TROUBLESHOOTING LAWN MOWER CLUTCH

ELECTRIC CLUTCH TROUBLESHOOTING:

ITEMS DISCUSSED ON THIS PAGE FOR SALE

CLUTCHES FOR SALE

OUR
PART NUMBER

OEM PART NUMBER

ITEM
DESCRIPTION
CONNECTOR FOR REPAIRING CLUTCH CONNECTIONS.

TWO SHOWN

SOLD EACH

CLUTCH PULLER FOR LAST RESORT

DO NOT USE THIS PULLER UNLESS YOU HAVE TRIED ALL OTHER METHODS. THIS METHOD AND TOOL WILL DESTROY THE CLUTCH.

IF THE CLUTCH IS BAD, THEN THIS IS THE BEST PULLER
FOR WHEN A CLUTCH IS STUCK TO THE ENGINE SHAFT.

PIGTAIL FOR CLUTCH

PIGTAIL FOR CLUTCH 33-159

DIXIE CHOPPER 500062
AND OTHER MOWERS USING AN ADDED PIGTAIL FOR DIRECT CONNECTION TO THE CLUTCH FROM THE LAWN MOWER HARNESS

CLUTCHES FOR SALE
CLUTCHES FOR SALE

Good Luck, I hope this works well for you

We have provided information for various clutch electrical problems and removal under LAST RESORT when the clutch won't come off the engine shaft by other normal methods. The Last Resort Removal method is at the bottom of this page.

LAST RESORT CLUTCH REMOVAL

XXX

BLADES ENGAGE- Intermitent operation
, intermitent operation of clutch

To perform this check you will need a multi-meter.
We show our digital multimeter in this troubleshooting
section. Shown, engine is off, key switch is in the ON
position and the red knob is pulled up. Power is going
to the clutch pig tail connection point.

We have connected our multi-meter probes directly to the
connector where the clutch connects to the system wire harness.
Our multimeter leads are "stuck" into the gap between the metal connector
and the plastic housing. Doing this will allow for operation without
having to hold the probes in position for additional testing.


Most clutches have a pig tail wire (shown below)
that goes from the clutch to the main wire harness.

It may take some time for the problem to arise.
If you have some grass to cut, go do that. With the
multimeter laying near by, watch
what happens when the clutch eventually turns off.
Did you lose voltage indication?
This pig tail has connectors allowing
the clutch to be removed and the pig tail to also be replaced
if necessary.

Battery voltage for this test should be 12 to 14 volts.
What you want to know is "did you lose battery voltage indication"
when the clutch disengauged? If you have uninterrupted battery
voltage and the clutch disengauges, then you have a problem with
either the wireing between your voltage test point or the clutch is
malfunctioning, NOT ANY OTHER WIRING OR SWITCH. If you lose Indication
during this test, then a switch or wiring in the main wire harness
should be investigated.
The plastic connectors house the metal connectors that

make the electrical connection. Those small terminal connectors
can become corroded and the wires can also begin to break off or
become lose. It is not uncommon to find of the many wire strands
only one or two strands are holding on to the metal connector
eventually breaking off or causing a lose intermittent connection.
One method of finding a bad connections is to "jiggle" the wires.
With the Engine off, and clutch engauged as described earlier,
move wires around and listen for the clutch to turn on and off.
If you hear the clutch turning on and off by wire movement,
then you have a bad connection some where close by.
Don't be surprised if the on and off action happens for a short
time. Movement of the wires may cause a temporary "good connection"
to happen and may take time for the wire to move back into
a position for the problem to happen again. This is what you call
an "illusive" problem and they are hard to track down some times.

TERMINAL REPLACEMENT *


* Always be aware of the presence of electrical power
Make sure the key switch is OFF and the Red Knob is Down or OFF position.
Or disconnect the battery.

OUR PART NUMBER 33-351 SHOWN.
TABLE AT TOP OF PAGE HAS THIS ITEM FOR SALE.


If you decide you need new metal terminals, keep in mind this one thing.
Each of the connectors has a locking tang that has to be released
before it can be pulled out of the plastic housing. You must slide
a small screw driver inbetween the plastic connector and the metal
terminal, pressing down on the "lock".
The picture below shows the lock in its up position. There is a wrong
way of installing the terminal when inserting a new terminal.

BLADES WON'T ENGAGE

If the blades won't engage, make the following checks.

Can you hear the electric clutch engaging with the engine off ?
With the engine off and the key switch on, pull up on the red (some times yellow) blade engagement knob.
Does the clutch on the bottom (or back) of the engine make a clicking noise ?

If yes,

that means the magnetic function of the clutch is properly working.
Review the Intermitent clutch operation section.
Check to see if the belt is properly installed on the pulleys.

If no,

check the circuit fuse first. If blown there may be a reason it has blown.
If you find a blown fuse and the fuses keep blowing when the clutch engauges, then check the clutch coil to see if it might be shorting to ground. Using a continuity tester (ohm meter) you should only have continuity through the clutch coil. If the coil wire is shorted to ground or the framework of the clutch, then the clutch coil is shorted and requires replacement. Are the safety devices that work with safety switches in their proper position. Check the blade engaugement switch, (Red Knob switch), or the wire connections going to the clutch might be loose, broken, or corroded.
Is the grounding point for the clutch corroded or painted ?
Find the grounding point for the clutch and clean that area.
Make sure there is no paint or rust preventing a good ground.

ON MOST MACHINES,
THE ENGINE MAIN GROUNDING POINT IS NEAR WHERE THE ELECTRIC STARTER IS MOUNTED.
YOU MIGHT FIND SEVERAL GROUNDING WIRES.


Some manufacturers run a grounding cable from the clutch mounting brackets to the nearby frame of the machine.

Does the battery have a good charge ?
The battery is what operates the clutch, you can have a dead battery and the engine will continue to run, but the clutch will stop if battery voltage is low or lost from the circuit. Is the battery being charged ? Is the fuse blown for the battery charging circuit ?

The clutch has a key which holds the clutch to the engine shaft.
This would be a very rare cause, but if the key is sheared, the clutch pulley won't turn.

NOTE-
If the clutch is oil soaked for some reason, you may not hear any clicking sounds when engauged.

SPEED VARIATIONS

If your blade speed varies with different deck positions, check the following:

Is the belt properly installed?
A belt can be improperly installed and have just enough tension to turn the blades.

Is the belt worn out and has "burned" places ?

Keep this in mind,
speed variations on mowers with an electric clutch
is not an indication of a bad clutch.
The clutch either works or it don't.
Any speed variations will be caused by
engine speed changes or belt tension
or belt condition.
Off brand belts are not a good idea.

Always use original equipment belts.

BLADE SPEED SLOWS DOWN when cutting grass


if raising the deck causes normal blade speed, then the upward pull of the deck may be putting tension on the deck causing better belt tension and increased or normal blade speed.

Keep this in mind about "loads" on the engine.
Your twin cylinder engine can run on one cylinder and it may sound normal.
When you apply a load, such as cutting grass, your engine will slow down and your deck will also slow down. Raising the deck, removes the load from the engine and will cause the blade speed to return to normal.

A blown Head Gasket can cause a lack of power (loss of compression)
so that when cutting grass, you lose engine performance. The cylinder can run smoothly and sound normal without load, but loading the engine will lose power.

Pictures coming soon.

ENGINE DIES WHEN CLUTCH IS ENGAUGED


OR Engine stalls almost dies when clutch is engauged. If your engine dies or comes close, you are probably using the mower for the first time in a while. If this is the case you probably have some rust on the clutch plates. To remove the rust, engauge the clutch briefly, on and off, several times. This will rub off the rust as the clutch plates slip during engagement. It is a good idea to do this at the begining of each new cutting season to clear off the rust. Especially if you live in high humidity climates or store your machine on surfaces other than concrete. Covering your lawn mower might also contribute to high humidity, especially again if you store in a location where it sits on ground surface. Store all lawn mowers on concrete if you can. Store inside a shed or building. Keep this in mind, covering with a tarp can cause humidity to collect under the tarp and that humidity will make its way into the fuel system, condensing the moisture into the fuel.

LAST RESORT CLUTCH REMOVAL

The information contained here is about what might be called a last resort method to removing an electric clutch from an engine shaft. If you have tried other means and if your clutch is a defective clutch then this method should prove easy to use and save lots of time fumbling with Jaw type pullers. Two and Three Jaw pullers don't always stay in place and the rounded corners of the back side of the electric clutches prevent a good grip of the jaws on most pullers. The pullers we have tried won't even reach around the clutch to get a good pull. Some times if a clutch is stuck you can't even get on top of the upper pulley to pull on it. If that even works you must be willing to sacrifice the pully since it normally ends up getting all bent out of shape. The proceedure is also intended to be used keeping in mind safety precautions such as removal of electrical power from the machine, using safety glasses and other personal protection equipment. Keep in mind, there may be other methods including methods the clutch manufacturer may suggest. We chose to use this method because all other methods had failed and no other method of pulling or prying this clutch off the shaft were as easy as this one. The clutch in this repair was a defective clutch and we were willing to cause damage to the clutch since our plans were to install a new clutch.


The electric clutch on a new mower should remove from the shaft without any problems. If the manufacturer has installed a clutch properly there should be no machining burrs or defects that would prevent a clutch from sliding on and off by the weight of the clutch. The fit should not be a press fit, but a slip fit. On vertical shaft engines this would mean, the clutch would install from the bottom up and you would have to slide it up into place and would have to hold it there during installation because the weight of the clutch would otherwise cause it to slide back down by its own weight. If a clutch won't do this, something is binding the surfaces causing a fit that is too tight.

On older machines there are reasons for a clutch to not slide off with relative ease. Rust and small trash can be normally be a couple of causes for a shaft to hold onto a clutch preventing its removal. Small trash is that "stuff" that is dust size dirt that collects in the very tight clearance between the engine shaft and the i.d. of the clutch bearing surfaces. This trash can bind the shaft and bearing surfaces preventing easy removal of the clutch. During reinstallation of a new or used clutch, always clean the engine shaft prior to installation so it will have a fresh set of mating surfaces for the next removal. A good anti seize compound would be recommended.

Sometimes a clutch can become welded to the engine shaft. This happens when a clutch tries to find an electrical ground through the engine shaft. Arcing occurs on a very small level and those archs cause micro welds to form, binding the bearing surface of the clutch to the engine shaft. If this happens one of your problems may be a blown clutch fuse.


To proceed with this removal method, remove the engine bolt, center hub and the pulley from the clutch. Remove all the parts of the clutch until you find the magnetic coil of the clutch. This coil is a copper winding for creating the magnetic forces required to engauge the clutch pulley. The intent of the following proceedure is to drill and tap 3 or 4 holes into this copper winding. This will cause damage to the clutch causing it to not be able to be used once you do this, so make sure you have exhausted all other methods and you must plan on buying a new clutch if you proceed.

We USED THIS SPECIAL LAST RESORT CLUTCH PULLER TO REMOVE THIS CLUTCH

THIS PULLER IS AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN THE TABLE AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE.

This picture shows the puller installed using only 3 bolts. Depending on how stuck the bearing is, you may want to consider using 4 bolts. In our first attempt to do this, using 3 proved successful, but our clutch was not welded to the engine shaft. If higher pulling forces are needed to pull your clutch off the shaft, you may want the added grip of all 4 bolts. Remember the copper coil is a wire bundle, not solid copper and the copper is softer than most metals. Your bolts might pull through the copper if a good grip does not happen.

Use the puller as a template for marking and drilling the required holes.

EYE PROTECTION REQUIRED.
Use coarse threaded bolts if you can. Use normal drilling and tapping methods to drill your holes. Our demonstration and photos were re-created on a work bench, you may have to perform all these tasks from underside of your machine if working with a vertical shaft engine. If this is the case, do wear eye protection and other personal saftey devices.

Test your tapped holes to make sure you have the depth to grip the bolt with maximum threads.

Install the puller and tighten all bolts so they bottom out the threads. Use all the threads you can for maximum strength between the bolt and the threads you tapped.

Install the puller push bolt. Be cautious not to damage the shaft threads on the engine. Our puller had a flat face and we positioned it on the face of the end of the shaft, not in the center. This worked really well and caused no damage at all.

Turning the push bolt should be fairly easy and the clutch should begin to slide off the shaft with relative ease.

THIS LAST RESORT PULLER IS AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN THE TABLE AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE.

Good Luck, I hope this works well for you
and please do remember our service tech writer
works for tips.

TROUBLESHOOTING INDEX

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TROUBLESHOOTING GENERATORS
TROUBLESHOOTING GENERATORS POWERMATE EXCITATION

TROUBLESHOOTING ENGINES

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TROUBLESHOOTING BOOKS FOR ENGINES REPAIR MANUALS
BUY SPARK TESTER FOR TROUBLESHOOTING ENGINES
TROUBLESHOOTING TECUMSEH ENGINES ( PDF )
TROUBLESHOOTING AND REPAIRING TECUMSEH CARBURETORS
SITE MAP
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
TROUBLESHOOTING DIXIE CHOPPER LAWN MOWERS
TROUBLESHOOTING STRING TRIMMERS AND 2 CYCLE ENGINES
TROUBLESHOOTING LAWN MOWER CLUTCH PROBLEMS

TROUBLESHOOTING PRESSURE WASHERS

TROUBLESHOOTING WAYNE AND BECKETT OIL BURNERS
TROUBLESHOOTING PRESSURE WASHER PUMPS
TROUBLESHOOTING PRESSURE WASHERS NO PRESSURE
TROUBLESHOOTING PRESSURE WASHERS ENGINE DIES

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This web site has been made available to you for the enhancement of the services we provide to our customers. We've provided a number of resources here to help you resolve CLUTCH REMOVAL problems, find information on how to remove a clutch from a lawn mower engine shaft, and suggest improvements to our service of providing information or clutch removal and clutch repair. TROUBLESHOOTING LAWN MOWER CLUTCH AND ALSO INSTRUCTION ON HOW TO REMOVE A CLUTCH FROM A LAWN MOWER THAT WON'T COME OFF BY TRADITIONAL METHODS

Copyright 2017
AAAA Generator and Pressure Washer, Inc.
DBA: ARKANSAS OUTDOOR POWER EQUIPMENT
All rights reserved.
Last modified: JANUARY 7, 2017

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