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Dagg Nabbit ~ Front PTO Trouble

2745 Views 21 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  jackthebaptist
Okay so here's my tale of woe and misery.

The bad: I just adjusted my front PTO and now the PTO light stays on full time and the hydraulics will lift attachments but will not lower them. Prior to me fixing the PTO, it wouldn't engage, but at least the hydraulics worked properly.

The Good: This is a 1988 Ingersoll 448 with a total of 348 running hours. I just changed the air filter, engine oil and plugs. I did the hydraulic fluid a couple months ago. No leaks anywhere. This thing is the smoothest running engine I have ever experienced. It's just incredible. No smoke or noise of any kind. Since it runs so well there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Speaking of lights: As I said the PTO light stays on full time since I < fixed > it. Also the battery charging light stays on full time even though the system is clearly charging the battery. It's a new battery and hasn't had a voltage drop or loss of cranking power over several months of use.

So I put this out to the forum. Anyone want to jump in on this?

Happy Holdiays!
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These are electric PTOs? Sounds as if your coil is going/gone bad if so. Recent very similar experience on my JD 318. I ran it long enough like that to burn up a voltage regulator, btw.
Thanks D-Dogg. This is a mechanical PTO. It has safety switches with light indicators so when the PTO is engaged the light is on. It used to work before I adjusted the mechanical clutch. So I've done something somewhere .... I hope.
Sorry, with the smell of burnt regulator fresh in my mind, I had to throw that out there.
Don't apologize. Doesn't sound like it was a fun experience.
I think the PTO light is triggered by a mechanical connection on the linkage under the dash, in the pedestal. It should be easy enough to track it down and adjust the switch or lever.

The charge light is likely a defective voltage sense module. Quite common on these.
Please explain exactly what you did to adjust the front PTO such that it would effect the PTO light and mid-lift operation ... Your 1988 has a voltage sensor that triggers the lamp and these sensors commonly fail .....

Specific Details:

The PTO would not engage and run the snowblower

1) I read through related threads
2) I printed out a diagram of the EZ PTO Clutch
3) I dissasembled the PTO, and numbered each part as I removed the pieces according to the diagram
4) All parts were per the diagram
5) I cleaned all parts and checked the bearings ~ All was ok
6) Reassembled the clutch by the numbers on the diagram
7) Adjusted the clutch according to the manual
8) Everthing made sense and seemed as if it were adjusted to specs
9) Started tractor, raised the plow and went for a spin around the yard

Then ...... dagg nabbit ...... the PTO light stayed on regardless of the engaging lever position. And then I could not lower the plow.

I have not had time to see if I could find something obvious. I can tell you this morning I was able to drop the plow without the engine running.

And so ....... I am looking for a qucik fix. At the same time I am ready for the long haul fix.

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It's never easy to get to those blade switches but when you do they're easy to test.
If yours has the light on constantly and it thinks the pto is engaged then it shouldn't start.
Looking at the wiring diagram it's kind of funky on that tractor.

The lift is just mechanical and I don't see how it would be affected by the clutch or anything electrical.
Just for clarification, you said the clutch would not engage the snowblower so you serviced the clutch and then the "Blade" would not lower and you had indicator lights on. Does this mean the clutch issue was resolved and then you installed the blade and discovered the blade wouldn't lower but did lower before with the snowblower on ? Was this problem there with the blower on or just happened after playing with the clutch ? I'm just trying to associate the PTO & Charge light & Midlift issues with the clutch adjustment ... I can't help but think something happened inside the inspection door area under the steering tower because all of these issues can possibly have originated there. Or, maybe I just read this wrong ....

Carification: I tried the snowblower in August. It was then I learned the PTO would not engage. I wasn't worried about the PTO at that time.

To get prepped for winter I mounted the plow, and added a linear actuator to it for left to right angle adjustments. This way I could manage the entire winter while operating the tractor from inside the cab.

Since the weather has been unseasonably warm, I decided to adjust the PTO so I could use the snowblower. That's when the trouble began.

To bring it up to the minute: There is NO DOUBT that I have done something wrong. What I did? I don't know. But the coffee is brewing, the temperature is warm out in the garage, so I am going to give it a whirl tonight.

So thanks for keeping up with this thread and offering input.


I did find one thing I will be focussing on. The PTO lever will not return to the full disengage position. It gets humg on something. That something maybe a tool I dropped in the mechanism or something else. But it is very clear to me now that it will not fully disengage. I have removed the hood, the radiator and tower access panel. So after the coffee I am going out and have at it.

I"ll report back at some point tonight.

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The PTO lever will not return to the full disengage position. It gets humg on something.
That something maybe a tool I dropped in the mechanism or something else.
Doctor after surgery - "Nurse do you have the time? I seem to have misplaced my watch." :fing20:
Okay. I found the problem and of course it was my mistake when reassembling the PTO clutch. The tractor is back together, and has been through the test drive. Everything works as it should. The charging light stays on, but that can be dealt with in another thread at another time.

I've attached a pic and hi-lited the problem area. I have read all the warnings about reassembling this particular part upside down. And just to prove to myself that I could screw it up, I did. Now I know first hand what everyone has been talking about.

Here's the pic with my mistake hi-lited in red. I hope this adventure helps others along the way. Aside from learning about the PTO clutch mechanism I have also been reminded that I love working on these old tractors. I don't mind mistakes since I learn so much from them. I just enjoy the whole process.! I hope you folks do as well.


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Glad to here you got her figured out.
The lift is working correctly?
Yup the lift works great. I couldn't be happier. One thing though ... I seemed to have lost my watch. Anyone seen my watch ?
I've got 8:56 CST :fing32:
Ohoh, you're way off. I got 12:44 EST!!

:sorry1: <-- Couldn't help it. :)
Glad to hear you you found the problem and everything works again. How do you think the lift issue was related to the clutch cam ?

Glad to hear you you found the problem and everything works again. How do you think the lift issue was related to the clutch cam ?

I don't know what the relationship was between the clutch cam and lift problem. I might find out when I do the restoration. For the moment I think it's best to assume it was an operator error. :dunno:
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