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PTO loads engine down and almost quits running!

John Deere 111 (1981) runs great until I engage the blades with the PTO switch on dash. Then the engine boggs down and some times dies but not all the time. The engine never regains enough rpms to mow grass with!
With the mower deck removed the blades turn freely so the bearings are great. Nothing is tangled around the blades and the blades are new. As it the belts (from John Deere).
It has an electric clutch on the PTO.

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If you are loosing rpm,s the governor needs adjusting , spring could have came off or governor could have went out

Posted on Nov 29, 2014

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Pto is going bad

Posted on Jun 06, 2010

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1 Answer

Blades won't engage on John Deere x540.


I would remove the PTO switch and have a Deere dealer test it. Also on the 500 series the PTO operates through the ignition control module which is under the dash, you can see it when you raise the hood. It is black and about 2" wide x 3" long and 1" thick.

Jul 29, 2017 | John Deere Garden

1 Answer

John Deere Z840A Z-Trak mower. Why does engine die when PTO is engaged?


A possible cause is an open seat switch (operator presence). Locate the switch under the seat & unplug the switch from the harness. Place a small jumper wire into the female socket leads to the wire harness. If the PTO engages without engine shutting down, replace the seat switch.

Check to see if the mower deck is plugged or a piece of wood/debris is wedged between the deck and a blade, or some wire/rope is wrapped around a spindle. If the blades don't turn by hand, it'll stall your engine when the electric PTO clutch is energized.

Lastly, a discharged battery will cause an engine shut down if there's not enough reserve when the PTO is engaged. Measure the battery voltage with a meter. If the voltage is below 11.5 volts, you may have to replace the battery.

Oct 23, 2015 | John Deere Garden

1 Answer

John Deere x300 series 2009 model I unhooked the kill wire and it started. But now my mower/pto will not engage is there a way to bypass the sensor?


Based on the combination problems involving the coil kill wire and the PTO activation, I would suspect the PTO switch is bad.

I do not have a schematic for the 300x, however I most of the functions are comparable to the LA 145, 165, 175.

The PTO switch is a multifunction switch. It will have 3 to 4 different functions internally. On the LA 175 it serves 3 functions. These 3 internal functions are independent of one another. Electronically they are known as single pole/single throw switches. In other words even though they are all housed inside a single unit they act light 3 separate light switches in your house.

One function ("light switch") controls your cranking system. When the key is turned to Start, power flows from the Key switch (purple wire) to the PTO switch. With the PTO switch off it flow out (purple/white) and goes to the Brake switch. If the Brake is set the power flows through to the starter solenoid and your engine cranks.

Another "light switch" inside the PTO switch controls the Blade Clutch. Power flows from the Key switch, in run position, (yellow wire) to the PTO switch. With the PTO switch on it flows out another yellow wire to the Blade Clutch. A DC volt meter should show 12 volts switching on and off as the PTO is turned on and off.

The third "light switch" completes a Ground Path. This ground path is a totally separate pathway running through the PTO switch. The ground system is fairly complex because it operates differently under different scenarios.

To produce a spark, the key switch must be in the start or run position. While starting the PTO must be off and the brake set. The seat switch does not matter at this point.

Once the engine is running the seat switch plays a part if the PTO is activated or the Brake is released. Someone must be in the seat.
The Kill system is activated
  1. When the key switch is turned off.
  2. When the operator leaves the seat without setting the brake and turning off the PTO.
  3. When the machine is reversed while the PTO is engaged and the back up switch (RIS) is not pressed.

So there are three different paths to ground; any of which can kill the engine by grounding the coil. Except for turning off the key, all other grounding functions flow through the "grounding light switch" in the PTO.

Because you have a combination problem, the Coil kill wire is grounding the engine and the Blade Clutch won't activate the blades; both of which are affected by the PTO switch, odds are you have a bad PTO.

Obviously there are too many complex functions to just bypass the switch. You will have to replace it. The part number you need is AM135131. You can do a site search to locate and order this replacement switch for about $26.00 including shipping at this site: GreenPartStore Parts for John Deere Lawn Tractors John Deere Lawn Garden...

Mar 29, 2015 | John Deere Garden

1 Answer

John Deere X304 PTO Engagement Problem When Warm


Hi, check your belt tension, check all idler pulleys and drive pulleys for free rotation with the belt off and finally check that the belt is not bottoming out in any of the drive pulleys. If so, replace the belt. The blades should come up to speed imediately wether hot or cold and it sounds like your belt is slipping in one or more of the pulleys which drags the motor revs down until it grips. Regards Phil.

Jun 13, 2012 | John Deere Garden

2 Answers

John Deer X475 lawn mower


Check fuses.Does the dash light for PTO come on?Right side screen by pedals sometimes comes in contact with wires and cuts them.This happens mainly on the older units.

Sep 19, 2009 | Garden

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