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My 316K has worked hard all winter and spring, and was needing a little TLC. With the 214 taking over mowing chores, the 316 headed for the shop. A good wash job, some new 26x12x12 rears and Deestone ribs on the front, some touch up here and there on the paint, and the old gal looks pretty good again!!


The newest 316K is still scattered all over the shop. Not made much progress on it, too much yard and garden work going on now!

Jim
 

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I just went through this with my dads 445 and 60" deck. Unfortunately there are only 2 options if the gears are bad. You can either buy a new one $800 list price from Deere or buy a used one and hope you get long life out of it. We bought a new one. Oddly enough the salesman that I deal with has a brother with the exact same year tractor and deck as dad. His went out 2 weeks prior to dads.
 

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1st, I'd make sure that the gearbox is in fact frozen up. If it is, it may have had an issue with seals and had the oil leak out of it which would cause failure. Have not read much about such failures otherwise. Lastly gearbox should be same on 48, 54, and 60 decks if you decide on a used one. Note that the belt pulley size varies with the size of the deck so if you get one from a different size deck that has the pulley on it you will need to change it out for the old pulley off the frozen gearbox. As to where to buy one, you might try the auction site or put a request in the "Wanted to Buy" section in Classified Forum on this site.
 

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The one on dad's and the other one I heard of both had good seals and no signs of leaking. When I pulled the plug on dads all of the gear lube was still in it. I am wondering though if there may have been a bad batch of gears or someone was not setting the back lash correctly at the factory they were assembled in because both units are 2001s.
 

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Russ and others-

This is actually a common problem on the 48, 54 & especially the 60 inch decks on the 4x5 series.

If you imagine everything that rotates between the engine and ultimately the mower blades, the gear box on the deck itself becomes the weakest link in that path.

John Deere recommends that the PTO be engaged at full throttle. Because of this, the mower blades accelerate from zero to max RPM in just a millisecond when the PTO knob is pulled. Imagine the strain on the gearbox when three heavy, 22" long blades on a 60 deck have to be spun up immediately like that...

Time has shown that the gears in the gearbox aren't capable of handling the sudden shock and load when a 4x5 tractor is cranked up to full throttle before the PTO is engaged. This is especially true if the deck happens to be below a 455!

The Diesel in the 455 has enough torque to spin the deck up with the engine at idle. When I mow with my 455, I engage the PTO at idle, let the mower deck spin up and then accelerate the engine with the PTO engaged- MUCH easier on the gearbox! This also works with a 425 or 445 at only 1/4 to 1/3 throttle.

Mike

(Message edited by dlnw98 on August 07, 2014)
 

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My suspicion on the newer 4x5 series was that engaging it the way John Deere tells you to was a bad idea. On my 420 I never engage my blower or deck above 1/4 to 1/3 throttle. I told dad even though the manual says full throttle to keep it under half throttle, as it puts a massive shock load on that gear box when you turn it on at full throttle.
 

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Another vote here for engaging PTO's at low engine RPM. Those electric clutch jobs have nothing in the drive train to absorb torque shock, and they just snap in with no clutch slippage. Automobile clutches have torsion springs, and the linings are mounted with offsets to allow smooth engagement. And Bendix starters typically have torsion springs to take up shock on engagement.

My father, who dealt with helicopter transmissions for Sikorsky in WWII, was pretty specific about not shock loading drive trains and gearsets, and that was part of the discussion he had with me when I learned to drive a car in 1947. When he got a Belknap Ride-A-Mower in 1950, he was pretty specific about allowing the belt to slip on blade engagement to prevent shock-loading the angle gear drive to the single blade.

Engage a PTO at full engine RPM? Not on my watch, you don't!
 

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Of course you wouldn't. And the manual doesn't really mean to say that, it's just poorly written.

It says something like "should be at full throttle when the mower deck is engaged." Which could be read as "rev it up all the way, then engage the PTO" or "after engaging the PTO, you should mow at full throttle."

It obviously means the latter, but it has caused a lot of discussion here through the years.

Tim
 

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Actually, the manual is very specific for engaging the PTO. Here it is out of a 425/ 445 operating manual I grabbed-

1. Reduce travel speed or stop tractor

2. After engine has warmed, push throttle lever (B) all the way up to the maximum (rabbit) engine speed position.

3. Pull PTO Knob (A) up. PTO indicator light (c) will come on when PTO is engaged.

I don't think the manual is poorly written- it is very specific with no ambiguity.

I do feel sorry for the owners that have shelled out a gearbox because of this, however. It is a terribly thought out procedure that results in a very costly repair.
 

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Is it still the same type of clutch set up on the newer tractors? I agree with the majority here and I only bring the throttle up on my 455 (60" deck) only halfway. I guess it was training from my Dad I could say. That and keeping the bearings / spindles greased as recommended.
 

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Well I will disagree here for the sake of argument and to defend what the operators manual says.

Why it's simple... most of the people here have "Old School Thinking" as I refer to it... BTW I'm a old grey beard myself but I digress,,

One thing everyone forgets and John Deere remembers fully when they write the the manual is the PTO is Hydraulically Engaged....contrary to how the tractor is designed... you all are thinking "Hard Engagement" well that maybe so in a mechanical actuated situation but you forget all about the hydraulic part of your 455 tractor..

I'll let that sink in and check in a few days and see if anyone understands}
 

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Hey Jeff-

I see you own a 455. As such, you should be well versed on how hard the hydraulic PTO clutch engages on a 4x5 series tractor- there is nothing soft about it.

No need to be condescending and talk down to us regarding the technicalities of a hydraulically engaged PTO- trust us, we get it. Also no need for you to check back to "see if anybody understands" the concept.

If you aren't convinced there is a problem here, put a 60 deck below your tractor and engage the PTO 100 times at full throttle. Let us know how it turns out...

Mike
 

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"Hey Jeff-

I see you own a 455. As such, you should be well versed on how hard the hydraulic PTO clutch engages on a 4x5 series tractor- there is nothing soft about it.

No need to be condescending and talk down to us regarding the technicalities of a hydraulically engaged PTO- trust us, we get it. Also no need for you to check back to "see if anybody understands" the concept.

If you aren't convinced there is a problem here, put a 60 deck below your tractor and engage the PTO 100 times at full throttle. Let us know how it turns out...

Mike"

I've run mine for years full throttle with no problem.. and you missed the point ..which is what I figured you would do.

The trans axle also has a hydraulic PTO brake release, if your not at full RPM your not at full hydraulic pressure. So your brake will release slow or later than the PTO clutch.
 

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"If you are not at full RPM you are not at full hydraulic pressure."

Baloney. On a healthy transmission, max hydraulic pressures are realized at or just above idle speed. Your statement is completely false.

It's your tractor & your money. Do whatever you think is best.

Mike
 
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