Craftsman 377841 propel push mower rear wheel remains locked

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  #1  
Old 06-04-05, 07:09 PM
McPhenius
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Craftsman 377841 propel push mower rear wheel remains locked

Hi, this is my first post and I must say I am impressed reading the responses here! I think my topic may be similar to one posting about his Craftsman not disengaging the propel, but may be alittle different.

I just bought a Sears Craftsman self propelled push lawn mower earlier today. Model 917.377841 which is the 6.75 Honda Motor and rear wheel various speed propelled.

I read in the manual, when you have the propel lever pulled and the wheels spin, a locking mechanism prevents the rear wheels from going in reverse. Makes sense.

The manual says, when you release the propel lever, IF you are unable to pull the lawn mower backwards with back wheels rolling back, then to push the mower slightly forward to "disengage the lock" and you can pull the mower back.

I'd say 95% of the time, the rear wheel lock does not disengage after I release the propel lever. So when I need to pull the mower backwards in tight spot or near canal, the rear wheels are locked from rolling back and I am dragging them & the mower. On occassion, when I push it forward slightly to disengage the lock, one wheel will release and freely spin and on a very rare occassion, both will.

In the manual, it also says that over time the wheels may not spin as quick with the propel due to loosening tension. Under the various speed control lever, there is a little button you pull out to "reset" the tension and push back in.

When the mower is off, the rear wheels go in reverse with no problem and I can back the mower out by pulling. So I started the mower and lifted the rear up slighly so the wheels were off the ground. I noticed that even without the propel lever pushed, the rear wheels rotated slowly, as if the propel drive was engaged. This would make since why I can't release the lock on the rear wheels to pull the mower backwards. They only spin slow, but they do rotate without the lever being pushed.

So I wonder if there is too much tension right now or if something else is causing this. I am not sure if this is somewhat common since the mower is brand new and perhaps needs a break in time. But I don't want to pass up a return if it's something more serious.

Anyone else have any similar experiences or suggestions? I am hoping it's just a matter of breaking in the propel system or a slight adjustment. Otherwise I like the mower and saw it got good reviews.

Thanks in advance
 
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  #2  
Old 06-06-05, 04:11 AM
McPhenius
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I lifted the cover off where the pulley assembly is. I think the cable is too tight, but it's not caught anywhere. Can it be slightly adjusted? While running, I see where the pulley system engages the wheels to propel forward and it still does without the self propel lever being pressed. If I manually move the pulley slightly back (without the lever being pressed), the lawn mower rolls back fine.
 
  #3  
Old 06-06-05, 11:13 PM
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I agree, you have too much tension. I am not familiar with this type adjuster, but I'm sure it can be adjusted to your liking. You may have to hold the button and push or pull on the cable to alter the adjustment.
 
  #4  
Old 06-07-05, 04:45 PM
McPhenius
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Fortunately, I bought it at Sears and there is a Sears Service Center in the same city. I stopped by, but the guy off hand at the parts counter wasn't familiar with it. However, he said if I remove the cover over the pully assembly, he said somewhere there should be something to turn to loosen or tighten it. Like on a bicycle brake.

I found a small tan piece that I was able to turn and it looked like it was loosening tension. So I tried mower briefly and it seemed to work much better. Just not sure how much to turn it. Guess it'll be trial and error.

Worse comes to worse, the service guy said I have 2 year warranty to bring it by Center if needed.
 
  #5  
Old 06-08-05, 01:22 AM
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Great! Sounds like you got some useful support from the company, which is rare nowadays.
 
  #6  
Old 06-10-05, 07:54 PM
McPhenius
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My 8 year old son actually came up with an idea that proved useful. Since the propel gear is similar to a bicycle brake cable, he said "there has to be some adjustment knob." So I pulled the cover off again and looked at a small plastic tan piece that was on the cable. It didn't look like a knob, but it turned, so I went to the left and could see the tension release!

Ended up doing two full turns and now it works fine! Guess he won't have to mow the lawn until he's 12 now, instead of 11.
 
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