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Cub Cadet Zero Turn pto clutch issues

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by ZTcadet, Aug 10, 2007.

  1. ZTcadet

    ZTcadet LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    I am getting a Cub Cadet 3648 Commercial Zero turn mower from my father. He has owned it about 4 years (purchased new) and has had constant problems with the pto clutch. He has replaced it every year he has owned it! They cost $400 just for the parts. I would like to know if anyone know of any modifactions that can be made to decrease the frequency of this problem. Ideas I am looking for is an aftermarket clutch that is better, a pto clutch from a different manufacturer that fits it that is better, etc.

    The engine is a Kawasaki 17 HP.

    Any advice is appreciated.
  2. Breezmeister

    Breezmeister LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from South Jersey
    Posts: 1,458

    Hi ZT, you should not have to replace a pto clutch every year :confused:
    What kind of conditions was this Cub kept in, out in the weather, garage ?
    How many hours, what was the problem that he had to replace it every year for ? More info would help
  3. ZTcadet

    ZTcadet LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    He kept it in a garage. There is no hour meter on the machine so I can't say how many hours. However, he mows probably 5 acres at his house. The machine is in very good condition except for the clutch issue. No other issues. The clutch is already slipping again.

    I have read of others who have had clutch problems with Cub Cadets. I thought maybe someone would know a solution instead of just replace the clutch every year.
  4. fixer67

    fixer67 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,104

    What do you mean by replacing it? Does it burn up or short out or just stops turning the blades? If it is burning up or shorting out then your charging system may be bad. If it starts to slip then you can adjust a lot of those clutches. If the ware pad is burning up then there is something overloading the clutch and causing this. Need more info. Just why is the clutching needing replaced for. Can you post pictures of the clutch. I would like to see what type it is and who made it. I have never heard of any clutch have that much problems. You say this last one is slipping. Were the other ones slipping as well. If it is the adjustable type then the shop putting it on may not be adjusting it right. Restrorob has some good pictures on here on how to do it.
  5. Breezmeister

    Breezmeister LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from South Jersey
    Posts: 1,458

    I will get a clutch or two in the spring that are frozen, which I see is not your problem, from home owners leaving the machine out in the weather covered up with just a blue tarp. I can not imagine your dad putting more then 100 hours a year on his Cub. Now in saying that, I would be pressing the dealer for an answer :hammerhead: and if he couldn't give you a good answer I'd be talking to Cub Cadet. Every Dealer has a number to a tech for the brands they sell. Sorry I couldn't be more help, good luck
  6. MowerMedic77

    MowerMedic77 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,164

    I have to agree with fixer on this one, I would think these units come with Ogura Clutches which have the air gap adjustments.
  7. ZTcadet

    ZTcadet LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    OKAY - I have more information.

    The clutch is an electric clutch made by Warner part number 5215-68.

    My dad kept two of the clutches that have failed and I looked at them this morning. The failure mechanism appears to be that they overheat and then short out.

    The clutch has three nuts around the outside with springs, so this may be the adjustment. The spacing does appear to be too large for the magnet to efficiently pull the clutch together. The way my father had it set up the magnet would need to compress the springs but it doesn't look to me like that is how it should be set up. I think the space should be smaller so that the pully can reach the clutch surface without compressing the springs further. I think this is why it is slipping, which is causing it to get hot, which is causing it to fail.

    So, the suggestions of operator error appear to be partly true - except that two of the clutches were put on by the dealer.

    Can someone point me to a link to find the clutch adjustment information that was referred to in this thread?

  8. ZTcadet

    ZTcadet LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

  9. Bill Kapaun

    Bill Kapaun LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 910

    I wonder if he is engaging the deck with it in thick grass or clogged up? That would certainly accelerate wear, which might start the costly cycle toward destruction?
    If you Google your part#, you can find it for a "more reasonable" price.
  10. fixer67

    fixer67 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,104

    If they overheated and then shorted out like your post says then I would look at the charging system for a possible over voltage problem. These clutches are made to run in the 12 to 14 volt range. The main question is why they are overheating. Is it from over voltage or friction from slipping. If they are slipping then why?

    And ever dealers make mistakes. I have had to fix mistakes the other dealers have made. No one is perfect, we all make mistakes. It is part of being human.

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