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Two notes. If the detent hole where the ball is suppose to drop into is worn, that will make leaving the detent position difficult if not impossible. If there is too much gas between the body and the actuator, that will also cause the detent to hang. Since the issue occurs only when disengaging, that says the shipper shaft body is likely worn.

If the detent area is not worn then the issue points to the arm itself. If it were mine I would get a new arm from a 5000 and modify it as needed. That pear shaped hole was a compromise and the new arms have just a slot.

Also, the two bolts that are threaded into the advance casting are suppose to be a bit long. They should be long enough to put a nylock nut on.

You could experiment by leaving the detent ball and spring out completely and see what that does. The way I see it, limiting the travel proves that the issue is with the detent or the arm.
 

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If I wanted to do a homemade job for that lever of an affair I might clamp a small 4" pr. of channel locks (thats what they always called them but I guess they are locking pliers) on it and just connect a piece of thick wire or like a piece of 10 ga. solid copper to it and buy a lawn mower lever to attach it to. But my nick-name is also J. Leg. lol.
 

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I do not understand why the homemade set-up works. Please explain it to me so I can figure out how to get my 74 super convertible to engage and disengage without using channel locks. Can I take the shipper shaft apart and replace springs or balls? If so, how?
Thanks
Will Walker
 

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Daryl G
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I do not understand why the homemade set-up works. Please explain it to me so I can figure out how to get my 74 super convertible to engage and disengage without using channel locks. Can I take the shipper shaft apart and replace springs or balls? If so, how?
Thanks
Will Walker
Will,
Take a look at this link (http://gravelymanuals.com/pdf/Convertible_76_Serv_Man_1174.pdf) on page 25 of the document under the section entitled PTO. I used this procedure to disassemble, clean, lubricate mine and it did wonders for my 1957 as the PTO now smoothly shifts in and out; however, my 1974 is still problematic. As part of this procedure, I added two gaskets between the implement and Advance Casting rather than one and this greatly facilitated in disengaging the PTO (engaging was not a problem... just disengaging was).

Mine, as yours probably does also, has plastic components on the shipper shaft. The setup described will probably not be of much benefit is your parts are worn since this is mostly identical to what originally came on your Gravely (assuming that it had the 'Attachment Clutch Control' lever installed).
 

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Thanks, Daryl.
I did remove the shipper shaft, cleaned, examined everything, put back together with fresh grease, and reassembled. The ball, detents, spring, and shaft look great. I set the shaft at .010 in with a feeler guage as the manual suggests. Install my rotary plow, and set out to plow my garden. The PTO was no easier to engage than before. On mine, the ball pops into both detents and stays. It has never jumped out once engaged. I wonder, since the ball will not come out of the detents easily, if I use a small rounded file and file out a sloped entrance track on each detent, would it roll out of the detent easily? Any red flags? After studying how the shaft works, I still don't understand why the homemade set-up shone above, works. Also, Daryl, how does adding an extra gasket help? Don't understand.
Sorry to be such a dummy!
Thanks,
Will Walker
 

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Here's a question...how are you engaging the PTO? The tractor should be at a low to idle rpm, and in neutral then swiftly pull the PTO rod, you will hear an audible clunk as the PTO engages to the slip clutch. To disengage, again set the tractor in neutral and lower the RPMs to idle, then swiftly disengage the PTO.
I have found that trying to disengage the PTO any other way is Much more difficult.
Please don't take offense to this as I'm not sure if you are new to Gravely L's or not. Some folks don't understand how the PTO works on the engagement/disengagement side, actually I'm
Not sure Gravely did either...Hahahaha.
At one pint I had a similar issue as you, I ended up disassembling the shipper shaft and doing everything you have, that helped. I do seem to remember using a big metal counter sink to "smooth" out the detente for better movement.

Some have used gaskets between some implements and the advanced casting, the added space as created buy the gaskets can make the process a bit easier however. I think his is only required when using some of the earlier implants. Hopefully someone can prove or disprove this.

The Bar that some of us have used seems to keep the remote PTO engagement arm sturdy and allow for better movement, it take out all the Slop.


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Thanks for your comments, cmeyers. I had not thought of a counter sink, but that might work. Tell me about the "bar" you mentioned. Where do you put it?
 

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Sorry bad terminology, I was referring to the plate that spans the PTO shifter that you see on my L in the photo I posted. It really did help


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Daryl G
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...how does adding an extra gasket help?
Will,
I had never considered this until I saw on GTGravely's website that two gasket thicknesses were available - one normal and one double thick. Given that I was having difficulty ONLY when attempting to disengage, I figured that reducing the distance required to disengage would be better. I did the 'double-gasket' fix on both of my units and only one responded favorably to this application - the 1957... and it worked really well!!! My 1974 still does not disengage as it should and I am still reviewing options. When I had the shipper shaft assembly off (after disassembling, cleaning, and lubing), it works as designed... at least in my hands. Something is still amiss so maybe it is the conglomeration of tolerances that is causing the difficult is in disengaging. Please note that my experience with Gravely L's and C's is only three months in total length but I am a good student!!!
 

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I thought of another solution: I shifted PTO into engaged position and then drilled a hole in the disk on the right side ( looking from the front). Inserted a rod in hole an moved disk toward left. Easy to move. I then shifted into disengaged position and drilled a hole in disk on the left side. Inserted the rod and it moves toward engagement easily. Much better than channel locks.
 

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I took an old screwdriver and ground the point off and tried it as a rod to move the disk. Works great and is easy to carry in pocket. Shifting is very easy now.
 

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Daryl G
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Will,
I think I will follow suit and replicate what you have done. I always carry a 15/16" socket and ratchet with me when I am out 'in the field' - by adding a screwdriver in my pocket will ease those moments when my 74 simply refuses to disengage the PTO.
 

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Here's another photo of the hole I drilled on the left side. Hope it's clear enough for you to see. Works great with my rotary plow. Haven't tried it on mower, but it's bound to work the same on both implements.
 

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All of these problems are due to worn parts, of which there are many.

When you took things apart inside was there a guide block on the end of the shipper shaft?
There should be a rectangular bushing in the channel on the dog gear.
Is the nub on the bottom of the shaft still round or is it worn down?

The shoulder stand the arm is mounted to must be secure and not wobble from the torque of the arm moving.
That is why connecting a second stand normally makes things better.
The arm should not wobble up and down on the stand.

Sometimes the ball is lost and replaced with something close but not correct.
The ball and spring should just fit into the hole.
The spring should only be strong enough to prevent unwanted movement.
The detents that the ball drops into should only be about 1/3 the diameter of the ball.
If they are too deep, too much of the ball is below the casting surface and that makes it very difficult for it to be lifted out.

It looks like the pin in the "disk" is too high.
Only the small tip, not the larger body should be in the pear shaped hole in the arm.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
gravely_guy - appreciate your additional notes. I'm guessing you're right - many of us are finding ways of not having to open things up. But I suspect it is worth taking things apart to find the problem. I worry I'll screw things up and be worse off. Probably not the best way of looking at it.

Below are pics of my quick fix putting a bar across. As noted in an earlier post in this thread, this didn't work for me - although I'm guessing it helped. It was more about the piece rotating too far around (again, probably due to worn parts) and then not being able disengage.

I took a really mickey mouse approach by stopping the distance the rod extends by welding on a washer. And doing this meant I could test my awful welding skills! That being said, aside from trying it a few times, I don't know if that will stand up to continued use.

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Plowed up a big flower bed yesterday and used bush hog to clear fence row today. Had to engage and disengage several times. My new screwdriver method works great every time. Sure solves a big problem for me.
 

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Gee, I find all of this so hard to believe. I thought it was just me and its supposed to be so simple.
Good luck with this one. If I didnt have a battery tray on top of the mechanism it would have a threaded rod coming out of the turret and be done with it.
Ive aquired ( bought ) the 2 hole spanning plate but dont even feel like putting it on anymore for this one issue has about turned me off completly on these things.
I'll put it together sum day or try to and if I ever have another problem like this one I'll get my buddies Barret .50 BMG and put a steel core round through it. That set up is pathetic, paid $800 for that thing and a part that stops it in its tracks looks like a 3 rd. grader designed it.
Sorry for being so bitter but geesh...
Oh plus another mechanism cause I wont even bother to try to use mine again, somethings wrong w/it where the ball goes into the holes.
 

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Daryl G
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Mark,
You're alive!!!! Even thought this is an older thread it is still relevant because shifting problems still exist... and not just for you. Although the 'attachment clutch control' does add some nice convenience to engaging and disengaging (PLUS it is inherently safer), it can become problematic later... much like the problems you, me, and many others have experienced. We may lay blame on the design (I am with you here, it is NOT the best design) BUT, given the loooong life that these Gravelys often have, failing after 40 or 50 years it still a pretty good record! Well, in fact, it is a really good record - I am just pondering about what other equipment is still operable after running for so many years... often in very harsh environments? I surmise that the earlier and primitive 'clutch attachment lever' on the forward end of the machine did not fail to engage/disengage as the 'attachment clutch control' does.

I do not have any real content to add here other than I have been using my 1967 C8 to clear some trails/property lines at our new place. This machine's PTO shifts amazingly smooth when both engaging AND disengaging! The 1974 I used to have had that 'crap' plastic as part of the shipper shaft assembly. - it worked well for a while after disassembling, cleaning, and lubricating but eventually it went back to its old ways... It certainly is nice when you can engage and disengage remotely but it is not a deal breaker at least for me. Granted, my situation does not involve the presense of a battery so access to 'manually' disengaging is still possible.
 

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Hey Fireant, I hired a professional to hook my remote PTO control up, hows it look? lol!
Naaw I just did that stuff to hold those dang bolts up till I feel like messin with it again whenever that may be.
I let my mutt out and played with her for awhile ( meaning I throw a ball and she looks at me like Im an idiot and lays back down ) so I spent about 10 minutes making a kick-stand lever as the one it came with was just a bolt that couldnt be tightened up enuf by hand.
Of course I bought the flat tipped one but its to hard to tighten up as well with the bare hand.
Later Buddy, just wanted to say Hey to ya.
Mark
Oh heck I do have a question ! Why is the plate with the 2 holes that span the bolts in the shipper shaft guide on the top in some pics ( like above) but in the instructions go on the inside of the casting as well as in a video on the net? If it goes on the inside its a different tractor than mine is unless you cut a half-circle into it.
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