How to Replace a Clutch on a John Deere

Updated April 17, 2017

The electric clutch on a John Deere riding mower controls the mower blades. When the PTO switch is turn to the ON position, it sends a 12-volt electrical current to the clutch under the engine, it engages a brake, then turning the belt on the mower deck allowing the blades to turn. When the electric clutch malfunctions, the blades will no longer turn and replacement of the clutch is necessary. This procedure will take 20 minutes to complete.

Set the mower on a level surface, set the parking brake and remove the key from the ignition. Disconnect the negative cable from the battery post with the 10mm wrench.

Slide the mower belt off the PTO clutch with your hand. Locate the draft rod assembly that holds the front of the mower deck to the frame, it is under the muffler at the front of the frame. Pull out the handle on the draft rod assembly and push down to loosen, remove the draft rod assembly.

Place the jack under the front of the frame and raise the mower off the ground, slide the jack stands under each side of the frame, in front of the wheels. Lower the jack until the frame of the mower is resting on the jack stands.

Disconnect the wire on the right side of the electric PTO clutch, from the wiring harness. Hold the engine from spinning by placing the 35mm wrench on the flat side of the washer directly above the bolt holding the clutch to the crankshaft. Remove the bolt with 5/8-inch wrench, slide out the bolt and washer.

Apply the multipurpose grease to the engine crankshaft before installing the new clutch. Install the new clutch making sure the slot on the clutch slides into the pin coming down from the frame, ensure the fixed key in the clutch slides over the crankshaft keyway.

Install the washer with the concave side up towards the clutch. Reinstall the clutch bolt and tighten to 55 foot-pounds of torque. Reconnect the clutch connector from the wiring harness into the side of the clutch. Lower the machine back to the ground, reinstall draft rod assembly, and reinstall the negative lead to the battery.

Things You'll Need

  • 10mm wrench
  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • 35mm wrench
  • 5/8-inch wrench
  • Multi-purpose grease
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About the Author

Based out of Orlando, Fla., Yvonne Grant has since 1997 done everything from designing and outlining company handbooks to preparing reports for the IRS. She maintains a popular interior design blog where she gives advice and design tips. Grant has bachelor's degrees in both business and interior design from the University of Central Florida and the International Academy of Design and Technology.