John Deere 445 garden tractor

John Deere 445 garden tractor

I think everyone knows I really like John Deere lawn and garden equipment. If you have a good quality machine it’s worth fixing her up! Yes, I know there are other brands that are good quality, but these questions are just about John Deere’s.

Q: I was wondering how I would know if I have a bad cam or bad intake valves on a John Deere 445 garden with a 22HP Kawasaki engine.

A: We do not get bad camshafts on the 425-445 garden tractors but what happens on the camshafts is that the cam gear is made from nylon and typically at about 800 hours the gear teeth will break of. When that happens the engine will shut down and will not start again until a new camshaft is installed as the gear is casted to the camshaft. The replacement camshaft is all iron, therefore no more problems.

Q: I have a John Deere 111 Lawn Tractor which won’t start. I suspect a fuel problem. When I take the hose off the fuel pump (Autopulse) and crank the engine, I don’t get any fuel but if I take the feedline off and lower it towards the ground it drips gas.

My questions are:

Does this suggest the fuel pump (or does the hose have to be connected to the carb to

If so, are there any other options for a replacement given that we don’t have a John Deere dealer at the moment?

A: It does sound like you have a bad fuel pump. When you lowered the hose coming from the tank, the gas should have been coming out at a slow flo. If it was just dripping you might have a partly plugged gas line or gas tank problem. If you want to buy a fuel pump I have them in stock.

Q: I have a John Deere 318 garden tractor and I believe the starter went out of it. How do I remove the Starter, as it appears that there is no room or easy access to do it. I enjoy your site as you explain it in layman terms.

A: You have to remove the engine before you can take the starter out. On some of those Onan engines you will also have to remove the engine fan shroud to get at one of the starter bolts. It gets to be a fair sized job to get it all done. Glad you like our site, thanks. 1-800-618-8738

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9 Responses to “Fixing up your John Deere”

  1. Q: I have a 1993 425 John Deere with roughly 500 hours on it. I recently replaced the valve stem seals because it was puffing blue smoke under a load. It seemed to have helped some, but I am still seeing it. I recently ran a compression test and it was hitting around 200 pounds. Seems good there, so I was wondering if the PCV valve is bad or clogged. I can’t seem to find the location of the PCV. Any ideas if that is it or could it be something else?

  2. A: We had problems with the butterfly bolts vibrating loose on the air cleaners on those FD620 Kawasaki engines. It allowed the engine to suck in unfiltered dirty air damaging the cylinder walls and or the piston rings. I have also seen, like you are saying, that you have good compression but the oil ring could be completely worn out in respect to dirt damage. If this was ever run hot it could have taken the temper out of the oil ring and or o-rings and still have good compression but no oil control, therefore needing an engine overhaul or replacement.

  3. I was told it has a new short block in it because of the cam gear breaking issue, so I would assume the oil rings are o.k. What about a reed valve for the crank case breather? Someone told me this engine has an internal reed valve. Any ideas how to get to it and check it?


  4. Barry, I am ordering out a reed valve so I can study this out and get an answer for you.


  5. Yes, I did get that reed valve. I am wondering when your short block was put in if they remembered to remove that reed valve from the old short block and put it into your new short block. You might be running with no reed valve at all and that would be a very good reason for burning oil.


  6. I have a John Deer STX38 Lawn Tractor / w a kohler Command 12.5 OVH Model CV12.5s engine. It wil not hold a charge, I have replaced the battery and the starter. It would run a while the stop. The battery is completely dead now. Please advise.

  7. I would first check and see if the center wire going to the rectifier is hot with the ignition switch on. If it is hot, then you should install a new rectifier and your problem should be solved.