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John Deere Tractors Discussion Forum
Show Parts for Model:

Rattling in Clutch area John Deere 870

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David Kern

05-06-2008 11:05:04

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Any ideas would be Appreciated !

A loud rattling sound from the bell housing that stops as soon as light pressure is put on the clutch pedal. The clutch does not need to be engaged enough to even slightly disengage the traction disk (dual stage clutch), to stop the noise. If the linkage plate (perpendicular) that connects to the throwout bearing yoke bar, is pressed on, it also stops making the noise. The tractor has been dissembled, the pressure plates, and disks look good, the throw out bearing is a little dry but not enough to cause the noise.


David Kern

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05-06-2008 12:36:53

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 Re: Rattling in Clutch area John Deere 870 in reply to David Kern, 05-06-2008 11:05:04  
I don't have any help for you on your problem, I just saw you were dealing with the dealership in Auburn and thought I should share a proper greeting.


Good Luck.


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Mike M

05-06-2008 11:12:06

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 Re: Rattling in Clutch area John Deere 870 in reply to David Kern, 05-06-2008 11:05:04  
Is one finger higher then the other ?

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David Kern

05-06-2008 11:55:42

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 Re: Rattling in Clutch area John Deere 870 in reply to Mike M, 05-06-2008 11:12:06  


Yes, I just check it and one finger is almost twice as high. I laid the entire assembly together and hand tightened the outer pressure plate to the inner plate. If I tighten it down I think the relationship will be the same which suggest you have nailed this on the “finger” as it were. How would this happen? My tractor has 1500 hours, never a problem, is this typical?

By the way, I had the entire clutch assembly in front of the parts and service manager at John Deere In Auburn Alabama, and they made no suggestion of this. I don’t think they were dishonest, I think they just missed it.

I have ordered an entirely new assembly for about $1750, as I understand it, the clearance between the two pressure plates and finger setting are done at the factory. I think the PTO disk will be the only one loose so I will have to align that disk but not the traction disk. I have a standard car clutch alignment tool, if you have any ideas on how best to get the disk aligned that will be great!

My thought was with about 7mm left on each disk and these clearance issues, after having split my first tractor, I don’t want repeat that party in the next week or two, thus I opted for replacing everything!

I was very concerned that I had some kind of transmission vibration that was being transmitted up the shaft which would be much more difficult for me, as an amateur, to resolve.

One last point, the PTO shaft came out with the clutch but I did not hear the coupler fall into the transmission and when I put the PTO shaft back in, I can turn the rear PTO fine. Does than mean I should not be concerned that the PTO shaft coupler fell into the transmission?

Thanks again


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Mike M

05-06-2008 12:37:02

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 Re: Rattling in Clutch area John Deere 870 in reply to David Kern, 05-06-2008 11:55:42  
Not at all familar with that set up. Some tractors are adjustable some are factory set ? I have had better luck eyeballing the clutch disks than using an alignment tool unless it was made from an old shaft. I also think maybe on some of those where the disk is free you have to block the levers down while installing. The service manual should tell you exactly what needs to be done. If you don't have one get that dealer to make a copy of some pages for you. I would not put back together until I READ the entire clutch section in the JD factory book.

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David Kern

05-20-2008 11:57:00

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 Re: Rattling in Clutch area John Deere 870 in reply to Mike M, 05-06-2008 12:37:02  

Problem resolved as Mike M suggested. (one of the pressure plate fingers was sticking out further than the other two)

I purchased both disks, and pressure plates, as a pre-adjusted assembly. I also purchased the throw-out bearing and its associated parts as an assembly. The pilot bearing and throw-out bearing springs were separately ordered.

The idea was buying the clearances between the first and second pressure plates, factory set, and the main disk pre-aligned between the two. This left only aligning the PTO disk and bolting the assembly on. Total cost was about $1,800 from the local dealer. I have seen a single clutch for about $950 on line but not the double clutch, in addition, I benefited by having the local service guys look at the removed parts and suggest the most reliable solution, including exactly what parts to replace.

The tractor now is completely together and runs great!

Challenge points:

-Hidden bolt behind starter (top) was hard to see

-The nuts that hold the belly mover mounting bracket were extremely hard to break

-The book warns of the PTO shaft coming out with front of the tractor, which it did, however, the coupling in the transmission that apparently can fall out when this happens, did not happen. I quickly replaced the shaft with no problem.

-Getting exact shaft alignment to accommodate the bell housing to reunite with the front of the tractor too about 20 minutes

-I had trouble remembering that one of the bell housing/engine bolts (right above the hard to find starter bolt) does not thread. It has a nut that holds it in place. It took a while to figure out where that bolt went.

Thanks for your help Mike

David Kern

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David Kern

05-06-2008 13:33:22

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 Re: Rattling in Clutch area John Deere 870 in reply to Mike M, 05-06-2008 12:37:02  
Apparently, the dealer’s shop gets the “clutch pack” to reduce their complications of repair, which I will benefit from as well.

On the finger issue, have you seen this before, and presenting itself with the rattling sound?

I do have the factory manual and have read it closely but it does not specifically say how to know if the coupling on the transmission side has fallen off. My thought is that if the font PTO shaft is turning the rear PTO shaft, it must be OK?

Thanks for your help, I will report back to the forum next week when I get it back together to let anyone with interest know how it works out.

Thanks again,


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Mike M

05-07-2008 04:41:06

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 Re: Rattling in Clutch area John Deere 870 in reply to David Kern, 05-06-2008 13:33:22  
I would tend to agree that since the shaft went back in and turns everything that it is ok. I wonder if there is an oil seal back in there to seal the 2 shafts ? might be worth replacing ? Wonder if it is easy to get at ?

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05-06-2008 13:43:22

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 Re: Rattling in Clutch area John Deere 870 in reply to David Kern, 05-06-2008 13:33:22  
The front pto shaft is separate from the rear pto shaft.

I also have associated a taller clutch finger with vibration and clacking noises in any of my tractors.

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