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I"m decomposing

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobby perez, May 26, 2004.

  1. bobby perez

    bobby perez LawnSite Member
    Messages: 86

    Yea every thing is breaking down on me. Go to turn on blades and only the switch moves nothing else. Is there a systamatic way of trouble shooting this problem. Its a 48 inch hydro scag ,electric clutch.Where does it get power to energize the clutch, from the engine , its a pull start.How do I tell if its a mechanical failure or eletrical malfunction.The only thing I know about cluthes is that when they spin fast ,cetrifical force expands the springs to grab and drive the whatever it is you want to drive,or set in motion. Please help the OLDDDD TROUBLE MAKER ! thank you for your help.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    Bobby, Glad to read that it is your mower. 1st 2 lines sounded like your body was falling apart. Being the same age as you I know that can happen. As for the mower, It sounds electrial but I'm not to good as a sparky. Best guess is to check all wires and grounds. Good luck
  3. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    you got me, I actually thought you were making a decomposition mulch bed
  4. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    Find the electric clutch and follow the wire from it backwards to the connection point. Make sure it is connected and tight. The electric clutch has so many hours to it and then they are done, one of mine smoked up nicely when she blew, seized the two pieces together. Make sure all your electrical connections are tight and clean.
    I'm thinking that if it is not unplugged or a loose connection, you are needing to get a new one.
  5. AuburnGuy

    AuburnGuy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 279

    I'm as far from a small repair guy as it gets, but i just had this problem with my toro walk behind. The pulley, or whatever you call it underneath the engine was pulling the wires loose that are responsible for engaging the blades. After i thought i fixed it it happened again. So I let the shop fix it this time.
  6. wrestlingcoach

    wrestlingcoach LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 251


  7. AuburnGuy

    AuburnGuy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 279

    I just found out my clutch needs replaced and my bill will be about $350.
  8. GeeVee

    GeeVee LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 421

    You have a phone?

    Call me at 321` 794 1125 SHould be easier than typing.

    Is DYI job......


    Power comes from running motor.

    Two small wires run into the clutch usually with a cloth wire loom. from motor (ultimately). Decide if there is a fuse in the harness that is in circuit for the clutch, first .

    Test for voltage from motor-

    Discon at connector about four inches from clutch. Start engine, with switch off (disengage) check for for voltage, you should not have any, switch on you should get 12+ at motor side of wires.

    Test Clutch itself.

    These electric clutches work on electrifying a magnet, and not by speed. A way to test the clutch is to apply a battery to it and you should hear it clicking the magnet. (new one from the store will do this in your hand., The old one is probably toast. ) If your existing one resopnds to being energized by a twelve volt battery, the problem is between the motor and the wiring to the clutch.

    Someone else mentioned that they experienced a "lockdown" of the motor...... This happens most of the time. Can't restart, etc.... Preceeded by a sharp, unmistakeable the second time you smell it, kind of smell. (The electricity escaping). But not every time.

    The three triangular bolt pattern and spring arraingment around the clutch thingies are actually PMCS adjustments that no one ever does, literally. I faced many electric clutches- never was an adjustment that one would provide service forever.

    Do make sure you and tools are safe before running tests. (I've seem rathcets and sockets sucked up)

    Be ready to find a manner to lock down crankshaft to remove clutch, like pipewrench over largest cast iron sheave, and ensure you don't gouge them or file them out after. The center bolt and washer are important. Possibly an impact wrench will get it right off, but be aware it may be reverse threaded.

    Walk behind?

    Take the time to drain oil and fuel and pop on its side to get to it unless you are good at working on your back.

    Tak oportunity to replace the rest of the sheaves and belts at the same time. New clutch has new sheave and you will run and old belt through it?

    Two hours maybe.....
  9. AuburnGuy

    AuburnGuy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 279

    GeeVee - thanks, I just picked it up from the shop. They said the clutch was bad and it had broken the key, or something like that. Hopefully i won't have any more problems out of it for a while. It must be nice knowing how to fix stuff. I usually spend more time trying then give up and pay to have it fixed. So i don't just spend the money, but the time trying (usually in vain) to fix mower type stuff. I am getting a little better though.
  10. GeeVee

    GeeVee LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 421

    Yer welcome......

    The clutch is attached to the crankshaft, which is round, with a shear key, which is a little block of metal 1/8x1/8x 1/2 " long or is an 1/8" half moon shaped block that will fit in a slot on the shaft and on the clutch.

    Once yours sheared, which the shear key is presumed to have protected the shaft and appliance, the crank will not spin the appliance and may tear up one or both. You may have just torn up the mating surface on the appliance and not the crankshaft, which is lucky for you. Ask if that was why it was replaced and not because of clutch (electrical) failure.

    Further, if they sold you a new clutch, did you get one? Look under and verify........

    When one "locks up" the crank, you wouldn't get it started if it hadn't sheared the key.

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