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Any ideas to make my 6x4 go into gear(forward and/or reverse) without growling/grinding. I can't tell if it's idling too high or if the springs in the varible speed clutch are weak and wanting to engage at too low of an RPM. What I've started doing is turning switch off and letting engine almost die, clunk it in gear and turn switch back on, all before it dies. I can do that, fine, but my wife has trouble with it. The idle doesn't seem excessively high.

Thanks,
Randy
 

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Seems low is guessing at idle speed. Measure and determine if it is correct.

Or you can guess and start throwing parts at it.

At least clean the primary sliding mechanism to make certain the clutch is opening up properly. It’s not that hard to remove from the machine and then to take main spring out to see if the mechanism is binding or condition of weight and pins.
 

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gas or diesel? I'm inclined to think clutch problem, raise the box with the motor off and see if the belt is tight, if not start it up and see if it engages. High idle is rare but go to harbor fright and get a cheap RPM reader.
 

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Here's a quick and dirty "fix" I've used with several Gators with the same problem. You can do it in seconds and it'll cost you pennies. Simply spray the belt and clutch sheaves with a Teflon lubricant. Start with a light coating and add more as needed. It'll reduce the grip of the belt just enough to prevent the secondary from engaging at low RPM's. It would seem that this would inhibit torque at higher RPM's, but I've never had a problem with too much slippage at higher RPM's.
You won't find this fix in the Gator service manual and you didn't hear it from me.
 

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I've had a 2001 4x2 for about two weeks and it grinds a little putting it into gear. From what I have read, could be a primary clutch issue? When the motor idles, the secondary clutch is also spinning. Is this normal? I plan on pulling the primary in the spring and looking at it. What are the most common wear items. Do you grease
all the wear parts? I ordered a manual but not here yet.
 

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I had the same problem on my 2000 6X4 diesel. The problem was that the primary clutch rollers had developed a flat spot on one side that restricted the movement of the clutch spider and hence the inability to completely disengage. The rollers are not available from John Deere; instead, they want you to buy the whole spider assembly to the tune of $130 or so. After doing my repair, I read that you can get the components to replace the rollers:


"Obtain hardened drill bushings 3/4" OD X 3/4" long (P/N P-48-12) with 7/16" ID
from Carr-Lane, McMaster Carr, or the like and 3/8" ID X 7/16" OD X 3/4" long
oilite bronze bushings from any bearing supply house. Press the bronze
bushings into the drill bushings, bore their ID to the correct size, and
install."



I also wrote up my repair experience:


"To remove the clutch, you can easily duplicate the JDG813-1 removal tool. Cut a 3" length of 1/2" unthreaded steel rod. Square off and de-burr the ends, but don't round them over. After removing the mounting bolt & washer from the end of the primary clutch, insert the rod into the crankshaft hole. Follow it up with a 9/16"-18 X 3" SAE bolt (I was surprised to find that it wasn't metric). Hand-tighten it until it contacts the 3" rod. You can then either tighten the bolt manually, or, as the tech manual recommends, *carefully* use an impact wrench. When run far enough in, the whole clutch assembly will pop free of the tapered shaft.

"When using an impact wrench (which is by far the easiest way to separate the clutch from the crankshaft), be very careful not to run the bolt in so far that the unthreaded portion runs past the entry to the hole in the crankshaft. If this happens, you'll clobber the female threads at the end.

"Once off, you can achieve the function of the JDG813-3 holding tool with a little rigging. Drill three 1/4" pilot holes in a straight line 1-1/2" apart lengthwise in the center of the wide edge of a scrap 2X4. Run two 3/8" X 2"(+/-) lag screws into the pilot holes at either end. Screw them down almost flush with the face of the 2X4, leaving about 1/8" of space below the heads. Place the clutch on the 2X4 with the stationary sheave down. Align the two lag bolt heads with opposing depressions in the back of the stationary sheave. Run a long 3/8" lag screw (about 6" long, as I recall) and washer through the clutch mounting hole and into the middle pilot hole on the 2X4. Tighten it firmly, but not excessively. Mount the 2X4 in a vise, and the clutch is now solidly retained.

"The JDG813-2 spanner is the sticking point. Initially, I used a spanner that was intended for removing the front hubs from an old Chevy half ton 4X4. It was pretty tricky. I removed three of the six tangs that meshed with the hub nut, leaving three to grab the spider arms. The tangs were very tiny, so keeping the spanner in contact with the spider arms while applying the considerable force necessary to break it free was hardly trivial, but I managed.

"Subsequently, I milled off the remaining tangs, then milled three 1/2" deep openings evenly spaced around the circumference of the spanner to accommodate the three spider arms. Now I have a fully functional equivalent of the JDG813-2. Fortunately, I have a cousin with a Bridgeport machine. You might also be able to use a short piece of 2" schedule 40 iron pipe, although the inner diameter may be a tiny bit too small. There's really no other way to grab onto the spider to remove and replace it, what with the torque spec. being 100 ft-lbs."
 

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A lot of aftermarket companies sell spider tools that will work, a 3 post should even work on a 4 leg spider since these are only torqued to 100ftlb. Clean with spray solvent and inspect rollers and weights for any binding or flat spots, do not oil. Most of these clutches are Comet and if you contact Certified Parts Corporation with pictures and measurements they may be able to help, JD parts numbers don't mean anything to them.
 

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So when is the OP going to report back on course of action/fix?
 

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I received my manual yesterday and was a little disappointed they didn't have more on the primary clutch. I also have a puller ordered to remove it. One of my questions was what do you oil, grease, etc.? I will most likely be replacing the rollers for sure but without having it apart yet was wondering if the original rollers came with the bronze insert MrNatural mentioned? Great post BTW. I'd like to get them on order. Pede58, you recommend just cleaning everything and putting back together without oil or grease, correct? Lastly, I assume this has fixed the grinding problem for those who have done it? Thanks everyone for the useful comments.
 

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Deere offers little to no help with clutches, at least in my area and I'm 30 miles from the crystal palace, probably because they don't make it. Their is a guy that sells the rollers, can't remember his web site, for $75. If everything looks good I'd just clean and put it back...NO OIL...it will draw dirt and dust. Will it stop your problem, maybe maybe not but one other thing I'd look at is alignment, the belt at rest should be centered in the primary, you adjust this by moving the secondary, I've not seen any shims either on the units or to buy so you may have to get creative, if it has to go in.....that involves moving the trans or motor, not an easy thing to do. Keep in mind that the grinding is caused in most cases by friction on the belt in the primary at idle.
 

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Gator guy bearings are hardened bushing with phenalic sleeve. MrNatural used a hardened bushing with an oil/bronze I.D. sleeve. Just wondering if one would be better than the other? Does anyone have the finished I.D. of the rollers. I'm guessing it needs to be around .377"? I'm also considering replacing the spring while it's apart, anyone ever had issues with the spring wearing out?
 

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Actually, I didn't find out about the options for replacing the rollers until after I replaced the entire spider assembly on my Gator. I would opt for the phenolic-sleeved rollers, since the Oilite bushings would require being drilled out to the correct ID. Besides requiring care to drill them out accurately, Oilite is pretty fussy about being drilled or reamed: if the bit isn't *very* sharp and carefully guided, the Oilite pores can be easily smeared, closing them and restricting access to the impregnated lubricant.
 

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Update: I took the clutch apart, replaced the rollers (from gator guy) and sanded everything that slides or moves with very fine sandpaper to smooth out and bumps or dings the best I could. I put everything and seemed to keep the secondary clutch from moving at idle. Thumbs up! Cleaning up the mess afterword, I discovered I forgot to install the washer under the spider, ugh! Removed everything and corrected my oops and all seems to be well again. Now it still grinds a little sometimes and other not at all, so I'm calling it a success. The rollers were definitely in need of replacement anyway. Thanks to everyone for all the help and I would be happy to share my experience with anyone who may need it.
 

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Thanks for reporting back on the status!

It helps tremendously when threads are completed. Perhaps you can give an update after you get some miles on it.

Glad your hard work paid off with success.
 

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