How to Adjust the Clutch on a Riding Mower Engine

What You'll Need
Standard long-neck pliers
0.012 to 0.015-inch feeler gauge
Eye protection
Mower manual

A riding lawn mower is an excellent household appliance that can be used to effortlessly trim the grass on your lawn; however, the riding mower engine must work efficiently for the mowing to be effortless and easy. Riding mower engines have a power take-off clutch that eliminates the requirement of a second transmission in order to drive the mower blades. When you adjust the clutch properly, it also cuts down on the fuel consumption and improves the performance of the mower. Ideally, the clutch adjustment should be checked after every 200 hours of riding the mower; this allows for safe and efficient use of the mower. So, if you want to adjust the clutch on your riding mower engine, here’s how you can do it.

Step 1 – Preparing the Engine

To begin with, put on the protective gear and then park the mower on a flat surface so that it is easy to work on. Apply the emergency brake before removing the key. Now, open up the engine and remove the spark plug wires to ensure maximum safety.

Step 2 – Locating the Clutch

Bring the mower manual to locate the clutch. Usually, this clutch is attached to the underside of the engine and is shaped as a small bell housing. From this position, it controls the mower blades. You will also be able to identify the clutch if you follow the mower blades. These are usually routed through the clutch, and by following them, the clutch immediately becomes apparent. After locating the clutch, it will be easy to locate the adjustment slots. These are thin and long openings in the brake plate. They are rectangular in shape and are interspersed between the rotor and the armature.

Step 3 – Making the Adjustments

Insert the feeler gauge into the adjustment slots. This will allow you to check the distance between the faces of the rotor and the armature. These usually have standard distances and you can get an idea of the adjustments needed for the slots. Insert the feeler gauge into the first slot, and using a screwdriver, tighten the nut. Make the adjustments till there is no gap between the faces of the rotor and the armature. It is important to make sure that you do not tighten the bolts to a point where the faces begin to touch the feeler gauge. With the other two slots, repeat the same adjustments. Make sure there are equal adjustments on all the slots or the clutch will not be adjusted in the right manner.

Step 4 – Finishing and Testing

After you have made the adjustments on all the slots, reconnect the wires of the spark plug. Now engage the switch so that the blades begin to turn at full speed. After the blades are completely in motion, disengage the clutch switch and observe the blades. If the blades do not come to a complete halt in 5 seconds, the adjustments are not complete. You will have to make the adjustments all over again.