and let it drip dry.


It could be a fuel pump, fuel line, or pressure regulator. I would start with the basics first.


Also, I always ran seafoam in my fuel. Not worth the gamble in my opinion.
Good Luck!

 

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Was not Fuel Filter, at least not completely

I went and bought a new fuel filter from JD and installed it. I also bought a $15 harbor freight fuel pressure gauge. I installed the filter and attached the gauge to the other end of the filter. I think it reads 7 psig.

When i hooked everything back up it will start momentarily when I have the throttle as low as it will go... but will not pop off at all if I try to start it with the throttle in any other position.
 

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Bummer. 7 PSI, that won't cut it.
Curious where you grabbed the fuel reading from?


The easiest thing for me to do is just snapshot the fuel pressure test procedure so you can study on it before attacking it again. I know we never discussed the fuel pressure relief screw, front left near the bottom of the throttle body. Its used to bleed pressure off when working on the fuel system and is normaly closed. "C" in the diagram. Just verify someone didn't open that and it's messing with the fuel system. You will need to find it to run the test anyway.





 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I will read this later today and go test it again. My gauge appears to only go to 10 psig. I tried putting a picture of the tester in my last post but it wouldnt upload correctly. It is the harbor freight tester $13.99

https://www.harborfreight.com/fuel-pump-and-vacuum-tester-62637.html

my reading was at the 0.5 and 7 mark on the top. (and I tested it by putting the rubber hose on the other end of the filter)... it did spray some gas out around my connection after the third try)
 

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solved... probably

Rather than splice into the fancy fuel connector to check pressure, I just decided to remove the fuel pump to see if it was clogged. Looked clean but there is a 2" long black hose that ties together the bottom and top half of the pump and it looks like it has rotted a hole in it. I am heading to oreillys now to get a new hose and will report back. I hope they have a hose that will hold up to submersion in gasoline.


I will read this later today and go test it again. My gauge appears to only go to 10 psig. I tried putting a picture of the tester in my last post but it wouldnt upload correctly. It is the harbor freight tester $13.99

https://www.harborfreight.com/fuel-pump-and-vacuum-tester-62637.html

my reading was at the 0.5 and 7 mark on the top. (and I tested it by putting the rubber hose on the other end of the filter)... it did spray some gas out around my connection after the third try)
 

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It's funny how finding something wrong, makes you feel so good. :thumbup1gif:
 

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Pull the fuel pump out the tank and check for a cracked hose between fuel pump and tube. Common issue.

Sent from my LGL52VL using Tapatalk
I am with Copter Doc on this one, as it's most likely a fuel issue. My money is on the supply line.

The hoses are known to crack over time. After all, they are already at least 18 to 26 years old......

To do this, you will need to pull the rear operator deck off the tractor which is the big green body under the seat. It's not as imposing as it might seem.

Follow these directions;

1. Remove the seat from the seat mount, which means you flip the seat forward and pull the rod out of the front of the seat pivot and lift the seat off. This leaves the seat suspension system on the operator platform. You can remove the platform with the seat on if you have help, it not, its too hard to balance with the seat flopping around as you try and balance the platform (this is FAR from my first rodeo on this issue..:laugh:...)

2. CAREFULLY Unplug the seat switch from the switch in the operator platform. Make sure the wires don't pull from the plug. Never unplug anything by pulling on the wires.

3. There are two bolts on the bottom side of the foot rest where it joins the operator platform. You get to these from under the platform. There are also the two bolts through the platform on each side of the seat mounting point. A total of 6 bolts with the 4 in the operator platform which have nuts. Remove all of them.

4. Unhook tail lights by unplugging them.

5. Lift off the operator platform by picking it straight up. You may have to "wiggle it" to get it loose if it hasn't been apart before. It may require a extra set of hands depending upon your reach, upper body strength, etc. It is easier with two people, for sure.....Make sure to not damage the seat switch wire, it will need to be fished through the bezel (opening) on the platform before lifting it completely off.

6. Carefully set the operator platform where it won't get stepped on, run over or otherwise damaged. They are expensive to replace.

7. Carefully clean all of the debris off the top of the fuel tank, rear frame member, differential, etc. Begine by cleaning it by hand as it tends to be very dry, very dense and makes a HUGE mess if you hit it with compressed air or a blower before getting the majority of it off the tractor. Then, use a hand held leaf blower to clean out all of the debris (and there is likely to be a lot of it.....like a 5 gallon bucket full or more) as you remove it. Get everything cleaned off well before opening the fuel tank, etc. Carefully power wash everything if its really dirty.

8. Make sure to note the fuel hose positions and how they are routed before you remove them so when you put the Operator platform back on you aren't crushing or pinching fuel lines.

9. Remove the fuel sending unit retention ring which is a large plastic threaded ring. Lefty loosey, rightie tightie. Its likely to be snug, but you should be able to loosen it with your hands. This is IMPORTANT, note the orientation of the sending unit / fuel pump assembly before removing it. Put a mark on the sending unit and on the tank to provide a reference for putting it properly back in the tank. It will fit in a variety of ways, but the wrong ways will cause the sending unit float to not provide a correct fuel level reading as it will get hung up on the side of the tank in some of the wrong positions.

10. CAREFULLY unplug the wiring plug from the sending unit and then lift it out of the tank . This is the gas gauge as well as powers the fuel pump. Check the connections for any corrosion and to make sure the pins don't get pulled out of the plug when you unplug it. Never pull on the wires themselves as this causes the wires pins to pull back out of the plugs and this is a tricky problem to find down the road.

11. Carefully check the fuel lines on the tank sending unit. Also, the fuel line in the tank will have a fuel screen on the end of it, which can collapse over time, restricting fuel flow. These you should replace.

12. There is a short piece of fuel line, maybe 3" or so long between the sending unit top plate and the fuel pump inside the tank. This is the hose which gets rotted over time and when the fuel is 1/2 tank or lower, it will allow the line to suck air. Replace this fuel line. It is simply spring clamp held and use some pliers and open the clamps and reuse them on the new hose.

13. The hose is 1/4" fuel line which you can get at any parts store, but make sure it's actual FUEL LINE and rated for gasoline use. It should say right on it. The John Deere dealer will also have it in bulk, there is no part number as its an easy to obtain item.

14. The fuel pick up screen inside the tank is part number AM117116. Replace this for sure since you are in there.

15. The fuel pumps don't generally lose pressure, they either work or they don't.....Sounds like yours is working. I will tell you these are known to fail when high in hours. You may want to replace it since you are already in the tank and save yourself the trouble later. It is part number AM117108.

16. Make sure to slide the fuel clamps over the new line before installing it on the fuel pump and pick up. Slid the new fuel line on the nipples on both end as far as they will go and then position the clamps.

17. There is an important large O Ring which goes under the tank sending unit to seal the tank from splashing fuel out and also allowing dirt in the tank. This O ring is part number L2301CU do yourself a favor and replace it while you are in the tank, otherwise its likely to leak later. Sort of like the fuel pump, if you use the old one, you are likely to be replacing them soon, so put in new pieces now and save yourself the trouble.

Before you put the operator platform back on the tractor, make sure the parking brake is set and take the seat switch off the seat and plug it into the plug. Compress the seat switch with your fingers (or tape it shut) and start the tractor. You should be able to start the machine and throttle up the engine, etc to make sure your problem is solved before reassembly. I STRONGLY suggest you do this before reassembling everything..........Your problem should be solved.

18. Put everything back together carefully with special attention to these issues;

A. Make sure the O Ring is replaced on the sending unit base.

B. Make sure to orient the fuel sending unit correctly when reinstalling it so the gauge works right when you are done.

C. Clean the electrical connectors on the fuel pump and sending unit plugs. Apply die electric grease and then make sure to connect it so its tight.

D. Route the fuel lines carefully, as they were to avoid pinching them with the operator platform. Check them for any cracks or damage or mouse chew marks, if any signs of damage, replace them with fuel line. Note, they are different sizes (if I recall correctly) but you should be able to get them at the auto parts store or they are John Deere part reference number MF M175325, which isn't an actual part number is the bulk supply number and its sold by the foot.

E. WHen sitting the operator platform back on, make sure to fish the seat switch wire through the bezel so you can reach it to connect to the seat switch. (this mistake is often made and you don't want to have to remove the platform again to get the wire later....)

F. Once you have set the operator platform on the tractor, make sure to put every bolt through every hole and start them finger tight. So NOT tighten them until they are all in place and aligned properly. Snug everything up and You should be good to go.


 

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Rather than splice into the fancy fuel connector to check pressure, I just decided to remove the fuel pump to see if it was clogged. Looked clean but there is a 2" long black hose that ties together the bottom and top half of the pump and it looks like it has rotted a hole in it. I am heading to oreillys now to get a new hose and will report back. I hope they have a hose that will hold up to submersion in gasoline.
Glad ya got it. Did 2 in the last 2 months with same issue. This has been the year of the 4X5. Last year was 316, 318 322, 332.

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Discussion Starter #16
I just noticed your suggestion because I didn't see any posts that came up om page two. You were right. I put in the new two inch hose and it runs great again. I was originally thinking it was a fuel issue since it ran good when I dribbled gas directly into the carb, but after googling and a few nightmarish suggestions here I was horrified.

Pull the fuel pump out the tank and check for a cracked hose between fuel pump and tube. Common issue.

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Good evening All. This was a great post to read. I have been having similar issues with one of my 425’s. I am guessing they have the same fuel pump. So looks like I’ll be pulling the seat pan. This seems like a great time for a DEEP cleaning and shim the hydraulics.
 
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