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Suburban Clutch Spring Upgrade

7517 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Oo-v-oO
While direct and simple, I still wasn't too impressed with the Roper/Sears arrangement of using cotter pins to attach the spring to the tractor. My original spring was also almost completely worn through at the hooks, and was barely holding on when I re-installed it. The issue returned to the front burner as I began to reassemble my Suburban 12.

If you don't have the rear cotter pin in place BEFORE the dash tower goes on, good luck. There is only an inch or so of space between the dash and chassis to try and insert and bend a cotter pin at this stage. I tried to go back original, and was even using a thinner, easier-to-bend pin. No dice, and fine by me. Had I owned this thing when it was new, I would have likely thought the same thing back then.


2 x 1/4 rod diameter eye bolts from Ace/Westlake
2 x nylock nuts
2 x flat washers
1 x hobby horse spring from Home Depot

Total price: $4.75

The cotter pin holes in the chassis and clutch arm are just shy of 1/4". These need to be drilled out, and the rear/chassis one will be difficult to do without having the fuel tank/battery/bulkhead removed.

The eye bolts I used came with nuts, and these are run on up to the eye to create a stop. I used a flat washer next, to keep the eye bolt from bending from the pull of the spring, and followed up with a nylock nut to finish the install. The nylock nut on the clutch arm was left slightly loose to allow the eye bolt to rotate through the motion of the clutch.

Install the new spring and you're done. The spring gives just the right amount of tension, yet is heavier duty than the original. As you can see in the photos, this not only beefs up the mounts, but looks better and puts the spring in a straight alignment rather than pulling on the clutch arm at a diagonal.

I hope this helps someone. Obviously, this is for a Suburban 12 and your mileage may vary. :)


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I zstill have wounds from when I had to put the original spring on the clutch idler on all of my Suburbans...good idea,and I was tempted to do that myself!...still might have too,seeing my springs were rusty and busted off and I had to make another loop on them once least now I know where to find a spring for it,Lowes didn't have many to choose from,and the ones in my parts heap are all rusted ..
The best way of hooking up the original spring using cotter pins I have found,is to remove the idler pulley bracket from its pivot by removing the cotter key (and that ones a SOB to get at!)--then remove the bracket and hook up the spring,then use the bracket as a lever to stectch the spring by inserting the pivot pin into the bracket and shove it in while your stretching the spring..its still difficult buut it beats trying to use a hook or screwdriver to force it into position and having it fly off and imbed itself in your hands like it did to me about 10 times before I found this "better" way...

But I like the modification you made--some things are **** poorly designed at the factory,and there is no shame in upgrading "mistakes" or a part thats not exactly well first I couldn't beleive the cotter pins on the clutch spring were the factory setup--I thought some hack cobbed them on that way,till I got to see several tractors and discovered they were MADE that way!..I'm all for simplicity and "crude but effective",but geesh!..I'm surprised it worked so well,but then many times simple IS better...
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