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  1. #1
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    Apr 2010
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    Default John Deere 345 pto clutch noise.

    I have a 345 with 1400 hrs on it. It was sitting for 2 years before I got. When the pto clutch is turned off there is a load squeal. When it is turned on it is quite. Is this normal failures mode for an electric clutch? Has anyone ever took one of thees things apart? Any thoughts short on replacing would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    190
    Location
    Mount Pleasant, Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota L5460HSTC, Kubota RTV 900, JD Z655, JD 345, MM-BF

    Default Re: John Deere 345 pto clutch noise.

    Quote Originally Posted by mooseman214 View Post
    I have a 345 with 1400 hrs on it. It was sitting for 2 years before I got. When the pto clutch is turned off there is a load squeal. When it is turned on it is quite. Is this normal failures mode for an electric clutch? Has anyone ever took one of thees things apart? Any thoughts short on replacing would be appreciated.
    It's the idler bearing in the clutch assembly making the noise. My 345 makes a rattling dry bearing noise when I turn the mower off. The local JD dealer service tech told me to run it until it locks up and replace the entire clutch assembly. (The clutch assembly slides off the engine crankshaft.)

    Your clutch idler bearing lasted much longer than mine. I have a bit less the 500 hours on my 345 even though it's 11 years old.

    This winter, if the clutch idler bearing lasts that long, I plan to take the clutch assembly off and see if I can replace the idler bearing. The bearing doesn't show in the JD parts book. If I can just replace the bearing, I'll buy a replacement bearing from a bearing supply store and save the expense of replacing the entire clutch assembly.

    Bill
    '14 Kubota L5460HSTC
    '06 Kubota RTV 900
    '12 JD EZ-Trak 655 w/54" HC Mower
    '99 JD 345 w/54" Mower
    '50 BF Avery R/MM BF

  3. #3
    Veteran Member jimgerken's Avatar
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    Nov 2001
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    1,638
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    Minnesota
    Tractor
    John Deere 3720

    Default Re: John Deere 345 pto clutch noise.

    I agree, it's the lower bearing. That bearing is replaceable. Mine's out right now. The following description and pictures are for a X540. Mines under 200 hours and has this bearing failure. And it is out of warrantee.

    Take off the mower deck. Raise the tractor front about 30 inches to make the job easy. Next unplug the clutch's electrical connector from the tractor wiring harness. The electrical connector is about a foot away from the clutch, it does not detach right at the clutch. Now take out the bolt that is visible in the center of the bottom belt pulley which is part of the electrical clutch. The clutch will fall right out in your hands (or on your face if you are not ready). Take it to the bench. Use a 1/2" wrench to remove the long anti-rotation stud from the housing flange (see picture). Now you must mill off or grind off the three rivets that hold on the brake assembly. Do not hit the assembly with a hammer, there are permanent magnets in the brake that will shatter. Once the rivets are ground flush with the clutch housing flange (see picture), tap out the rivets gently and the brake will come off. Mark the magnets' orientation so you can get it back together. For reassembly, instead of rivets you can substitute 3/16" by 1.25 inch bolts and mechanical stop nuts (not Nylocks).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails John Deere 345 pto clutch noise.-p5260397-jpg   John Deere 345 pto clutch noise.-p5260398-jpg  
    Last edited by jimgerken; 06-28-2010 at 02:22 PM.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member jimgerken's Avatar
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    Minnesota
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    John Deere 3720

    Default Re: John Deere 345 pto clutch noise.

    When you pulled the clutch off the tractor, the main bolt that held on the clutch had a large flat washer on it. That washer contacted a cast part that centers the bearing (the bad bearing) on the shaft. Grab that cast part (it has a couple flats on it), and pull it out. It is keyed and so it will not turn unless you break it, but should pull off. Alternately, you could probably push it out from the other end, with a 1/2" diameter wood dowel or something similar.
    Now lift off the drive sheave (pulley) half of the assembly (see picture). There is a spiral ring on each side of the bearing. It takes a little screwdriver to remove it. Clean it up with a toothbrush first, then look carefully before removing the ring. Try not to wreck it. now you can press or pound the bearing out of the sheave assembly. You will have to drive or press on the inner race, because if you push near the outer race you'd ruin that spiral ring that is still in there on that inner side of the bearing. So, just beat it out of there by hitting the inner race.
    Clean everything up, take the old bearing to your local bearing specialty retailer, or an electric motor rebuilder, they will match it based on dimensions. Use the old bearing to press the new bearing in, this time putting all the pressure on the outer race only. Reinstall the spiral ring. Reassembly the clutch assembly, reinstall the brake assembly with small bolts as previously described, and re-attach to the machine. Buy me a beer sometime.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails John Deere 345 pto clutch noise.-p5260403-jpg  

  5. #5
    Veteran Member jimgerken's Avatar
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    Minnesota
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    John Deere 3720

    Default Re: John Deere 345 pto clutch noise.

    I priced the complete clutch assembly from JD Parts. It says it costs $145. That is one-third of what I was guessing.

  6. #6
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    209
    Location
    Southcentral PA
    Tractor
    Deere 345

    Default Re: John Deere 345 pto clutch noise.

    Quote Originally Posted by jimgerken View Post
    Now take out the bolt that is visible in the center of the bottom belt pulley which is part of the electrical clutch. The clutch will fall right out in your hands (or on your face if you are not ready).
    I have a stupid question about this part. How do I keep the motor shaft from turning while I try to loosen that bolt in the center?

    I'm not having a PTO problem, but a few weeks ago I had to replace the main drive belt. I thought it would be easier if I took the PTO clutch off but I never was able to get that darn bolt loose !!

  7. #7
    Veteran Member jimgerken's Avatar
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    Nov 2001
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    Minnesota
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    John Deere 3720

    Default Re: John Deere 345 pto clutch noise.

    I used an air impact wrench, and the bolt just flew out as soon as I pulled the trigger. There was no evidence of locktite or anything on it.

  8. #8
    New Member
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    Aug 2010
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    Tractor
    JD-345

    Default Re: John Deere 345 pto clutch noise.

    Thanks to Jim's post I was able to replace the 2 bearings for a total of $10.Compared to the $150 replacement price for my 345 lawn tractor.
    Pillow Block Bearing Ball Bearing Disc Harrow Bearing Roller Chain V-Belts Radial Ball Bearings is by far the cheapest place I found(866-976-7729). I used a small dremel type grinder to remove the 'burrs' holding the bearing in place. Pound on the metal area of bearing using hammer and removed/replaced both within 30 mins.Put a tiny spot of weld to hold in place.
    Simple job for anyone wanting to save $ and motivated by 2 machine shops who said they couldn't press the bearings out.I've attached cpl other pics for ref.Good Luck
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails John Deere 345 pto clutch noise.-img_0583-jpg   John Deere 345 pto clutch noise.-img_0580-jpg   John Deere 345 pto clutch noise.-img_0582-jpg   John Deere 345 pto clutch noise.-img_0578-jpg  

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