New Guy with Inoperable PTO Clutch on RZT50

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Doug Neal

New member
Feb 20, 2022
Brush Prairie, WA
Good morning from Brush Prairie, WA folks. New guy here who just joined up yesterday. I'm dealing with an inoperable PTO clutch on my 2007 RZT50 with 655 hours. I bought the machine used about 6 years ago with 255 hours and have been using it to mow about an acre and a half of my property. It has worked without issue until this weekend when the PTO quit engaging while I was mowing. It failed to engage once and I was able to engage again after a couple of back and forths. It did this a couple more times then quit engaging completely.

I pulled the clutch, cleaned and adjusted it, and reinstalled it. I have verified that it functions properly when powered directly from a 12 volt battery. The coils click and I can see the clutch plate move upward to engage. I measured the voltage at the clutch plug and it is showing only 4.5 volts. As I was working on it, I got a reading of 14 volts so I plugged it back in and it would operate the clutch from my PTO switch while the engine was not running. However, when I start the engine the clutch will not engage and the voltage goes back to 4.5-5 volts. I did this 3 different times although I still don't know what I did to get the voltage back up to 14 again. (It's not cooling down or disconnecting the battery so I'm a bit confused).

Admittedly I'm not a mechanic but I do all my regular maintenance, minor repairs and mods so I can turn a wrench (with instruction). My weakest area is electrical and I seem to have difficulty chasing down the gremlins. Have any of you noticed that a wire full of 'tricity looks just like a wire with none at all? Anyway I'm interested in any suggestions or input y'all might have before I take it in to the (gasp) shop. I really can't afford to be down for long. Thanks in advance for any suggestions and I'll look forward to contributing here with my strong points, mainly humor, wit and inane comments.

Cheers! Doug

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