My Tractor Forum banner

This May be My Stumper

1499 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  no2498
If you own something...A 1999 John Deere 345 54" deck. In those 16 years with very few mechanical problems, you know there will be a time when the "big" one will occur. This happen on Wednesday July 15th when I was mowing the 7 acres. With about three minutes left in completing the mowing chore, the engine quit. First thought...out of fuel. Checking the tank, find I had enough to complete the job, However, I went to the garage and got the gas can and made the 500' walk back to the tractor to fill the tank. No start... waited couple minutes and tried starting once more...No start. Waited once more due to the 98 degree temp. thinking I let the engine cool just in case it may be a vapor lock. Tried several times and still no start. Got the other JD tractor and pulled it home and in the garage to be worked on.
Come Thursday morning it became time to see what the problem would be. Knowing there's that all trouble one...the Time Delay Module gone bad again. It is best to have a spare handy with these TDM parts. Install it and again...No start.
In my old age, always found when an engine won't start, it is spark or fuel related. My guess it is the fuel pump or the gas tank is dirty and fuel pickup tube is clogged up. So, removed the seat, rear body, and removed the gas tank. Cleaned it out and air blew the pickup tube and all the gas lines, and replaced the fuel filter. Still no start. no gas seem to be flowing from the tank.
I remembered I had the factory installed fuel pump that didn't have the drain hole when John Deere sent out the warning to replace the fuel pump with a newer version. I installed it on Kawasaki FD611V and again no gas is being pump into the carburetor. There's an old saying when I was growing up...there are other ways to skin a cat.
Removed the rubber hose to the carburetor and with a small container of gas filled the carburetor bowl. Got on the seat and turned the key...Started right up. Tractor ran until the carburetor bowl went dry. Repeated the same procedure and once again the engine started and ran. Repeated this four times, and realized the fuel pump is bad. Wait a minute, this is the fuel pump that I removed due to the leaking problem, and it ran find until I replaced it.
Question! Is this a fuel pump issue or a broken cam on the camshaft that moves "actuating" the plunger that moved the pivot arm in the pump?

If this be the problem... bad or broken cam that will not actuate the plunger rod. If so, nothing else to do but tear the engine down.... or dump the 16 year 345 and and spend a few bucks for a new lawn tractor.

Sorry for the long thread.
See less See more
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
There are a few threads about folks installing electric pumps, they seem to work just fine.
There are a few threads about folks installing electric pumps, they seem to work just fine.
Rig up a temporary gravity feed tank and hook it to the INLET SIDE of the mech fuel pump. Run another hose from the outlet of the pump to a jug. Fill the float bowl and Fire up the motor. You should get a good stream out of the pump. If no flow then it's bad.

If you do have flow then you have a blockage In the fuel lines from the tank OR your pick up tube is split up towards the top and the pump is sucking air.

Most likely your pump is bad. The cheapest route is a pulse pump like off an L100. They are less than $20 plus some extra fuel hose and a fitting. I would make a block off plate from 1/4 to 1/2" alum plate. Use the fuel pump gasket as a pattern. Drill and tap a hole in the center to 1/8" NPT. Buy a 1/8npt to 1/4" hose barb brass fitting. Use some Teflon tape on the threads. Remove the fuel pump pushrod before bolting on the new block off plate. Hook the pulse port on the pump to this fitting.
See less See more
99' 345 should have the steel you should be okay there.
Check the diaphragm in your fuel pump or the check valves in the pump could be that ez
Here's an update on the problem(s) with no fuel getting to the fuel pump and carburetor.
Overnight I decided I would do two checks.. One would be to determine if I have a cam (internal one) that is working. I used my 18" ratchet and socket to reach the "nut/bolt" on the PTO /crankshaft to turn/rotate the engine crankshaft to determine if the "pushrod/plunger" that moves in and out would move the pushrod. BAD LUCK. There is no movement what so ever on the pushrod, meaning the cam lobe on the crankshaft is worn so, or the pushrod is worn down.

So, with that problem, it leaves to things to consider.... make a metal adapter and drill a 11/32" hole and tap with a 1/8"-27 NPT thread, which I already have do today. Or, buy a 12 volt Electric Fuel Pump and install to get this 345 back on the mowing status.

There no real reason to tear down the engine to fix the problem, when one of the two secondary fixes should work. The only problem I have with the "metal adapter" with a 1/8"-27 NPT with 1/4" nozzle, is will it work being this is a "full pressurize oil system, and there is oil that feeds the factory fuel pump/pushrod assembly.

So, it appears this will be a trial and error matter on which one works.
See less See more
the problem with the push rod may be nothing pushing it back in
they do not move much and do not pull back on there own
so still may be a clogged fuel pick up from the tank or cracked line in the pick up
and yes you can still use a vacuum pump

See less See more
ol and btw a vacuum pump will not fix a pick up problem
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.