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Discussion Starter #21
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..
I want one of those shock absorbers. I've got two spots where I have to mow up to a gate, then make a tight turn reversal. Have to do this 2-3 times to get it done. The grabby clutch definitely doesn't help. And I suppose what TobyU said is true, once you've had a hydro tranny it's had to go back. Still, I love my JD.
 

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Discussion Starter #24 (Edited)
Thank you Gary RC, let me rephrase the question. Do you or anybody else know what those shock absorbers are called? And if you do, do you know of a rider that has one on it so I can look it up on that model?

Also, in some previous post a guy suggested I put some canning wax on the Belt and that would cure the problem. I used to do that on car fan belts to stop squeaks and it never hurt them but I'm not sure about my riders drive belt. Any opinions?
 

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The idea makes me a bit nervous, but I've never tried it. Wax seems like it might be difficult to remove, if you didn't like it.

Is it definitely the proper type of belt? Such as fabric-wrapped, as was mentioned?
 

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Discussion Starter #27
The idea makes me a bit nervous, but I've never tried it. Wax seems like it might be difficult to remove, if you didn't like it.

Is it definitely the proper type of belt? Such as fabric-wrapped, as was mentioned?
Yeah, I couldn't find the belt sleeve so I don't know. The guy said he put a new belt on it last year but It's looking a little ratty to me so who knows. Or is that a sign that it's fabric wrapped maybe?
 

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Did you buy the tractor new...and it always had that problem...or did you just get it and it is like that?...someone may have replaced the belt with one that could be just a half inch too short,,,check what is on there and see if it is actually the specified belt
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Did you buy the tractor new...and it always had that problem...or did you just get it and it is like that?...someone may have replaced the belt with one that could be just a half inch too short,,,check what is on there and see if it is actually the specified belt
I just got it and that's the way it is. Trying to figure it out cuz It's really a pain. Possible belt too short? Hmmm, I don't know, I have to let the clutch pedal almost all the way out for it to engage. Wouldn't a shorter belt engage sooner/with less pedal out? Seems logical but I could be wrong. Not sure how to check the belt on it to see if it's right either.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
I think I'll try the wax. If I don't like it I can get a new belt for $13 dollars. Oh, OEM belts are indeed fabric ones.
 

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I just got it and that's the way it is. Trying to figure it out cuz It's really a pain. Possible belt too short? Hmmm, I don't know, I have to let the clutch pedal almost all the way out for it to engage. Wouldn't a shorter belt engage sooner/with less pedal out? Seems logical but I could be wrong. Not sure how to check the belt on it to see if it's right either.[/QUOTE
OK...so it does not "grab" until the pedal is way up and then it does engage suddenly?....get the tractor up on jack stands and check the spring on the idler pulley to see if it can be adjusted
 

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Discussion Starter #33
I just got it and that's the way it is. Trying to figure it out cuz It's really a pain. Possible belt too short? Hmmm, I don't know, I have to let the clutch pedal almost all the way out for it to engage. Wouldn't a shorter belt engage sooner/with less pedal out? Seems logical but I could be wrong. Not sure how to check the belt on it to see if it's right either.[/QUOTE
OK...so it does not "grab" until the pedal is way up and then it does engage suddenly?....get the tractor up on jack stands and check the spring on the idler pulley to see if it can be adjusted
I'll take a look, thanks
 

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One thing no one has mentioned here - If you have never driven a manual transmission car with a clutch you would not know it.

You must let out the clutch until you hit the engagement spot ("sweet spot" - different on every machine). Then move the pedal extremely slowly - feather the pedal - until it engages, then let out the clutch the rest of the way. If you don't do this, it doesn't matter what you do to the belts, it will jolt into gear. Belt drives are more touchy than an automotive clutch, but the same principle applies.

Also, "riding the clutch" - keeping the pedal just above this sweet spot will allow quick disengagement when approaching obstructions. Everything happens in that micro-space with a clutch. You shouldn't ride the clutch while mowing straight stretches though, because it will wear out clutch parts and belts prematurely.
 

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No joking... I've had a lot of tractors over the years and a few had smashed grills from a touchy clutch. Canon wax fixed the problem every time. It does not make the belt slip under normal operation. I hate a clutch that jumps you forward two/three feet at a time. Soothe as butter with the wax...
 

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No joking... I've had a lot of tractors over the years and a few had smashed grills from a touchy clutch. Canon wax fixed the problem every time. It does not make the belt slip under normal operation. I hate a clutch that jumps you forward two/three feet at a time. Soothe as butter with the wax...
I agree with the canning wax recommendation, too. It could be considered a form of clutch adjustment or fine tuning.

Proper clutch operation still needs to be practiced, though. There are lots of techniques that manual tranny operators learn - like double clutching to help balky shifting, hill holding by slipping the clutch, and more than anything, selecting the right gear and engine speed - usually a lower one, etc. All take practice, unlike automatics and hydros that do a lot of the thinking for you.

Hydros and automatics are nice and I don't dislike them, but I do like getting to know the old-fashioned quirks of a manual transmission machine.

One thing that can happen is - HYDRO: push down to go; CLUTCH: push down to stop! My shed wall can attest to what happens when I pushed the Hydro down to stop.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
OK...so it does not "grab" until the pedal is way up and then it does engage suddenly?....get the tractor up on jack stands and check the spring on the idler pulley to see if it can be adjusted[/QUOTE]

Took a look and not adjustable. Great idea though, thanks
 

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Did you buy the tractor new...and it always had that problem...or did you just get it and it is like that?...someone may have replaced the belt with one that could be just a half inch too short,,,check what is on there and see if it is actually the specified belt
In my case I have owned this Ariens since new and it has been this way since day one. Same with my brothers LA105.

It has to be the design of the linkage. I mean, this is a very simple clutch mechanism... two pulleys and a spring loaded idler pulley controlled by the foot pedal. My guess is the way the pedal linkage is designed there is rapid movement of the idler in the final inch of travel, right before the belt grabs. As opposed to smooth slow movement of the idler throughout the entire arc.

It's just odd that almost all newer gear driven tractors suffer from this clutch characteristic whereas gear driven tractors 30 years ago were silky smooth.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
In my case I have owned this Ariens since new and it has been this way since day one. Same with my brothers LA105.

It has to be the design of the linkage. I mean, this is a very simple clutch mechanism... two pulleys and a spring loaded idler pulley controlled by the foot pedal. My guess is the way the pedal linkage is designed there is rapid movement of the idler in the final inch of travel, right before the belt grabs. As opposed to smooth slow movement of the idler throughout the entire arc.

It's just odd that almost all newer gear driven tractors suffer from this clutch characteristic whereas gear driven tractors 30 years ago were silky smooth.
Yeah, I don't remember any of them having this problem either. Does seem odd.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Easy fix.... Take a block of canning wax and touch the belt. Works great...
I'll state again.... Wax the belt... You will be surprised how well it works....
I gotta tel ya Kbeitz, I'm well past surprised and clear into delighted. Works fantastic and no more wheelies! :00000033: Or plowing into the fence either. :thanku:
 
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