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318 Front Clutch Issues


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#1 Hammer OFFLINE  

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Posted March 20, 2012 - 05:26 PM

I installed the mower deck on the 318 today, installed the mule and turned the switch to engage the clutch and nothing, nada.

The battery has full power (12.5 volts at the battery)

I checked the voltage at the clutch (10.4 volts)

I hooked the clutch up directly to the battery per the manual and it does have a magnetic force with the battery voltage. But it's not real strong, as in I can pull the screwdriver away from the coil when activated but it won't fall off on it's own either.

Should there be a voltage drop of 2 volts?

Can the voltage drop be the issue?

#2 Hammer OFFLINE  

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Posted March 20, 2012 - 07:33 PM

I think I just made it worse.

I put the clutch back on after cleaning the surfaces. And I ran a hot wire to the battery to the clutch. It engages, but it now smokes, I parked it for the night and started drinking Beer.

Edited by Hammer, March 20, 2012 - 07:34 PM.


#3 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted March 21, 2012 - 10:34 AM

It sounds like you may have a shorted or partially shorted clutch coil. This will cause the coil to draw more current than normal and there will be a voltage drop across the wiring going to the coil leaving you with a low voltage at the coil. The fact that it was smoking indicates that it has too much current flowing. Unfortunately you may be looking for a new coil.

#4 Hammer OFFLINE  

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Posted March 21, 2012 - 11:07 AM

Got another one in back of the truck as I type this. Will report on that later.

#5 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted March 21, 2012 - 03:28 PM

If you are still getting a large voltage drop with the new coil in place check all the connections in the circuit to verify they are all good. You could have a corroded connector or a bad pto switch in the circuit.

#6 Hammer OFFLINE  

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Posted March 21, 2012 - 06:49 PM

JD, the voltage drop was taken with the connector disconnected. I suspect the wiring system in this tractor is in dire need of replacment.

A guy at work had a used clutch, the only difgference was his was a one wire, and mine was a 2 wire. I installed it along with a bypass wire to the battery (just to get the grass mowed today) and it worked fine.

I am gonna look at what a wiring harness costs compared to building one myself and see the best option.

#7 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted March 21, 2012 - 06:58 PM

Do you have a 318 wiring diagram. If you want one send me a PM with your email address and I'll mail you one. The wiring on a 318 is way more complex than on the earlier tractors. It's one of the big changes they made for the 318. The problem will most likely be at a connector or switch. The pto switches are known to cause problems.
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#8 Hammer OFFLINE  

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Posted March 21, 2012 - 07:25 PM

Do you have a 318 wiring diagram. If you want one send me a PM with your email address and I'll mail you one. The wiring on a 318 is way more complex than on the earlier tractors. It's one of the big changes they made for the 318. The problem will most likely be at a connector or switch. The pto switches are known to cause problems.


I got the manual with the diagram in there. Thanks to a member here.

I'm thinking of trying to make it through this year with it like it is and this winter tear it totally down and replace everything that is electrical related.

#9 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted March 22, 2012 - 04:04 AM

I got the manual with the diagram in there. Thanks to a member here.

I'm thinking of trying to make it through this year with it like it is and this winter tear it totally down and replace everything that is electrical related.


Sounds like a good plan. A 318 is well worth the effort. If you look at what JD is offering now for GT's you would need to go to the 700 series to get as much tractor and the price approaches 10K.

#10 Lawnguy OFFLINE  

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Posted March 22, 2012 - 09:08 PM

I think I just made it worse.

I put the clutch back on after cleaning the surfaces. And I ran a hot wire to the battery to the clutch. It engages, but it now smokes, I parked it for the night and started drinking Beer.


I find that drinking beer helps me solve most of the worlds problems,
But doesn't fix my tractor lol
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