When I engage the Pto on my 8N to brush hog and start off it almost stalls

Yes. Set the throttle to the proper PTO RPM speed (1580 engine speed, IIRC), engage the clutch, out of gear, let the mower reach speed, and then use what ever gear you mow with. The governor should keep the speed near correct. As has been said, do this away from the area you want to mow. I regularly mow 36" tall grass with my 51 8N and a 5 foot Bush Hog (tm). I do have to raise the mower slightly traversing shallow ditches (grass and water!), but the 8N keeps speed even through this type grass. First gear, of course! zuhnc
 
Yes. Set the throttle to the proper PTO RPM speed (1580 engine speed, IIRC), engage the clutch, out of gear, let the mower reach speed, and then use what ever gear you mow with. The governor should keep the speed near correct. As has been said, do this away from the area you want to mow. I regularly mow 36" tall grass with my 51 8N and a 5 foot Bush Hog (tm). I do have to raise the mower slightly traversing shallow ditches (grass and water!), but the 8N keeps speed even through this type grass. First gear, of course! zuhnc

He will need a overrunning clutch on the pto shaft to do what you mentioned, without one you cannot get the transmission in gear until the mower comes to a stop
 

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