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Richard, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 3020
Experience:  Senior Mechanic & Technician
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My John Deere STX38 (yellow deck) will not keep the blades

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My John Deere STX38 (yellow deck) will not keep the blades engaged. I replaced the pto switch and the problem persists. The blades will come on for a second or two then shut off. Sometimes the blades will not engage at all. Please advise.
Hey there - Im Richard G.

Im very sorry to hear that your having this trouble.

Let me help you.

Do you have a DMM " Digital Multi-Meter" to test with and feel comforatble using it ? OR would you like a list of possible causes ?

Thanks - Richard -
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I don't have a digital multi-meter, my brother might??? Could you respond with both (a list of probable causes and what to do with the multi-meter in case my brother does have one and is able to help)?






PS If you have sheep I'm ready to go that route at this point.

Becky. I like the humor Laughing Sorry I dont have any sheep.

All DC voltag readings

Before anything is done. The battery has to be tested. 12 volts with key off, voltage never fall below 9.5 volts when cranking and charging system putting out around 13 - 13.5 volts.

We need to check for 12 volts and a ground at the PTO clutch wires when the clutch shuts off. We may need to do a clutch adjustment as well if the 12 volts shows up and the ground and if that dont solve it, you will need to replace the clutch. The 2 wires going to the clutch are positive and negative,. Positive meaning it has voltage and we need 12 volts on everything we test. Ground meaning that there is a negative going to the clutch.

If you dont have 12 volts, then we will see what else activates that circuit. But lets test for 12 volts first and then we can proceed with the rest of the test.

Notes: Check your connections to key switch and the PTO switch as well.

Reply back to me after you have done the above and we will help you further.

Thanks - Richard -

Richard and other Small Engine Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Not sure when my brother can test this for me. He lives 45 minutes away. I'll let you know if that's not it. Battery was new two years ago and it's kept in the garage in the winter and trickle charged in the spring.

Hey Becky.

If you have a herbor frieght near by. You cna pick up a meter for about 7 bucks. I can help yuo use it. Just an option for you.

Thanks - Richard -
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, we had one of those open up just a few months ago. Unfortunately, I have a funeral to attend tomorrow that's almost 2 hours away. I'll let you know when I get it. I'm not very mechanically inclined.


I've never done this before, if I say that you've given excellent service, does that mean that you won't be able to help me anymore because they think my problem has been solved even though it's still a work in progress?



Rating me does not close your question. You can respnd back here at anytime.

When you get the meter, just let me know. Attend your funeral and when you get time to work on it, I will be here.

P.S.. Sorry for your loss as well.

Thanks - Richard -
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Will do, and thank you