Wear is the enemy of any part whether it is on an automobile or a Kubota tractor. That is why drivers of Kubota products should take care not to do anything that can increase wear when driving the tractor or maintaining the clutch.
Here are 10 tips that can help you save wear and tear on a Kubota tractor clutch.
1. Don’t ride the clutch. If you keep your foot on the clutch pedal when not using it, then the extra weight will cause the clutch disc to slip and the clutch itself to burn.
2. Periodically adjust the free play of the clutch pedal. The clutch pedal clearance between the release lever and bearing determines play and clearance vary as the tractor is used. So, generally, play increases at the beginning of use, but decreases over time. When free play reaches zero the clutch will begin to slip because the release bearing is turning at all times. If this is not adjusted, then the bearing will overheat and may get stuck due to wear and scorching of the clutch disc.
3. Quick disengage, slow reengage. Depress the pedal quickly to disengage the clutch and return the pedal slowly to re-engage it.
4. Lubricate clutch release bearings. Identify the clutch release bearing and lubricate it every time you change the oil of your Kobuta tractor.
5. Don’t “dump” the clutch. Don’t use the clutch too quickly, put the tractor under load, or dump it to rock the tractor if it is stuck. Ease the clutch, do not dump it and engage the differential lock of the tractor is stuck.
6. Keep the disc off the flywheel if storing a Kubota tractor for long periods. To protect the flywheel, place a wooden block under the footboard to keep the clutch disc off the flywheel when storing the tractor. This precaution will prevent the disc from rusting to the flywheel.
7. Don’t depress the clutch when you are not in the driver’s seat. Depressing the clutch of a Kubota tractor from any other place than the driver’s seat is a safety hazard.
8. Don’t bypass the clutch safety switch.
9. Keep the clutch disc free of oil and condensation. Oil and water can cause the clutch disc to slip and wear. So regularly inspect the rear engine seal and transmission input shaft for oil leakage. A drain to discard condensation is located at the bottom of the clutch housing. Make sure that it is free of debris, dust, and mud so that the excess water can drain out. L175/L1500s Kubota tractors do not have this drain. So it is advised that you make one.
10. Replace all clutch components when servicing. Don’t just service one component of the clutch; service all of its components while you have the tractor split. Areas to check include the flywheel, clutch release bearing, clutch free play, and clutch disc.
In later articles, we will discuss how to resurface the flywheel, lubricate the clutch release bearing, adjust clutch free play, and resurface and install a new clutch disc.