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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    2
    Location
    Lipan, TX
    Tractor
    MF 281 74hp 2wd

    Default MF281 Dual Clutch Install

    I have been trying to get my tractor back together for almost a month! I have spent 15 hours or so trying to get the two halves back together. I could not find an alingment tool, so I tried to eyeball the alignment...twice. I then decided to make one out of wood, first attempt...not so good, second attempt...better. So I get the clutch's lined up with the new wood alingment tool...cool. Now here in lies the problem...I think...I have the front half of the tractor hanging from a tree (which the chain fall is hooked up on one side) and the back end is on blocks. I was using a borrowed tractor for lifting up on the tranny, and my using 4x4 boards and a come along (hooked around the tranny and the front of the tractor) to pull the two half back together. When I got close enough, I turned the fly wheel to slip the shafts into place (I had put the tranny in high gear, and engaged the PTO). I slowly brought the two halves together by use of the come along, boards, and a floor jack under the front end to wiggling and turning of the fly wheel. I got to about an inch away and can go no further...theory...I can't get the shaft to fit into the pilot bearing...I think because I need to be perfectly lined up on both halves...but how? I am on the ground...and the borrowed tractor is now gone home. Suggestions....please.

  2. #2
    Gold Member massey driver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    418
    Location
    north of winnipeg canada
    Tractor
    massey 175,1655,gc2300

    Default Re: MF281 Dual Clutch Install

    Working on the ground isn't the best way to do this nor using another tractor to lift,looking for a wreck.But this is something you can try.Get some 3/4" plywood to act as a floor or sheet of steel something that you can make a flat solid surface.Use a floor jack with wheels to lift under the tractors oil pan and slowly move the 2 halves back together.A little bit of wiggling should be all it'll take to get things together.Of course the clutches in the clutch pack hopefully are lined up with the pilot brg.Another way to line stuff up like that is if you have a shaft or rod the same as the pilot brg. then add a pipe the same as the clutch splines.I've used sockets before to do this.over a rod.If you have a rod that a deep socket will fit over but to big to fit in the pilot brg you can grind down the shaft or rod slowly on a bench grinder just take off as little as you need by slowly turning the rod.It won't have to be dead on but as close as you can get it the better.Using a tractor to lift and hold isn't very good as you pretty much need something that will keep the mating surfaces as close to in line as possible.I've had a few split for clutch work etc; and have always done it on concrete floor.Of course sometimes a little wiggle this way and that was needed as well.Also check to see nothing else is binding,or stopping.eg: steering gear box ,linkages just have a good look to make sure nothing is holding it from going together Larry

  3. #3
    Super Member JerryG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    7,202
    Location
    Northwest Arkansas
    Tractor
    MF 1440-4 PowerShuttle

    Default Re: MF281 Dual Clutch Install

    Borrow or rent the correct alignment tool from your local tractor shop. Then get some bolts that are the same size as the ones that go between the engine and transmission. Get these bolts longer by an inch or more than the original bolts. Cut the heads off and cut a screwdriver slot where the head was or grind a couple of flats to get a wrench on. Put these bolts in before you start to stab the clutch. They will help you with the alignment. As you get it stabbed, you can replace the headless bolts with the originals. What ever you do don't force the motor and transmission together. It will tear things up if you do.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    2,244
    Location
    Carroll, Ohio
    Tractor
    Massey 180 Diesel

    Default Re: MF281 Dual Clutch Install

    If you're within an inch of going together, you're almost home. Apparently you are far enough together, you're through the splines of the clutch, and all that's hanging you up is the shaft going in the pilot bushing.

    As mentioned, some longer bolts to act as guide pins works well to get you lined up. I'm not familiar with the 281, so not sure if they are studs, or bolts and nuts, or both. None the less, if you have some slightly longer that will reach, and help pull it together would be great. You don't want a lot of tension on it, and force it as mentioned, just keep it from getting away from you. Get several, 4 would be better..., bolts aligned. Check that the mating surfaces of the trans housing and engine are equal distance apart, top to bottom, even sideways. Your floor jack under the front will give you some adjustment. A bottle jack under the trans. will get it where it needs to be. Hence the reason for the longer bolts to keep it from getting away from you.

    If it were me, and still had the come along hooked up, or bolts long enough to keep from losing what you have... I would put the slightest amount of tension on it. If you have a large wrench, ( I have used a smooth jawed Monkey Wrench) I would then release the clutch/pressure plate, using the arm the clutch rod hooks to. With the tapered nose on the shaft, and if it is close. With pressure released, it may allow the input shaft to align itself. A helper, or some good ole' enginuity to hold it there is a big help. There may be enough adjustment on your clutch rod, to let you hook it up. I have been known in the past to wire a clutch pedal down doing this.

    You may also help it some, by putting the trans. in neutral, and engaging the PTO. If you have a large enough wrench to fit over the PTO shaft, (I believe an 1 1/4" will fit loosely, but a 15" Crescent/adjustable wrench works better) turn the PTO shaft. It may help it walk itself in.

    If it still won't go, I went to AGCO and looked in the parts book. It does show an apparent inspection cover on the bottom. I'm not sure if this will allow access up through the housing, to the input shaft, and release bearing or not. If releasing the clutch let the shaft drop, as to where it is too low to go in, you may be able to raise it back up through that opening. A mirror and trouble light should keep you from getting under it, and see if you have access to move it. Some cribbing, a bar, and a narrow "1 by" on end, may allow you to raise it up.

    On all of my older tractors with this type of PTO, that is how I get them back together... Trans. and PTO in gear, and use a wrench to turn the PTO. A 3/4" ratchet, and socket to fit the PTO is the berries. Once I am as close as you are now, I block the wheels from rolling back, put the tranny in neutral, and use the longer bolts to pull it together. Just a smidge of tension, so as not to loose what I have. Turn the PTO shaft, and it has always gone together... Again, it may take a little jiggle to get it to go...

    Just be careful, and always remember anything can break... Don't get yourself, or apendages in a position you can't get out of. Especially if your working on it yourself... Pappy instilled that in to me many years ago. Just take a few seconds, and think what COULD happen, before sticking a hand in, or getting under something.

    Sorry the post is so long winded, but "have been there done that"... Sure makes me appreciate what I have to work with now...

    Good luck, and let us know how it turns out...!!

  5. #5

    Default Re: MF281 Dual Clutch Install

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Horse View Post
    I have been trying to get my tractor back together for almost a month! I have spent 15 hours or so trying to get the two halves back together. I could not find an alingment tool, so I tried to eyeball the alignment...twice. I then decided to make one out of wood, first attempt...not so good, second attempt...better. So I get the clutch's lined up with the new wood alingment tool...cool. Now here in lies the problem...I think...I have the front half of the tractor hanging from a tree (which the chain fall is hooked up on one side) and the back end is on blocks. I was using a borrowed tractor for lifting up on the tranny, and my using 4x4 boards and a come along (hooked around the tranny and the front of the tractor) to pull the two half back together. When I got close enough, I turned the fly wheel to slip the shafts into place (I had put the tranny in high gear, and engaged the PTO). I slowly brought the two halves together by use of the come along, boards, and a floor jack under the front end to wiggling and turning of the fly wheel. I got to about an inch away and can go no further...theory...I can't get the shaft to fit into the pilot bearing...I think because I need to be perfectly lined up on both halves...but how? I am on the ground...and the borrowed tractor is now gone home. Suggestions....please.


    When you got it an inch away, did you try to force it together? If so, you better roll it back apart and pull the clutch out and lay it on a flat surface to make sure you did not bend anything on it. Because we had a customer that basically done the same thing on a 255 and after he finally got it rolled back together, nothing happened. We had to pick it up with a rollback and bring it back to the shop and resplit the tractor, and sure enough, he ruined his clutch.

  6. #6
    New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    1

    Default Re: MF281 Dual Clutch Install

    Same prob. I work on tractors for a living but have a Mech Eng Degree and a Civil Eng Degree. I also do Hi Performance Boats and Asian HP Car Mods. I have a TO 35 that's giving me ****. Iv split it at least 10 times --Covered all the details--including slightly radiusing the spines with a Dremel Carbide. Alignment seems to be right on---Iv installed a couple hundred clutches. I turned the PTO and the clutch turns as I have the Engine---Its within a 3/4 inch or less but just seems to tite to "PULL" together with bolts. I HAVE Busted a clutch before. UGH. Its rebuilt by my builder of 20 yrs. SAME Plates and I checked splines as well as the pilot. Top and bottom distance is checked with a dial Caliper. I have 20 hours in it and hate like **** to have to bust it. Plus its a 106-108 degrees every day down here ---Im getting short on patience. ----There a Nickel holding up a Dime here. Iv greased it and cussd it. I remain calm to date.

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