Woods Over-running clutch help

Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:46 pm

Need some help here. Two years ago, I needed to repair an over-running clutch (Woods 42-C4) that was "skipping". I ordered the two halves of the clutch, and replaced them. It didn't last any time at all before it stripped again. I pondered my actions, and decided that not replacing the spring was my downfall. I then welded the two halves of my old one, licked my (pocketbook) wounds, and cut grass for two years, taking care in stopping. This year I got tired of repairing the weld, as it was breaking every other week. o I broke down and ordered the two halves of the clutch, which includes the top brass bushing and seal, a new spring, AND the large washer that goes under the spring, as mine was missing. Convinced I had it, I carefully dis-assembled, cleaned, and re-assembled the clutch, oiled it lightly, and put it to work. 1/2 hour into cutting, it started skipping (stripping) again, while in mid-cut (not even when I was letting out on the clutch). I was easy on the clutch, and it was working like a champ right up until I heard that horrible sound of the ratchet self -destructing.

What am I missing? Why would two clutches self -destruct on one of these things? I am saddened by my loss right now, as anyone who has bought these parts will understand....

Re: Woods Over-running clutch help

Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:53 pm

I do not know why, but have you thought of buying a used unit, I see them often on e bay in the $50 to $75 range?

Re: Woods Over-running clutch help

Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:03 pm

I have thought of replacing it with a flail mower! :shock: I have one sitting in the weeds that needs a couple of bearings!

Re: Woods Over-running clutch help

Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:19 am

The problem has to be with the moveable side of the clutch not mating completely with the cogs in the cap. There are two dynamics at work here. One is the up and down movement and a slight sideways movement which permits the moveable side to find the sweet spot on the fixed cap side where all the clutch teeth firmly meet each other at the same time in all combinations. You are either not getting the moveable side of the clutch fully up against the cogs in the cap or the alignment tolerance between the hexhub and the moveable side is too tight to allow the moveable side to fully mate up with all the teeth in the cap in each possible mating combination. Obviously, there are several cog mating combinations since the clutch as several teeth, but in each the result must be the same - a solid, simultaneous, and fully mated contact of all teeth. With the clutch assembled, if you manually rotate the drive pulley backwards, there should be a consistent, distinct, and sharp snap each time the moveable side of the clutch contacts the fixed cap side. You can check whether the all the cogs are fully mating under each mating combination by taking the cap off of the drive pulley along with the hex hub and moveable side of the clutch. Turn the cap upside down on the bench, position the hexhub into the cap's brass bushing, and slide the moveable side of the clutch down to the cogs on the cap. Note there must be some play between the hex surfaces on the hub and the moveable side of the clutch for free up and down movement. When the moveable side meets the cogs on the fixed cap, turn the moveable side by hand aganst the cogs and note whether all the teeth are making making contact at the same time all around the clutch. Back the moveable clutch up one cog and conduct the same check. Repeat for each combination to assure simultaneous mating of all cogs. In the clutch I rebuilt, the PO had welded the clutch together, probably because the clutch was slipping and he royally screwed up the teeth in the process. After cutting it apart, I had to weld and custom fit the cogs to each other. Since you bought new clutch surfaces, you should not have had to do anything of the kind. Nonetheless, the problem has to be improper or insufficient mating of the cogs on the two clutch surfaces. Perhaps the spring is not pushing the moveable side of the clutch up squarely and it is binding on ocassion when moving up the side of the hex hub. Or, as I said before, when the moveable side meets the cap side, perhaps all the teeth are not properly contacting each under all all combinations.

Re: Woods Over-running clutch help

Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:00 am

Rick, I can't help with a fix but i had the same problem after buying the first replacement and only lasting 3 months i did like you i welded it together and that 20 plus years ago. I do abuse mine cutting deer trails and and such.

I do have a used one that Mr. Jessie gave me. He said the gets were good. if you don't fix the problem i can bring it to Florida.