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Discussion Starter #1
We’ve put probably 5 PTOs on our LX277 in the last 2 years. All genuine John Deere parts, yet none of them seem to last more than 2-3 months. We do mow with the mower very heavily. It sees a ton of use. It probably sees 7x the normal use in one year. Although we don’t abuse it, we don’t chop through any crazy tall grass

We put a new switch, battery, and voltage regulator on it. The voltage stays between 13.7 and 14.7 as it should. What’s the deal?

Are we just wearing it out from use or is something else going on?


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How is the PTO failing?

Mechanically failing (bolt breaking, parts flying off) or electrical failing (coil burning up (Charred (less than a couple of ohms) or Open circuit failure (infinite resistance).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The bolt has stayed tight, we’ve been tightening each one to factory torque specs. It seems like it’s either getting fried electrically or the clutch is just not able to hold pressure and eventually burns up. The wires and switch do not appear to be fried at all, they weren’t hot.

To me it almost seems like we are just using it too hard, but I don’t see how. Even with the amount of grass we cut with it, it should at least last a few years


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OEM PTO clutch or a 3rd party PTO clutch?

3rd party runs 100.00 to 150.00 like "Extreme"
OEM Deere is 245.99

Are the belts too tight? Ie (more force on one side than the other). Is there a way to adjust the air gap on this clutch (3 slots to measure pressure on a thickness gauge)
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Each one has been a genuine John Deere PTO. The belts are properly tensioned and were replaced not too long ago. I’m at a total loss, I have no idea what could be causing it to fail so quickly. $245 every couple months is getting old real fast

Are aftermarket ones any good?


I think I looked at adjusting the air gap and found that it can’t be adjusted, but I will look again.

What is the proper burnishing/break in procedure for these clutches? And how important is it to the longevity of the clutch?
 

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First off.. Any JD part bought across the counter and installed by the customer has a 6 month warranty.
I have not seen that number of repeated failures ever on a pto clutch.
I would love to do an autopsy and see exactly what the root cause of the failure is.
Burnishing a clutch in my opinion is important. It mates those wear surfaces together to create an even wear area which will in theory prevent slippage. Will failure to do so cause an early failure that you are having? I doubt it.
Again.. I would need a hands on to figure this one out.

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Discussion Starter #7
They have a 2 year warranty apparently, our John Deere dealership gave us 1 or 2 under warranty but they are no longer giving us a replacement one under warranty since we burn through them so often. I will be dissecting the next one that fails and report back with my findings


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Get resistance readings new versus after failure, feel for bearing issue or failure, bent or broken parts, etc. Photos would be nice. I've only gone through two front clutch coils (broken wire on one and was able to fix that and a bearing), two rear clutches and a shaft in the thirty+ years on the 318. Two clutches on the 420 but those happened due to overheating of the engine. Something has to be wrong causing the clutches to go out. That is why I'm thinking external to the clutch itself.

Are you sure the engine is not causing the issue (over heating)
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
The engine is definitely not overheating, it runs great. We keep after it pretty well, we normally change the oil 2-3 times every season.

I can take resistance readings and report back. I appreciate the responses


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Each one has been a genuine John Deere PTO. The belts are properly tensioned and were replaced not too long ago. I’m at a total loss, I have no idea what could be causing it to fail so quickly. $245 every couple months is getting old real fast

Are aftermarket ones any good?


I think I looked at adjusting the air gap and found that it can’t be adjusted, but I will look again.

What is the proper burnishing/break in procedure for these clutches? And how important is it to the longevity of the clutch?
The burnishing procedure is with the engine at half throttle, engage the PTO 8-10 times at 5 second intervals. I doubt that is causing the problem.

The air gap cannot be adjusted.

Do the spindles and idler pulleys spin freely?

George of Buford
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I just checked the resistance of a brand new John Deere PTO and the one that is on our mower now (which I think is about to get smoked given the smell it gave off a couple days ago) and they both measured 3.8 ohms


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Discussion Starter #13
It comes out of the side at the front, as it is from factory. I can check for leaks


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Discussion Starter #15
No, we are very careful not to abuse it by cutting through tall/super thick grass. It should last at least 5-7 years by the way we use it in my opinion


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