Tough time with JD 420 transmission or clutch, or who knows?

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forrest123
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Tough time with JD 420 transmission or clutch, or who knows?

Post by forrest123 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:41 pm

Hello,

I'm new to the forum, and have minimal mechanical experience. Last year, I bought a John Deere 420 that had been modified to have a fork lift mast on the back of the tractor. It came with peacful creek parts and shop manuals. The previous owner said the clutch was on its last leg. I used it for a month or 2 and then trouble started. I would go to back up or switch from forward to reverse (with direction reverser) and when i let off the clutch it would barely want to turn the wheels. I could sometimes, with a push from behind, get them to kick start and start rolling, but eventually it would just not go at all. I pulled it to my neighbors who is a good mechanic and it has been there for 2 months now. At first, we replaced the clutch with a new pressure plate, throw out bearing. We put it back together and It still wouldn't move. We then replaced the bearings and seals in the direction reverser unit, put it back together and still got nothing. The thing is, When we turned the propeller shaft by hand, we could turn the transmission and get the wheels to go forward in forward gears and reverse in reverse gear. Then we put the engine back on, and we were able to turn the flywheel and could see the wheels move in forward and reverse. So it seemed like it was fixed. When we had all the little parts back together, we started it, and then got the same thing where you put the clutch in and put it in gear, take the clutch out and the wheels wont go. We are confused as to why we can turn it by hand and move the wheels, but when the engine is on and spinning the shaft, it wont turn the transmission? We can look down the whole where the shifter sits, and see that there is nothing moving inside the transmission. we can shift with the clutch in, or without. Any ideas as to what might be going on? With the forklift modifications, its probably going to be a pain in the butt just to get to the transmission. Is it worth going for? If it's not, does anyone want to buy it for parts? I'm in Virginia.

I have some pictures, but cant figure out how to upload them.

Any help you may have is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Forrest

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Lavoy
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Re: Tough time with JD 420 transmission or clutch, or who knows?

Post by Lavoy » Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:07 pm

It sounds like a clutch issue, either on assembly, or adjustment. Do you have adequate freeplay in the clutch pedal?
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forrest123
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Re: Tough time with JD 420 transmission or clutch, or who knows?

Post by forrest123 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:49 pm

There is a little more than 1" of "free" travel before it really engages. What should I look for specifically?

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Re: Tough time with JD 420 transmission or clutch, or who knows?

Post by Lavoy » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:54 pm

Clutch type or gear type reverser?
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forrest123
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Re: Tough time with JD 420 transmission or clutch, or who knows?

Post by forrest123 » Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:23 am

It is a gear type reverser.

Thanks,
Forrest

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Re: Tough time with JD 420 transmission or clutch, or who knows?

Post by Lavoy » Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:38 pm

Something is assembled wrong, adjusted wrong or broken. Only way to fix is disassemble until the problem presents itself.
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forrest123
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Re: Tough time with JD 420 transmission or clutch, or who knows?

Post by forrest123 » Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:24 pm

You believe it would definitely be something in the clutch or reverser? And not the transmission?

How were we able to turn the clutch propeller shaft and get the wheels to turn, though?

Thanks,
Forrest

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Re: Tough time with JD 420 transmission or clutch, or who knows?

Post by gus » Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:36 pm

Can be broken and held together by pressure enough to turn the wheels. I actually had a broken crankshaft and the engine would run then break another part. Fix the part and it would run again and break the same part. Did it 5x before we finally found the problem. Hair puller for sure. :?

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Re: Tough time with JD 420 transmission or clutch, or who knows?

Post by gregjo1948 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:28 am

I'd pull it back apart to the point where you could move the wheels by hand with the shaft. Apply the brakes. block the wheels, keep the machine from rolling and try turning that shaft again. If the shaft turns, start looking into where it stops turning. If the shaft won't turn, then look at reverser and clutch for broken parts, miss adjustment or incorrect assembly. Maybe the pressure plate has gotten too hot from the clutch slipping too many times and taken the temper out of the springs.
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forrest123
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Re: Tough time with JD 420 transmission or clutch, or who knows?

Post by forrest123 » Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:23 am

It was in the clutch. Got it so it will roll again, but the clutch is very fast, so it doesn't seem to have room to feather it out, it just sort of jerks into motion.

I've given the pedal all of the slack I can give it on the linkage, and the yoke that moves the throwout bearing is back as far as it can go, but the throw out bearing is resting right on the fingers, without any gap.

Is there a way to adjust the fingers on the clutch? there are screws that seem like they can push the 3 fingers forward or backward, but is that something I can adjust?

Thanks,
Forrest

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Re: Tough time with JD 420 transmission or clutch, or who knows?

Post by dtoots1 » Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:42 pm

yes you should be able to adjust the fingers, you do however need the gauge to adjust properly...Lavoy generally has those gauges ..not sure which one it is.

Alo get to your profile and insert your location, someone may have one to borrow nearby..

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Re: Tough time with JD 420 transmission or clutch, or who knows?

Post by Jim B » Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:53 pm

A possible issue, I think. In your first post you said you installed a new clutch and pressure plate. Likely you didn't have the following info. If you tractor does not have a continuous running power shaft (PTO) there is an adjustment procedure for the pressure plate fingers that should have been done at installation. It is a service bulletin, not in the manual. The gauge(JD7)the bulletin calls for is available from Lavoy. You can email him at postmaster@jdcrawlers.com about purchasing one. There is a copy of the service bulletin on the John Deere crawler FAQ's Board, second post down you can review. Your clutch can likely still qualify as new for the adjustment, I would believe. You will have to split your tractor to do this.

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