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Discussion Starter #1
I know this problem has surely been covered in the past, but I couldn’t seem to find a solution to the problem. My 345 drips gas on the muffler causing it to smoke pretty heavily for a few minutes after start up. It seems to be dripping from this part. Does this whole thing need to be replaced or is it just the gasket? I also don’t see how I’m going to loosen the bolt off from the other side. It’s an extremely tight fit. Thanks.

 

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Fuel pump. If that's the left side front, the fuel pump is right above it. It's been the source of many 345 melt downs. Look closely at your first pic center. There is a clear wash area above the gasket line all the way to the top of the pic. The gas is most likely coming from a weep hole in the back of the pump. I would caution you against running it that way but you probably already know that. Also check your fuel lines going to and from the pump. They deteriorate with ethanol and age and are prone to leaking. If one is bad replace all of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Roger that. I’ll clean it up good and check it all out.
 

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Ours did the same thing. all i did was replace the valve cover seals... hope this helps...
 

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Ours did the same thing. all i did was replace the valve cover seals... hope this helps...
Valve cover gaskets are cheap and easy to replace but he said gasoline. Two very different animals and consequences. Gasoline will be very noticable due to odor.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Valve cover gaskets are cheap and easy to replace but he said gasoline. Two very different animals and consequences. Gasoline will be very noticable due to odor.
It drips like gas but doesn’t smell like gas. I’m on it. I’ll report back my findings for sure.
 

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If it doesn't smell like gas, it ain't gas. Valve cover gaskets. Aluminum covers have aluminum type gaskets. Plastic ones have a thin rubber compound.
 

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Looks like you need both. Valve cover gaskets and fuel pump. Oil is causing the black and gas is cleaning it off. The new pump will have a drain tube attached to the weep hole. When this type leaks fuel the hose will keep it off the hot exhaust.
 

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I think the 2000 had the upgraded fuel pump,but this was also the transition year. The newer style fuel pump will have the drain hoses on it.Valve cover gaskets were a common problem for leaking too.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I do believe I have the newer pump. I’ll dig in there again and try to find out exactly where the leak is coming from.
 

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I do believe I have the newer pump. I’ll dig in there again and try to find out exactly where the leak is coming from.

Make sure you have a fire extinguisher handy!!!!!!! Yikes.
 

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I do believe I have the newer pump. I’ll dig in there again and try to find out exactly where the leak is coming from.
99% of the time gas is leaking out the weep hole. Gas will leak when the internal seal goes bad. Either that or inside the crankcase.
 

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99% of the time gas is leaking out the weep hole. Gas will leak when the internal seal goes bad. Either that or inside the crankcase.
Check the oil to see if your gaining.Give the oil a smell test for gas.Mine didn't leak external but was getting into the oil.
 

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You're on the right track to clean it off and see what and where it is leaking. This has a liquid cooled engine doesn't it? Just thought I'd throw this out as something else to be looking for. One of the photos shows a drip hanging on a bolt head that appears green. You may have a leaking coolant pump, hose, or gasket. Might be why it feels like gas but doesn't smell like it. Find and fix to avoid fire or other damage. Good hunting!

tommyhawk
 

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How can so many be so wrong here. NOTE: The so-called leaky fuel pump is no where near the leaf side head/exhaust pipe. What is has, are two problems: One is the bad left valve cover gasket, and the other is a bad water/coolant leaking thermostat
Fuel/gasoline is not green color, nor is motor oil. Only anti-freeze is a color green as we all know. When the oil leaks from the bad valve cover gasket it runs down on the exhaust pipe and burns/smoked like the dickens when the engine starts. Probably get some smoky also from the coolant there.
 

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How can so many be so wrong here. NOTE: The so-called leaky fuel pump is no where near the leaf side head/exhaust pipe. What is has, are two problems: One is the bad left valve cover gasket, and the other is a bad water/coolant leaking thermostat
Fuel/gasoline is not green color, nor is motor oil. Only anti-freeze is a color green as we all know. When the oil leaks from the bad valve cover gasket it runs down on the exhaust pipe and burns/smoked like the dickens when the engine starts. Probably get some smoky also from the coolant there.
You have to remember we don't have smellavision so we can only suggest based on what the owner sees and smells and puts in his description.Yes that drip on the bolt head looks green but it could be a reflection off the tractor or flash of the pic or even sunlight.
 

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The fuel pump is way below the area of the head/exhaust area. Gravity comes into play here and it (fuel) don't flow upwards.
If the thermostat is not leaking at the threads or otherwise, it's a bad head as that left side head has a water port in it that is cracked causing the leak of coolant. Of course, if the head/valve cover gasket is bad, there is also oil leak due to the fact oil remains in the head after engine shut-down.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Holy cow. Never thought of a coolant leak but that makes sense. Is 50/50 coolant flammable? The smoke is white and not toxic at all. Just an FYI, I’ve got a busy week and won’t get to diagnose further till the end of the week. Thanks so much for all the help, everybody.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
This is what I started with:

I cleaned everything up as best I could and tightened up the 10 mm bolts. I ran it for about 20 minutes at three-quarter throttle and didn’t notice anything dripping. By the way, I do believe it is oil but there doesn’t seem to be any oil loss.
This morning there was no oil dripping from the bolts circled in red. There is, however, a small amount of oil coming from the bolts circled in blue. I believe (I agree), I’ve got a bad valve cover gasket, at least, and will replace it. Anything I should know before taking off the cover? Thanks very much.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Gaskets in stock at the dealership in Stevens Point. Service guy (really nice fellow) recommends I adjust my valves. Anybody done that on a 345 or similar?
 
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