How to Adjust a John Deere Clutch

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Things You'll Need

  • Feeler gauge

  • 13mm wrench

The electric clutch on a John Deere lawn mower is responsible for the blades engaging on the mower deck. The clutch has a pulley underneath it with a belt that goes back to the mower deck. When the clutch is turned to the "on" position, it engages a brake that turns the pulley, allowing the blades to turn. As the machine ages, the clutch slowly starts to wear, which can cause the belt to slip and produce a poor quality of cut. When this occurs, you must adjust the clutch.


Step 1

Park the lawn mower on a hard, level surface and set the parking brake. Turn the key to the "off" position and ensure that the PTO switch on the dashboard is in the "off" position.

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Step 2

Push the mower lift lever on the right side of the fender deck all the way forward and set the mower deck in its lowest position. Slide the belt off from the bottom of the PTO clutch located under the engine. Locate the three adjustment nuts around the clutch, above the brake plates.

Step 3

Insert the 0.31mm feeler gauge through the slot between the brake plate in the clutch, under one of the adjustment nuts; the feeler gauge should be able to slide with some friction on both sides of the brake plates. Slide the feeler gauge under the other two adjustment nuts. If the gauge is loose and there is a space between the feeler gauge and the brake plates, tighten the three adjustment nuts until the feeler gauge begins to bind all the way around the clutch.


Step 4

Slide the belt back on around the pulley on the bottom of the clutch, raise the mower deck and start the engine. Engage the PTO clutch several times. Turn the engine to the "off" position and recheck the adjustment.


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