Testing hot end of electric clutch wiring?


Old 10-23-17, 04:21 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 48
Testing hot end of electric clutch wiring?

So, this may be the wrong way to go about it but I thought I'd ask. My understanding of multimeters is pretty limited along with my experience.

I've got a mower with an electric clutch that is no longer working. I replaced the switch and that did not solve any problem. It is not clutching, so I'm assuming that there is a problem either inside the clutch or with the power delivery.

It has two wires that go to it that are easy to access but the rest of the electrical is very hard to access without taking a bunch of things apart. It is a 12-volt machine. Is it possible to test those easily accessible leads down to the clutch to make sure it is getting power when the switch should be hot?

Can I set the multimeter to 25 volts (I think that is the increment I saw the meter I have laying around) which exceeds the battery voltage of 12, and then stick the pins in the plastic connector for the wires? I think I know which is positive and negative but will it fry the multimeter if backwards?

And if it reads around 12-14 volts assume power is being delivered appropriately? And then replace the clutch itself if so?

I have an old multimeter laying around from my grandfather's tools and I think it still works.

If this is a stupid idea, could I use something like a non-contact voltage tester to infer the same thing?
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Old 10-23-17, 06:45 PM
PJmax's Avatar
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I've moved your thread to the small engine forum. Ultimately you may need their help.

A non contact voltage tester works on much higher voltage.

You can set your meter to the scale just over 12VDC. Make sure it's a DC scale. You should measure around 12vdc. If you can disconnect one of the clutch wires you can use an ohmmeter to check for continuity. Basically any meter movement seen when in ohms setting and connected to the clutch will signify an ok coil.
Old 10-24-17, 05:43 AM
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You can test it as you mentioned and no it won't fry the meter if backwards, the needle will just peg zero so reverse the leads to get an accurate reading. If you plug goes directly into the clutch and you get voltage then the clutch needs replaced. If you have a plug above the frame with a lead going to the clutch, inspect the wires to the clutch or check for continuity as Pj mentions.

Of course you need the key on and the seat occupied or seat switch made and the PTO switch on.
Old 11-18-17, 09:23 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,376
Electric Clutch

My Toro with an electric Blade clutch has a fuse in the line going to the clutch, Might find that if you have one, Easy fix if if is just a blown fuse. Good luck!

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