I assume that you are talking about the engine crankshaft thurst bering. I don't have very good news for you. The thurst bearing is two pieces that are not connected to the main bearing. they fit into a machinedd area in the crankcase and machined area in the mating main bering cap. The main bearing cap part has a tang to prevent rotation. If it has gone far enough that the bearings have fallen out it is disassemble time for the crankshaft.  You will probably see damage to the thurst surface on the crankshaft and have damage in the main journal web in the crankcase. I have seen them where the web/cap is worn away to the point there is no longer a step to hold the bearing. After disassembly you find that you have wear let me know and I will send you the reclaim proceedure. This model has a PTO control lever to engage and disengage the PTO. Should the lever be left constantly in the disengage position it is always pushing the PTO clutch/flywheel/crankshaft assembly against the thurst bearing. This is called out in cap letters in the operators manual. leaving the lever in the disengage position is more than likely the cause for your failure.
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