How to Adjust a Snapper Riding Mower Clutch

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Farmer driving red lawn mower over field of grass
Farmer driving red lawn mower over field of grass (Image: Stoyko Sabotanov/iStock/Getty Images)

The power takeoff clutch on a Snapper Riding Lawn Mower reduces the mower’s overall weight by eliminating the need for a second transmission to drive the mower blades, cuts down on the cost of the machine and reduces gasoline consumption. Perform this procedure if a new clutch has been installed, if the clutch does not engage or if the clutch is slipping. The PTO clutch adjustment should be rechecked every 200 hours of operation and adjusted accordingly to allow for the safest and most efficient use of the riding mower.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Standard long-neck pliers
  • .012”-.015” feeler gauge (2.5-4mm)

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Adjust the Snapper Riding Mower PTO

Put on gloves and eye protection, park the mower on a flat, solid surface, engage the emergency brake and remove the mower key. Then disconnect the spark plug wires to ensure the engine won't engage while you're working.

Locate the power takeoff (PTO) clutch on the mower. It is a small bell housing that should be attached to the underside of the engine, where it can provide power to the mower blades. The mower belt will be routed around the PTO -- follow the belt and the PTO’s location should become immediately apparent.

Locate the PTO adjustment slots. The adjustment slots are long, thin, rectangular openings in the brake plate that allow you to measure the gap between the rotor (the part that spins) and the armature (the part bolted to the engine).

Insert the feeler gauge into each of the PTO adjustment slots to check the distance between the rotor and armature faces. This will indicate how much adjustment is needed.

Hold the feeler gauge in the first slot and tighten the adjustment nut until there is no gap left between the rotor and armature faces. Do not tighten the adjustment nut too far—the faces should just touch the feeler gauge.

Repeat the adjustment on the other two slots to ensure an equal adjustment at each of the adjustment nuts. Even after the proper adjustment has taken place, the gap may not be equal, varying slightly in each window. According to the Snapper operator’s manual, “This is due to dimensional variations on component parts, and is an acceptable condition."

Reconnect the spark plug wires and start the mower. Engage the PTO switch so that the mower blades begin turning at full speed, and then disengage the PTO switch. If the mower blades and belt do not completely stop turning within five seconds of disengaging the switch, replace the PTO clutch assembly.

References

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