Mowing tall grass in transport mode, as I always do when in a hurry, the blades on my 4514 began to slow down. The Honda kept going at the same speed as did the engine. A few seconds later smoke began to waft out from under the hood. I immediately turned off the PTO and pulled back the hydro shift lever stopping the tractor but left the motor running. At that point I thought the belt must be slipping and burning. As I got off, the smoke was getting bad so I killed the engine. Lowering the deck, I reached for the spindle pulleys and found they were free moving. Opening the hood I saw the PTO belt pulley was plenty hot. I disengaged the hydro under the seat and pushed my dead Honda back to the garage. In the garage the smoke was still coming from the PTO area and thought the belt must have slipped. The PTO pulley was much too hot to touch so I loosened the belt at the deck and removed it from the deck pulley. This gave me enough slack to get it off the PTO pulley and not melt.
Giving it a few minutes to cool, about 1 beer, the engine was restarted without the belt and more smoke and sparks began to come out from behind the PTO. On closer inspection it looked like both the braking and driving parts of the PTO were engaged. The friction material in the PTO is cone shape and contacts the drive plate. The PTO brake friction material presses against a flat stationary plate. They should never happen at the same time and that explains the heat but the sparks were from behind that area. Starting the engine and moving the PTO lever on and off did not have any effect on the problem and I did not see the brake plate move as it should. My heart sank as I knew it was time for a multi-hour tear-down.
This is a good opportunity to document the PTO rebuild steps with photos. So I spent a few days documenting the steps involved and took photos of the PTO components.
First a list of tools I used. You may not need all of them.
10 mm socket
12 mm socket
14 mm socket
Rachet handle and 3" extension
Vice Grip pliers
Gear puller or steering wheel puller
Die grinder and cut-off wheel
10 mm open-ended wrench
2 - 12 mm open-ended wrenches
0.024" feeler gauge or a match book cover
This drawing shows a parts diagram of the PTO and I will refer to it for part names in red.
Step 1, remove the hood by first disconnecting the wire to the headlights. Look for the connector on the lower left side of the hood and a clip holding the wire to the hood. These are hidden behind the rubber flap. Disconnect both. A small screwdriver is helpful. Remove the two hinge bolts (12mm hex) and lift the hood off.
Remove the two bolts holding the radiator. (10mm hex) This is the only way to get easy access to the front of the motor. Next take the belt off the PTO pulley if it is still on there.
Step 2, to avoid draining the coolant I used a rope and bungee cords to raise the radiator. In my garage I attached a rope to the ceiling and raised the radiator about 1 foot leaving the hoses attached. Be sure to disconnect the temperature sender on the lower left of the radiator by pulling off the wire. This is just a slip fit connection. There is also a ground wire connected to the lower edge of the radiator on the front, remove that bolt (10mm hex). Remove the overflow bottle and let it hang down next to the oil filter.
The radiator has two short legs on the bottom that fit into rubber grommets and can be lifted after removing the two bolts shown in the above photo. Just get the bottom of the radiator above the crankshaft. Doing this will expose the bolt holding the fan and make it possible to rebuild the PTO.
With the radiator raised it is easy to get to the center bolt holding the fan on. On this photo you will see the two legs on the bottom of the radiator.