Craftsman tractor won't move

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  #1  
Old 05-24-04, 05:30 PM
4wheeldrive
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Craftsman tractor won't move

I have a 1992 Craftman all wheel steering lawn tractor. It starts fine and cuts well. Yesterday, it abruptly stopped moving. The drive belt was still on the pulleys, but I replaced it with a new one and adjusted the tension. It still doesn't move. I have never removed the wheels. Any ideas where to look for the problem?
 
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  #2  
Old 05-24-04, 07:44 PM
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I'm making an assumption that your mower has a hydrostatic drive. If it doesn't then some of what I say won't apply.

Look for something simple & obvious first. A hydraulic system usually doesn't suddenly just die without giving some warning so I'm guessing that the problem will be something simple, but maybe not too obvious. Check to see if the controls will actually manipulate the hydraulic control valves. Make sure all the hoses are connected and not broken. You didn't loose all the hydraulic fluid did you? Check that the hydraulic pump is actually being driven by the engine. The pump could be turned either by a shaft directly from the engine or from a belt. If the pump is belt driven there will be a belt separate from the ones that drive the blades.

If all of the above seems to be in good order you can then start digging a little deeper. Check the filter and if good start suspecting that the hydraulic pump may have failed. A failed pump is a long shot as they usually last forever and don't suddenly just fail.
 
  #3  
Old 05-24-04, 10:54 PM
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Hello 4wheeldrive!

Look at the transmission pulley while the engine is running (might have to get someone to sit on the mower and try to get it to move while you watch). Is it turning? Let us know, and we'll go from there.
 
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Old 05-26-04, 07:09 PM
4wheeldrive
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Thanks for the two replies to my original post.

The Craftsman tractor (15 HP, two cylinder, all wheel steer, 43" mower deck) does not have a hydrostatic drive - it has a 6 speed transaxial.

I had my son sit on the tractor, put it in gear, and let off the clutch/brake. The pulley on top of the transaxial (on the input shaft into the transaxial) rotates, but the tractor doesn't move. Also, when the tractor would move (before this problem) one could "feel" a gear being engaged when shifting gears. Right now, there is no sense of a gear being engaged when the transaxial is shifted.
 
  #5  
Old 05-26-04, 09:17 PM
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What about a pulley on the output side of the transmission. I'm not familiar with your particular machine but I've seen mowers with a pulley & belt drive on both sides of the transmission. If that's not the case and the transmission is hooked up to the drive wheels directly then about the only other thing to check is the shift linkages. Make sure that when you move the shift lever that it's actually moving something inside the transmission. If it is then is really sounds like something has gone bad inside the transmission. You should be able to jack up the rear wheels, unhook the belt from the input pulley, put the machine in gear, and be able to turn the rear wheels by turning the transmission input shaft with your hand. I can do that with my mower, I can even do that with my old VW super beetle. In any event, that should verify if the tranny is good or bad.
 
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Old 05-27-04, 12:10 AM
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I agree...watch the shifter, where it connects to the tranny. Does it move when you shift? Does the shifter have any resistance at all, or does it just flop back and forth?
 
  #7  
Old 05-29-04, 07:40 PM
4wheeldrive
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I checked the shift linkage and it was working fine. So, I pulled the transaxle out of the tractor to look for the problem. One of the two drive shafts that go to the the back wheels broke. It sheared off where it enters the splined mating hole that is then connected to the left rear wheel.

This tractor is model 536.255870. I checked Sears.com and a few web sites that sell tractor parts to look for a transaxle rebuild kit or transaxle. I could find neither.

The tractor is in very good shape and runs well. I would prefer to repair it. What are best options for the broken transaxle? Do local mower/lawn tractor folks rebuild these units? Or is the a source for a replacement transaxle? Or can I buy a rebuild kit, or just the replacement broken shaft?

Thanks for your help,
4wheeldrive
 
  #8  
Old 05-31-04, 11:46 AM
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You should be able to find a source for the part at a local lawn mower repair shop. The tranny is probably a peerless, but you can check and get the model# of the tranny (should be on a tag on the back of the tranny). The parts should be available through murray.

Many shops do not rebuild these things. I do at my shop when it is economically feasable. Sometimes the parts outweigh the value of the machine.
 
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