My mower deck stopped, Not so lucky now!!!!

Tue May 26, 2009 10:26 am

After putting on a new mower belt and using it twice to mow my mower deck went really slow to a stop. I put the PTO off and back on and it started up again only to slow down a while later. I noticed the rear PTO pulley stopped too so its something beyond that. I didn't hear any PTO clutch noise so i figure thats ok. I ended up tightening the twin belts that drive the PTO shaft just a little and now it works fine again. I did tighten them about 3 years ago when i first installed the new mower belts.

I've been doing a stupid thing by using the finish mower deck as a brush hog at times. I'm only chopping up the 12" tall small stuff but i'm sure thats not a good thing to do with it. I think this is were most get into trouble with the 154's. Its so easy to get drawn into doing it while mowing, i'm in a rush to clean the place up.

Re: My mower deck stopped, Not so lucky now!!!!

Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:58 pm

My mower stopped again after it got warm i guess. I can turn the PTO pulley when its engaged with the motor off and the pto shaft doesn't turn. I guess the PTO clutches are slipping. When the last mule drive belt broke the deck caught a branch which jammed it up. This has happened before to me. I guess i hurt the PTO clutches. I did it by pushing it beyond its limits chopping up brush. I didn't see the branch in the tall grass/weeds.

Now i need to readjust the PTO clutches. I hope its just an adjustment. But either way i stopped using it until i repair it. Luckily i do have an extra PTO setup thats complete that i just took off my 154 FEL project tractor that i'm not using on it.(backup) But i will try to readjust the PTO first before replacing it.

On a good note i can fix my 1st & rev fork now too so maybe its a blessing that it happened. Its one of my best 154 tractors too the rest of it is in great shape. I ruined the PTO myself its not the tractors fault. I'm going to rebuild the mower deck too at this time.

Now in the future i have an excuse to get a super A with a brush hog.... :{_}:

Re: My mower deck stopped, I'm lucky now!!!!

Mon Jun 08, 2009 3:34 pm

Ok we took apart my #1 154 to see why the PTO is slipping a little. I could engage it and with two hands i could just turn it so its not fully holding. Now i stopped running the tractor the second i noticed this problem was more than a slipping belt. At the sametime we already had the seat pan off so we tightened up the first / rev fork too. My tranny and gears inside look like new. Now i put on my extra PTO setup to inspect it to see if its holding and ok when engaged. My extra PTO works fine so i have a backup. I then looked at my slipping PTO and the clutch plates look great so I loosened the set screw holding the collar nut and proceeded to tighten it up so it would loc up the clutch plates tighter. I measured the thickness of the clutch pac and it was 1.125" when engaged and it has to be .050" larger when its released so it was 1.175" when in the released position. We then reinstalled it on the tractor to test it and it holds and releases "perfectly" the way it should. I adjusted it to what the owners/repair manual said to do. Its great to make progress again in the right direction. I'm not using the PTO setup on my fel/backhoe project but i will pull my PTO on my #3 154 and inspect it and check the setting while i change out the clutch disc/pressure plate and throwout brg. on it.

After seeing how easy it was to check and reset the PTO its worth taking the time to checkout your PTO even before you have problems. You can save many $$ if its just a readjusting is all it needs now before it goes south and gets costly. You need to keep an eye in this and maintain it. If you just cut grass and keep it adjusted correctly you won't have problems with it.

I think overall this machine is getting a bad rap about the PTO. It seems so easy to adjust.

I will only cut grass from now on, no cutting brush. I got lucky this time.

Re: My mower deck stopped, Not so lucky now!!!!

Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:54 am

I know that the PTO is very different between a 154 and a 184 but functionally the PTO should be able to stall the 15-20 HP tractor engine.
I have stalled my 184 while tilling at full throttle. The PTO belts squeel for less than a second and the engine stops. It all happens very fast!
I don't think I would hesitate with mowing tall grass as long as there aren't limbs or trees in there.
I agree with the "bad rap"

Re: My mower deck stopped, Not so lucky now!!!!

Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:41 pm

The clutch should be adjusted to just greater than the cub engine max torque and you should stall the engine rather than slipping the clutch. If the clutch starts to slip again after being recently adjusted, check the large diameter cam bearings, they may be loose and worn. That will keep any adjustment from lasting very long. Happened to me, I replaced the bearing for $15 and it has been great since then.

Re: My mower deck stopped, Not so lucky now!!!!

Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:41 pm

Landreo wrote:The clutch should be adjusted to just greater than the cub engine max torque and you should stall the engine rather than slipping the clutch. If the clutch starts to slip again after being recently adjusted, check the large diameter cam bearings, they may be loose and worn. That will keep any adjustment from lasting very long. Happened to me, I replaced the bearing for $15 and it has been great since then.


The PTO would run for a while when it was cold. Then it would start to slow down(mower) in a short time. I stopped running it until i could check it out. I found out that the clutch plates weren't locking up. The manual says we should have a .050" difference when we measure the clutch pack outside dimentions from when its locked up to when its released. I loosened up the set screw on the nut and tightened up the nut to a point were i felt it was ok when released. The clutch plates felt ok in the released position with no noticable drag. I measued the out side clutch pac and it was 1.125" in the compressed locked up position, thats the PTO being on(driving). When i put in the released position i measured the outside clutch pack again and its 1.175". I got it on the first try. I then tightened up the setscrew and checked it again and it stayed the same. It didn't take much to adjust it so i figure its clutch plate normal wear. I turned the nut less than 1/4 turn. I did find plenty of grease in the area of the PTO clutch. Then i seen the fitting on the PTO shaft. I figure the PO kept it well greased. (needle bearings) I did make the PTO clutches scream good a few times when a branch locked up the mower and when i hit a few stumps. I will be very careful now and cut grass only. I got away cheap this time(maybe).

But i will keep an eye on it as to what you said about the cam bearings.