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Discussion Starter #1
I have an Oliver 550 (gas) with a front end loader. I've had it for several years and have ran haybines and balers behind it with no issue.

However yesterday I was out with a brush hog mowing a 5 acre field. I had made 4 passes around the field then my PTO would just slow to a stop like it had been shut off, until I pushed in the clutch, then it would speed back up to full speed. This wasn't thick grass and it didn't matter what gear the tractor was in. Once the PTO was up to full speed, I could start mowing again but in 20 or 30 feet it would do the same thing. This has never happened to me before and it wasn't the mower, as I took that tractor home and brought out a Ford 601 to finish the job. What is the problem here?

Second question--going up any slight incline (and I mean MINOR) the engine in the Oliver bogs down and it has to work. The Ford 601 doesn't do this, it just hums along. This makes me think the engine is pretty weak. Could it perhaps be time for a rebuild? Hours are pretty low for it's age, I'm thinking 4000-6000 but don't remember for sure. Engine is pretty clean and doesn't leak.

Someone else suggested to me to first check the fuel filter and air filter. I had changed the oil for the air filter last year.
 

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The engine governor might be out of adjustment, or the governor itself may be worn. Do you have a shop manual for the Oliver?
 

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Which PTO does the Oliver have- Transmission driven (the same as your 601 assuming it's a 641 or 651), Live (has its' own clutch disc) or Independent (has a hydraulic clutch pack)?
 

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I will give a second on the fuel filter. My New Holland diesel seems to pick up a lot of water in the tank and it will seem to be running fine but when I am bush hogging or start running up an incline it will act like I do when bounding up a couple flights of stairs....starts bogging and gasping. Shut down the PTO or hit level ground and the RPMs come back up.
I go through about three fuel filters a year.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Which PTO does the Oliver have- Transmission driven (the same as your 601 assuming it's a 641 or 651), Live (has its' own clutch disc) or Independent (has a hydraulic clutch pack)?
The 550 has Independent PTO. I did change the hydraulic fluid in the tractor last year, but maybe I need to check the levels??

Here's more info on the 550...

TractorData.com Oliver 550 tractor information
 

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Since you have an Independent PTO I would say the slow down is caused by "choking" the mower with too much grass, weeds or whatever it is that you're mowing. Pushing in the clutch stops the tractor's forward motion and the mower has a chance to "clear" itself. Perhaps the clutch discs in the hydraulic clutch pack are worn and are not transferring full power to the PTO driven implement.
 
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