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Tansaxle Problem

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by RanchLady, May 7, 2008.

  1. RanchLady

    RanchLady LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Craftsman 19.5 HP
    6 speed transaxle
    Model No. 917.271810

    I have been rebuilding my lawn tractor and have run into a small (well...maybe large) problem. I can put the tractor in gear and it will not move forward, or backwards if in reverse. It appears to be in neutral in all gears. Everything else seems to be running OK...except I don't go anywhere. Is there a belt I might need to check? Or do I need a new transaxle...or can this one be rebuilt for few dollars? Any help is appreciated.
  2. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    That would be the first thing to do Lynn, Look under the unit and make sure the belt is on the engine pulley, Clutch idler pulley and the transaxle drive pulley.....
  3. jkason

    jkason LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 546

    Also, Craftsman wheels are fastened onto the axle with an e-clip. Remove this and see if the square-cut key is stiil on the axle shaft. Check both shafts.
    If not, replace it. If it is, you need to tear down your transmission.
    If you've never torn one down before, I don't reccomend you do it.
  4. sawman65

    sawman65 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 754

    got a question for ya,is that a shift on the go system? if it is you could have a stuck vsp pully. open the hood and look to see if their is a sticker on the inside it will tell you step by step what to do.
  5. RanchLady

    RanchLady LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Thanks for the assistance. I am stopping this evening on the way home to get that belt and change it this weekend. I am very hopeful that it will fix my problem. Otherwise...time for a new tractor....I have had my eye on one for over a year....
    Sawman: It is manual shift...do not see a sticker under hood...
    jkason: noticed that when I took tires off to fix...made sure those keys went back on correctly...never tore down a transmission, but hey...I am game to learn ...
    Wish me luck...and I will let you all know if the belt was the problem...
  6. vaulta

    vaulta LawnSite Member
    from Orlando
    Messages: 118

    I have the same problem with my rider mower but its stuck into gear. I move the lever into neutral and it still wont come out of gear. the mower will not go forward or reverse not move at all. All the belts are on the pulleys of my craft mans riding mower. This happened couple of days ago was mowing and all of a sudden it stopped moving. Wont move when shifted into reverse or forward. And its like its stuck into gear, thanks for any help.
  7. jkason

    jkason LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 546

    It might not be stuck in gear, the brakes may be stuck. Happens sometimes (usually when the unit is stored outside).
    If you have checked all the stuff from above, then you can disassemble the transaxle.
    Make sure you clean the parts off thouroughly and set them aside in the manner in which they came off. When you find the broken parts, order and install new ones.
    Figure on a couple hours at least. Get the repair manual for your model transaxle.

    If you are having the dealer/Sears do it, you may want to think about replacing the transaxle if it's newer, or replacing the tractor if it's older.

    When I was a dealer, I suggested that the customer replace the whole tractor if the deck, engine or transaxle needed to be replaced. Parts plus labor usually exceeded half the cost of a new machine.
  8. GravelyNut

    GravelyNut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,594

    Assuming it is the same style tranny as used by JD and so many of the other makers use, the most common failures are:
    1.) Special keys in the shifter failed. Lever moves but nothing happens.
    2.) Bevel input/driven gear is stripped. Input pulley and shaft turns but doesn't go anywhere.
    3.) Key in input pulley sheared. Input pulley turns on shaft.
  9. LarryF

    LarryF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,181

    Something similar happened to my ZTR while I was mowing, and I couldn't even push the thing. Turned out to be a very small problem; that is, the belt driving the hydros had jumped off the engine pulley, which is very much like what Restrorob suggested you check. I haven't seen a response from you that you looked at that yet.
  10. vaulta

    vaulta LawnSite Member
    from Orlando
    Messages: 118

    I screwed with it more today. Checked the belts everything is on track. I looked under the machine when running and the main drive belt does not even move when put into gear or reverse. yea its like the brake is stuck or something.

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