A big "hello" to everybody. Just found out about GardenTractorTalk and checked out some of the forums as a guest. Seemed more than worth the time to sign up and "get involved".
I like older equipment (my Dad's fault, probably - we never bought new, just took others' cast-offs fixed 'em and ran 'em for years) and fixing things up is one of the best ways to waste time I found.
Recently picked up a GT-17 in decent condition. Scouted around and found a deck, snowblower, and tiller all in mostly decent condition: a little heat here, a bend there, a patch, and some replacement parts later, I've got most everything working.
Problem I'm running into right now is the front PTO electric clutch. When it's cold, it works fine. But when things heat up, like after it's been running for awhile, it won't engage. Electrically it checks fine, so I'm guessing it's got some mechanical issue. Before I go out and spend on a replacement - the dealer can get me what looks like the right one - part #Ariens 53114100 (replaces 03064500 for the GT-17) for a whopping $500 - I was wondering if anyone has ever rebuilt one successfully?
I'm going to take it apart anyway. Look for things like rust, mud wasp nests, dings and warping. But any suggestions or encouragement welcome.