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  #1  
Old 05-05-2015, 12:53 PM
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Default I'm thinking I have a clutch issue

This season has been off to a rough mowing season start because of MMM issues, I think I finally got those worked out only to have the tractor bite me now.

I was mowing Saturday, I stopped to clean the radiator and when I went to get back on, I couldn't engage the MMM - the gears kept grinding. I know I shouldn't have, but I finally got it jammed in gear and I proceeded to mow for another half hour or so. I then stopped to add some fuel. I then couldn't engage the mid-PTO at all - it was grinding really bad. So I kept playing around and as it turns out, even with the clutch pedal all the way depressed (and the mid and/or rear PTO engage) the PTO shafts will still spin. If I have the hydrostat in a range, even with the clutch pedal pushed in and I push the hydro pedal, the tractor will move. I tried adjuster the clutch pedal, but it hasn't seem to make much of a different either way. The clutch "feels" good.

Any thoughts? I'm thinking the fingers on the clutch disk have broken not allowing the clutch to disengage. Last year I had to split the tractor because of a leak at the hydrostatic pump, but everything has been fine for almost 200 hours since then. This is sounding like it is going to be a bigger harder split because I have to split the tractor forward of where I had to split it last year.
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Old 05-05-2015, 02:13 PM
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That's not good.

Clutches and hydro trannies aren't my thing so I don't have any advise.

Time to change your old sig line? IIRC it was:
"Trucks are red, tractors are blue"
- to -
"Trucks can be red but avoid the blue tractors"?
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Old 05-05-2015, 02:43 PM
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That wasn't my sig, I remember it, but don't know whose it was. Right now I'm thinking my signature fits pretty well. If I'm mowing and stop and walk up to my wife, the first words out of her mouth are "What did you break now and how much is it going to cost?"
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Old 08-24-2015, 11:44 AM
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Thought I would post a follow up to this. I still haven't replaced the clutch on the tractor, though it is still bad. I've gotten by with it for the summer. Thank goodness for hydrostat, I can put it in range by the hydro pedal being in neutral. I can use the MMM by shutting the tractor off, engaging the mid-PTO and using a long flat metal bar used to lock a tool box, I press the safety switch in. I can then start the tractor. I know, not good on the starter, but it is what it is - a way to mow the grass. As far as rear PTO, I can't use it, everything is too heavy for the starter.

Now, back to the MMM issues I thought I had resolved. That was a big negative. I've broken so many sets of the brackets that hold the gear box to the deck that I've lost count. Broken so many belts it is crazy. Stripped bolts out of the gear box and the deck. I replaced the idler pulley on the belt tensioner as well as the tensioner arm itself and the tension spring because all have been damaged at one time or another as the gear box came loose or the belt broke. Totally I started looking at zero turns, but not wanting to spend the money, I kept nursing the New Holland along and using Dad's Snapper that I bought him several years ago since Mom now has a guy to mow her yard. I had a friend over a few weeks back and had him watch. He noticed when I engaged the PTO shaft the whole shaft was jumping up and down. Turns out the hole for the sheer bolt was now an oval and went almost 1/4 of the way around the shaft. The sheer bolt had worn so much it was just a small faction of itself allowing even more slop in the yoke. New Holland is a bit proud of that yoke at $125 so I went to a place here in Columbus called DriveLine 1. That is all they do is different types of custom driveshafts. They sold me a generic yoke for $15 and a new u-joint that adapted the current PTO shaft to the new cap size on the new yoke. Everything for less than $50 and if it happens again, I can change the yoke for $15. I've now been able to mow the yard twice without breaking anything. Before I was lucky if I could run it for 15 minutes or so. So just a warning, if you start breaking brackets, check your PTO shaft. I guess now I will get through mowing season and start to tackle the new clutch.
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Old 08-24-2015, 12:49 PM
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Interesting issue. Never heard of a shear bolt doing that. It wasn't a grade 8 bolt by chance was it?

Any thoughts of dumping that MMM and get a RFM instead? A little harder negotiating obstacles but at least you can turn your head and watch what's going on. I had a nice one years back and IIRC it was under $2K which is a lot less than a ZTR.
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Old 08-25-2015, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bczoom View Post
Interesting issue. Never heard of a shear bolt doing that. It wasn't a grade 8 bolt by chance was it?

Any thoughts of dumping that MMM and get a RFM instead? A little harder negotiating obstacles but at least you can turn your head and watch what's going on. I had a nice one years back and IIRC it was under $2K which is a lot less than a ZTR.
Grade 5.

There was a bit of thought about going to a RFM, but I've kinda put it out of my mind for general mowing - though I've thought about one in addition to for mowing under trees and such. The F-I-L sold an almost new KingKutter last year for about $800. Didn't have the extra cash at the time or I would have bought it. Of course, right now with the bad clutch, I don't think I could use the RFM. As soon as mowing season is over, I'm going to start on the clutch, so probably just a few more weeks. At least I'm starting to get the grass under control.
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Old 08-25-2015, 11:52 AM
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Isn't grade-5 still pretty strong for a shear bolt? I use the cheap, buy-them-by-the-pound bolts from TSC and they seem about right.
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Old 08-25-2015, 12:34 PM
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I thought it would have been a grade 1, but that is what was in it from the dealer. I guess I should probably get the manual out and read what it says. In the FWIW, I haven't broken it in 12 years - even though it is worn down super thin.
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Old 09-04-2015, 06:20 PM
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I give up, I'm about ready to drive my tractor off a cliff. Started mowing today a small section so that Monica could set some stuff out for a yard sale. When I finished that section I went to raise the MMM up so I could cross the driveway. The 3pt hitch won't move....GRRRRRR The fluid is clear, about 125 hours since it was last changed. And it is full, but I add a little to it just in case it was low. No rear remotes, but I do have a loader. The tractor will move, not sure about the loader as it is currently off. Not sure I'll be able to get it back in the garage to put the loader on w/o taking the MMM off.
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Old 09-04-2015, 08:09 PM
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Well now I'm even more confused, I just went out to try to put the tractor away. All of sudden the MMM came up. It then starting working just fine. I drove it around the yard a couple of times and kept putting raising and lowering and it worked just fine. The adjustment lever has the normal pressure on it now (I had forgotten to mention that in my first post that the adjustment lever seemed free). I'm lost....
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:36 AM
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Well, the story continues. I've not had any more issues with the hydraulics that I listed above. They have worked fine other than my loader has been a bit slow, but after taking it off Friday and putting it back on yesterday it is now back to normal speed.

I finally got around to ordering the clutch. It has come in, but I haven't picked it up yet. I'm waiting on an alignment tool. Neither of the dealerships that I normally visit have one of these. So the dealership that I ordered the clutch from is working with New Holland and getting me one. They say it may have to be made? I don't get it. The dealership said, well we need your old clutch. I told them, the tractor isn't being split until I have everything in hand that I need. That includes the alignment tool and I'm not picking the clutch up until then. I will then return the old clutch after the tractor is back together. So I finally mowed this past weekend - grass was way to high, but using the long bar like I described above.
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Old 04-25-2016, 12:01 PM
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Good luck with splitting it. I would have thought the dealer would have an alignment tool he could lend ya for the weekend, or have you pay a deposit on it till you bring it back. Not like they are putting in clutches every day and using that tool I would hope.

I was at all power equitment in Athens ....(I think they have one up your way in lancaster) and they had a nice HUGE Kubota ZTR. 14k. And a Ferris that was just a bit smaller with 1k off it's price. I think that brought it down to 11k. Boy the ZTR's have sure gone up since I bought mine. If you can swing it you won't be sorry. They make mowing actually a little enjoyable. Let's you dedicate the tractor to other chores.

Good luck with the clutch.
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Old 04-25-2016, 12:07 PM
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I would've though one of them had one. Both were willing to lend it to me, but neither had one. I guess I'm the first in the country to do it.

Still looking at ZTRs, but probably won't happen this year. Those still researching and looking. Was close to pulling the trigger on an Exmark last year and talked myself out of it. Still considering a BobCat, also recently came across a relatively new one called Big Dog. I like the looks of them on the Internet and I have a dealer close. They also sell BobCats and that is the same dealer I bought my trailer from and both golf carts came from.
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Old 04-25-2016, 12:12 PM
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You can't go wrong with an Exmark. Top commercial one on the market...at least it was a few years ago. I bought number two ...Scag, only because there was no exmark dealer in my area at the time.
A friend is also looking at Big Dog ZTR's He said they look good. It's a new to the area dealer though and he's not sure about support and if this new dealer will survive the tough market.
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Old 04-25-2016, 01:14 PM
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If you go the ZTR route, your only regret will be not getting it years earlier. I was using a garden tractor which took 2.5 hours to mow. Using the ZTR, I'm done in under an hour. Mine is now 12 years old and has never needed anything other than a belt (once). I did just buy new blades and will put them on next time I flip the deck up. I drive a Country Clipper Charger. I tried Scag, Dixie Chopper and a couple other brands but they couldn't hold the hills without sliding. The Country Clipper is 1/2 ZTR, 1/2 goat... It can climb anything which is what I need.
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Old 08-22-2017, 11:21 AM
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Well guys, I put the clutch replacement off as long as I could. The tractor started leaking some hydro fluid when mowing, well not really a leak, more of a geyser. I could use it without the deck (it stays cooler) and no leak, but I need to mow. So while I don't know where the actual leak is, I'm hoping it gets fixed when I put everything back together or I see what the issue is while I have it apart. So far I'm into it about 12 hours, but probably 4 of those were spent trying to get the steering wheel off, because the manual said I needed to. Never did get it off, but I was able to work around it.
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Old 08-22-2017, 11:25 AM
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This is the last two pics for now. This is the current state.

I think I've got all the hydraulic lines disconnected and almost all of the wires. I know there is still one, but I'm doing it in order by what the repair manual says. I need to make 4 guide pins for it yet. Got to get to the point I start pulling the actual bolts out so I know the size. I'm hoping to actually do the separation on Friday and get the new clutch installed. Then I would like to do the reconnection on Saturday and start the reassembly process then. Hopefully I can get it all back together Saturday or Sunday since I won't spend so much time messing with the steering wheel.
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Old 08-22-2017, 05:24 PM
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Wow Jim,
I certainly hope things go well. That looks like a job.
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Old 08-23-2017, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioTC18 View Post
Wow Jim,
I certainly hope things go well. That looks like a job.
Thanks Jerry, comparing this to when I split it for the leak of the hydrostatic pump, this one makes that seem like a walk in the park.
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Old 08-28-2017, 11:40 AM
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Well I was finally able to work on the tractor some more Friday afternoon. Ended up splitting it about 9:00 Friday evening. You can see at that point what state the tractor was in.

You can see the flywheel area in the 3rd pic. Didn't notice any scaring or anything on it. 4th and 5th pics are of the pressure plate. Didn't see anything wrong with it, but after having gone through this, I wasn't putting it back in.

6th and 7th pics are the money shots. You can see how the springs in the clutch disk were destroyed. Disk itself doesn't look to bad, but the inner area is totally destroyed. There was shrapnel every where in the clutch housing itself. I sprayed it with engine degreaser and then sprayed it out. That is why there is so much water on the floor in pic 7.

None of the dealerships were able to get me an alignment tool. So I had to line it up the best I could by eye. Took biggest part of Saturday including a couple of frustration breaks, finally my son and I tried it. We were just super careful of line everything up and then I just grabbed the front of the tractor picked it up and boom it popped into place. Couldn't have done that with a larger tractor. LOL.

The last coupe pics are close to how I ended last night. The rest of the area around the fuel tank is on, so is the left step, but I started the process of draining what fluid was left and removing the filters before I go any farther.
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