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318 pto - what am I missing?

955 Views 12 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  cubby
I just finished rebuilding a 318 and the only thing I have left to do is put the pto on. When I've tried to put #3 on it goes on but the outer edge that slides over the coil on #1 is so tight the engine won't turn over. Before I took it apart, the pto worked fine. It is a 1983 model and a high hour machine with around 2400 hrs. Am I missing something stupid, did it shrink (I wouldn't think it did), or what? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I hope I explained it well enough, if not let me know.

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I'm assuming you install the PTO as a assembly?(and Didn't disassemble PTO)
Was the base plate (#1)tight/flat to the adapter. took me several tries to get mine right. try turning it while pushing it in the last 1/2".

Make sure part#1 is centered around the crankshaft. I noticed that my 420 was rubbing at the bottom between #1 & #3 when I tore it down. Then noticed #1 was not centered around the crankshaft very well.
I've noticed you really want to watch that keyway in the shaft and key #4. My key was cut short and it was easy to get it mis-aligned but it was long enough if you tightened it up you could bind it up. I cut a key that was longer and wouldn't goof when sliding the parts on the shaft.

Some models have a notch in the hub of the armature assembly that must slip over the extended keyway in the crankshaft.

Make sure that you adjust the clutch for .0018" gap between the rotor and armature faces.

Hope this helps,

George of Buford
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When I took it apart, I took what I guess would be #7 off, then #3, then #1 off. I don't think the key is causing my problem, at least not yet. I never thought to check that #1 was centered around the crank. Hopefully I'll get a chance to check that tonight. I'll let you know what I find, thanks.
Centering #1 around the crank fixed that problem BUT, now i can't get the gap adjusted. When I tighten the bolt on the end of the crank (#13), it closes the gap completely, regardless of how loose the 3 nuts are. I can't even get the smallest gap gauge in there. I don't think I'm doing it wrong since I've adjusted 2 other 318s and a 322, but I've had this thing on and off so many times trying to figure it out that I'm probably missing or forgetting something stupid. So what do I do now?
ok, heres the fix, my dealer mechanic told me this and it worked great, put on the magnet and install the 4 bolts with toothed washers, do not tighten the 4 bolts, just leave them kinda loose to allow some movement, then put some electrical tape, two pieces thick, and about and 1 1/2 long, place this tape on the outside edge of the magnet at the studs where the 3 springs go, then slide the rotor on the crank, I put my key in after the rotor went on, I just turned it to match it up and it slipped right in, but before putting the key in, turn the rotor by hand and this will let you have the proper spacing around the magnet, when you have this, tighten the 4 bolts with toothed washers, remove the rotor and take off that tape, that should do it, make sure you have .018 in the 3 slots at the spring pre-loaders, you will be ok, Mike
Small Engine Warehouse has a great little windows media video on their website that shows and explains how to install a pto clutch. Here's the link:


If that doesn't work, let me know and I can email a copy of it to you.
I think I figured out why I can't get it gapped right - the springs that hold on the disk in the armature assembly have all become bent, as if the clutch were always engaged. I compared it to the one off the 322 and the springs on it were straight with no bend at all. So I guess it means a new armature assembly is needed. Any suggestions on where to get one other than Deere or ebay? Thanks for all your help this far.
Just when I think I have all the bugs worked out... The 285 had to sit outside last night and this morning it was in the mid-thirties and raining. It didn't start easy, but it was under 50 so that was to be expected, but it did start. I flipped on the lights and it was just like I'd switched it off. I flicked the lights off and it came back to life immediately. Tried it again and got the same results. Moved the throttle to about half open and flicked the lights on again. This time it briefly acted like I'd shut it off, then it snapped back on. Anybody have any ideas. This tractor is about to drive me crazy.
Your charging system is not working correctly. It is not putting out enough voltage/amperage to run the tractor and the lights. When the voltage gets under a given number the engine shuts down. Turn the lights off and the voltage goes up and it continues to run. The same is true when the engine is running faster. It may be regulater/stator. Find a service manual and test it in the order JD tells you to. Don't skip steps or you may end up just throwing parts at it. Roger
Thanks Roger, This engine really confuses me. Sometimes it makes my thumping Kohlers seem a lot smoother. The 285 can be really good at times, then it does things like this that make me want to park it at the end of the drive with the key in it. It was really confusing today. I understand it probably isn't charging as strong as it should, but after it started charging, I could pull it back to slow idle and switch the lights off and on with no indication of any problem. They are just as bright as they have ever been whether at high idle or slow. Looks like somebody's gonna get quite a deal when I get rid of it. I'll have fixed everything,
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