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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
TLDR(Too Long Didn't Read); Mid PTO takes well over a minute to spin up to full speed, bogs the motor down and can stall out. Mid PTO engagement pressure test is showing ~220 instantly.

Update: It was the ignition coil. Pulled one at a time and found out she was running on one cylinder.

Little back story: I inherited the tractor from my grandfather whom was better than the average bear at keeping things nice, it has ~1800 hours on it. Sorry thought I had better picture of it before.

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Fall 2018 - My wife was mowing and I'm always yelling at her to take half cuts, especially when we get lazy and let the grass get a little too tall, going up a slight grade it bogged and shut down the tractor. I yell, she yells. It was around this time I started to notice it was taking longer for the mid PTO to spin up to full speed, I believe it to have gotten gradually worse over time. maybe it was just 10-15 seconds at first. Don't think too much of it. Winter 2018 I decided to get some servicing in as my father had the tractor the last 1.5 years so I know nothing had been done. Knowing I was having that PTO complaint I just went ahead and changed the deck belt, transaxle fluid+filter(yes I put the right stuff in), new blades, and cleaned under the deck as well has change spark plugs, clean the air filter and engine oil+filter.

Spring 2019 - Excited to try out the newly freshened up tractor but it is not any better, maybe slightly worse with time to spin up to full speed. Annoying but I can live with it for now. Get about half way through the season and it is really bugging me and only getting worse, if I get a full cut in with taller grass it will stall the engine. Decided I needed to at least finish out the season.

Winter 2019 - I have a friend helping me out who has 30 years of hydraulic experience working on forklifts in a factory. We tear the tractor down, do a cylinder compression test and they are both within 3% or so of each other, visually confirmed plenty of fuel being dumped in, found the muffler started a crack at the muffler shield and welded it back up as opposed to the $300 new one!, lubed every grease fitting, tightened a slow leak on the power steering fitting, checked the deck gear box for fluid and condition, checked the deck pullies, and finally performed the Mid PTO engagement pressure test. We had an instant reading of ~220.

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Per the Mid PTO Engagement pressure test it mentions if you have good pressure and still have a PTO complain to check the clutch disk for wear. I'm pretty sure I just answered my own question but has anyone had this issue and it be something else? I personally don't want to tear into the transaxle and i can't quite read my friend on whether or not he wants to either. He is stuck on the fact that the slow PTO spin up also slows the engine down which would indicate that the clutch does engage. Wonders if timing is an issue but we can't set the timing correct? its all computerized, maybe a bad timing sensor? it idles fine at full throttle.

What would you do? Here are a couple pictures for reading, thanks.

-Erik


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Did you check the gap on the PTO?...or the governor?...I would not want to take apart that transaxle either...I think there are about 2 million pieces in it...but if you can't do it in that shop....no one can...I tried welding a hole like that in my log splitter muffler...I just made the hole a lot bigger ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Did you check the gap on the PTO?...or the governor?...I would not want to take apart that transaxle either...I think there are about 2 million pieces in it...but if you can't do it in that shop....no one can...I tried welding a hole like that in my log splitter muffler...I just made the hole a lot bigger ;)
Haha well at one point the hole got bigger but he was able to fix it still, amateur but he is patient and stubborn.

Gap on the PTO, I'm not familiar with this?

He "overrided" by just pushing on the throttle on the throttle body, it revved up a little more than normal but not a lot.
 

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Well dang I didn't know those things had a V2 engine in them. And you cheat using a lift to work on it. Man I wish my garage was done so I could get my lift in and working.

So if I have this correct the engine "bogs down" when you engage the PTO and takes time for it to come back up to speed? The engine bogs down and stalls when mowing in high grass?
First though deck spindle bearings, idler bearings in the belt path.
Second thought low compression in the engine causing a lack of power. (bad rings, valve adjustment)
This does not sound like a PTO problem at all.

Just my .02$
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Well dang I didn't know those things had a V2 engine in them. And you cheat using a lift to work on it. Man I wish my garage was done so I could get my lift in and working.

So if I have this correct the engine "bogs down" when you engage the PTO and takes time for it to come back up to speed? The engine bogs down and stalls when mowing in high grass?
First though deck spindle bearings, idler bearings in the belt path.
Second thought low compression in the engine causing a lack of power. (bad rings, valve adjustment)
This does not sound like a PTO problem at all.

Just my .02$
Haha that is why it is at my friend's shop and not in my garage. Jealous of his set-up, heated and has A/C too! Even thou WNY summers are mild.
Deck spindles, idlers are all freely spinning
We did a compression test, the 2 were within a small % of each other around 155psi with multiple turnovers.

Could still be valves thou, should we run a cylinder leak down test instead? That should rule out valves/rings right?

I agree that it is not a PTO problem...but just to entertain your friends idea
From my understanding, my 445 doesn't have this air gap. My clutch is internal.
 

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That is correct, the 4X5 series have the hydraulic pump / transmission / and PTOs in a single unit. The unit is a Tuff Torq K91. You need to either get the John Deere TM1517 or the Tuff Torq K91 service manual.
 

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Yes do a leak down test. It still sounds like an engine problem not the PTO.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes do a leak down test. It still sounds like an engine problem not the PTO.
Is there anything else I should plan on doing assuming the leak down test goes well? I ask because its an hour drive to my friends place and he is kinda in the boonies so I want to make sure we have everything needed at that time because if not it will be another trip down another day.

At full throttle it runs fine, just throwing the PTO on it bogs down, would it make sense to run some seafoam through the system?
 

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Adjust the valves. Seafoam probably wouldn't hurt. :)

This is all I can think of to do also. Oh wait have you check the plugs? I would change them too.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Update: It was the ignition coil. Pulled one at a time and found out she was running on one cylinder. We both were shocked, it never sounded like one side wasn't firing. I'm curious if the fuel saturation led to ignition in the hot muffler causing the hole.
 
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