John Deere 345 Problem


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John Deere 345 Problem

Bruce I have a 1998 18hp 345 that has about 450 hrs on it, the other night I was smowblowing and noticed that my headlights would go a little dim the get bright again. Again last night was the same thing I snowblowed for about an hour or so and my headlights would go dim a little then bright again. The battery was changed two summers ago. Is it safe to assume its the voltage regulator? Also I heard that sometimes the connector on the regulator goes bad. Would you think this is the problem. I kinda looked around to try to find the regulator but cant seem to locate it. Could someone be so kind asto point out where it is located. Thanks in advance..
Gus Is the alternator belt tight? May get enough snow on it to get it wet enough to slip. Electrical connections tight at the battery, etc? You didn't mention if you'd checked all the things that don't cost money- first.
Bruce Ok, so I did not realize there was an alternator belt, where would that be located??I did check the battery connection and most all of the other one also. Seems to be worse when the snow blower is running.
Dave Bruce - There is no alternator belt on the 345. There is a stator system that develops the electrical power for the rest of the tractor. It may be that the voltage regulator is weak, or it could be one or more of the stator magnets on the flywheel are weak. More than likely though, you have corrosion on a contact. I'd check the connections at the battery, ignition and pto switches, the main ground connection. The voltage regulator is located either behind or below the battery, depending on when your tractor was manufactured. At full throttle, you should get a DC volt reading of 13.5 to 14.5 volts. If you are getting the voltage range above, at the regulator, then I would think your problem lies with one of the connections. If your reading is less than 13 volts, best to post back and we can go from there. - Dave
Bruce Thanks for the reply Dave, Well I located the regulator and its behind the bracket that holds the battery. It looks impossible to get to, as far as the bolts that hold it on there go. I crawled under the tractor and took a look at the connector on the bottom of the regulator and there is some corrosion in the so I am pretty sure thats the problem. I had ordered a new regulator the other day and have not received it yet. I done know if it comes with a new connector or not. If it doesn't how in the hell do you get in there to change that out. It looks like you have to rip the whole friggen tractor apart.
Luke I just took mine apart to get to the voltage regulator. The steps are:

1. Remove a screw on each side to pull out the little black plastic trim pieces shaped like an L
2. Remove a screw on each side of the center console that were covered by the little black plastic pieces you pulled out in #1
3. Remove two nuts right under the steering wheel holding the dashboard to the metal bar
4. Pull the little rubber pieces off the choke and throttle

You now should be able to pull the center console up and out about 1.5 to 2 inches or so giving you clearance around the side to get to this connector. It wasn't all that bad, although it would have been nicer to be able to get the whole dash off, but with all the wires, throttle cables, brake levers and stuff, the step above were sufficient to get to the connector to actually do some testing. Alas, if you're trying to get the regulator off the back of the battery, I think you're going to have to take the steering wheel off and disconnect all the dashboard components to pull the black plastic cover off.

Luke I just took mine apart to get to the voltage regulator. The steps are:

1. Remove a screw on each side to pull out the little black plastic trim pieces shaped like an L
2. Remove a screw on each side of the center console that were covered by the little black plastic pieces you pulled out in #1
3. Remove two nuts right under the steering wheel holding the dashboard to the metal bar
4. Pull the little rubber pieces off the choke and throttle

You now should be able to pull the center console up and out about 1.5 to 2 inches or so giving you clearance around the side to get to this connector. It wasn't all that bad, although it would have been nicer to be able to get the whole dash off, but with all the wires, throttle cables, brake levers and stuff, the step above were sufficient to get to the connector to actually do some testing. Alas, if you're trying to get the regulator off the back of the battery, I think you're going to have to take the steering wheel off and disconnect all the dashboard components to pull the black plastic cover off.



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