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Have a JD 1250 farm tractor that's 29 years old. Both gear shift levers can shift into gear with no problem when tractor is off. When tractor is on, the rear lifting hitch works fine which tells me the internal gears are working fine. But both gear shift levers can't shift into gear when tractor is on. When I try to shift it into gear all I hear is the internal gears grinding. Is this an indication of an internal clutch problem or is there and external adjustment I can do to shift it into gear. Never had this problem before and no prior signs of clutch problems. Its my work horse and I need it back up and running. Any help would be much appreciate.
 

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I'm not familiar with that model but there is probably an external adjustment for the clutch linkage. You will need either an Owner's Manual or a Service Manual for the instrcrions on how to adjust it and what the actual adjustment specificaions are in terms of free play. I just did a Google search and there are plenty of places on the internet where you can get both manuals, and I recommend that you get both if you don't already have them. If you get the linkage adjusted properly and it still grinds then I fear that a clutch replacement is in your future.
 

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Nouveau Redneck's comment made me think....with the tractor off put it into gear.......then turn the key ...with foot on clutch....gradually let off...if no response ...you will need a clutch....if it does engage....you need an adjustment....if it engages and is slipping....you may have room for adjustment....but likely need a clutch
 

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I'm not familiar with that model but there is probably an external adjustment for the clutch linkage. You will need either an Owner's Manual or a Service Manual for the instrcrions on how to adjust it and what the actual adjustment specificaions are in terms of free play. I just did a Google search and there are plenty of places on the internet where you can get both manuals, and I recommend that you get both if you don't already have them. If you get the linkage adjusted properly and it still grinds then I fear that a clutch replacement is in your future.
Nouveau Redneck...I do have both manuals but it's not clear on on an external clutch adjustment (if any). I was hoping to see some thing on YouTube that could help guild me through this process but have not found one yet. It appears to be a mechanical clutch and does have a turn buckle and adjustment slots, but again don't know the adjustment process (if any). I don't want to make any adjustments unless I am sure of the process. Just don't want to cause more damage in the process.
 

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Nouveau Redneck's comment made me think....with the tractor off put it into gear.......then turn the key ...with foot on clutch....gradually let off...if no response ...you will need a clutch....if it does engage....you need an adjustment....if it engages and is slipping....you may have room for adjustment....but likely need a clutch
Mark...I thought about this. But is it safe to start the tractor in gear or is there a chance that this process may cause more damage. Like I said, I can shift the gears when the tractor is off with no problem. So does this mean that the clutch is okay.
 

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With your foot on the clutch it is fine.....if the clutch cannot engage as you lift your foot it means the clutch is worn down...the question is how much.....usually it is an indication that the clutch is shot...but you could possibly have some room to adjust it...usually you have some warning...a little difficulty, but can get it into gear leading up to complete failure
 

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With your foot on the clutch it is fine.....if the clutch cannot engage as you lift your foot it means the clutch is worn down...the question is how much.....usually it is an indication that the clutch is shot...but you could possibly have some room to adjust it...usually you have some warning...a little difficulty, but can get it into gear leading up to complete failure
Mark...thanks fr the feedback. I'll try this out just to see if the clutch is slipping.
 

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If it grinds when trying to put it in gear with the engine running and the clutch pedal fully depresses while the tractor is not moving, that means that the clutch is not disengaging completely, not that it is not engaging.

When you push down on the clutch pedal from its full height is there a certain amount of movement where it feels like the only resistance is the mild spring holding the pedal up and then at some point it feels harder like the actual spring for the throwout bearing is adding resistance? That is called the free play. There should be a specification in one of the manuals as to what that free play distance should be, and how to actually adjust the clutch pedal linkage to obtain the desired free play distance. JD may consider that a maintenance item and so it may only be in the Owner's Manual, or it may be considered a service item so it may only be in the Service Manual, but it should be in one of them. If it were a Ford tractor it would be in the Owner's Manual. If it is not in either manual than I am glad that I never owned a JD farm tractor.
 
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