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post #1 of 12 Old 03-29-2009, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
AKA Moses Lawnagan
 
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PTO shaft adjustment Tutorial

There have been several questions lately about how to shorten a PTO driveshaft. I'll leave it to the Admins to determine whether this is in the correct forum, move it if you think it belongs elsewhere.

I just purchased a rototiller for my GT and I need to shorten the driveshaft to fit. My tractor is a X748 J-D, and the rototiller is a Land Pride RTR0550. The shaft comes with the tiller, and has the optional slip clutch. The standard is a shear pin, but I would rather have the clutch and take the time to properly set it up. I will show how to both shorten the shaft and prep the clutch and adjust it. I'll make a separate entry for each step, accompanied by photos.

First, the object of our "attack" and the tools required. 1st is the shaft, fully collapsed, 2nd is the tools needed, not many.
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-29-2009, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
AKA Moses Lawnagan
 
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Re: PTO shaft adjustment Tutorial

Now, we need to find the MINIMUM length we'll ever have between the PTO output on the tractor, and the PTO input on the implement. With the implement mounted to the tractor, raise the lift fully and measure from end-to-end between the two connections. The actual distance is not important, it's just used to determine the shortest distance. Lower the lift to about half and re-measure the distance, then drop the lift to the bottom and re-measure again. Mine did not change more than 1/4 inch, but sometractors will depending on the exact geometry of the lift and shaft locations.

Find the SHORTEST and place the lift in this position, and leave it for the remainder of the shaft adjustment. Making the shaft fit this way insures it will never bind between full lift and full drop.
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post #3 of 12 Old 03-29-2009, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Re: PTO shaft adjustment Tutorial

Next, we want to pull the driveshaft apart, and install each half on its respective connection. IMPORTANT-- place the implement end fully on the input shaft, but put the tractor end only on the output shaft enough to hold it there. The reason for this is that the driveshaft must be short enough to get started on the output shaft. If it is the exact length between input and output, you'd never be able to install the shaft with the implement mounted to the tractor.

Holding the two halves parallel to each other, place a piece of tape and mark each end where theytouch the other half of the shaft. This is the maximum collapsed length of the shaft and just gives a reference to show where the ends would presently be inside each other. Measure straight across from the collar of one safety sleeve to the other, and mark the sleeve. The duct tape in the picture shows what I mean. Mark each sleeve, this is where you will cut each sleeve to shorten it, the red mark on the masking tape is the spot.
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post #4 of 12 Old 03-29-2009, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: PTO shaft adjustment Tutorial

Now, we can remove each shaft half from the tractor and implement. Place some masking tape around the safety sleeve where you made your mark, and cut all the way around, and remove the unneeded portion.

Now, you will have a fairly long portion of the shaft exposed. Using the new edge of the safety shaft, measure back about 1-1/4 inches on the shaft and make a mark. Do this to each half. These are your cut lines for the shaft itself. I used a hacksaw to make all my cuts; a sawzall with a metal blade would also work and be less effort. Clean the filings from the metal and dress the edges of the cuts with a file when done.
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Last edited by KHodges; 03-29-2009 at 04:36 PM.
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post #5 of 12 Old 03-29-2009, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: PTO shaft adjustment Tutorial

This should be all you need to do to make the driveshaft the correct length. Reassemble by greasing the shaft tubes and slide them together. place the implement end on the implement input shaft and secure with the cinch bolt. Now, collapse the driveshaft to its shortest and slide the tractor end onto the PTO output shaft. The driveshaft should be short enough to easily get it started, and as you slide it into the locked position, still be plenty long to have most of the sliding shaft halves engaged.

Now, when you are satisfied of the fit, it's time to prepare the slip clutch. Remove the driveshaft again from tractor and implement. The slip clutch has 8 springs with a bolt down the middle of each. These bolts hold tension on the springs, which in turn press two plates against a central disc which has a lining on both sides, much like the clutch in a manual transmission. The central disc is part of the splined piece that fits on the implement input shaft, and the plates are part of the drive side. When too much resistance from the tiller side is applied to the driveline, the clutch disc slips between the two plates. The reason for adjusting this is so that there is not too much tension for the driveline, which can have a much shortened lifetime if too much stress is placed on the gears from hitting rocks and roots, etc.

When the clutch is assembled at the factory, they don't know what kind or size machine will be using the implement. Also, after sitting in the dealer's lot for an unknown length of time, the plates can become stuck to the clutch disc. Using two wrenches of proper size, remove the nut on all 8 bolts and remove the springs and bolts. The clutch should fall apart, but if it is stuck together, a light tap with a rubber mallet will separate the parts. I take some 300 grit sandpaper and lightly sand the faces of the metal plates and the clutch disc, just to clean them up. Then reassemble the clutch, making sure not to get any grease on the plates or disc faces.

For my old Yanmar, which had about the same power as my new J-D, I removed 4 of the bolts and springs and only used 4, equally spaced around the clutch, for tension. You can use all 8 if you want. My theory is that the clutch will slip more readily with only 4 bolts and springs, and you definitely want the clutch to give before the transmission of your tractor.

I tighten each nut on the bolt until the spring can't be turned by hand. Then I tighten the nuts until the end of the bolt is flush with the top of the nut. There is minimal tension on the springs , but they won't turn by hand. Measure the length of the springs and make sure they are the same, this ensures equal tension.

Reinstall the driveshaft onto the implement, and connect to the tractor output. Go out in your garden, or find a place that won't put too much resistance on the tiller, engage the PTO and start tilling, watching to see whether you're actually moving dirt. Increase depth until you see that the tines aren't turning, which tells you that the clutch is slipping. If this is fine with you, you can leave the tension on the springs as is. If you feel you're getting too much slip, tighten each bolt about 1/2 turn and try again, until you are comfortable with how much tension you have.

If you let the implement sit for several months between uses, it's a good idea to readjust the clutch tension and make sure it isn't seized.
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Last edited by KHodges; 03-29-2009 at 06:01 PM.
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post #6 of 12 Old 03-29-2009, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: PTO shaft adjustment Tutorial

Here's a pic of my driveshaft installed after cutting it. You can see the ends of the safety sleeve, and know that the metal shaft is 2-1/2 inches longer in overlap inside the safety tubes. I added two 40 lb suitcase weights to the front; I could get the front a little light when starting off with the tiller raised. More weight might help for 4WD traction, but I'll see how it goes.

Time to go play in the dirt.
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post #7 of 12 Old 03-29-2009, 05:15 PM
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Re: PTO shaft adjustment Tutorial

Thats cool!

Good write up!

~F~
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post #8 of 12 Old 03-29-2009, 05:34 PM
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Re: PTO shaft adjustment Tutorial

VERY nice writeup! i love the step by step instructions and the pics.

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post #9 of 12 Old 03-29-2009, 10:37 PM
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Re: PTO shaft adjustment Tutorial

This ought to be a sticky, both here and in the CUT forum.
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-05-2010, 09:09 PM
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Re: PTO shaft adjustment Tutorial

Thanks for this post.
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post #11 of 12 Old 09-05-2010, 09:20 PM
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Re: PTO shaft adjustment Tutorial

Quote:
Originally Posted by wally2q View Post
This ought to be a sticky, both here and in the CUT forum.

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post #12 of 12 Old 09-05-2010, 09:23 PM
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Re: PTO shaft adjustment Tutorial

Yes, very informative, well written and great pictorial .
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