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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Howdy, got a question about the clutch. Okay, it's not a clutch it's belt-drive but still. On my 2005 L100a, the belt grabs way too fast and I do wheelies no matter what. Is there any way to adjust this so it slips a little?
 

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Try throttling down to just past idle before letting the clutch pedal up..just enough throttle so the govenor will kick in and not let it stall..then you can rev it back up once its moving..

If the belt is a new kevlar one,they do tend to be grabby until some use and they glaze up a little..
There are things like belt dressing or spray to apply to slipping belts to make them grab better,not less..but oil,or wax,would make a belt more slick and less grabby,but it may also make it slip too much and burn it up faster..I'd avoid putting any of that on it..
 

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Is there a belt-tension adjustment? Maybe it's too tight?

As T-H said, I wouldn't try to add anything slippery to the belt. If it's too much, and it starts slipping, you'd almost certainly have to replace the belt, and *very* thoroughly clean all of the pulley surfaces, to remove the lube.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks Tractor-Holic & RedOctobyr, I appreciate your advise. Never thought about throttling it down before engaging the clutch. Good idea! I just bought the tractor and it's supposed to have a new belt on it but I'm not sure what it is. Come to think of it, the belt sleeve came with the tractor so maybe I'll look. Not sure if it has a clutch tensioner, I'll have to look at that too.

Thanks again guys ?
 

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Just like a car or truck with a standard transmission, control the rate of clutch engagement. Some bite hard, others engagement more softly. You just have to learn how to work yours.

Throttling back is a good start until you get a feel for it.
 

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The "clutch" is a tension pulley which depresses on the side of the belt as you let up on the pedal. You've already been told to slow down the rpm's, and I'll add that letting up on the clutch pedal slowly will have the same effect. Just like a with car, there's no reason to "pop" the clutch unless you're in some type of hurry.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The "clutch" is a tension pulley which depresses on the side of the belt as you let up on the pedal. You've already been told to slow down the rpm's, and I'll add that letting up on the clutch pedal slowly will have the same effect. Just like a with car, there's no reason to "pop" the clutch unless you're in some type of hurry.
Yeah, that's what I've been doing. Trying to let it out as slowly as I could. It just grabs and away we go. Sometimes it works Ok, mostly not. Previous owner said the tractor was sitting for at least a year before I bought it and I'm finding things are all pretty stiff. Doesn't look like it's had any maintenance in a long time. Spindles took 30-40 shots of grease each before I could feel any resistance. Hard to steer until I lubed the front end good. Wheel bearings needed a good shot of grease too. I'm thinking it's just been sitting and will take a while to free up. I'll try to adjust the tension pulley, hit the throttle cable, connectors and other points with spray lube. See how it goes then. :thanku:
 

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Yeah, that's what I've been doing. Trying to let it out as slowly as I could. It just grabs and away we go. Sometimes it works Ok, mostly not. Previous owner said the tractor was sitting for at least a year before I bought it and I'm finding things are all pretty stiff. Doesn't look like it's had any maintenance in a long time. Spindles took 30-40 shots of grease each before I could feel any resistance. Hard to steer until I lubed the front end good. Wheel bearings needed a good shot of grease too. I'm thinking it's just been sitting and will take a while to free up. I'll try to adjust the tension pulley, hit the throttle cable, connectors and other points with spray lube. See how it goes then. :thanku:
Spindles took 30-40 shots each? That's a lot of grease. Interesting also that you started "feeling resistance" toward the end. Seems like the seals would have majorly blown out long before that point. How much empty space is in those things?

BTW... You say it's been sitting awhile. Is there rust on the pulleys where the belt contacts? I can see where that might be awful grabby...
 

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Howdy, got a question about the clutch. Okay, it's not a clutch it's belt-drive but still. On my 2005 L100a, the belt grabs way too fast and I do wheelies no matter what. Is there any way to adjust this so it slips a little?
Heh heh... I had to chuckle when I read this. You are not alone and there is no cure. I have an Ariens rider with the exact same clutch mechanism and it works the EXACT same way. My brother has a Deere L-series that is the same. It's almost like it doesn't have a clutch. My Ariens is going on 6 years old and I would have thought the belt and pulleys would have loosened their grip by now but NO. Check YouTube videos of similar tractors and you will see nearly everyone complaining about the ON/OFF clutch mechanism.

I'm surprised there has never been a class-action suit on the tractors that use this design. It doesn't matter how slowly you try to leave out the clutch as anything above second gear results in a violent jerk forward and a wheelie. Throttling down to idle can help a bit but you have to r-e-a-l-l-y feather the clutch.

One time I had the throttle about half way and in 3rd gear and my foot slipped off the clutch and the tractor jerked forward and did a wheelie with such force that I thought I broke my back.

I only use my Ariens as a mail-getter and utility vehicle around the yard and I pity anyone who actually has to mow around obstacles with one of these clutch mechanisms. I wonder how many owners have accidentally plowed into a fence, house or car because the darn think lurched forward when trying to release the clutch?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Spindles took 30-40 shots each? That's a lot of grease. Interesting also that you started "feeling resistance" toward the end. Seems like the seals would have majorly blown out long before that point. How much empty space is in those things?

BTW... You say it's been sitting awhile. Is there rust on the pulleys where the belt contacts? I can see where that might be awful grabby...
I was surprised with that many pumps too. I gave both spindles 5-6 pumps to begin with, started it and spun the deck up. Still heard the dry bearings sound. Did another 5, same thing. Then remembered what someone said once about pumping until you can feel resistance. Did that and smooth and quiet. Never saw any grease coming out on top or bottom so no blown seals. Could be my grease gun doesn't pump as much as others do so maybe that's why it took so many.

Good idea about a rusty pulley. I'll take a look. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Heh heh... I had to chuckle when I read this...

I wonder how many owners have accidentally plowed into a fence, house or car because the darn thing lurched forward when trying to release the clutch?
Now I didn't plow into the fence exactly, more like a little nudge. :Stop:

I'm kinda spoiled with my old rider, a Murray Ultra (RIP) with the Hydro trans. You just push the foot pedal forward or back and off it goes. Nice and smooth, no wheelies. I know what you mean about your back though. It didn't hurt but I was sure glad I was hanging on to the wheel!
 

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I tell customers all the time that if you have a clutch brake one NEVER use a hydro or auto one...You will never want to use your mower and have to get a new one.
Then I make them feel better---I guess I'm passive-aggressive, by telling them they have the best most durable trans though and they can pop a wheelie every time and they will probably break a belt before they damage the trans. The hydros....not so much.
 

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I tell customers all the time that if you have a clutch brake one NEVER use a hydro or auto one...You will never want to use your mower and have to get a new one.
Then I make them feel better---I guess I'm passive-aggressive, by telling them they have the best most durable trans though and they can pop a wheelie every time and they will probably break a belt before they damage the trans. The hydros....not so much.
I'm amazed that mine hasn't broken a belt yet. You would think all the jerky take-offs would be hard on the transmission as well. I mean, the transaxles on these low-end machines aren't known for being overly robust.

I had a 6-speed Toro rider many decades ago and the clutch on that was silky smooth. So why can't the newer models work that way?
 

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Now I didn't plow into the fence exactly, more like a little nudge. :Stop:

I'm kinda spoiled with my old rider, a Murray Ultra (RIP) with the Hydro trans. You just push the foot pedal forward or back and off it goes. Nice and smooth, no wheelies. I know what you mean about your back though. It didn't hurt but I was sure glad I was hanging on to the wheel!
Like I mentioned earlier, this Ariens is just my yard utility vehicle. It doesn't even have a deck on it. My mowing machine is a JD X500 and yes, the Hydro is nice for mowing.
 

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I was surprised with that many pumps too. I gave both spindles 5-6 pumps to begin with, started it and spun the deck up. Still heard the dry bearings sound. Did another 5, same thing. Then remembered what someone said once about pumping until you can feel resistance. Did that and smooth and quiet. Never saw any grease coming out on top or bottom so no blown seals. Could be my grease gun doesn't pump as much as others do so maybe that's why it took so many.
The majority of these deck have sealed bearings. So all you are doing is filling the spindle cavity between the two bearings full of grease. That is why it takes so many pumps initially. It still blows my mind why they even have grease fittings.

I had a JD 175 Hydro that I bought new in the 80's. Despite greasing regularly the spindle bearings went out in short order. I replaced them and the new ones only last a couple seasons. When I replaced the bearings the third time I removed the rubber seals on the side that faces the grease zerk. 23 years later when I finally sold the tractor those spindles were still turning nice and smooth. Bottom line - the grease in those spindles probably isn't doing anything unless you have one of the very rare decks with open bearings.

Good idea about a rusty pulley. I'll take a look. Thanks
If you leave the mower sit out the polished surfaces of the pulleys will accumulate surface rust very quickly but it cleans off within a few minutes. If I leave my Ariens out overnight, the next morning even 1st and 2nd gear take-offs are jerky but only the first time. I've looked underneath and you can see surface rust speckles on the shiny pulley surfaces but it goes away quickly once you shift gears and use the clutch a couple times.
 

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I tell customers all the time that if you have a clutch brake one NEVER use a hydro or auto one...You will never want to use your mower and have to get a new one.
Heh, that's me. Mine has a clutch and 6-speed, but a foot-controlled hydro seems like it would be much easier and quicker. Especially in areas that require changing between forward and reverse multiple times. At least my machine is old enough that it doesn't have a reverse mowing lockout feature.

The clutch on my machine is a gradual take-up, at least. There's a good chance it's on the original belt. Never occurred to me that some would jerk hard every time they engaged! Glad mine doesn't have that "feature".
 

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Some machines had a "shock absorber" type of damper on the clutch idler pulley mechanism so the belt got tightened more gradually and not jerk the machine when you let up on the pedal,it also dampened any oscillation that developed in the belt due to a hard spot or a kink in it..

Some designs of clutch idlers are just "grabby" by nature it seems...rust on the pulley sheaves can also cause grabbing and wheelies..sometimes the brake might be dragging and that can encourage it also..
I can see where a grabby clutch can be a pain,especially when your doing some tight manuvering and need it to engage smoothly..I have a retaining wall along my driveway about 2 feet high I have to mow next to and I've had a few close calls when my Sears Suburban's brakes weren't working well and the belt liked to grab !..almost went right over the edge a few times..
 
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