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.