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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
345 abnormal smoking - rocker arm cover help

my 345 has been smoking for a while now, so i figured i'd try to investigate exactly what was going on. it smokes for about 10 minutes, much longer than the "usual" smoke. i'm pretty sure what is happening is oil is leaking down into the muffler and is taking forever to burn off while the muffler warms up.

changed the oil yesterday and thought it would be a good time to troubleshoot. i ran it and burned all the oil off, then checked it every few hours. this morning it looked like it was coming out of the rocker arm cover. i took the cover off, and there was oil in there.

is it normal for there to be oil in the rocker arm cover? hopefully all i need is a new gasket for that cover. if its not normal for there to be oil in there, then i'll have to figure out how its getting in there.
 

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Yes should be oil in there.

I need to get a new gasket for mine as my left side is leaking a little too.
 

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You hope there is oil in the value/rocker covers. Otherwise, you would be in real trouble. Oil is what keeps the lifters, value guides, value springs lubricated. Should oil get past the value guides into the head, it would burn oil. Run your finger under the value cover to determine if some oil is dripping down on the muffler. The value cover gaskets are $1.25 ea. When you install the new ones, don't tighten the cover down to much, as you will sprung the alignment which will add more into oil leaking.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
thanks guys. picked up a service manual yesterday, so i have the torque spec. i will buy a new gasket and give it a try.

edit: where did you see them for $1.25? greenpartstore has them for 5.75. i'll try calling my dealer tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Got the gasket from the dealer today. Gave him the JDparts.com part number, but he said they updated it to a better gasket. instead of being a round o-ring kind of gasket, its flat and covers the entire mating surface. below is a picture comparing the 2.

Installed it and so far no problems. I will check it tomorrow and see if there are any leaks.

 

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In my thousand years of repairing outboards and auto engines, never trusted the almighty wonder...the "O" ring for leaking preventer. That also applies to the "New" wonder..the silicone gasket maker.

Glad to hear the JD finally got wise to the value/rocker cover gasket item.
 

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When you remove the VC, you should see evidence that oil was there, but there should be no oil accumulated there. Look for the drain hole(s) and verify they're clear. I once had a Kohler Command on a stump grinder that always started with a good cloud of smoke, was the only one of three that did that. When it came time for the first ring job, I discovered the drain hole in the head was not drilled through, and all the rocker arm lubrication was draining back through the pushrod galley, effectively flooding the head. Finishing the hole solved the problem.
 

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I am going thru same thing with my 345 wondering why dealers are trying to sell me a whole new valve cover and new gasket.they said old Oring are no longer sold
 

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glad you got it fixed, it is nice when what seems like a major issue turns out to be a 5$ gasket :trink40: :fing32:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
i didn't have to buy a new valve cover, but then again i have the 20hp engine.
maybe if you have the 18hp, it is different?

the new gasket alone is still working fine.
 

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My new X540 smokes at start up since day 1
 

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Having a similar issue with my 345. Looks like I have oil coming out of the exhaust gasket. Looks wet and smokey.
Would the valve cover gasket do anything here or is it something else?
thanks
kjh
 

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Your valve cover gasket is leaking on the exhaust. Mine did the same a couple years ago and it really does look like it's coming from the exhaust. When You take off the valve cover take a look at the o ring style gasket it becomes dry and hard on the corner closest to the exhaust pipe from all the heat in that area. This is why they went with a different style gasket. Mine lasted 12 plus years so I couldn't complain. BILL
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Having a similar issue with my 345. Looks like I have oil coming out of the exhaust gasket. Looks wet and smokey.
Would the valve cover gasket do anything here or is it something else?
thanks
kjh
sure sounds like the exact same symptoms as mine. pretty easy to check. do a quick cleaning around the cover, run it for a few minutes, and check on it in a couple of days and see if there is oil coming out.
 
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