How Do I Fix a Frozen Clutch Plate on a Ford Tractor?

by William Machin

The clutch on a Ford tractor is vulnerable to oil, dirt and moisture. A leaky hydraulic line or crankshaft seal can spurt fluid that combines with dirt to freeze the clutch. Moisture can turn to rust that freezes the clutch when your tractor is idle for a time. Attempting to free a frozen clutch by wedging the drive wheel and using the force of the engine may cause damage. You may have a working clutch, but you could spend the next few days fixing the transmission or a wheel spindle. Take a logical approach to fixing a frozen clutch plate on your Ford tractor.

Remove the starter from its mount at the back of the engine. Remove the spark plugs from the engine. This allows you to rotate the flywheel by hand at a later point.

Secure the clutch pedal fully depressed using a C-clamp or by wedging a wood block between the pedal and a stable surface, such as the seat frame.

Fit the small extension tube onto the nozzle of the spray carburetor cleaner. Position a drain pan under the clutch housing at the underside of the tractor.

Insert the end of the extension tube into one of the openings in the housing and spray the clutch disc, pressure plate and flywheel surfaces. Attempt to get as much cleaner as possible into the seam between the disc and pressure plate.

Turn the flywheel 1/4 rotation by prying the teeth with a large screwdriver. Spray the next portion of the clutch components thoroughly with carburetor cleaner. Repeat the process using the cleaner and rotating the flywheel until you have thoroughly soaked the clutch components around the sides and edges of the disc, pressure plate and flywheel. Allow the residual cleaner to drain into the pan as you go.

Ask an assistant to remove the C-clamp or wood block and allow the clutch pedal to return to the normal position. Ask the assistant to depress the pedal several times as you observe the action of the clutch. You may see improvement at this point.

Slide the drain pan out of the way. Reattach the starter and reinstall the spark plugs.

Put the transmission in third gear and apply the brakes fully. Depress the clutch pedal and start the engine. The tractor may lurch ahead momentarily before the clutch frees up. If the engine stalls, repeat the entire cleaning process.

Tips

  • check Look at your tractor service and maintenance records and replace the clutch if replacement is overdue.
  • check Discard the residual spray cleaner properly in a sealed container.

Items you will need

About the Author

William Machin began work in construction at the age of 15, while still in high school. In 35 years, he's gained expertise in all phases of residential construction, retrofit and remodeling. His hobbies include horses, motorcycles, road racing and sport fishing. He studied architecture at Taft Junior College.

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