Sears Craftsman yard mower barely runs

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by Kenny H, Oct 6, 2002.

  1. Kenny H

    Kenny H LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    I'm new here, hopefully you guys can help me out. I have a Sears Craftsman push mower w/bag that is 14 months old. It has 6 horsepower I believe, its just the basic lawn mower. Earlier this summer I hit a tree stump that was not recessed into the ground as deeply as I thought, since then the mower has given me problems. Upon startup it now blows out blue smoke (oil) and seems to rev much much slower then before. It vibrates and shakes. In order to ensure the blade was not hitting the deck I swapped the stock 21" for a 19". It has plenty of clearance but still vibrates/shakes and does not run well at all. There seems to be some play in the shaft holding the blade, maybe the crank is bent? I'm far from a mechanic so thats about as best as I can describe the trouble. What do you guys think? I do not have much property so a real basic mower would be fine. Am I better off just junking this one and getting a cheap one? Is this worth getting fixed?
  2. Robert Doubrava

    Robert Doubrava LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 342

    You most likely bent the crankshaft. That's what is probably causing all the vibration.

    Good luck!!:)
  3. Yes it sounds bent crank. Replacement motor cost most of what replacing mower would be.
    Don't forget to get rid of that stump 1st;)
  4. Doogiegh

    Doogiegh LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 871

    Something I just thought of..

    What's Sear's return policy? I wonder if you can return it...Cause you don't like it..

    I have heard on here that Home Depot will take back anything, even if it's been used.

    So if you cleaned up the mower with a nice rag, put some Pledge on it to shine it up, and brought it back.. I wonder if that is even feasible..

    Anyone ever do anything like that?????

  5. PartsGuy

    PartsGuy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    I did not notice in your post whether or not you checked the flywheel key?

    If you havent, this could take care of your problem. You may still get minimal vibration, and that could come from a bent shaft.

    Parts Guy
  6. Robert Doubrava

    Robert Doubrava LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 342

    Yes, the flywheel key is a very important part of the engine. If it shears completely, it'll knock the ignition timing off. But since it runs, it's most likely the shaft.:) :blob3:

    ERIC ROBERGE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    If you havent dislocated your shoulder or elbow than your key is probably ok. Those of you that have experienced that know what I am talking about.
    I had a friend that worked in a mower repair shop and he told me they straighted out bent cranks with a pipe and a sledgehammer. Sounds kind of hokey to me, but if it works why argue with success.
  8. Swampbeast

    Swampbeast LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 463

    Tell ya watcha do in this case, you take that fine mower you got there, put it in the back end of your truck or car, drive to the dump, and throw that P.O.S in there! Then go buy yourself something not made by Craftsman, like a Toro, or a Lawnboy.
    It sounds like you got yourself a bent shaft, and the best thing to do is to either take it back (if they will let you, hey, its worth a shot!) or trash it and get a new one. Or you could try beating on it with a sledge hammer, might as well.
  9. Arnold

    Arnold LawnSite Member
    from Wyoming
    Posts: 194

    I once hit a water shutoff and had sort of the same problem maybe not as much vibration and it did start hard like the timming was off. It was the key. It was not completly shear but it was damaged. Remember that the key is there in case this happens it supposed to shear so it dosen't brake or bend something.
  10. Lawn Sharks

    Lawn Sharks LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 394

    You should consider yourself lucky that you weren't using a Toro or a Lawnboy when this happened as you would have still bent the crank most likely. Think of it as a cheap $150 lesson, get rid of the stump and go get another mower.

    Best of luck!

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