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Discussion Forum

Hand Clutch (Live PTO) on '54 WD45

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Vic Lovejoy

07-01-2002 05:47:35

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I have gotten the ignition switch and PTO shaft seal replaced and everything seems to be working well. Our pasture has some places that have grown up than others, especially since the last time I went out to mow I found the leaks and ignition problems I've been fixing. While mowing yesterday, I was attempting to use the hand clutch in the grown-up areas and I think I understand the concept of the hand clutch; what I don't know is what combination of clutch/hand clutch/gear it takes to make it work.

When I got into the heavy grass (about 18" tall, maybe a little taller) the blades would slow down and the engine seemed labored. It would cut some of the grass and leave some swirled but not cut. I tried to figure out the hand clutch with no success.

With my foot off the foot clutch, I pulled back on the hand clutch (pulled toward me) and the blades still slowed down and engine labored. On the next pass through the heavy grass, I pushed in on the foot clutch and pulled the hand clutch toward me. The blades completely stopped and the tractor came to a complete stop. When I eased out on the foot clutch it was really hard to get the tractor moving again. I've read the owner's manual (purchased from this site) and read as many postings on the archives as I can find.

What is the combination of foot clutch/hand clutch necessary to make the "live PTO" take over and really cut the heavy grass the way it's supposed to? Does it sound like the hand clutch is even working? The blades are sharp and the cut is really nice in all the areas except the heavy grass.

The hand clutch seems to have some resistance about 2/3 of the way as I pull toward me and then seems to snap as it's pulled all the way, and when pushing it back (away from me) there is an audible snap.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


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07-06-2002 13:18:26

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 Re: Hand Clutch (Live PTO) on '54 WD45 in reply to Vic Lovejoy, 07-01-2002 05:47:35  
Hi Vic

You need to just get the hand of bush hogging.
WD is 35 HP I have used one to brush hog , have not found too much I can not cut with in reason. Do not have to make a full cut. You cutting with a 45 HP. Make sure your blades are sharpened. Run tractor at about 3/4 of max., may run it faster if it is for just a little while, if not go to a lower gear. I cut allot of fields in 3rd gear. Using a 5 ft. woods with the side open.

Good Luck !!


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07-01-2002 20:53:17

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 Re: Hand Clutch (Live PTO) on '54 WD45 in reply to Vic Lovejoy, 07-01-2002 05:47:35  
like the guys said be careful with the wheelie especially if running wide open. Remember for a Bush Hog many recommend 10hp per foot of bush hog. 50hp for a 5 foot 60hp for a 6 foot etc. I hog with a WD and a Brush Hog Brand wheeled Hog. The blades wouldn't cut hot butter when not spinning but at 540rpm cut everything. Most of the cutting is done in second gear unless heavy then 1st is used. The hand is always ready to push forward (disengage) the hand clutch and then pull back very slowly to start the tractor moving again. The PTO should not stop. One reply said you could shift with the hand clutch in. In the 35 years I've been running the WD I've never purposely tried this but I don't think I can change gears with it in.

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07-01-2002 19:33:23

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 Re: Hand Clutch (Live PTO) on '54 WD45 in reply to Vic Lovejoy, 07-01-2002 05:47:35  
Vic,a brush hog dosen`t mow smooth it will leave some grass standing ,be sure to run your WD wide open

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David T (MO)

07-01-2002 10:37:33

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 Re: Hand Clutch (Live PTO) on '54 WD45 in reply to Vic Lovejoy, 07-01-2002 05:47:35  

First off pushing the hand clutch away from you is similar to stepping on the foot clutch in that it releases the power from the tranny. Pulling the hand clutch towards you is like letting up on the foot clutch in that it puts power to the tranny. With both clutchs pushed away from you (foot down, hand away) you engage the brushhog by pulling the PTO knob towards you. With your right foot also on the brakes put the tranny in gear (I use 2nd for most hog work, 1st if its really thick). Letting up slowly on the foot clutch should spin up the hog while the tractor stays put. Slowly release the brakes and gently pull the hand clutch towards you to put power to the tranny.

Careful note here. In 1st gear if you pull the clutch back too fast you can pop a wheely real easy. Also when the tractor first moves forward if your hand isn't braced against the right fender you can inadvertently yank the hand clutch towards you and also pop a wheely. In 2nd gear the hand clutch works much smoother. I've been told you can slip it as much as you want since its a wet clutch so 2nd is the gear for me.

Also note: With the hand clutch pushed away from you and foot off the engine clutch, the tractor should come to a stop especially when you hit the brakes while still allowing the PTO to power the hog. If it doesn't, your hand clutch is stuck and isn't releasing the power to the tranny like it should.

Good luck!

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Brian G. NY

07-01-2002 07:38:27

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 Re: Hand Clutch (Live PTO) on '54 WD45 in reply to Vic Lovejoy, 07-01-2002 05:47:35  
Vic, When you get into the heavy cutting, push the handclutch in 'til it releases; then pull back on it gradually so the tractor moves slower. The engine can then maintain it's speed and the blades will continue to cut at high speed. The hand clutch runs in oil and is meant to take quite a lot of "slipping" without overheating. Once you get the hang of it, you'll automatically reach for the hand clutch when the engine "bogs" and you'll learn to keep the tractor at the optimum speed for effective cutting. BTW, you should be running the engine at full throttle when you're doing this kind of work so that you maintain the 540 RPM PTO speed the equipment is designed to work at.

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07-01-2002 07:10:20

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 Re: Hand Clutch (Live PTO) on '54 WD45 in reply to Vic Lovejoy, 07-01-2002 05:47:35  
The foot clutch on the WD series will disengage everything ie transmission, and PTO. Using the hand clutch allows the PTO to remain engaged but allows you to shift or stop by disengaging the transmission. The WD series really does not have a live PTO but accomplishes about the same thing by using the hand clutch.

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07-01-2002 22:52:17

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 Re: Re: Hand Clutch (Live PTO) on '54 WD45 in reply to LH, 07-01-2002 07:10:20  
The WD does indeed have a live pto- but it is not an independent pto. Live means it can run without forward motion of the tractor. Independent pto is one that can be engaged by it's own clutch, independent of the clutch that controls the transmission, and thus forward/rearward motion of the tractor.

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07-02-2002 18:08:38

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 Re: Re: Re: Hand Clutch (Live PTO) on '54 WD45 in reply to JMS/MN, 07-01-2002 22:52:17  
If you shift the gears and stop the tractor using the hand clutch you have live PTO power. Use the foot clutch to engage the pto, then use the hand clutch to start, stop, and shift.

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07-08-2002 22:31:49

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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Hand Clutch (Live PTO) on '54 WD45 in reply to Tom, 07-02-2002 18:08:38  
The WD/WD45 is meant to be shifted with the foot clutch. Sometimes you can shift using only the hand clutch, but that is because of years of wear of the gears.

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