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Deere Dr
Deere Dr, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 236
Experience:  John Deere service mgr for 18 yrs. Briggs, Kohler, Kawasaki, expert level for all
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I have a JD 345 riding mower that wont shift out of idle speed. There

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I have a JD 345 riding mower that won't shift out of idle speed.

There is a definite oil smoke coming from the exhaust and there is oil in the cam shafts.

the spark plugs appear okay and i have changed the oil and filter and fuel filter.

any suggestions? it is like a vapour lock.

You have a carb flooding over. The leaking fuel has ran into your muffler and it is now smoking like a bus.

When you changed the oil did it appear really thin. If so that was fuel in your oil.

You can't have oil in your camshafts. The cam is a solid piece of metal that you can't see.

Did you mean you removed the black plastic covers on both sides and found oil there? Those are the valve covers and that is normal.

You will need to remove the carb and clean thouroughly.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thanks for your answer.


Yes, I did remove the valve covers, thank you for clarifying. Glad to hear oil there is normal.


What is the easiest way to remove the carb?

This engine is a pain in the @#^ to remove the carb.

First pull the hood.
Get a stool and sit right in front of the tractor.

The first thing you will see is a large sheet metal baffle. It will be held on by 2 nuts. Pull it off first.

Now you will see a grey colored elbow. 2 bolts going down to nuts straight ahead. Remove this hardware and remove the grey elbow.

Now remove the fuel line and slide the carb of. You will have to manipulate the linkage,the arm may even bend a little, to get it off.

Good luck. It will be the longest 15 minutes of your life but it is not mechanically dificult.
Deere Dr and other Small Engine Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I have cleaned the carb but the problem remains, any further suggestions?
How does the oil look now?
Does it seem runny?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.


After further inspection, I found a lose washer in the throttle mechanism? (assembly right beside the carborator) that seemed to be choking the engine. After I removed the washer, the engine fired right up! I have no idea where the washer came from and there is no visible sign of where it belongs.


Problem is solved, thanks for your great help!

Sometimes the tractor fairies just throw washers in to confuse the experts.

If it is gold colored (yellow dichromate) it came from the bolts going down into the air intake elbow.