Variable clutch on older machines reliable?

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1816case

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Feb 13, 2015
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on the older machines before hydro pumps..were the big variable clutch on wisconsin 4 m610 very reliable? do they wear out or just the belt? this is the area of concern stopping me from buying it. They want $2000 for it.
 

flyerdan

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Mar 7, 2009
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yes they wear out and almost impossible to find major parts for.
The parts for the clutches are available, there are four of them, two forward and two reverse.
The variable speed hydraulic sheave drive is what wears out or breaks and is extremely difficult to get replacement parts for.
 
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1816case

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Feb 13, 2015
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The parts for the clutches are available, there are four of them, two forward and two reverse.
The variable speed hydraulic sheave drive is what wears out or breaks and is extremely difficult to get replacement parts for.
The 610 looks to be pretty decent shape.. minor issues. ( bad gas and spark plugs) What is holding me back from pulling trigger ($2000) is the NA of of the variable speed sheave. The one on there works fine.. but I know of one guy that has his broken and he can't find a replacement anywhere?.. Is this a good reason not to jump on it? need to decide by monday 9/7
 

flyerdan

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Mar 7, 2009
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The 610 looks to be pretty decent shape.. minor issues. ( bad gas and spark plugs) What is holding me back from pulling trigger ($2000) is the NA of of the variable speed sheave. The one on there works fine.. but I know of one guy that has his broken and he can't find a replacement anywhere?.. Is this a good reason not to jump on it? need to decide by monday 9/7
There is a facebook group, Melroe Bobcat Owners that deal extensively with these older clutch machines, you might want to peruse that site for a bit and get the consensus. A lot of people replace the variable with a chain drive and sacrifice some travel speed for reliability.
 

Parlusk

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May 31, 2023
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There is a facebook group, Melroe Bobcat Owners that deal extensively with these older clutch machines, you might want to peruse that site for a bit and get the consensus. A lot of people replace the variable with a chain drive and sacrifice some travel speed for reliability.
You don't happen to know of any threads where people have posted about replacing it with a chain drive? I have a busted clutch on a john deere 170 and cannot find any replacement parts.
 

foton

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Mar 1, 2018
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1,348
I converted a 500 to chain drive, I think I used series 60 heavy chain and a 30 tooth gear on the jack shaft but I can not remember what I used on the engine , but it was around a 2 to 1 ratio It spun the jack shaft fast enough to get the alt. charging after I put in a manual push button switch on the sense wire to activate it. you will need to engeneer a idler to tension the chain too. It all worked well enough but was noisey. good luck
 
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