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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
On a 1996 JD Gator 4X2, serial #W004X2X020589, the gears grind when shifting from neutral to forward or reverse. The basic problem is the belt is moving at idle speed which is turning the secondary clutch. I have tried the following things to diagnose and repair without success.

  • Slowed down idle speed to point of engine stalling. The belt was still moving at very low idle speeds.
  • Replaced rollers on primary clutch. Two of the three rollers had flat spots.
  • Replaced the belt. Double verified that the new belt, RE28721, is the correct one for this model according to JD parts catalog.
  • There is about 3/8" gap between belt and movable sheave on primary clutch when belt is pushed against stationary sheave when engine not running. See picture.
  • Tested the primary and secondary clutch with the back wheels off the ground and engine running at slow idle and full idle. Primary and secondary clutches appear to be working normally. Tried to post a video but file was too big to post.
  • Looked for a way to adjust distance between primary and secondary clutches. I did not discover a way to adjust the distance.

The belt appears to be engaging with the clutch shaft (but not sheaves) at slow idle speed. The shaft between the stationary and movable sheaves has lost its finish. It is now a rust color and has some rough spots. The current theory is that this rough surface has enough friction to engage the belt where a new finish would have enough slip not to engage the belt. I will try sanding this area of the shaft to reduce friction. This is likely a short term solution as the rust will return over time. Ultimately, will likely have to replace the stationary sheave which has the polished shaft.

Has anyone else had this issue? Is there anything that I have missed? All suggestions are appreciated. I would like to rule out other possibilities before buying a new stationary sheave or full clutch if the stationary sheave is not available as a solo JD part.
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