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Discussion Starter #1
I own a 97 John Deere 345 which I have had since new. It has never had a problem until now. My helper was mowing last week with it, and when I went to put it away I noticed the choke was on! I started it, and some black smoke came out, and it did not seem to run quite right. I went to start it the next day, and it would not start. It wanted to on full choke, but would not. It has spark, and the fuel pump is good. I thought something was wrong with the carb, as the plugs were getting wet and had soot on them. I took the carb apart and checked everything, float was good and working, everything was clean and clear. Same problem. Tractor has about 700 hours on it.

I pulled the valve covers to see if I had a bad plastic cam gear, but the valves are operating. My question is, can a bad cam gear slip a tooth, or does it just break and stop completely. It seems like it could be a cam timing issue, but the valves still work, so I know it is not completely broken. Could it be a weak spark under compression? I have heard that the ignition module is also a weak point, but I am unable to find it. The parts diagram shows the ignition module as the circuit board with the key. I have a serial No. aournd 40,000.

Any ideas would be appreciated! Thanks, Pete :thanku:
 

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Jersey Mechanic
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You don't say if it starts when you spray the carb or pour gas down it, but it sounds like a plugged fuel filter or more so a plugged gas cap vent.

Dan
 

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Don't forget that the fuel pump diaphragms do wear over time, might not be a bad idea to bypass the pump and see if that solves your problem.

Cam gear... If your cam is out of timing your most likely going to hear major noises as the piston would be hitting the valves.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It will try to run with starting fluid for about two seconds. Plenty of fuel to the carb.
 

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My 2000 345 has 2300hrs on it and has done something like what your is doing, It's has always been the gas cap vent. Just try cleaning out that little hole in top of gas cap.I hope it works out for you to.
 

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Check this thread out.

http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=58500

Mine has the same problem, but it (the macic part referenced in the thread) was replaced a few years so I have the new round one. I'll be putting a picture of it up, and will reply if it is the fix.

I've found that if I jiggle the red wire I can make it cut off or on, so I'm pretty sure that's it. I guess the new ones aren't that great either, but at least I diagnosed it myself.

They charged me $450 for diagnosing the problem the first time :-(

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Got it fixed! It was the ignition module. My early 345 has the module that is the circuit board attached to the ignition switch. Replaced it and and the engine started right up!
 
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