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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an Ariens ztr model 1648 that is driving me insane. The mower was working fine and started giving me trouble all at once. I pulled it off the trailer and found that when I engaegd the PTO, the blades were having trouble turning. The motor is running strong and never seems to bog down or loose RPMs it's just the blades that lack power. I origianlly thought a belt was slipping but at this point I have replaced the deck belt, the deck to jack shaft belt, and the engine to jack shaft belt. I found an idler pulley that seemed to have bearing issues and replaced it thinking I had finally found the problem but still no dice. If I engage the blades over pavement, gravel, or VERY short grass, they will spin and slowly build up to speed and they will cut grass with limited efficiency. However, if the blades encounter any amount of thick grass or are put in even the slightest bind, they slow down to almost nothing. I have had the deck off of the mower and the blades spin smoothly with the belt off and everything seems to engage just fine without the deck attached. I am noticing a bit of a squeel with the deck removed, which seems to be coming from the PTO clutch itself. The PTO engages and disengages but it seems to be making a bit of a noise and I am wondering if it may be the source of my trouble. I have exhausted my limited knowledge and have no idea what is going on PLEASE HELP!!​
 

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Welcome to MLMF. It does sound like you are on the right track. Having replaced all the belts, and an idler pulley, and confirming that the blade mandrels are free. Is the sound you say you hear something new that you didn't notice before?
 

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....I am noticing a bit of a squeel with the deck removed, which seems to be coming from the PTO clutch itself. The PTO engages and disengages but it seems to be making a bit of a noise and I am wondering if it may be the source of my trouble. ...
Some PTO clutches can be adjusted but it looks like from the replacements I found for that model online it might be non adjustable. Maybe it has just worn to the point it can no longer lockup tight without slippage. One thing to check would be to make sure your getting a full 12Vdc to the clutch windings. A lower voltage due to corrosion of either the positive lead or ground connections might cause it to slip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you guys for the replies. The noise is something that I had noticed progressing to be gradually worse leading up to the ultimate faillure of the deck's funtionality. With the PTO removed I hear no noise, with the PTO on the mower but disengaged still no noise, but with the PTO engaged (even without the deck) there is a squeel that quiets down some as the clutch builds speed with the engine. I really suspect that the clutch is the cause of my issues but I am hesitant to replace a $200+ part on an uneducated hunch. Is there a way that I can be more sure before ordering a replacement or do I need to just bite teh bullet and spend the money? I realize I should probably bring my mower to a professional at this point but I am really trying to solve this one myself and it has become very personal.
 
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