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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I an new to this form and I definately need assistance. I purchased a used JD 345 two years ago from neighbor that was moving. It currently has 800 plus hours. It has 18 hp Kawasakia liquid cooled engine. I have been very careful to make sure all maintance has been taken care of. The wife was mowing the other day and the mower just quit. Inspection found fuse blown. We checked all fluids and they were good. Replaced fuse and engine seemed a little sluggish on start but did start and run fine. She mowed for about 15 minutes more and it died again. We waited until our son come by (he is very mechanically inclined), he replaced fuse again but when key was turned on starter would enguage but would not turn engine over. We felt that problem was more than minor so took mower to local JD dealer. Shop foreman said that motor was locked up, and a new shor block would cost around $3000.00. He said they tried to turn motor over with prybar on flywheel but could only move slightly.
After reading this form, my question is, if the plastic gears talked about on this form should fail will or could it lock the engine up? My son and I are both mechanically enclined, have worked on lots of Briggs engines but never on a JD or Kawasakia. From all the years of experience out there, what would be your best guese at problem and do you think with a little assistance from the good people on this site we could resolve problem? Thanking you in advance for any advise you could send this way. gw
 

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Ark,

Welcome to the forum! :Welcome1: Sorry to hear about your woes. I'm not a mechanic, but I'm sure some of our experts will be chiming in. :)
 

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cam gear failed on my JD725,liquid cooled 27hp kawasaki engine,and engine spun freely.Also quoted $3100 for short block.Went to independent shop and came out for $1400.Mows like new.JD is like MB;good product,but parts outrageous.Best of luck,and welcome.Great bunch here.
 

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Welcome ArkJD,

I don't have an answer to your problem but I do have a 345 that I really like.
$3,000 sounds a bit much. I had a cam gear go on a previously owned 285. Engine spins freely, not locked up.
Wait for someone on here more knowledgeable than me to give you some sound options. There are a bunch of helpful folks on this site!

Good Luck!
Dave:thThumbsU
 

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You can get a replacement engine from the Small engine warehouse for under $2,000. Ark JD I sent you a PM with a link.
 

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You blew the fuse two x...That means a voltage draw beyond the fuses capicity....what would draw so much current ??? Motor sounds sluggish on restart ??? Motor locked can't turn the engine over ,3k fix ?????

I don't know about a prybar on your engine fins,but if even cast iron they would break .....

I think the PTO clutch bearing went out on you and has locked the clutch to the shaft ....I have seen this on a Cub Cadet and the fix,was like $200.00 for the clutch and a couple hours of my time to remove the old cluctch with a 5 foot prybar (5' prybar gives you a lot of advantage ,plus my mass,my mass= X) anyhow ,get a second opinion ....The owner of the CC installed a new starter and solenoid thinking that was the issue ...that shade tree fix cost him $400.00 he didn't need to spend !!! My 2 pennies,good luck,Jim

BTW Hang in there better advice is sure to follow....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You blew the fuse two x...That means a voltage draw beyond the fuses capicity....what would draw so much current ??? Motor sounds sluggish on restart ??? Motor locked can't turn the engine over ,3k fix ?????

I don't know about a prybar on your engine fins,but if even cast iron they would break .....

I think the PTO clutch bearing went out on you and has locked the clutch to the shaft ....I have seen this on a Cub Cadet and the fix,was like $200.00 for the clutch and a couple hours of my time to remove the old cluctch with a 5 foot prybar (5' prybar gives you a lot of advantage ,plus my mass,my mass= X) anyhow ,get a second opinion ....The owner of the CC installed a new starter and solenoid thinking that was the issue ...that shade tree fix cost him $400.00 he didn't need to spend !!! My 2 pennies,good luck,Jim

BTW Hang in there better advice is sure to follow....
Thanks to everone for the info so far, JC if it happen to be the PTO clutch, is there an easy check to determine this, if so can you explain. Also if this were the case, I am confused why the JD repair shop didn't check this out. This does not leave me with a good feeling about them. The shop foreman said they pulled the starter and checked it (ok) and tried to turn engine over by using a pry bar on flywheel while they had the starter off. :crybaby: What is your thoughts on this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You can get a replacement engine from the Small engine warehouse for under $2,000. Ark JD I sent you a PM with a link.
Thanks Sergeant for the PM and info. Will keep it on file as it might come in handy if repairs dont work out. My first option is to try and repair if possible. I haven't said, but do love the machine and it does an excellent job. The wife loves the powersterring and hydrolic lift on the deck. The PIN# on the mower is M00345A020447. Does this contain the date of MFG., if so can someone give me the age. Thanks again, gw:thThumbsU
 

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Thanks to everone for the info so far, JC if it happen to be the PTO clutch, is there an easy check to determine this, if so can you explain. Also if this were the case, I am confused why the JD repair shop didn't check this out. This does not leave me with a good feeling about them. The shop foreman said they pulled the starter and checked it (ok) and tried to turn engine over by using a pry bar on flywheel while they had the starter off. :crybaby: What is your thoughts on this?
Sounds like a bad shop to me. 3 grand is a lot, not sure about your kawasaki but we had a cast iron kohler rebuilt for 600, complete top and bottom.

What i suggest doing, is take the shrouds and whatnot off, and putting a breaker bar with the proper socket on the flywheel nut, and turning it from there. If it is indeed seized, then take the head off and inspect for damage, soak it in Marvel Mystery Oil for a day or two then try to unlock it again (breaker bar on flywheel nut). I have had this work on a Case SC, so i dont see why it wouldnt work for you. When and if you get it unlocked, dont go assuming it will be fine, something must have gone wrong if its seized so it wouldnt hurt to check over the oil sump, and the whole bottom end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Also meant to ask, where can a person find a tech manual for the 345 with the Kawasaki liquid cooled engine? Also would love to have more thoughts on the possible problems that would cause the engine to just lock up for no appearant reason. Thanks again...gw
 

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:Welcome1:

you can order the tech manual from Deere, either in print or on a CD.

i would remove the PTO clutch and see how she runs. it should not have to be on there for the engine to run properly. the fuses blowing first lead me to think electrical and the PTO is the only electrical item that could hold the engine.
 

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Sounds like the shop got focused on path "A" for a solution and didn't consider any other possibilities. And that doesn't mean it's a bad shop, just that they are convinced it's a bad motor, I'm thinking it's something like the PTO as mentioned above, but I'd also try removing the spark plugs and then trying to start the motor to see if it turns over with zero compression.
 

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im thinking that a head gasket might have failed and allowed coolant to fill one or both cylinders effectively locking the engine. have you checked the coolant level? if you pull the plugs and try to crank it and it spins over make sure that it isnt spraying coolant out of the plug holes. has it been running hotter than normal up till this point? and keep in mind that just because a starter passes a bench test doesn't mean it has enough torque to crank an engine as bench tests are done without a load on the starter the best way to test a starter is to measure the amp draw while it is being used to crank an engine if it is getting weak or has high resistance in the connections it will draw a lot higher amperage than normal but im not sure what the specs are for amp draw on a small engine i would want to think that 50 - 75 amps would be about normal anything above that is excessive
 

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I've seen another technician assume that an engine was locked up, I took a look and the traction belt had came off an idler and wrapped itself around the engine pulley and got in a bind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks amf1414 I have checked and watched the liquid level and all is well. Never had to add and I never noticed or smelled anything strange to indicate that motor was running hot.
JDCCETECH, appreciate your thought, but belt is not problem.

I am disable and have had double knee replacement and have torn rotor cup so I personally cannot get down and do a lot of checking, so I have to wait until one of my sons has a little time to help me out. I want to check out the PTO clutch and see if there is a problem there. With the unit blowing the fuses it just makes sense that it had to be something electrical that was the original problem. Common sense tells me that an electrical problem will not cause the motor to lock up internally, so I want to think that it is something external. At least I hope it is. Any help on checking out the PTO would be appreciated as this is all new ground for me. THANKS!!!:praying: :thanku:
 

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I am not familar with the engine you have ,BUT the basics are all the same ....Your PTO clutch ,is just an eletro magnet ,apply power to it and it attracts the opposite side and spins/engages the vbelt,deenergize,and the belt stops the v-belt ....deenrgized, the clucth face does not spin put the crankshaft still turns on a bearing (roller or ball bearing ),as the bearing fails while energize the crank is now having a hard time turn the clutch and this requires more power to keep the clutch energized....so the fuse plows........while you look for the failure the bearing cools and you fix the fuse,and she starts up again ,once the bearing heats up it blows another fuse....fianlly the bearing is in complete failure and locks everything up and the bearing kinda welds itself to the crankshaft ...the only way to really know is process of elimanation ....remove the clutch and bump the engine with the starter ,if it turns over "we win" ....if not we continue on.....many customers will fry their starter trying to fix a stuck crank shaft ....hence a new starter and solenoid may be needed also ...

I have a mercedes Benz that was diagnosed with a blown head gasket....so the original owner sold it ,he didn't want to fix an old Benz....But my mechanic stated that 420SEL don't generaly blow head gaskets.....he was correct ,it was a bad modulator valve from the tranny ....
There are a lot of things that can stop an engine from turning .....but opinion will very on what caused the failure until the engine is torn down and examined .....and some shops like to give expensive repair quotes ,so the customer will by new equipment ,then they seel the old tractors with cheap fix,and get top dollar for thm....Good Luck,Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks a million Jim for the good info. I assume that the pto clutch is on the end of the motor shaft that extends down from the motor. Question, if pto is good, should you be able to turn (freewheel) it with engine not running? If it is locked up you would not be able to trun due to load of trying to turn over engine, is this correct? Is clutch assembly attached with set screws or spline with nut on bottom to hold in place. Can you normally remove with good heavy duty wheel puller? If pto clutch is locked to shaft, should you be able to as mentioned above, remove spark plug and turn engine over with starter?
I also assume that the mower deck would have to be removed prior to any of this checking?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
After a period of time, my middle son (the mechanical one) came over and we removed the mowing deck on the 345 and removed the magnetic clutch (very simple operation). Upon removeal, it was very obvious what the problem was. The bearing was totally sized up and partially destroyed.
THIS WAS THE LOCAL JOHN DEERE'S LOCKED UP MOTOR. Took the defective clutch back to the same dealer and very nicely chewed his butt for about 20 minutes and bought a new clutch. My last word to him was that I was expecting a call from him regarding the $80.00 service charge for telling me that the motor was locked up and a new short block would cost $3000.00. I am not sure that I will hear from him or not, but I can guarantee you he doesn't have any doubt as to how I feel about the service I received.:banghead3 :banghead3

Any how the new clutch is insatalled and the 345 is cutting grass just like a brand new one. Now what do I do with the new 300 I have??

Again thanks for all the help I received from this site. Before I do anything major in the future, you can bet I will be on here getting some good advice. I have learned my lesson.......THANKS ONE AND ALL....:thThumbsU
 

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Happy endings are just that! :)
 

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Wonderful that you got it fixed for a lot less $$$ and time than a new motor. As to the "new 300" you have, what do you need to know? And is it a 1970's vintage 300 or a new X300?
 
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