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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2004 4x2 Gator, and I have the PROPER puller and spider tools for removing and rebuilding these clutches. My 1996 clutch took 18 minutes to remove, rebuild, and re-install. This 2004 is giving me hell. It's REALLY stuck onto the cone on the crankshaft such that my 750lb ft impact wrench won't pull it. Any ideas? There is no way to get anything anywhere inside in order to lubricate, tap, or otherwise help free it. I sprayed some Kroil in it just now and wound it up to everything the wrench has. I'll let it sit like this tonight I guess. Otherwise, I don't know how in the hell to get it off.
 

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With tension applied on puller, tap on the head of the puller bolt. Sometimes the pulse is enough to cause it to pop off. Same idea as taking off tie-rod joints, ball joints and such.

Just don’t go crazy with the hammer blow.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, that's what I've done for ball joints. I tried that but it didn't work. Admittedly, it wasn't all that hard of a hit. I'll get my long blunt nosed punch and give it a a little more hammer. May have to hammer and pop it a few times with the impact a few times a day every time I walk by it until it decides to give.
 

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There are various pullers for the gators, Be sure the end of the puller IS NOT entering the threaded end the crank case, if it is you have the wrong puller. You can make you own with a M14 bolt with a 1.5 thread and a piece of bar stock cut to length
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I don't know. Gators from 95-2004 all have the exact same clutch so I'm lost. I can't get it off. The 700lb foot impact didn't get it. The bolt for the clutch still threads OK so the puller is not going into the threads. Keep in mind that these are identical machines and this puller is not some cobbled together part. It is THE clutch puller kit called for the TM1518 Service Manual for John Deere, made by ServiceGard for John Deere on John Deere's junk with this exact Comet clutch.

The next step for me will be to cut it off with a torch or sawzall. It's corroded or stuck beyond industrial tools that I have to remove it. This isn't rocket science. Take out the bolt, put in the puller, pop it a few times, and it should come off. Very simple. I wailed on it for 10 seconds straight and it didn't budge.
 

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Some thoughts since you’re at desperation time and likely to already tried or considered.

1. Use anti-seize on puller surfaces to reduce friction. (Treads, under thrust surface, etc) This will help translate rotational energy into greater thrust energy.

2. Make certain air house is short in length and large in diameter. Air supply on high torque impact guns require significant air flow to achieve peak torque. This goes with the quick connect fittings which usually have small internal diameters. I make it a point to use 1/2” airline when facing tough bolts.

3. Don’t use any socket extension between impact Gun & socket along with thick wall impact sockets.

4. Maybe try a good size breaker bar to get the necessary bolt torque. Maybe gun is worn.

5. If clutch hub is made of aluminum, perhaps add heat to take advantage of different expansions rates between aluminum and steel. I would be concerned about too much heat hurting crank seal though.

Good luck! Stuck parts are no fun to deal with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I’ll try those but I have to have some sort of extension. I put my Milwaukee 800 impact on it and wailed on it until the Gun got so hot I couldn’t hold it. So…then I had driven the puller so tight it required 10 seconds of reverse to get it out. At this point I conceded it wasn’t going to come out. While my puller is still good, I gave up and put the spider tool on it and impacted that off the clutch. So, I got the spider off and rebuilt and now have to figure out how to thread it back on. I’ll bump it once or twice with the impact and thread the clutch bolt back in and call is good.
If it needs that much work again I’ll have to pull the motor and throw the crank and clutch half away and buy new ones of both.
Literally no other option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is a 2004 4x2 gator and the clutch looks identical. Is there any chance the puller is just wrong and I’m completely mistaken?
 

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Curious, was there a lot of rust between the crank and clutch?

Glad you got it off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Curious, was there a lot of rust between the crank and clutch?

Glad you got it off.
couldn’t say. I did NOT get the clutch off. I got the spider off with the clutch still attached to the crank. It’s not coming off but there is some aluminum corrosion on some parts on the spider and the pins were tight so I have no doubt there is some galvanic corrosion between the crank and the back half of the clutch. I used so much force on the clutch puller I almost couldn’t back it back out. Even wjth that, the clutch did not move or come off. So I had to use the spider tool on my impact to take it off and leave the clutch on the crank. That’s all I could do. I wanted the whole thing off but I couldn’t get it.

this impact wrench has removed 2” nuts from equipment that has been sitting in wet fields for over 50 years. I cannot fathom having ever bested this impact wrench but It couldn’t do it.
 

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Thanks for the additional detail and hope the workaround is successful.

Galvanic corrosion between Al and steel acts can behave like its welded. Why this problematic issue is not addressed during the design phase is frustrating.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the additional detail and hope the workaround is successful.

Galvanic corrosion between Al and steel acts can behave like its welded. Why this problematic issue is not addressed during the design phase is frustrating.
Agreed. Having worked on several of these, the cynical side of me says it’s because the machines aren’t expected to last long enough to worry about the need to remove the clutch. Lol.

I have one that will require me to fabricate portions of the frame in order to salvage…so much rust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I got it all back together. Didn't solve the grinding of the gears when shifting from neutral. The new rollers and buttons didn't really solve the problem. Even at idle, the clutch doesn't FULLY release. It's pretty close, but not complete. Just a bad system altogether. I suspect this is why john deere stopped repairing them and went to full replacements. These clutches work well when they are brand new all the way around.

Anyway, the shifting procedure is still the same for me and the kids...let it idle down, give it a second, jam the shifter into gear, and let her rip!
 

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I agree with the galvanic reaction between to metals, it's right on. I would suggest putting some heat on it, if using a torch be REAL careful alum will melt easily. I would use a hair dryer on high, all around the shaft, it's gotta get hot enough to expand, get tension on it with the bolt and start tapping the end of the bolt.
Good Luck!🥴
 

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I got it all back together. Didn't solve the grinding of the gears when shifting from neutral. The new rollers and buttons didn't really tactsolve the problem. Even at idle, the clutch doesn't FULLY release. It's pretty close, but not complete. Just a bad system altogether. I suspect this is why john deere stopped repairing them and went to full replacements. These clutches work well when they are brand new all the way around.

Anyway, the shifting procedure is still the same for me and the kids...let it idle down, give it a second, jam the shifter into gear, and let her rip!
Over the last several years many folks have replaced clutch‘s multiple times through the dealership on warranty and their own dime. New clutch’s also fail regularly. If you continue to grind the gears in the transmission, you will have issues with the shift collars in the transmission.

There is a long term solution for hard to shift into and out gear issues. Contact JD Clutch Doc for more information at [email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Over the last several years many folks have replaced clutch‘s multiple times through the dealership on warranty and their own dime. New clutch’s also fail regularly. If you continue to grind the gears in the transmission, you will have issues with the shift collars in the transmission.

There is a long term solution for hard to shift into and out gear issues. Contact JD Clutch Doc for more information at [email protected]
It isn't grinding right now. The secondary clutch spins, which it will always do, even with a good clutch. The trick is to shift it quickly and positively and not soft shift it. I'm not overly worried about shift collars. There isn't anything in this machine, up to and including fully rebuilding the motor that I can't fix. This clutch can be tuned, but it's got scarring where the buttons ride, so I would have to polish that out, grind it down, and then build custom buttons to fit. It's a very simply system. You can certainly tune it with polishing, spring modifications, weight changes, etc, but I hate to contact Clutch Doc and ask a bunch of info considering I will not and have no plans of using their services for it. I hate it when people do that to me so I wouldn't do it to them. You can improve it to some degree, but I don't believe there is a permanent fix on it.
 

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I can understand and appreciate your hesitation on contacting JD Clutch Doc. However I must disagree with your assertion that there is NOT permanent solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I can understand and appreciate your hesitation on contacting JD Clutch Doc. However I must disagree with your assertion that there is NOT permanent solution.
This particular clutch has deep scoring on the slides where the button rides. You’d have to mill that smooth and then accommodate the slack with a larger button. You think that’s repairable ? Also, let’s not forget that I would only be able to send the spider assembly in. The other half of the clutch is on the motor. Do they need both sides ?
 

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This is a 2004 4x2 gator and the clutch looks identical. Is there any chance the puller is just wrong and I’m completely mistaken?
What is the length of puller tool that you have ?
 

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This particular clutch has deep scoring on the slides where the button rides. You’d have to mill that smooth and then accommodate the slack with a larger button. You think that’s repairable ? Also, let’s not forget that I would only be able to send the spider assembly in. The other half of the clutch is on the motor. Do they need both sides ?
I must have missed you mentioning the towers are damaged in your previous posts. That said, there is a good chance this clutch would not be serviceable.
 
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