John Deere 420c steering clutch adjustment

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E.Huffman
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Re: John Deere 420c steering clutch adjustment

Post by E.Huffman » Mon Feb 15, 2021 3:32 pm

Ok Well the first time I fired it up my pedal was not adjusted far enough thats probably what caused it then.... So my clutch slipping in first gear under a heavy load would not be pressure plate adjustment? Obviously I am ignorant when it comes to clutches............ :oops:

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Re: John Deere 420c steering clutch adjustment

Post by Lavoy » Mon Feb 15, 2021 4:16 pm

As a general rule, clutch slipping is never pressure plate adjustment as in the fingers of the pressure plate. IF it is an adjustment issue, it is a freeplay adjustment in the pedal or steering lever, or lack thereof. Your crawler has been run a long time with no freeplay in the engine clutch, which is why your throwout bearing is ruined, and most likely some damage to the pressure plate as well.
Now, that being said, if you unbolt or replace a pressure plate in any location, in any John Deere crawler that has a conventional pressure plate, YES it has to be reset with the correct gauge to factory spec.
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Re: John Deere 420c steering clutch adjustment

Post by Jim B » Mon Feb 15, 2021 4:58 pm

Besides what Lavoy posted, I'd say if run with no free play, I would expect the clutch disc is worn, or burnt/glazed, as well the pressure plate. I would expect to be replacing clutch disc, pressure plate, throwout and pilot bearings, and adjusting with the JD7 gauge. When doing the clutch, look for oil leaks at the engine's rear main seal and the input shaft seal of the reverser or transmission, which ever you have. Oil or grease getting to the clutch can ruin it as well.

Setting conventional clutch pressure plate fingers with a specified gauge applies to many JD wheel tractors as well. Somewhere after the 440s they added that info into the service manuals. Different gauges are used, but the procedure is in my 2020 and 2030 manuals. The earlier models, like the MC, 40, 420/430, 440 are covered in Service Bulleting 286.

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Re: John Deere 420c steering clutch adjustment

Post by Lavoy » Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:35 pm

Good point, had not thought of that. Also likely means flywheel has gotten hot, so might need to have flywheel resurfaced. And by resurfaced, I mean in a flywheel resurfacer, not in a brake lathe. Someone that did that to me many, many years ago, cost me many hundreds of dollars in broken parts before I found out that they did not use a resurfacer. Needless to say, first and last time that ever happened.
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E.Huffman
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Re: John Deere 420c steering clutch adjustment

Post by E.Huffman » Mon Feb 15, 2021 6:04 pm

Ok let me explain. I just rebuilt the whole engine also put a new gasket kit on, as well as my run time was very short as soon as found out there was not enough free travel. 1 there is no oil leaks 2 I only ran it 10 min or less with not enough free travel 3 it has a new pressure plate,disc and pilot bearings I dont want to disregard what your saying either! Thanks

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Re: John Deere 420c steering clutch adjustment

Post by E.Huffman » Mon Feb 15, 2021 6:07 pm

Before i tore it apart free travel was great. also my bearing is not cupped very bad just enough I could see something is not right..

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Re: John Deere 420c steering clutch adjustment

Post by Jim B » Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:08 pm

Ok. New, used, adjusted or not has gotten mixed between the engine and steering clutches here. Engine clutch is new with new pilot and throwout bearings as I understand you now. Finger height could be off if it was not adjusted to the set gauge. The new pressure plate should have just one coil spring under each finger lever, so if the fingers were way off (high), it would seem your pedal free play would be gone and I think the springs may not apply enough pressure to the plate. Lowering the levers will increase pressure on the clutch disc. That is where the gauge comes in. The levers need to be the right height to have the travel needed to disengage the clutch and apply the right pressure to the disc. Other things I think of that could make the fingers too high would be the clutch disc is too thin, incorrect pressure plate, or the flywheel has been surfaced in the clutch disc area without machining where the pressure plate bolts which increases depth and reduces pressure from the pressure plate.

To me the only way to tell for sure is to pull the engine and check things out, then get a gauge and set it properly.

I asked a while back if it slipped the same in reverse if you back into something that won't move. Did you try that? Try it using reverse in the reverser and the same gear you used in forward in the transmission to rule out the forward clutch in the reverser slipping.

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E.Huffman
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Re: John Deere 420c steering clutch adjustment

Post by E.Huffman » Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:35 pm

Sorry i for got to try it in reverse... I pulled the engine with a gauge on the way now. It would only slip in 1st gear when it was almost ready to die, Other words when i would try to scoop gravel and in first gear and see if i could stall. i could easy stall it in 2nd gear. I am fairly confident it is not my reverser as I completely rebuilt that as well, however I wont rule that out completely. thanks alot for your advice that will help me for sure! :)

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Re: John Deere 420c steering clutch adjustment

Post by Ray III » Tue Feb 16, 2021 2:02 am

These old tractors get a lot of slop in the pedal that you might have mistaken for free play. I had to adjust mine recently and the clutch engages just off the footrest now, I know it's not correct but hard to tell with the wear in there.

Based on only running for a few minutes I think your clutch will be ok, if it was ok upon assembly.

Steering clutches not disengaging when you have the throwout bearing adjusted out to the edge of the slot is fingers not set right, linkage inside clutch housing not tight enough or balls behind throwout bearing carrier missing or too small.

If you do see a 1/16" gap inside pressure plate with lever pulled back but clutch drags, something warped in there.

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Re: John Deere 420c steering clutch adjustment

Post by dtoots1 » Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:05 am

THIS APPLIES TO THE STEERING CLUTCH ADJUSTMENT>

RayIII,
Thank You for the clarification on the throwout bearing and riding on the edge of the groove., being the proper clutch adjustment with the gauge.
I have been looking for the answer to the very question.....Does anyone know how far into the groove the bearing will actually travel as it wears?
It appears to be that as components wear down a bit that the adjustment would move further into the groove????
I assume that the clutch fingers would appear to be needing to be higher to push the throwout bearing....touching point...further into the groove and not be at the edge. (Which is what setting with the gauge accomplishes?)...someone mentioned that as clutch wears the finger height actually rises
Last edited by dtoots1 on Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: John Deere 420c steering clutch adjustment

Post by Ray III » Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:13 am

I did not mean to say that having the bolt at the edge is correct adjustment of the fingers, just that it is as far as you can go with it and if it won't push the fingers in then it has to come apart.

The fingers are levers, so as the clutch wears inward the fingers would move outward and the bolt would go deeper into the slot, yes.

But the position of that bolt also depends on how much wear is in all the parts involved in moving the throwout bearing. Pay special attention to that stuff when you have it apart.

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Re: John Deere 420c steering clutch adjustment

Post by dtoots1 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:12 am

exactly!!!! and Thanks Again..
So as noted in post from Lavoy that the gauge adjustment, with our old worn mechanicals, will need that additional 1/8th inch to compensate the difference between new and old!!! i had missed that info, which is why mine runs right at the edge!

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E.Huffman
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Re: John Deere 420c steering clutch adjustment

Post by E.Huffman » Sat Feb 20, 2021 5:28 pm

I pulled th engine and it looks like pressure plate fingers are about 1" too high so it is way out of adjustment, i will adjust and report back! Thanks!

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Re: John Deere 420c steering clutch adjustment

Post by E.Huffman » Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:43 pm

So i adjusted my pressure plate and got a new throw out bearing but it still slips in 1st without stalling also when I put it in 1st gear reversed It slips too i guess I am not sure what I have now..... i dont think it is my reverser though.

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Re: John Deere 420c steering clutch adjustment

Post by dtoots1 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:43 pm

Mr. Huffman,

To be clear....did you adjust it with the jd7 gauge? It is kinda bit confusing just how to place the thing. Also did you check all the linkage, as all the wear points add uo.
and then again check the pedal free play...it would seem that the clutch is close but not getting the pressure needed to hold it tight enough to the flywheel
not sure f on the engine clutch that the 1/8 additional spacing required for that clutch...as mentioned in post by Lavoy..that may only apply to steering

hope someone knows

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