Electric Clutch Issue

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by dnrsslr, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. dnrsslr

    dnrsslr LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 75

    I have a Ventrac 3000 with the 19hp Kawasaki. It is about eight years old and has nearly 500 hours. This summer, I had a charging issue which is now fixed. When the battery was low, sometimes when I turned on the mower deck (electric clutch) it would not engage. If I turned the switch off and on it would start. Sometimes I would need to do it a few times before it would engage. It has done the same thing to me recently and I think my battery is OK. The battery reads 12.3 volts with the tractor turned off. Does this mean the clutch is going bad?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. DiyDave

    DiyDave LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,695

    Check your manual, some electric clutches have an air-gap adjustment, that needs to be addressed, as the clutch wears.
     
  3. dnrsslr

    dnrsslr LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 75

    I cannot find anything in the manual about adjusting the air gap. I am waiting on a response from the shop regarding if this clutch has an adjustable air gap.

    I noticed in the electric schematic for my tractor there is an "electric clutch relay". Is it possible this is going bad? Since it only fails occasionally, how would I test?
     
  4. DT Lawn Care

    DT Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 850

    It could also be a bad PTO switch, that is a fairly cheap place to start, instead of going into all your wiring or adjusting your air gap. I would think your air gap would just make it either kick off or not engage when hot. Good Luck
     
  5. hdtvluvr

    hdtvluvr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 485

    I had this problem on a John Deere. With the air gap out of adjustment the PTO will fail to operate sometimes - even when cold. I too thought it was the switch but found out about the air gap on a John Deere forum. I adjusted it and haven't had any problems since.
     
  6. dnrsslr

    dnrsslr LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 75

    Thanks to everyone for your help! I just talked to the repair guy at the dealer. He told me the clutch is adjustable and that is probably my problem! It might be next week before I get a chance to work on this but I will post here with the results.
     
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,654

    The other thing to do, is clean all the electrical contacts.
    Could just be some dirt got in one...
     
  8. East Coast Lawn Choppers

    East Coast Lawn Choppers LawnSite Member
    Posts: 134

    it could be a safety switch or pto switch do you hear any click at all ? if not check for voltage down there. You can go on the scag site and download the parts manual it has a wiring schematic you can trace it there. I would look for a safety that is what we usually find on them that or the pto... check for a fuse too can't remember off hand if there is one that would only effect that I'll have to look at the schematic myself
     
  9. East Coast Lawn Choppers

    East Coast Lawn Choppers LawnSite Member
    Posts: 134

    thought it was scag for some dumb reason, but still same principals check for voltage at the cluth then work in the right direction from there. Do you hear it click at all
     
  10. dnrsslr

    dnrsslr LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 75

    Last night I adjusted the clutch to the recommended .020. I started the tractor, flipped the switch and ... nothing! Then I realized I had flipped the headlight switch instead of the pto switch.:) I flipped the pto switch and it started fine. Actually, it stalled the engine because it was not warm enough. But, after it warmed up and I gave it enough rpms, it worked fine. It also drastically shortened the stopping time.

    Thank you to everyone for your help! I think the problem is solved. But, since it was only occasional, I won't really know until a couple of months into next mowing season.
     

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