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I have a JD turf gator. I can not get it into gear with out grinding. It acts like it will not slow down the variable speed pulley enough for it to stop turning. Someone suggested I lubricate the s cams. I did this, it maybe helped a little but not enough. If I shut off the engine and slide it into gear and quick turn the ignition back on is the only way to get it into gear without grinding. Is there a built in transmission brake? Where can I find this info on line?
 

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I have this same issue. The idle is set so low the gator stops and the engine dies when I apply the brake. When applying the brake to stop I hear a groaning sound.
When I start the engine I can easily shift into gear if I do so very soon after starting the engine but if I delay at all I can not shift into either gear unless I turn the engine off and restart it.

I have read threads that say I should be able to depress and hold the brake for 5 seconds and then shift but this doesn't work either.

I am able to come to a stop in forward if I depress both the brake and accelerator. Once the groaning stops the engine will stay running and I can take off again without having to turn the engine off and restarting it. But turning up the idle had no effect.
 

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Actually turning up (faster) the idle speed tends to make the problem worse. I bet your primary clutch is sticking and not releasing when it should.
 

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You almost certainly have a sticky, or otherwise problematic, clutch.

I am not familiar with this particular model. Is this one with a sheet metal cover over the weight and spring portion of the clutch?

BTW, these type clutches need to be totally dry and void of lubricant. Lubricating any part of them can cause more trouble than it cures.

Also, as Dane points out, increasing idle speed will aggravate the problem. It is engine speed that centrifugally closes the clutch sheaves to engage the belt, at the same time that you need the belt to be DISengaged.

Hope this somehow helps.
 

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Regarding my 2002 4x2 Gator shifting concerns: After speaking with several persons I found that the main drive clutch is the item on the side of the engine that looks roughly like a bell housing. The cover can be removed by removing the three screws and if necessary using screwdriver tip to loosen and remove the cover. Once removed the clutch and weights can be cleaned with compressed air. It was suggested to me to use WD-40 on the weights as they stick and will not always release.

While I see how it would be true that the higher the idle is, the worse the problem would have been but turning the idle all the way down made no difference for me nor did just cleaning it with compressed air. The WD-40 may allow it to hold dirt and require more frequent cleaning but right now the clutch fully releases, the gears shift smoothly each time every time, I can stop with the gator in gear without it dying and I have turned the idle back to a reasonable RPM. I suspect I could always use a brake cleaner in the future if I need to clean and re-spray.

The clutch cleaning is a regular maintenance item I suspect has been overlooked by many based on the shifting complaints I observed on this forum. I hope this helps.
 

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Lubricating the primary clutches will cause many more problems than it will cure. These clutches need to be dry. It is almost impossible for the weights to stick and cause this problem. The sticking is between the spider portion that has the rollers that the weights ride against, and the frame that contains the spider as it is moved in and out as controlled by the movement of the weights.

I have been working on Gator clutches, but have yet to have my hands one of the units with the full sheet metal cover. I am anxious to get my hands on one and learn about it as I have with the open models, the type that you see on the disassembly stand in my signature picture.
 

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I had, until recently, an 855D with under 100 hours that always had a clutch problems since I bought it new. The clutch and belt was replaced twice by my dealer and always seemed to fail to disengage within about 15 hours of use. This Gator was my 5th over the last 10 years. I still have an TX that performs as it should, but decided to trade the 855D for a competitor's UTV. Interestingly, my JD dealer's Service Department Manager has told me he wished JD would get out of the UTV business as too often (except the Traditional Series Gators) the XUV's end up back in the dealership's service department with clutch and some other component problems.

I believe JD knows they have a problem as they agreed to pick up 2/3's of the cost of the 2nd clutch/belt because I was out of warranty. Note, also, idle speed adjustments were made to see if that would have any impact on the clutch releasing to effect...it didn't.

No flaming on my comments, please. I just need equipment that works in the field for me and my field hands and when running a farming operation, there is little time available to deal with equipment that I cannot rely upon.
 

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It's too bad you don't have it any more. I am quite certain that I could have made that clutch work as it should. Hope you enjoy your new one though. I do indeed understand that equipment that someone has to rely on for their work MUST operate properly almost all the time or it causes more problems than it cures.
 

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It's too bad you don't have it any more. I am quite certain that I could have made that clutch work as it should. Hope you enjoy your new one though. I do indeed understand that equipment that someone has to rely on for their work MUST operate properly almost all the time or it causes more problems than it cures.
You seem to understand, Doc. It really is too bad that JD can't/won't work with their supplier to resolve this issue. Maybe they should put you on retainer to help engineer a fix. I for one, will no longer consider an XUV for my operation and not just for the clutch issues. For example and previous to acquiring my 855D, I had purchased a new 620i that was constantly in the shop for failed ground speed sensors and ECM problems (no clutch problems). It also drank fuel like no other UTV I had ever owned. Apparently not unique to my 620i as a fellow farmer bought one with the same kind of problems. Maybe JD just isn't engineering these things for "work" anymore. I will say that the Traditional Series Gators have been pretty bullet proof and going forward, I'll consider those where they fit my application.
 

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I understand your situation. I was into the XUV too far and would have taken a bath trying to sell or trade it in yet it was so unreliable that I couldn't count on it to do work. The engine was my initial biggest problem. At that time dealers were not working on carburetors and only swapping them out but I continued to have horrible plug fowling from running rich especially in summer. Then there were the head gaskets...

I had the option of selling my Gator for a $4-5K loss or replace the engine at 100 hours. Believe me it was not a fun decision. I had a shark chewing on one leg and an alligator on the other and only one bullet so I choose to put in a new engine. Then the primary clutch became the most prominent problem. Luckily I found MBDiagMan through the forum who had experience tuning the clutch and I've finally got my Gator running as reliably as it should. It's a shame and a very major PITA that the core of the machine is now nothing like it was when it left the factory.

I rationalized it away as a price for Deere hitting their aggressive price point with the 550. All my other equipment is higher end, commercial duty and I considered it self inflicted punishment for going cheap.

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As far as Deere in the recreational market I think history has spoken. Anyone remember their line of snow machines? I suppose there is an allure to the higher sales volumes of a consumer recreational product. I love the footprint of the mid size 550 and suspension for difficult terrain. I just wish they had put commercial use into the design.
 

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Has anyone tried to put a stiffer main spring #8 on the parts diagram. Mine opens up completely when the engine is stopped but with almost any idle speed it begins to compress. That's when the belts starts grabbing then the secondary clutch starts turning. I am ready to give it a try. I have also made a brake for the secondary clutch that I am installing right now as well. It is to simple of a system to be failing like this. I wonder what the JD engineers were thinking on this design. It cant be their first day.
 

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Tom, what are you trying to accomplish with a spring change? I re-engined my Gator giving it about 25% more horsepower so I changed the spring in the primary to better suit my new power curve.
 

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I have an older model 4X2 with a Kawasaki gasoline engine. I am hopping a new spring or just a little stiffer spring will make the disc not squeeze the belt as much at idle. When we had Go Karts we jacked around with clutch springs all the time to make it lock up at higher rpm. I also wondered if anyone ever built some spacers to change the spring bias. I was a little afraid it would coil bind the spring to do that. One last thought, I also was looking at the shape of the cones and thought about modifying the angle to have less surface pressure at the point where Idle rpm has the clutch engaged. I am going to run a test with out the belt on and see what the distance is between the disc is. My goal is to not have more money invested in playing with the clutches that I paid for they who rig and my wife hates the grinding when she puts it in gear. I have not checked if I have to correct belt it is a JD brand belt but I do not know if it is the right one.
 

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I never tried making shims or spacers for the springs. I was afraid that something thin like that would be fragile and difficult to keep in position.

There are numerous springs available so I was able to find one that did what I wanted. Double check all the dimensions before ordering as I don't know who made the clutch for your Gator. Most of the recently modern clutches are made by Team Industries but I don't know how far back in history that relationship goes. Try looking at what Venom Products (the aftermarket brand of Team) has available for springs. The first number is basically the initial spring force (when it's 2 1/2") which will control at what rpm the clutch engages. The second number is the compressed strength of the spring and controls how it responds to rpm's or up shifts.
 

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That is a big help. I will look up those companies and see what they have. My serial number tag is damaged so it is a little hard to tell the exact year my gator was made. I was going to try using the engine serial number to get some help.
Thank You
 
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