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post #1 of 21 Old 08-31-2019, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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John Deere 345 starting issue

Hey guys, picked up a 99 345 to fix up as the previous owner couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it. He told me that he started having issues in the spring when it would run for about 10 minutes and then quite. He thought it was a fuel issue but eventually gave up.

Now that I have it, it has been sitting for the last three months. When I go to crank it over it does crank but won’t stop cranking even when I release the key. I end up having to disconnect the battery to stop it.

I was looking at the wires and don’t see anything obvious. It has the circuit board for the ignition and the two LED do light up so I guess that is working. Before I dig into the nine starting issue I would like to figure out why it won’t stop cranking, any ideas?

Thanks




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post #2 of 21 Old 08-31-2019, 05:36 PM
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Re: John Deere 345 starting issue

Instead of unhooking the battery just pull the purple wire off the starter solenoid. If it still keeps cranking then undo the batt. In this case the solenoid is sticking. I just repaired an LX255 with this problem today. I removed the starter and removed the solenoid from it and the solenoid was full of gritty crud. Flushed it out good and flushed out the upper end of the starter. Hold the starter upside down when doing this so none of the crud runs down into the starter motor. You just want to flush out the Bendix. The grease up the fork that moves the Bendix and install the solenoid. I put a tiny amount of lube on the sliding surface of the solenoid. All is good now.

If the starter stops turning when you pull off the purple wire then you have a switch, PCB or wiring harness issue.
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post #3 of 21 Old 08-31-2019, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: John Deere 345 starting issue

Thanks, you were right. The solenoid is sticking so I will take that apart and clean it.


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post #4 of 21 Old 08-31-2019, 10:43 PM
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Re: John Deere 345 starting issue

That should be - "Then grease up the fork...."
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post #5 of 21 Old 09-01-2019, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Re: John Deere 345 starting issue

Alright, don’t laugh! I got the starter off and went to unbolt the solenoid from the starter and it won’t come out. It seems to be hung up on something. What am I missing?


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post #6 of 21 Old 09-01-2019, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: John Deere 345 starting issue

Update, got the solenoid off and everything is moving freely after a good cleaning. Unfortunately, the problem has not gone away. Now I am wondering if the ignition board / key switch is bad. Any idea on how to test that?


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post #7 of 21 Old 09-01-2019, 03:21 PM
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Re: John Deere 345 starting issue

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Originally Posted by Tuner571 View Post
Update, got the solenoid off and everything is moving freely after a good cleaning. Unfortunately, the problem has not gone away. Now I am wondering if the ignition board / key switch is bad. Any idea on how to test that?

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If it doesn’t do the same thing after you remove the battery cable and reconnect it, there is a relay that is hanging up. There are such things as latching relays that work exactly as you describe. If you can disconnect the solenoid to stop the starter, reconnect it to see if the starter engages again. If it does, check the wiring diagram for relays that are in the circuit from the ignition switch to the solenoid. Then unplug them to find the culprit and find out if it’s the correct part. Maybe someone swapped a relay unintentionally.

JD 2014 X738; 25.5 hp; HDAP tires; 54” deck auto-connect; hyd. angle quick hitch;
adapted to Cyclone Rake Commander Pro; 54” snowblower; front PTO kit; LP41114 Enclosure; LED lighting; 54” blade; 125# mounted spreader; 10P cart

Scotts 2002 L17.542 17.5 hp; 42" w/bagger
Sold Husqvarna 2010 GTH27V52LS w/52" fab deck
Craftsman DLT2000, 48”
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post #8 of 21 Old 09-01-2019, 09:06 PM
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Re: John Deere 345 starting issue

Congrats on the purchase. Very nice machine. Looks to be in great condition.

I just purchased a 1998 345 from a dealer 2 hours away. Only has 627 hours on it and is in great condition as well. I will post pictures in a new thread later.

The dealer said they fixed a surging issue and the price was right, so I bought it.
As soon as I got it home off the trailer and rode around the house, it began to stall and flood out the engine. I called the salesman to tell him what happened and was told that they never did anything to it. I said "what about the surging problem?" He said they never found anything wrong with it and never did do anything to it. I said that is what the previous owner was telling you was wrong with it and was why he traded it in for a new tractor. I ended up working out a deal to get him to refund some of the $$ or I would be returning it. So he did.

Fast forward 2 weeks later, I replaced the carb and even with a new carb it still was flooding out.
After more youtube videos and online research I adjusted the high speed choke screw adjustment and all seems to be working properly now. It was choking when the throttle was set to the highest engine speed position without being in the choke position. Not 100% confident yet, but time will tell. Mowed the entire 1.6 acres with no issues today. Fingers crossed.

Not sure if that is your issue, but something to consider. I'm sure that is one of the reasons that they redesigned the throttle/choke levers to be separate.


2004 X485 (4/15) 25hp Kawasaki, 62" deck, 45 Loader, Front-mount de-thatcher.
2005 GX345 (11/09 124hrs) 20hp V-twin liquid cooled Kawasaki, 54" deck, Differential lock, Femco Cab Weather Enclosure, 42" snowblower, Electric Spout Rotation Kit.
1998 345 (08/19 627hrs) 18hp V-twin liquid cooled Kawasaki, 54" deck.
-SOLD-
2001 345 20hp V-twin liquid cooled Kawasaki, 54" deck
1998 GT275 17hp Kawasaki, 48" deck, Cab Enclosure, 38" Snowthrower, Manual Spout Kit
1997 LX188 17hp Kawasaki, 48" deck

Last edited by gt275; 09-01-2019 at 09:22 PM.
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post #9 of 21 Old 09-02-2019, 11:42 AM
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Re: John Deere 345 starting issue

"I adjusted the high speed choke screw adjustment and all seems to be working properly now. "


What and where is the high speed choke screw adjustment? Never heard of this kind of screw adjustment...
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post #10 of 21 Old 09-02-2019, 12:28 PM
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Re: John Deere 345 starting issue

The high speed screw adjustment will have nothing to do with the starter staying engaged. Power is getting to the starter through the solenoid. Either the solenoid is sticking on or something is telling it to.
  1. Check for power to the wire to the starter at the output of the solenoid.
  2. If you have power there, check for power to the solenoid coil.
  3. - If you don’t have power change the solenoid.
  4. - If you do have power, then trace the circuit back to the ignition switch and find out why it remains when the ignition switch is off.
  5. If power is still coming out of the ignition switch while in the off position, replace the ignition switch, but it is not likely.

JD 2014 X738; 25.5 hp; HDAP tires; 54” deck auto-connect; hyd. angle quick hitch;
adapted to Cyclone Rake Commander Pro; 54” snowblower; front PTO kit; LP41114 Enclosure; LED lighting; 54” blade; 125# mounted spreader; 10P cart

Scotts 2002 L17.542 17.5 hp; 42" w/bagger
Sold Husqvarna 2010 GTH27V52LS w/52" fab deck
Craftsman DLT2000, 48”
Ariens ST824 snowblower
SIL JD 2009 X360; 22 hp; 48" deck; w/mulch kit; 2015 44" Snowblower & Soft cab; 2x 42# weights,chains; cab mounted LED lighting
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post #11 of 21 Old 09-02-2019, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: John Deere 345 starting issue

Thanks for the tips everyone! I did check to see the power input to the solenoid and it does increase and decrease based on the key position. As one poster recommended I even disconnected the purple wire to the solenoid and the motor continued to crank. At this point I am going to order a new solenoid and see if that solves my problem.

I also checked to see if I have spark at the cylinders and I do not. Given that it’s both cylinders I feel that it the time delay module so I will be ordering one of those as well. Hopefully will be able to get this running soon!


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post #12 of 21 Old 09-02-2019, 05:05 PM
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Re: John Deere 345 starting issue

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Originally Posted by RT3360 View Post
The high speed screw adjustment will have nothing to do with the starter staying engaged. Power is getting to the starter through the solenoid. Either the solenoid is sticking on or something is telling it to.
  1. Check for power to the wire to the starter at the output of the solenoid.
  2. If you have power there, check for power to the solenoid coil.
  3. - If you don’t have power change the solenoid.
  4. - If you do have power, then trace the circuit back to the ignition switch and find out why it remains when the ignition switch is off.
  5. If power is still coming out of the ignition switch while in the off position, replace the ignition switch, but it is not likely.
I am referring to the first sentence of the original post.
This has nothing to do with the starter solenoid:

"Hey guys, picked up a 99 345 to fix up as the previous owner couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it. He told me that he started having issues in the spring when it would run for about 10 minutes and then quite. He thought it was a fuel issue but eventually gave up."

This is what mine did to and why I mentioned how I eventually fixed it. I never said the high speed adjustment screw had anything to do with the starter solenoid.


2004 X485 (4/15) 25hp Kawasaki, 62" deck, 45 Loader, Front-mount de-thatcher.
2005 GX345 (11/09 124hrs) 20hp V-twin liquid cooled Kawasaki, 54" deck, Differential lock, Femco Cab Weather Enclosure, 42" snowblower, Electric Spout Rotation Kit.
1998 345 (08/19 627hrs) 18hp V-twin liquid cooled Kawasaki, 54" deck.
-SOLD-
2001 345 20hp V-twin liquid cooled Kawasaki, 54" deck
1998 GT275 17hp Kawasaki, 48" deck, Cab Enclosure, 38" Snowthrower, Manual Spout Kit
1997 LX188 17hp Kawasaki, 48" deck
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post #13 of 21 Old 09-02-2019, 05:07 PM
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Re: John Deere 345 starting issue

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Originally Posted by 240vtx View Post
"I adjusted the high speed choke screw adjustment and all seems to be working properly now. "


What and where is the high speed choke screw adjustment? Never heard of this kind of screw adjustment...
It is located at the end of the throttle cable on the front right side of the engine directly behind the throttle plate. This is only on engines where the throttle and choke are on the same lever.


2004 X485 (4/15) 25hp Kawasaki, 62" deck, 45 Loader, Front-mount de-thatcher.
2005 GX345 (11/09 124hrs) 20hp V-twin liquid cooled Kawasaki, 54" deck, Differential lock, Femco Cab Weather Enclosure, 42" snowblower, Electric Spout Rotation Kit.
1998 345 (08/19 627hrs) 18hp V-twin liquid cooled Kawasaki, 54" deck.
-SOLD-
2001 345 20hp V-twin liquid cooled Kawasaki, 54" deck
1998 GT275 17hp Kawasaki, 48" deck, Cab Enclosure, 38" Snowthrower, Manual Spout Kit
1997 LX188 17hp Kawasaki, 48" deck

Last edited by gt275; 09-02-2019 at 05:22 PM.
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post #14 of 21 Old 09-03-2019, 10:19 AM
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Re: John Deere 345 starting issue

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Originally Posted by gt275 View Post
I am referring to the first sentence of the original post.
This has nothing to do with the starter solenoid:

"Hey guys, picked up a 99 345 to fix up as the previous owner couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it. He told me that he started having issues in the spring when it would run for about 10 minutes and then quite. He thought it was a fuel issue but eventually gave up."

This is what mine did to and why I mentioned how I eventually fixed it. I never said the high speed adjustment screw had anything to do with the starter solenoid.
Thanks for clearing things up (for me). It’s easy to get lost when multiple symptoms occur. Glad the OP is narrowing in on his present starting issue. It’s hard to tell if the problem the previous owner had is still there, but if it is, the OP will certainly have somewhere to look and will appreciate your input.

JD 2014 X738; 25.5 hp; HDAP tires; 54” deck auto-connect; hyd. angle quick hitch;
adapted to Cyclone Rake Commander Pro; 54” snowblower; front PTO kit; LP41114 Enclosure; LED lighting; 54” blade; 125# mounted spreader; 10P cart

Scotts 2002 L17.542 17.5 hp; 42" w/bagger
Sold Husqvarna 2010 GTH27V52LS w/52" fab deck
Craftsman DLT2000, 48”
Ariens ST824 snowblower
SIL JD 2009 X360; 22 hp; 48" deck; w/mulch kit; 2015 44" Snowblower & Soft cab; 2x 42# weights,chains; cab mounted LED lighting
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post #15 of 21 Old 09-03-2019, 12:07 PM
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Re: John Deere 345 starting issue

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Originally Posted by gt275 View Post
It is located at the end of the throttle cable on the front right side of the engine directly behind the throttle plate. This is only on engines where the throttle and choke are on the same lever.

I know of a idle speed screw and a idle mixture screw that usually has a limiter cap to limit adjustments. I know of no other adjustment screws on modern mower engines.
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