John Deere STX38 Mower Deck Not Engaging

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  #1  
Old 05-12-13, 05:28 PM
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John Deere STX38 Mower Deck Not Engaging

I have circa 1995 John Deere STX38 (black deck). Today when cutting the lawn the mowing deck stopped (blades stopped). I checked the belt and it is fine as well as grass around the top of the deck. Last installation was April 2009. When I reduced the throttle, it engaged. When I increased the throttle, it stopped. Does anyone know if I need a new belt or if the PTO clutch needs work/replacing? Thanks for any suggestions.
 
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  #2  
Old 05-12-13, 06:03 PM
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I think I'd start by checking the battery connections, the battery & the charging system to make sure the clutch has the required voltage to it @ all times,,, Roger
 
  #3  
Old 05-12-13, 06:12 PM
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Hello rdp56,


From what I can tell you have a adjustable PTO clutch on this machine, You may want to check/adjust the air gap as below and see if it solves your issue;


If your clutch looks like the one below there's three slots in part # 5 to insert a 0.012 feeler gage, Adjust the three nuts until you feel a little drag on the gage. Only move each nut a little at a time because moving one will throw the other slot out, Work your way around the three slots until about the same drag is felt on the gage in all three slots.....





Good Luck
 
  #4  
Old 05-13-13, 04:13 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I'll take a look today and hopefully it will solve my problem. Right at the start of the season...lol
 
  #5  
Old 05-15-13, 07:34 AM
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Problem Solved

Gentlemen, problem solved, and I'm an idiot. It turned out to be the ground wire for the PTO clutch. The bolt holding the ground wire to the chassis came loose; hence the intermittent engaging of the clutch. Ultimately the bolt worked its self loose completely, so the clutch didn't engage at all. Once I screwed the bolt with the ground back in place (tightly), the clutch/blades engaged as they should. So a simple solution to a problem that I thought was going to cost me a lot of money. Nothing runs like a vintage Deere STX38.
Thanks again for the time you spent coming up with some suggestions for a fix.

This DIY site is definately the best!!
 
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Old 05-16-13, 08:17 PM
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Thanks for letting us know.. It's always great to get the feedback & I'll keep this in mind for the future...... Thanks, Roger
 
  #7  
Old 05-20-14, 08:00 PM
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My john deere stx 38 black deck does not have this type of clutch it only has one bolt threw the shaft to bolt up very simple to install. But it is a one day old clutch pto is not engaging has no voltage to the clutch. Battery has 13.5 volts, I cleaned ground wires on battery and frame. I do not know how to test the pto switch. can you help or explain how to bypass the switch for a permanent solution without paying a high price for a new pto switch?
 
  #8  
Old 05-20-14, 10:03 PM
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The PTO switch is cheap. You would spend more trying to rig it than just fixing it. Check for voltage going to the switch, then turn the switch on and check the terminal across from the power terminal for power. If none, the switch is bad. The switch often fails close to the same time as the clutch because of over-amperage heating up the contacts.
 
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