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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My brother has a 4020 Ingersoll that when he tries to engage the electric PTO the tractor powers down and eventually kills if he doesn't flip the switch back. I don't have anything with an electric clutch and don't know much about them. Any ideas what the problem is? Thanks in advance for your insight.
 

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No one has to beg for help on this site as you will soon find out.

This is not an easy diagnosis because the tractor is not your own and all we have to go on is the little bit of info your brother has imparted to you. It would be best if he joined this site himself and then posted in this thread.

Right now, we don't know if this happens when a belt-driven attachment is all hooked up or not. Perhaps the problem is the attachment and not the clutch. Not enough info is in your post. This may be one of those instances where he has to run to the garage, try something out and then come back and post what happened. It might be the clutch or it might be another electrical issue such as the PTO switch itself. To pinpoint the REAL problem, it is a matter of doing do different things to isolate it.
 

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Sounds like a short somewhere. The electric clutches can do serious damage to an engine if they short out through the crankshaft so he shouldn't be using it until he isolates the problem or he may be replacing the engine. He can start by disconnecting the wires to the clutch and checking both wires to make sure they are not grounded. If he finds a ground then the clutch needs to be replaced.
 

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Bart said:
The electric clutches can do serious damage to an engine if they short out through the crankshaft so he shouldn't be using it until he isolates the problem or he may be replacing the engine. .
Can anyone elaborate on this ^ ?
Thanks !
 

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If the clutch is shorted then it can find a ground through the engine crankshaft. Since the crankshaft runs in oil--a dielectric--there is likely to be arcing when the current jumps the gap between the crank and block and that can damage the bearing surfaces.
 

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No one should suddenly get paranoid because they have an electric clutch on their tractor.

Bart is quite correct when he states that engine damage can happen as a result of a certain type of short taking place within an electric clutch BUT...many of these clutches just fail in other ways that present no real danger to the health of the engine. According to Tom Hanson, a highly reputable and long-time Ingersoll dealer and member of this forum, these occurrences are RARE but if you go on certain forums, you might come away with the impression they happen daily.

More often than not, the insulation on the copper windings that make up magnetic coil in the clutch, breaks down from heat. As it breaks down, the copper windings can come into contact with each other and we call this a "short" because the electricity does not have to take the "long" way through the coil, it can take the "short" route. The more "shorting" that takes place, the more current the coil draws and this creates more heat which in turn, accelerates the deterioration of the insulation and causes more shorting to take place. Thus...you have a vicious cycle that often causes damage to the clutch control switch on the dash and even the connector that snaps into that switch. Eventually, the fuse may start blowing and that signals the end of the life of the clutch.

As long as all of this happens within the insulated confines of the clutch, then engine damage will not result. When the insulation between the windings and the metal of the clutch takes place, that's when a winding can touch the metal housing of the clutch. The clutch resides on the output shaft of the crankshaft and the crankshaft is support by ball bearing races that are lubricated by the engine oil. If electrical arcing takes place in that bearing, then the hardened surfaces become pitted. The pitting then causes further bearing deterioration to the point where the bearing can seize up and spin as a unit, thus damaging the block and/or the crankshaft.

This is not just an Ingersoll problem. It can happen with any brand of tractor that uses an electric clutch and today......most of the LT's have vertical shaft engines and use an electric clutch. However, if you hang around other forums, you won't hear of this happening very often with those brands of tractors that have used electric clutches for a much longer time than Ingersoll has.

Just thought I'd clear up this issue.

Tom
 

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If, after reading Tom's thorough explanation, you are paranoid anyway you could install a ground wire between the clutch body and the engine block to provide an alternative route for any current leakage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
As I said it kills when the pto is engaged. No attachment is necessary. It is not getting bogged down by an attachment. Just flipping the switch to start the PTO does it. We can start by checking for a ground in the wires. I figured it may be a short, just thought I'd ask to see if others have experienced a similar problem.

P.S.- My brother is already a member of the forum, I already recruited him. I just wrote the post on his behalf.
 

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Off the cuff, sounds to me like it is related to the seat safety switch circuit. Pull down the illustrated parts manual off the Ingersoll web site or in your owner's manual and look at the electrical diagram. There is a seat circuit to kill the motor if the seat is not occupied and the PTO switch is on.

Brian
 
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