Lawn tractor PTO clutch - maybe

I've had an old (80's) wheel horse lawn tractor for about 10 years now. I bought it used and it's served me pretty well, though it always seems to ha ve some trouble or other. It's been running pretty good for most of the su mmer, but recently it's been struggling.
These days, if I mow into grass that's a little too high (doesn't have to b e very high at all), or turn too tightly (doesn't have to be very tightly a t all), or drive it on just the wrong grade, or look at it funny - the blad es will slow down and it will stop cutting very well. It's easy to tell wh en this is happening by the sound.
At first I thought it was a slipping belt (it was getting pretty frayed and beat up) - but I put a new one on and the problem persisted. I now get th e feeling that it might be that the PTO clutch is going and when the load g ets to be too much for it, it starts slipping. Once or twice, the belt see med to stop entirely and there was a burning smell.
Does this sound like a PTO clutch that's going? and if so, how much is that likely to cost and can I do it myself? I'm pretty savvy about these thing s and not easily daunted, but if it requires special tools or major disasse mbly I probably couldn't do it myself. If I've got to take it to a shop (w hich probably will incur the extra cost of having them come and get it, sin ce I don't have a trailer) and have them fix this, it's likely not going to be worth it and it may be time for a new used lawn tractor.
Thanks for any advice.
-J
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J wrote:

More detail , like crankshaft orientation , type of clutch - electric? A model number would help . If it's anything like my JD 317 - horizontal crank , electric clutch - it should be easy with hand tools .
--
Snag



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